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cruicent

Windows XP & Mandrake 7.2 desktop dual boot installation

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Hi, I have been using XP for ages now and found my brothers Mandrake 7.2 desktop box lying around so I thought since I was going to format and reinstall XP anyway I would also give Linux ago. Main problem is - the manuals are in french...er...yeah.

I want to use XP as the main OS and have linux as the second. I have two drives - 30gb and 70gb. Would I be able to partition the 30gb and install XP on the first partition and Linux on the second without a problem (I read fat32 is best for dual boots, but the second drive I need ntfs due to large files)? Im sure my brothers done it before, I just have no idea how to. Another prob is I prefer to use my usb keyboard which it doesnt work until XP has booted, I have a pin keyboard (I think, recently gave it to my sister to play with so Im hoping it still works...). Would I be able to boot linux by inserting a floppy disk and not having to choose the OS as that wont work with my usb (I can use the pin to change the boot sequence to attempt to boot a:\ first before trying c:\ ). Could someone please help me with a simple stepped guide to installing and doing all this.

Thanks for any help.

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Mandrake 7.2 is very OLD. You need a newer Linux to try. I would suggest PCLinuxOS. If you have a high speed internet you can download the ISO at the following link.

 

http://www.pclinuxonline.com/pclos/html/download.html

 

It is totally free and comes as a live CD so you can put it in, reboot your PC and try it before installing. If you install be sure and install the boot loader (Lilo) on the second hard drive so as not to change the MBR of the hard drive on which you install WinXP. Be sure and install WinXP FIRST.

 

I have been using Linux for years. PCLinuxOS is great.

 

Also Xandros has a free version which would be much better than Mandrake 7.2. You can download Xandros free edition at the following address.

 

http://www.xandros.com/products/home/desktopoc/dsk_oc_download.html

 

This requires bittorrent.

 

For $10 you can download via ftp at the following address. The charge is to help the company pay for the bandwidth which isn't free to them or anyone.

 

http://shop.xandros.com/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=122

 

If your are really new to Linux either of the above would be good. Xandros might be easier for you to install.

 

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You have asked multiple questions, which have varied answers.

 

First, let's clarify...you have a boxed set for Mandrake 7.2 and you want to install it on your main system? If so, I agree, Mandrake 7.2 is too old and will not be a good choice. Most Linux distros come in free versions that you can download. Most also have Live cd versions that you can try first, to see how well they work on your system. Your system must have the ability to boot off of cdrom to use such live versions.

 

You did not mention what your system is that you want to install Linux on. Giving some information would help...how much ram, processor on the system and what make video card would help determine what Linux distro (flavor) is best to try.

 

You can format a second partition ahead of time, or allow the distro to take free space on the drive. if formatting first, make a fat32 or ext3 (linux) partition.

 

Yes, install XP first, then defrag the XP partition before installing any flavor of Linux, so that you assure that any files that may have found there way to the outside portion of the partition are moved back and defragmented.

 

The ability to use a USB keyboard at boot is a function of the bios and must be enabled in the bios for a USB keyboard to work at boot. knowing what system this is would help us determine if such support is available on your system.

 

The newer linux versions will support most USB keyboards, as XP does, once the OS is booted.

 

In terms of large file support, NTFS filesystems are needed for windows in files that are over 2 gig in size, say iso images.

 

Linux filesystems don't really have this limitation. The issue is that generally you can't reliably write such large files to NTFS partitions from Linux.

 

Giving step by step instructions to install Linux is not reasonable to expect on this thread, but such manuals are available online for each distro. Most newer distros are easy to install and don't need too much instruction to do so. However, reading up first on installing a particular distro is always advised, especially for a first timer.

 

Dual booting XP and Linux should not be a problem, as most distros set up such an environment for you. Once you decide which distro to try out, then we can guide you more easily.

 

Besides PClinuxOS, there are several others that are good for first timers, such as Mandrake 10, Linspire and Suse 10.

 

If you want to try out a smaller sized distro, then Puppy Linux is a favorite of mine.

 

Try looking at Distrowatch to get an idea what is out there.

 

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Thanks for your replies

 

Originally posted by danleff:

Quote:

You did not mention what your system is that you want to install Linux on. Giving some information would help...how much ram, processor on the system and what make video card would help determine what Linux distro (flavor) is best to try.

 

Intel P4 1.715 mhz (x86 family)

512MB ram

motherboard - Sis650, manufacturer - Gigabyte technology

Nvidia GeForce4 MX with AGP8X, 64mb ram

Windows XP Prof sp2 (will be installing home though)

 

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Ok, Ive formatted everything, installed XP on the first partition of the first drive, and I intend to put PCLinuxOS on the 2nd partition of the first drive. I can get the live cd to boot fine Im just having trouble installing it with the instructions it gave. WOuld someone be able to guide me?

Thanks for any help.

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I was having a problem with the partitioning, I didnt understand what it was saying in the install help file on the desktop, the link you gave was great though thanks.

I have one tiny problem though:

It seemed to install fine, partitioned with \ , \swap and \home , set up the root password and new account, it then said to restart the pc and not to forget to take out the cd. It got some sort of error while shutting down though I think (cant remember what it was).

When I turn on the pc again it goes straight into Windows, I dont have an option to choose my OS and I never saw anything to do with Lilo.

 

SiS 650 motherboard I believe.

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Did you click on the Install button on the "Bootloader Installation"-screen to install a bootloader, or just click on "Next >" to continue without installing a bootloader?

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Idiot? Yes.

No matter how many times I read to "install lilo on the master boot record of drive", it always seemed to be read by me as "install on bootsector of partition"...

Thanks for your help, linux installed and working well.

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