[CA LUG] Dual booting

James Ewing Cottrell 3rd JECottrell3 at Comcast.NET
Fri Sep 16 12:23:59 CDT 2005

Yes. You need NTFS for that. But if you want to transfer files between 
Windoze and Linux, you will probably want a FAT32 partition as well.

The easiest way to do dual boot systems is to go buy Partition Magic, 
which also contains Boot Magic. You can use Windoze to dual boot, but 
you have to import the Linux boot block into Windoze, and edit the 
boot.ini file. I don't like doing this.

You can also use Linux to boot Windoze via either LILO or GRUB. The 
problem here is that unless/until you become a LILO/GRUB expert, you 
risk being unable to boot anything.

I use PM, which owns the MBR, and install the LILO/GRUB boot block in 
the target partitions. Rather foolproof.

Ultimately, what you want is something like: P1=FAT32, P2=NTFS, P3=EXT, 
P4=UNUSED, L5=SWAP, L6=Linux

You can use one of the following methods:

[1] Install Windoze however it likes, perhaps even eating the whole 
disk. Install PM and use it to shrink and move it, creating space for 
the P1 and P3 partitions. Actually, P1 and P2 will be reversed and out 
of sequence if you do it this way, but that's OK. Now create the FAT32 
partition, either via Windoze itself or PM. Format and load Boot Magic.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that you edit the "visible partitions" and check 
that the FAT32 partition is available to Windoze, or you can't boot!

Now load Linux into the rest of the disk. You will have to go back into 
Windows and make an entry in Boot Magic for Windows too.

[2] Use Linux to partition the disks the way you like, but don't load 
Linux just yet. Make the P2=NTFS partition active. Hopefully, Windoze 
will choose to load itself there. If you do this, you will be able to 
collapse a few of the steps listed above, and your partitions will be in 
order, and you will avoid the shrink/move step.

[3] A third way to do it is to use a small "rescue linux" partition to 
boot and/or fix any problems you might have. The layout is thus:

P1=Linux, P2=FAT32, P3=NTFS, P4=EXT, L5=SWAP, L6=L7=L8=L9=LINUX.

You can load and play with many linux systems this way.

The steps here are: partition via Linux, load Windoze into P3, load 
Rescue Linux into P1, make P1 active, add a Windoze entry to the rescue 
LILO/GRUB. Now install your other Linuxi, writing the "boot sector" into 
their own partition, and make an entry in the Rescue Linux LILO/GRUB.



> Hello,
> I'm realtively new to linux.  I've been to some of your meetings and I'd
> like to thank Dave Cafaro as well for his time and help.
> I have a question about dual booting.  I dont really understand FAT/NTFS
> systems other than the basics.  However, I installed RH9 on a 333MHZ
> machine with 256 MEG RAM.  I set it to FAT32 because I was going to
> reinstall W98.  Well, I'm taking a Win 2003 Server class and I tried to
> install that on a partition on the same machine.  It went fine obviously
> until I went to install Active Directory.  You need NTFS.  I was wondering
> if you can set a machine from FAT32 to NTFS or is this only done when
> formatted.  I have not installed any files on the system other than the
> two operating systems.  I plan to reformat and install both again this
> weekend unless someone has some acvice or suggestions.
> Russ Main
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