Re: Co-existing with Windows and Linux
From: General Schvantzkoph (schvantzkoph_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 15:46:32 -0500
> Three things;
> First, Windows XP and Linux can co-exist on the same laptop and hard drive
> that you have now. Any current distribution (Slackware, Red Hat/Fedora,
> SUSE, Mandriva, Ubuntu and many others) should work just fine with your
> current laptop. All are freely downloadable and most can be installed (and
> safely re-partition your existing hard drive without harm to Windows XP) in
> as little as 2 hours or so.
> Second, If your concerned about dual-booting your laptop consider purchasing
> a second hard drive to swap out. One for Windows XP, one for Linux and much
> cheaper than a 'new to you' used/recycled laptop.
I agree that dual booting is the better answer, you'll want at least an
80G drive and preferably a 100G drive for a dual boot system. If your
current drive is at least 80G then what you need to do is to resize the
NTFS partition to give you room for Linux. The Mandriva installer can
resize an NTFS partition. I don't recommend Mandriva as a distro, I
prefer Fedora Core 4, but it's worthwhile downloading a copy so that you
can use it's installer to repartition your disk. Once you've created room
for Linux you can install any distribution that you want. If you own a
copy of PartitionMagic8 that's and even better tool for resizing an NTFS
partition, PM8 is not worth buying since Mandriva is free but if you
already have it use it. The procedure for doing the resize is as follows,
1) Backup everything that you need. Resizing is usually pretty safe but
you should assume that there is a good chance that you'll roach your file
2) Run the Windows disk optimizer to defrag and pack the NTFS partition.
3) Resize the NTFS partition giving half to Windows and half to Linux.
4) Using the installer for whatever distro that you choose, partition the
free space, give / about 8G, swap 2X your RAM size, and the rest to /home.
If your current disk is smaller then 80G then buy a 100G drive and replace
your current drive. Then do the following,
1) Install XP first using the restore disk that came with your system.
When you do the install you'll have the option of partitioning the drive.
Create an NTFS partition on half of the drive and leave the other half
unformatted. There is a good chance that a clean XP install will fix your
Windows stability problems, consider that a bonus.
2) After XP is installed you can install Linux. All of the major Linux
distributions will recognize that XP is already on the system and their
installers will add a Windows boot option to the bootloader, generally
grub on most distributions, lilo is still used by Mandriva (they give you
the option of using grub if you want).
3) Follow the same partitioning rules that I gave before, 8G for /, 2X RAM
for swap and the rest on /home. You might want to create an extra 8G
partition to hold / for a future upgrade. I always do upgrades to a
different partition then the one I'm using so that I can easily switch
back to a know working OS if I'm unhappy with the new version.