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IM-10: Dual-Booting with Windows

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IM-10: Dual-Booting with Windows

 

OK listen up: I have the best way to dual boot hands down. You'll have to reload windows, though, 'cause partition resizing causes poor performance ever after in windows. The sizes I mention are relative, here I am talking about an 80 gig drive. As my friend floyd pointed out, you can easily dual-boot if you have two drives - install windows on the first drive and linux on the second. The main focus of this how-to is partitioning a single drive so that people with one drive don't shy away from linux.

 

Always read a tutorial before going through with the procedure. I recommend this because, for instance in Step 4, if you aren't sure how to do it, you're stuck half-way through the installation without a PC to read another How-To!!

 

Step 1

Pop in the Windows cd. Reboot. Delete ALL partitions. Make a partition big enough for windows + apps, like 20GB. Make another HUGE one for keeping all your music, downloads, movies, pictures, etc... leaving enough free unpartitioned space for linux (say 20GB at the end of the drive).

 

Step 2

Choose to install on the first part (20GB) as NTFS full format (not quick).

 

Step 3

Boot into windows when done and select the HUGE partition and right click - format full as FAT32, NOT NTFS. This will now be writable in both OS's!! Great for listening to the same MP3s in either, etc.

 

Step 4

Pop in mandrake (preferably the newest stable version) and reboot. Select the left over free space for / (or divvy it up for /, /usr, /home). Create another 800Mb partition for swap (on another harddrive if possible - You'll get a bit better performance / stability this way).

Note: If you aren't sure how to partition your harddrive (or have no idea what I'm talking about) be sure to read this Filesystem Layout Partitioning How-To.

 

Step 5

Be sure to install mandrake's boot loader to the MBR (master boot record). All done!

 

A perfect system. Now if you EVER have to update/upgrade either OS, all your music, downloads, etc stay! Enjoy!

 

I promise this system won't let you down. I say do it right the first time and enjoy everafter. Trust me - you'll want to upgrade both OSes eventually, and windows more often 'cause it always degrades slowly...

 

In the case where you reload windows, it'll write over the boot record and boot straight into win. Don't be afraid, linux isn't gone. You just boot off the first mandrake disk, press F2 and type rescue. One option is repair the bootloader/MBR. Done!

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