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I have approx. (4) 40 GB partitions on my 160 GB hard drive. I'll call the drives C:\, D:\, E:\, and F:\. All four partitions use the NTFS filesystem format. ...
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  1. #1
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    Fedora Core 1 & Win XP Pro - Dual Booting


    I have approx. (4) 40 GB partitions on my 160 GB hard drive. I'll call the drives C:\, D:\, E:\, and F:\. All four partitions use the NTFS filesystem format.

    I have Windows XP Professional installed on C:\. On E:\ and F:\, I have personal documents on it, but no operating sytem.

    I planned on installing Fedora Core 1 Linux on D:\.

    My question is will there be any problems when I try to install Fedore Core 1? Also, will I be able to uninstall it if I don't like it. Will it affect my Windows XP Pro?

    Also, I have had problems when dual booting with Win XP Pro and Win 2000 Pro. When I took out the Win XP Pro, I would get

    NTLDR is missing. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart.
    Will I ever encounter this error when dual booting with Fedora Core 1?

    Please let me know of any bugs or anything that may affect me. I am very new to Linux, but I have some experience with operating systems.

  2. #2
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    Well, one thing you need to know is that Linux needs at least two partitions to install - one swap partition and one root filesystem partition (and, optionally, several partitions for different mount points here and there, but you don't have to care about that). That's no problem, though - during the installation, you can just choose to remove that D: partition and add the required partitions in its place; the installation program comes with a rather good partition manager. It will warn you something about "The boot partition may not be within the valid constraints for your platform" (I don't remember the exact wording, but something along those lines), but you don't have to worry about that. That only applies to really, really old computer (like pre-98).

    There should not be no problems with doing that. Fedora Core, like all other Linux distros, should have no problems dual booting. It will install the GRUB boot loader which will allow you to choose between Windows and Linux when your computer boots. You won't run into that "NTLDR" problem - that's related to the Windows boot loader changing its config file. Linux won't even touch your Windows boot loader, since it is unable to boot Linux anyway.

    As for uninstallation... well, there's really no such concept for operating systems. There's no such thing as "removing" it - you'll need to overwrite it. That is, replace the Linux partitions with a Windows partition and format it. You will also need to overwrite GRUB with Windows' boot loader. I don't use Windows, so I don't know how that's done exactly, but in related postings, people have been referring to terms such as "The Windows installation CD", "Recovery Console" and some command like "fixmbr" or such. Maybe someone else who knows Windows can give you details about that.

    Oh, by the way - Why FC1? Why not FC2?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolda2000
    Well, one thing you need to know is that Linux needs at least two partitions to install - one swap partition and one root filesystem partition (and, optionally, several partitions for different mount points here and there, but you don't have to care about that). That's no problem, though - during the installation, you can just choose to remove that D: partition and add the required partitions in its place; the installation program comes with a rather good partition manager. It will warn you something about "The boot partition may not be within the valid constraints for your platform" (I don't remember the exact wording, but something along those lines), but you don't have to worry about that. That only applies to really, really old computer (like pre-9.

    There should not be no problems with doing that. Fedora Core, like all other Linux distros, should have no problems dual booting. It will install the GRUB boot loader which will allow you to choose between Windows and Linux when your computer boots. You won't run into that "NTLDR" problem - that's related to the Windows boot loader changing its config file. Linux won't even touch your Windows boot loader, since it is unable to boot Linux anyway.

    As for uninstallation... well, there's really no such concept for operating systems. There's no such thing as "removing" it - you'll need to overwrite it. That is, replace the Linux partitions with a Windows partition and format it. You will also need to overwrite GRUB with Windows' boot loader. I don't use Windows, so I don't know how that's done exactly, but in related postings, people have been referring to terms such as "The Windows installation CD", "Recovery Console" and some command like "fixmbr" or such. Maybe someone else who knows Windows can give you details about that.

    Oh, by the way - Why FC1? Why not FC2?
    I'm assuming that the NTFS file system on D:\ will be suitable for Linux based on what you said. I'm not too sure of that because I have this book and it talks about ext3 and other filesystems. Can you clarify that?

    To uninstall Linux, can I just reformat the partitions that Linux is using? Then, maybe I can delete the partitons that I don't want. That may be a lot easier.

    My sister took a class from work about Fedora and they gave her Fedora Core 1. I have dialup and I just can't leave my computer on for a couple of days because I only have one phone line.

