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  1. #1

    Best way to set up Mandriva Linux/Windows Dual Boot

    I am setting up Mandriva on my laptop but even though I'm not a big fan of Windows I will need to use Windows for a few programs needed for my job.

    What is the best way to set up a dual boot environment? If I'm correct I can set up a program such as VMWare or Parallels within Linux to use Windows but since I don't have a fast laptop I will need dual boot.

    Which should I install first, Windows or Mandriva? I only have the option of Windows Vista now but can get Windows 7 when it comes out.

    If I am correct I will have GRUB menu at bootup asking me which to boot with but do I simply install Mandriva and then Windows or vice versa, Windows and then Mandriva. How would I go about partitioning the hard drive and setting it up for dual boot.

    Thank you for your help. I'm a newbie to Linux so don't know much about this yet.

  2. #2
    Linux User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    install windows first
    the sun is new every day (heraclitus)

  3. #3
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    I would suggest you determine your partitions first. Before installing anything, use your Mandriva installation disk, let it load and open a terminal/konsole window and run the command: fdisk -l (lower case Letter L) to get partition informatin. You may have a Recovery partition. Do this after installing vista. You can then decide which paritions are available to install Mandriva. Near the end of the install, you will have an option with Mandriva to install Grub to the master boot record or elsewhere. Choose mbr and I believe Mandriva should detect your windows install and put an entry in the menu.lst file.

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  5. #4
    Thanks. That's exactly what I needed to know. I'll get started with setting this up.

  6. #5
    In addition to yancek post, search google for "Dual-Boot Linux and Windows 2000/Windows XP with GRUB HOWTO." I have used it for mandriva 2007, 2008 and currently 2009. Note I have not tried dual booting with Vista.

  7. #6
    Install windows first, a base install is best. Then install mandriva, do a 'custom partitions'. That will let you resize the windows partition down to whatever size you want, the remainder of the drive you can then install Mandriva on.

    I've got Mandriva dual booting with Vista on my laptop, no problem.

  8. #7
    Thank you for the additional advice. I know everywhere I read the preferred route is install windows first, linux second which I can do. The problem is what if something happens to my Windows partition. Would I have to set up Windows again and later Linux again or would it not make a difference and I would just reinstall Windows in the Windows partition?
    Also, I want to at some point start backing up my laptop. I hope to get something like a 500GB USB External Drive to backup up to and want to do something like a mirrored backup so in a worse case I could boot up from that in a crash or even reinstall to a new internal drive.
    Since I have two OS's how would I do that? Could I do a complete backup from the linux side or windows side or would I have to do each individually?

  9. #8
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    If you have problems with your windows partition later (viruses, etc) you can just re-install it making certain you know which partition it was on and installing it to the same partition. Windows will automatically overwrite the master boot record without notifying you so you will need to re-install Grub. This is a simple process.

    You could use Clonezilla to copy your drive to another, copy each partition to another partition on another drive. I would advise you to read the documentation for Clonezilla before jumping in to using it. There are also several other options you could use.

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