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i am the most absolute newbie there is and want to purchase or download a program that will allow me to easily choose Windows or Linux upon startup. I know ...
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  1. #1
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    what is a good software to easily allow windows and linux to coexist and transition?


    i am the most absolute newbie there is and want to purchase or download a program that will allow me to easily choose Windows or Linux upon startup. I know there are ways or partitioning the hardrive, but i want a more secure transition. I don't want to risk any problems due to poor hardrive configuration. I rather have a software that makes the process easier.

    Is there such a thing?

    Thank you!!!

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Zelmo's Avatar
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    It sounds like you're talking about two different things. Partitioning a hard drive is what many people to do put a second OS on their computer, but selecting which OS to boot is completely separate from partitioning. That's handled by the boot loader, which is typically installed on the master boot record (MBR). The MBR isn't part of any partition--it sits on the first 512 bytes of the drive and is sought out by the BIOS when booting from the hard disk. Then it loads whatever OS you choose, whether that OS is on a partition of the same disk or on another disk altogether. Just about any Linux distribution includes a very good boot loader, so that's not a concern.

    Your concern over risk of data loss is certainly legitimate. I remember losing all my music files once when I formatted the wrong drive to put Linux on it. One way to avoid that problem is to have a separate drive for Linux, and disconnect the Windows drive while you install Linux. Then after you're done, re-connect the Windows drive and set the boot loader up to recognize the Windows drive and be able to boot it.

    An even safer option is to run one of the OSes in a virtual machine. Then you can have both running at once, though the guest OS probably won't have as much functionality as if it were running by itself.
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  3. #3
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by iitiit View Post
    i am the most absolute newbie there is and want to purchase or download a program that will allow me to easily choose Windows or Linux upon startup.
    I'm not sure I understand your question, either, but for this part of it, GRUB should be all you need. You can set it up with a password if you wish. GRUB comes standard with many different Linux distributions.
    oz

  4. #4
    Linux Guru Juan Pablo's Avatar
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    You don't need to buy anything, installers on modern distros do the dirty job for you
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