General discussion


Linux dual boot: good or bad?

By Subee ·
I've heard conflicting arguments about running Linux on a machine with Windows using the dual-boot option. I'm a computer science major starting my 3rd year and I'm not real familiar with Linux yet, but I'd like to install it on my existing PC running Win XP. One of my professors said he has never had problems with dual-boot, however the book he uses to teach the course warns of the possibility that you will lose access to the partition that has the Windows OS. All my techie friends who run Linux at home have never had the issue so I'm curious...has anyone actually experienced this problem? If so, is there something I need to know about when I do the install to avoid this problem? I plan on getting a refurbed machine soon (or just building one) that I can use strictly for Linux, but until then I could use some advice.

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No problems

by jmgarvin In reply to Linux dual boot: good or ...

Grub and Lilo are very good at keeping partitions bootable. Plus, you can always add the boot information into the bootloader if it borks up.

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One problem

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Linux dual boot: good or ...

I've done this once. I didn't have any problem using either OS.

I did have problems when I attempted to rebuild the drive as a single partition Windows drive. The drive was a spare, and I wanted to put XP on it and use it to replace a dead HD. I don't remember the exact errors, but I couldn't use a Windows 2000 CD to remove the Linux partition (Red Hat 9), I was unable to install Windows XP, and I couldn't ghost the drive with Ghost 7.0.

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fdisk didn't work

by jmgarvin In reply to One problem

I'm curious if it wasn't more of a hdd error...

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even in Windows

by zclayton2 In reply to fdisk didn't work

I was just reloading a computer an added a second HD to it and after formating the used drive it showed up as and the two partitions on the master formerly known as and E: are not available. In fact, fdisk won't even allow access to the master drive to repartition it and expand C: A problem for me as I was gong to put Linux on as dual boot.

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boot into linux log in as root

by X-MarCap In reply to even in Windows

fdisk the disk and remove partitions and label them as a clean disk, no partition table. That should allow you to do whatever you want...

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Use linux fdisk instead of Windows

by Roger In reply to fdisk didn't work

Windows FDISK.COM does not recognize the drive types for linux or the linux swap partition. To remove the linux partitions you need to use linux (or commercially available drive partition software.) If the machine you want to remove linux from has a working linux install you can simply boot to the linux partition, log in as root, and fdisk /dev/hdx where x is the drive you want to run fdisk on. Remove the linux partitions and swap partition, then exit fdisk and reboot the computer. Windows will once again be able to create one or more partitions in the newly available space, and will be able to format any new partitions created by Windows. Microsoft made a choice not to allow you to partition, format or access any drive except Windows drives with fdisk and format. Linux will allow you to access any drive (provided you have installed the appropriate drivers.) If using a linux rescue disk you may need to add the drive to the /dev tables first before accessing it. Read the manpage on mkdev for information about this process.

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You also ned to make sure to

by Dumphrey In reply to Use linux fdisk instead o ...

ZAP the MBR. I do this with Ghost 2003 Gdisk, but fdisk /mbr works as well.

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That's normal

by dawgit In reply to One problem

I (and others) have also run into that situation. (I won't call it a problem, it's not, really, just a procedure) When you want to change a HD from Linux (it seems any format, I know of ext2, ext3, and Raiserfs) you must re-format the HD on/with a seperate computer. (as a second HD, with a primary running Win2K, or WinXP) MicroSoft has reconized this and even have a special program to do the work for you (in thear Knowlege base, I have it somewhere, if you want it; I can get it for you.) But I've found it easier, and quicker to just use a second computer. (it seems that everyone here has one computer available just to do set-ups)

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Why a second computer?

by apotheon In reply to That's normal

Why not just use a LiveCD distribution of Linux to wipe the partition(s)?

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Sometimes works / sometimes don't....

by dawgit In reply to Why a second computer?

maybe it's just the weather over here ? No, seriously, that is most of the time enuf, but after too many times of finding glitches in what should have been a fresh install, I've made it a practice of wiping & re-formating the HD in seperate computer. (It seems to be a common procedure here in Germany) It's looks to be the most time saving way to ensure a good install. Sometimes it's the only way to get 'ALL' those pesky MS-Win left over files & bugs completly off. And it gives you a chance to check the health of the HD too. (sorry it took me soooo long, I had gotten busy, :0 oops)

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