Setting up PC for dual-boot Linux and Windows XP

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by John Seeliger, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. I just built a PC and have a copy of Red Hat Linux Deluxe Workstation 7.1.
    I am planning at some point in the future to put XP on it. How should I
    partition it to do it properly, so it won't have to be redone later?

    Linkworld 300W Case
    ECS K7S5A Pro
    AMD Athlon 2000+
    Copper Cooler
    Mushkin PC 2100 DDR 256 MB
    Kaser AGP
    Inland Firewire
    Norcent 16x DVD
    Pine CD-RW
    Maxtor 40 GB 7200 rpm

    Thanks.
     
    John Seeliger, Aug 29, 2003
    #1
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  2. John Seeliger

    Ed Light Guest

    You can use bootitng later to shrink the Linux partition and create one for
    XP, manage the boots, and image them too.

    When you make the partition for XP make it a fat32 with align for ntfs
    checked. Then when you install XP choose NTFS. (This gets around an XP
    failing.)
     
    Ed Light, Aug 29, 2003
    #2
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  3. What "failing" is that? I've always installed XP straight onto an NTFS
    partition that XP setup has formatted from scratch and never had any
    problem.
     
    Gordon Burgess-Parker, Aug 29, 2003
    #3
  4. John Seeliger

    David Guest

    You might be better off to download RedHat 9 instead of using 7.1
    since it is about 2yrs old.
     
    David, Aug 29, 2003
    #4
  5. John Seeliger

    Ed Light Guest

    I don't honestly remember.
     
    Ed Light, Aug 29, 2003
    #5
  6. John Seeliger

    blackgold Guest

    Confucius said no such thing.

    Thomas Jefferson said: He who play with pussy eventually falls into the well
     
    blackgold, Aug 30, 2003
    #6
  7. John Seeliger

    Michael C. Guest

    XP needs at least some real estate at the beginning of the drive. I'm
    used to W2k which requires 2G for the install, but it doesn't have to
    install at the beginning of the drive (it does need to install it's
    boot-loader at the beginning though.)

    It may cause less trouble if you may repartition later to install XP in
    the first primary partition, 3 to 6 Gig depending on how much software
    you plan on installing, and FAT32/NTFS whichever is your preference.

    Create an extended partition that uses the rest of your disk.

    You may want a separate partition for your XP swap, if so make it next.
    If you do set up a partition for swap leave it, as Windows tends to get
    cranky about a missing swap file.

    If you're going to be burning CDs, you'll probably want at least 2
    partitions of at least 750M or so, and should probably make them fat32
    so you can use XP and/or Linux to build/burn your CDs.

    You may want to create a partition just for sharing data between XP and
    Linux. It should be fat32 if you do.

    You'll also need an ext2/ext3 partition for your root (I don't know if
    RH 7.1 supports ext3, if it doesn't then I'd upgrade.)

    A swap partition.

    A home partition (optional but highly recommended ext2/ext3/reiserfs)

    All partitions after XP's (optional?) swap partition can be any order.
    My preference is to put the system partitions first, then data
    partitions. If you have XP I'd recommend installing it first, creating
    it's partitions using it's own tools, and remember to feed it
    appropriate sizes. Create all NTFS/FAT32 partitions at this time, and
    do NOT create partitions that will be changed to Linux at this time just
    leave unpartitioned space.

    While they do have tools that may/may not work to change partition
    sizes, the correct way is to plan ahead.

    Remember to keep a Linux boot disk in case XP overwrites the MBR.

    GL & HTH,

    Michael C.
     
    Michael C., Aug 30, 2003
    #7
  8. John Seeliger

    Michael C. Guest

    Why would he want to shrink a partition that he hasn't created yet?
    Just make it the right size to start. Lilo/grub are more than adequate
    for managing the boots, though with a small amount of extra work XP's
    boot loader will work as well.

    Michael C.
     
    Michael C., Aug 30, 2003
    #8
  9. John Seeliger

    gary Guest

    Install away and add a second hard drive later for your WinXP
    installation. You will probably need to re-install Grub/Lilo, as the
    Windows bootloader will overwrite your current bootloader. You would be
    better off going for RH9 as it will have better driver support, the
    2.4.xx kernel, and you will be able to read your NTFS partitions. Don't
    mess about with creating vfat partitions to swap files between the OSs,
    use a 256Mb USB Solid Disk drive.
    Enjoy
    Gary
     
    gary, Aug 30, 2003
    #9
  10. John Seeliger

    Michael C. Guest

    XP requires that it's boot files at least be on a primary partition on
    the first hard drive. You could change the primary to secondary and add
    the new drive as primary, though you'd have to remember to correct your
    /etc/fstab and /etc/lilo.conf. He really didn't sound like he was
    interested in buying more hardware though.

    Michael C.
     
