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#1
FrOzeN

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Hello everyone,

I plan to reformat my computer into 3 partitions, containing Windows XP Professional, Gentoo and Slackware.
When I turn my computer on I want it to load Windows XP Professional by default, apparently GRUB can do this.
..And then have some form of HotKey to enable a menu if I wish to load one of the Linux distributions.

I'm backing up all the files I wish to keep so there's nothing to lose, thus I can reformat it completely.

What I want to know is where to start? Like some instructions on what to do what first?

Thanx
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#2
Kemasa

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I have not used Gentoo or Slackware, so I don't know the specifics with them.

I would create a 4th partition, around 100Mb, which is very small, to use as a boot partition. This separates the files needed to boot from the operating system. The easy way to create this is as part of the install.

Grub can do that and I like it better than Lilo because you can just edit the menu.lst file in /boot/grub and it will take effect. Lilo requires that you re-install the boot block.

The first step to do is to install XP, leaving enough space for everything else. The reason for this is that you want Grub as the boot loader and Windoze will wipe it out. I often partition it with Linux, then load XP, then upgrade Linux to reload Grub (it does not always work when booted from the CD for some reason). Since there is nothing to upgrade, it is quick.
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#3
FrOzeN

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Ok.

So would this be the order?
- Reformat
- Install Windows XP Pro
- Install GRUB
- Create 3 more partitions with GRUB (Gentoo, Slackware, 100Mb for Boot)
- Install Linux's on there 2 partitions
- Setup GRUB Boot to load Windows XP Pro by default
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#4
Kemasa

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I don't recall if XP will allow you to repartition the disk. If so, then the first step is to repartition the disk either with XP (just for Windoze) or Linux (complete).

Then load one of the versions of Linux and continue to partition the disk, creating the 100Mb partition mounted on /boot. You might also want a swap partition (suggested) of around 512Mb or so, depending on what you are doing and how much memory you have. As part of the Linux install, you will install a boot loader, select grub. You also want to make a note of which partitions you are using for each OS as you might have to manually add the entries. It should ask which one you want as the default, but you need only worry about that with the last install. Also, once you get done you should check to see if the timeout period is acceptable. Often it is set to 10 seconds, which I find is short and I prefer 30 seconds.

For each root partition, I would suggest around 4Gb or so. Around 4-10Gb for /home and then some data partitions. I prefer to keep loaded programs on another partition so that if I want to reload the OS (upgrade, for example), I don't have to reload it. Often upgrades don't work well and so it is best to start from an empty filesystem. I also create a second partition the same size as the root partition for backups and installing a new version.

Once it is all loaded, you can edit /boot/grub/menu.lst to set the default and/or the timeout period.

Some of this depends on how big your disk is and what your data requirements are.
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#5
Thebinaryman

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dont create a big partition for xp. leave it small, and leave the rest of the space unpartitioned. this will eliminate the need to "resize" your windows partition, which can some times cause problems, and it would make things a bit easier

steps to take in my opinion-
1 use xp cd to wipe all partitions
2 use xp cd to create ntfs partition (leave unpartitioned space for other partitions)
3 install xp on that partition
4 install gentoo (will create additional partition and install grub)
5 install slackware (will create additional partition and modify grub)
6 load one of the linuxes and manually modify grub to auto boot xp, after x seconds

basically both linuxes on install will automatically advise you with a partitioning system for them. you just make sure it fits with your plan, and then allow it to make the partitions.

also it shouldnt matter the order you install gentoo and slack, as long as they are after xp. cause they can automatically make a dual boot, the only intervention you need to do, is make sure they dont take up all the space, so you can have your tripple boot.

your swap partition should also be twice the size of the amount of ram you have. idk if slack, and gentoo can share a swap partition, but maybe they do so you should look into that.

Edited by Thebinaryman, 06 February 2006 - 05:34 PM.

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