The nuts and bolts => Installation & Updates => Topic started by: BlueMage on September 11, 2007, 07:02:36 pm

Title: [SOLVED] The time has come - dual-booting my laptop
Post by: BlueMage on September 11, 2007, 07:02:36 pm
Ok, the time has come in the life of every Windows-based system where a(nother) format-reinstall has been necessitated.  I blame my sister.  This time, however, I intend to broaden my options a tad by installing Vector alongside XP.  So obviously, I'm going to need two partition, one for each OS.

Now is where my thinking is not so certain.

I've got 1GB of RAM, not shared with video - as such, I'm relatively certain I won't really need a swap partition.

I'd also like to be able to - easily - move files between the two OSs (so, in an ideal system, a unified home directory which both OSs point to, but which is seperate from both also).  I'm uncertain as to how this could be accomplished, assuming it even can be.

This isn't the first time I've run Vector alongside Windows (my media box was formerly my Win98 box, and still is when I feel the urge for some old DOS games.  Yes, I still love Dark Sun and Wake of the Ravager) but I get the feeling this may be a little more involved.

Are there any glaring problems with my thinking?  Any advice to be offered to make this as smooth as possible?

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: The time has come - dual-booting my laptop
Post by: MikeCindi on September 11, 2007, 08:07:27 pm
Currently my laptop has XP and 5.8 SOHO on it. I also have 1Gb RAM but do have a 1GB swap file which I use for Tux-On-Ice (hibernation - yes I know you can designate a file to suspend to but I choose not to do that). Thus my partitions are something like this (120Gb HD):
XP: 30Gb
NTFS partition (file sharing): 51Gb
Extended partition: 39Gb
     root (reiserFS): 10Gb
     home (XFS): 18Gb
     swap: 1Gb
(I keep an open primary partition slot for using Norton Ghost under XP.)
Another thing to consider especially if you are going to use any virtualization software (VMware or VirtualBox) that 1Gb of RAM can disappear very quickly so a swap partition may come in handy.

Sharing a Home partition for XP and VL would require FAT, FAT32, or NTFS. While both OSes do well with these I personally don't recommend using a Windows-based partition for primary linux computing. It is not very efficient. A linux-native FS will always be better for a linux OS. (My 2¢ on the subject.)

Title: Re: The time has come - dual-booting my laptop
Post by: BlueMage on September 11, 2007, 08:17:10 pm
Hmm, I'm relatively certain that my installer CDs only give me the option of FAT32, but I think I get the gist of what you're saying.  I do believe I'll be able to get this to work then.  Will try tonight, when I can lay my hands on a USB keyboard more easily (my down arrow stopped working some time ago - hardware damage I think.  First time that's been a major limitation now, when trying to use cfdisk).

I won't put this as Solved just yet, as something may crop up.
Title: Re: The time has come - dual-booting my laptop
Post by: metvas on September 11, 2007, 08:25:04 pm
Are you concerned about partitioning you HD? Or how to set up the structure? Or what application to use to partition? Are you aware you can MOUNT your Windoze partition so you can open, see and use and transfer the files while running in VL? If you are still confused about it all it is really simple once you understand it. Please let us know how you are doing with the project.
Title: Re: The time has come - dual-booting my laptop
Post by: BlueMage on September 11, 2007, 08:47:19 pm
Yep, I'm aware of all that - mounting a part of the Windows partition is the entire basis of the media box I'm building for a friend of mine:  She wants to be able to use the box to view files shared from her Shared Documents folder (going quite well too - network playback is good, no stuttering or desynching.  Hardest part was writing the script that'd restart the network interface and reconnect all the shared drives, and even then that was more about setitng permissions in sudoers than anything else). 

Intend on using cfdisk for partitioning, and now, going to have XP in first partition (and installed first, so it doesn't rewrite the MBR and make Vector-booting a pain), followed by a shared partition (at this point, FAT32) followed by logical partitions containing root, swap and home.  In order to simulate a large shared "home" directory for both OSs, I'll simply make the shared partition the largest.
Title: Re: The time has come - dual-booting my laptop
Post by: BlueMage on September 12, 2007, 07:01:19 am
Egads what a long day.  But at the end of it, I have a working laptop with XP Pro on one partition, and Vector SOHO 5.8 Final on another, with a big-ass NTFS partition interpretting for both.  Went with the 1GB Swap option (thanks mikecindi) and LILO sees both OSs just fine.

All in all, not a bad bit of work.

Obviously it still needs a bit of tweaking (on both OSs) to get it up to the level I want it at, but the good news is that with Windows, I have the benefit of Vista to help extract the transfered files and settings so I'll have that back looking and acting the way I like it shortly, and on the Vector side, I have a large helpful community to help me if I run into any roadblocks.

Which'll likely be wireless at this point.

But no tweaking now - I need sleep first.

Stay tuned!

EDIT:  Installation is fine, now comes tweaking.  Will create different thread in VL Portable sub-forum for that.