    Michael C., Aug 30, 2003
    #10
  11. John Seeliger

    tim kettring Guest

    OK , but the FEDS said " He who play with MS-blaster worm , eventually
    sit in jail " Ha , Ha , ha !!!
     
    tim kettring, Aug 30, 2003
    #11
  12. I will consider that but I only have dial-up. If I were to install 7.1
    would it be extremely difficult to reinstall 9 later?

    I got this OS off the dollar rack at Staples.
     
    John Seeliger, Aug 30, 2003
    #12
  13. John Seeliger

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Not exactly what you asked but, if it's at all possible, get XP on the drive
    first. It makes things a lot easier. (Or at least it did for me with my 20GB
    HDD and Mandrake 7.1)

    Decide how much space you want for Windows and partition and format
    accordingly. I then put a seperate partition for XP's pagefile. Depending on
    your RAM, inteneded use etc. between 500MB and 1GB for swapfile. I use NTFS
    for the XP partition and FAT32 for the pagefile as FAT32 is faster but
    slightly less secure than NTFS. That's not really a problem for a pagefile
    and, depending on your machine's specs, can make an appreciable difference.

    Size the partitions for Windows and Linux depending on what is going to be
    your primary OS.
     
    ~misfit~, Aug 31, 2003
    #13
  14. John Seeliger

    Michael C. Guest

    While I'd assume FAT32 is faster, it has NO security, and a pagefile can
    be a significant security risk. I don't recall if it can be exploited
    over the net or not, you may need physical access to the computer, I
    don't recall.

    Assuming you aren't running a full time server, run a firewall, and need
    to squeeze every last drop of speed out of the machine, I wouldn't worry
    about it too much, just realize it could be a risk.

    I haven't read about this in probably close to 2 years, you could try a
    W2K/XP group for more info.

    Michael C.
     
    Michael C., Aug 31, 2003
    #14
  15. John Seeliger

    DougZ Guest

    <snip>
    All good advice. For super-high security, put
    pagefiles on NTFS, but you sacrifice a tiny
    bit of performance for security that may not
    be needed in normal usage.

    Old advice was to have larger Allocation Units
    (Clusters) for page files. Disk caching has
    changed that. It is wise to ensure that the
    Allocation Unit is set to 4K (page size) when
    formatting the pagefile partition so as to
    minimize buffering. (This is the default, but
    it pays to check.)

    Biggest performance contiributors -
    - Pagefile size min = pagefile size max
    in order to stop file shrinkage & growth
    - Pagefile size min = 1.5 times physical
    memory. If you will be manipulating
    large images, etc., increase
    - Pagefile on separate disk, if possible
    - Pagefile on separate partition, if at
    all possible, in order to reduce file
    fragementation and facilitate file
    defragmentation.

    Pagefile optimization -
    http://x220.win2ktest.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=602
    http://www.petri.co.il/pagefile_optimization.htm
     
    DougZ, Aug 31, 2003
    #15
  16. John Seeliger

    Stacey Guest

    http://www.cheapbytes.com/
     
    Stacey, Sep 1, 2003
    #16
  17. John Seeliger, Sep 1, 2003
    #17
  18. John Seeliger

    Tony Cooper Guest

    I have actually done this.

    Partition the disk using linux, reserving the first partition for XP
    (no choice it insists on going into /dev/hda1). If you want more than
    4 partitions then remember to create an extended partition as the
    second actual physical partition and then create the remaining
    partitions as logical partitions.

    You may want to create it as follows:

    hda1 = XP
    hda2 (Extended)
    hda5 DOS-FAT (Linux can safely write to DOS/VFAT but not NTFS).
    hda6 Linux swap
    hda7 /root
    hda8 ...
    ..
    ..

    Use Lilo on /dev/hda as your boot loader (I'm sure grub will work as
    well but I have never used it) and set up NT as "other". When you
    install XP it will overwrite the boot loader so you will need to boot
    your linux /dev/hda7 from cd (most install disks allow for this) and
    then run lilo again. You can get xp to boot into Linux but its much
    more of a fiddle (basically each time you change a kernel you have to
    use lilo to install it onto your root (ext2fs allows for this) and
    then extract the boot image from the raw partition, save it to floppy
    and then set it up as a boot image under XP. The other way, each time
    you change the kernel you simply run lilo again.

    I'm at work at the moment but if you are interested I can send you my
    partition info (with working partition tags etc) and my lilo conf.
    Otherwise the FAQs on this will tell you how to do it.

    Good luck.

    Tony.
     
    Tony Cooper, Sep 8, 2003
    #18
  19. Unfortunately, a lot of modern OEM installation CD's for Windows XP and
    other Windows flavors destructively re-partition the CD without warning
    you. It's quite nasty, but it makes their support tasks a lot simpler if
    their users don't have to answer a bunch of questions correctly to
    install it in the first place.
     
    Nico Kadel-Garcia, Sep 8, 2003
    #19
  20. John Seeliger

    Mike0000 Guest

    I highly recommend going with Grub over Lilo. I've noticed MBR problems
    that only happen with Lilo.
     
    Mike0000, Sep 9, 2003
    #20
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