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    No, Linux can't under any circumstances install on NTFS. The semantics of NTFS are too far away from Linux/UNIX specifications, so it wouldn't possibly work. In fact, Linux does not even have write support for NTFS yet, only read support - since Microsoft refuses to give out any specifications for NTFS, everything about it has had to be reverse-engineered to work at all.

    ext3 (Extended filesystem version 3) is the most commonly used filesystem for Linux as of right now, and it's technically speaking Linux's "native" filesystem, since it was designed specifically in conjunction with the Linux development. ReiserFS is gaining in popularity, and since SGI ported XFS to Linux, it's being used more and more on servers. IBM has also ported their JFS to Linux, but it hasn't taken off much at all. Fedora Core is technically able to use all these filesystems (except possibly XFS), but the installer can only format partitions with ext3, so there's really no choice.
    You can choose to use ext2 instead, but that would just be stupid. =)
    ext3 is a very well balanced filesystem. It has standard UNIX semantics, good fragmentation, very good performance and absolutely rock-solid journalling. It really is understandable that it is the default filesystem, although ReiserFS is a very good competitor. ReiserFS doesn't have as good journalling as ext3, but it has without a doubt the best fragmentation prevention out there and very possibly the best performance.

    When you install Fedora Core, you will simply have to remove that D: partition and insert a swap partition (I recommend 1 GB) and a root filesystem partition. The swap partition is, naturally, to be formatted as swap, and the root filesystem as ext3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolda2000
    No, Linux can't under any circumstances install on NTFS. The semantics of NTFS are too far away from Linux/UNIX specifications, so it wouldn't possibly work. In fact, Linux does not even have write support for NTFS yet, only read support - since Microsoft refuses to give out any specifications for NTFS, everything about it has had to be reverse-engineered to work at all.

    ext3 (Extended filesystem version 3) is the most commonly used filesystem for Linux as of right now, and it's technically speaking Linux's "native" filesystem, since it was designed specifically in conjunction with the Linux development. ReiserFS is gaining in popularity, and since SGI ported XFS to Linux, it's being used more and more on servers. IBM has also ported their JFS to Linux, but it hasn't taken off much at all. Fedora Core is technically able to use all these filesystems (except possibly XFS), but the installer can only format partitions with ext3, so there's really no choice.
    You can choose to use ext2 instead, but that would just be stupid. =)
    ext3 is a very well balanced filesystem. It has standard UNIX semantics, good fragmentation, very good performance and absolutely rock-solid journalling. It really is understandable that it is the default filesystem, although ReiserFS is a very good competitor. ReiserFS doesn't have as good journalling as ext3, but it has without a doubt the best fragmentation prevention out there and very possibly the best performance.

    When you install Fedora Core, you will simply have to remove that D: partition and insert a swap partition (I recommend 1 GB) and a root filesystem partition. The swap partition is, naturally, to be formatted as swap, and the root filesystem as ext3.
    So when I install it, I will remove the D:\ partition and add 3 additional partitions with the ext3 filesystem, right?

    Also, can I create the 3 partitions ahead of time with the ext3 file system before I install Fedora? Also, what are the minimum and suggested partitions sizes for each one?

    Thank you very much. I appreciate your help so far.

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    No, you don't need three partitions, only two. And only one of them is to be formatted with ext3, the other one is supposed to be a swap partition. My recommendation is that you make the swap partition 1 GB and then make the ext3 partition fill up all the space that's left.

    You can create these partitions before you install Fedora, but really, what would be the point in doing that? The Fedora installer can do that just as well as any program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolda2000
    No, you don't need three partitions, only two. And only one of them is to be formatted with ext3, the other one is supposed to be a swap partition. My recommendation is that you make the swap partition 1 GB and then make the ext3 partition fill up all the space that's left.

    You can create these partitions before you install Fedora, but really, what would be the point in doing that? The Fedora installer can do that just as well as any program.
    What filesystem does the swap partition use?

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    No filesystem really, since no files are stored on it, just swap pages. You'll be able to choose "swap" from the Partition Type menu in the Fedora installer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolda2000
    No filesystem really, since no files are stored on it, just swap pages. You'll be able to choose "swap" from the Partition Type menu in the Fedora installer.
    I'm confused about your last post. What is "swap"?

    Also, will I be able to boot with out the CD?

  10. #10
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    Sorry, I just assume that it's obvious what swap is... I mean, everyone knows that these days, don't they? Don't they?! Uhmm... :-/

    On virtually all operating systems today (including Windows, Linux, MacOS, UNIX, ad infinitum), the programs you keep running usually take more memory than you have. Thus, the operating system moves memory that hasn't been used for a while into what it calls a "swap space", and moves it back into RAM when the program needs it again. On Windows 9x/ME, this was stored in the file C:\Windows\Win386.swp if I recall correctly, on WinNT/2k/XP, I think this file is called C:\SWAPFILE.SYS or similar. Linux and UNIX usually use a seperate partition for this purpose, which has the advantage of being faster.
    Technically speaking, you can set Linux up to use a file for swapping instead, but that's hard (well, not really, but if you don't know Linux, then it's hard). There's no real point in doing that, though.

    In any case, when you get into the Fedora installer's partition manager and create a new partition, there will be a drop-down menu that allows you to choose the partition type, and among the choices will be "swap".

    As for booting, once the system is installed, then naturally you don't need the CD to boot.

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