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Ext.HDD/Dual boot

By DNR3 ·
Running XP 120GB HD.Have a 80GB ext.HDD.Rather than partitioning and dual-booting on sameHD,I'd like to place linux os on external because I've heard there is a MBR conflict w/ linux 2.6 kernel. The ext HD is USB.If I keep connecting and disconnecting the ext. for traveling,will any problems arise? OR-if anyone has experience w/ XP/Linux SUSE dual boot on same HDD,give me your input as to which would be the better and the safest course of action

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by niall558 In reply to Ext.HDD/Dual boot

Honestly I didnt think it was possible to boot from an external device!

Best thing incase your not sure to do a dual boot is to run somethin like VMware or Virtual PC works great and good for Linux.

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by brian In reply to Ext.HDD/Dual boot

If you want to boot to external drive the first question is


If it is less than 1 year old it probably does, but you have to check.

However, I am not sure about the premise you use to decide to do this. I have setup linux to do dual boot -same drive and it is no sweat.

It does change the MBR but it will direct it to the proper OS.

I am not a heavy linux guy so maybe there is some bug I don't know about.

Ghost (or use Drive Image) to the 2nd drive before you try this.

If it doesn't work just use the ghost drive.

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by kieuminhvn In reply to Ext.HDD/Dual boot

Hello !

The best you can do in my opinion is to install both Windows XP and Linux OS on the same hard disk, since your hard disk is very big. The steps you may follow are as follows :

1. Firstly install your Windows XP on your first partition ( Primary partition)
2. Using partition magic to create atleast other 3 partitions : 1 is with FAT32 file system, 1 is ext2 ( or 3) file system 1 is swap file system. FAT32 partition must be big enough for storing data for both OS. Swap partition needs to be of the same size as your RAM or maybe smaller a bit. ext2 partition is for linux so it must be atleast 3 Gb but larger is OK.
4. Now you install Linux on your ext2 partition and follows the instruction on the screen during instalation. The installation program of Linux will ask you for choosing from where to boot just choose from hard disk and it will write dual boot information to MBR and it will run without any problem. I never had any problem with dual boot managed by Linux. In case you have problem you may always return back to your previous MBR or you may install lilo program by manual again to correct the problem. Please obtain 1 Linux CD ( Linux running on CD drive) for any emergency case of linux failure.

I hope it may help you a litle bit

Good luck

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by kieuminhvn In reply to

For more detailed information I am running GNU/Debian Linux with kernel 2.6.7 without any problem both OS are very stable. In case if you have some problem with booting system please let me know. But for now you may need to obtain 1 Linux CD for emergency case. You may download the Linux CD image from Knoppix or from

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