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Old 24th November, 2002, 03:44 AM
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Dual Boot Tutorial v1.0

Dual Boot Windows XP and Mandrake 9.

First thing we need to do is prepare your drive to have 2 operating systems on it. The best way I think of doing this is to partition the drive into 2 parts.

Now if you have only a small drive (6gig for example) then you will be very tight for space. I suggest a minimum of 10gigs. In my example I will be using my own 40gig drive.

I started this from scratch so I'll go from that point. Put your windows XP setup CD in the drive of your machine and boot the setup program (tell your bios to use the CD drive before the Hard Drive in the boot options).

Most times the CD is auto set to be before the Hard Drive anyway. If all is going okay it should say "Press any key to boot from CD-ROM". Do as it says and press any key.

Follow the install procedure up till it gets to the point of setting the partition windows will use. Make sure you have backed up any documents you wanted to keep before you go any further or you will lose them.

Delete all partitions on the drive so that it shows your full drive size as one big unpartitioned lump. Then create a partition of whatever size you want for windows (I used 20gig, you can use less or more, but I think the minimum is 2gig). Tell windows setup that is the partition you wish to use. Next it will ask you to specify a format type.

You have 2 choices. I picked FAT because as far as I know NTFS support in linux is patchy and picking FAT is the safe option. I cant personally tell the difference between FAT and NTFS but I think some larger drive sizes require NTFS.

Once you have selected your filesystem let windows continue with the setup as normal.

(For users who do not wish to reinstall windows: It may be possible to add another partition to your drive without reinstalling or losing data. Using software such as Partition Magic can allow you to resize existing partitions.

If you want to use this method fine, but I warn you, I would still backup important data as I have partition resizes go bad and destroy all my data).

Now that windows is installed we move onto Linux. You should have your 3 Mandrake install CDs (some of you may have only 2, dont worry as the 3rd just gives some nice extra packages you can install but it is not essential).

Place CD 1 in your drive and boot it as you would the XP setup CD. Click to use advanced setup mode so that we get greater control of the install procedure. Let everything install as normal until it gets to the partition section.

Select the part of the drive that you did not partition and tell Linux to use that. Do not install over you windows partition by mistake. Do not worry about a separate swap file partition, it isnt essential.

Also make a note of what it called the windows partition, it probably referred to it as hda1 or hda0, also make note of what it cllaed the partition you were installing Linux to.

Let the rest of the install carry on until it gets to the boot loader section. I chose to use LILO text bootloader, but you could use the graphical one if you so wish.

Once you have picked your bootloader check what boot options it will give you, make sure there is an entry for Linux and an entry for Windows (Not sure if it will detect your windows partition if it is done in NTFS).

If both entries are there great, if the entry for Windows is missing then you will have to add it manually. There should be an option to add/edit entries to it. Now create an entry pointing to the device name of your windows partition (you noted it down earlier, hda1 etc etc).

Hopefully both entries are there and we can continue with the install. Finish it off as you would an XP install. Hopefully that should be it. You should now be able to dual boot XP and Mandrake Linux.

Accessing windows partition from linux. (For if you picked FAT at the install of XP)


Now if all went as it did on mine then your windows partition will be auto mounted to "/mnt/windows" while this may be fine for you I found that whenever I try to access the folder "/mnt" in anything other than console it crashes the program trying to open it. So I decided to move the windows partition.


First a little info on the concept of mounting. Mounting is basically just preparing linux to read a file system that isnt identical to its own. The mount point of a device is at its most basic just a shortcut to where it really is.

The closest example I can think of is when you map network drives in windows. Windows gives them drive letters and they appear to be in your machine but in reality they could be in another building. Well that is what we are going to do with your windows partition.

First of all I created a new folder on the "/" of my Linux partition called "xp". Then I unmounted my windows partition, I did this by opening a console window (Xterm for example) and typing this command:-

umount /dev/hda1

If all goes well it should say nothing. If it says:-

umount: /dev/hda1: not mounted

Do not worry, that just means it wasnt mounted in the first place.
Then I opened up a text editor program and opened up the file "/etc/fstab". The text inside will look simular to this:-

/dev/hda5 / ext2 defaults 1 1
none /dev/pts devpts mode=0620 0 0
none /mnt/cdrom supermount dev=/dev/hdc,fs=auto,ro,--,iocharset=iso8859-15,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
none /mnt/floppy supermount dev=/dev/fd0,fs=auto,--,iocharset=iso8859-15,sync,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
/dev/hda1 /mnt/windows vfat iocharset=iso8859-15,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
none /proc proc defaults 0 0


The bit we are interested in is the entry for "/dev/hda1" the text "/mnt/windows" wants to be altered to whatever the new directory you created is, so for me it would be "/xp".

Do not alter anything else. Save it and close the text editor. Now this is where problems may arise but lets hope none do. Open up a console window (Xterm for example) and type:-

mount /dev/hda1

If all has gone well nothing should happen either. Now go to the folder where you specified the mount point to be, for me that was "/xp". If all has worked you should be able to browse your windows partition.

Possible problems with Mounting.
If it says that /dev/hda1 does not exist try "/dev/hda0". If that does not work either then look for a tool called diskdrake. Opening this up should let you find out what the name of your windows partition is.


Useful Links.
www.linuxnewbie.org (Very helpful bunch, will be able to explain things a lot better than I can)
www.aoaforums.com (You are here already, dont be afraid to ask, we enjoy helping, we really do)
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Last edited by Daniel ~; 24th November, 2002 at 04:05 AM.
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