I've spent around 40 hours trying to get this done with RH9 and FC1 and here's what I found. I decided to post it here just in case someone has the same problem. I know there are a lot of HOWTOs out there, but I've run into a whole set of problems that don't seem to have been discussed in detail before. The assumptions I've made for this procedure are: a) You have all 3 distros on CD (burnt from ISOs) b) You are installing XP and FC1 on the same HD.
NOTE: I am in no way a Linux expert, and my efforts are purely amateurish. There are bound to be mistakes in my explaination of WHY things need to be the way they are, and I do not make any presumption that this is the only way to dual-install XP and FC1 on the same drive. Please don't flame me for trying to help. If you want to use this procedure, great. If not, then that's fine too. This process is designed for newbies like myself who just want to install FC1/RH9 and experiment with it.
1. Prime your system
Make sure you have <b>more than</b> 5GB of empty disk space on your hard disk, and make sure that this disk space <b>is in the first 50GB</b> of your hard disk. Example:
C: (XP) 10GB
D: (Data) 20GB
E: (Data) 20GB
F: <-- drive empty for Linux (5GB)
C: (XP) 10GB
D: <-- drive empty for Linux (5GB)
E: (Data) 20GB
F: (Data) 20GB
Ideally, this empty space should be unformatted, and without a drive letter (i.e. simply wedged between two XP partitions). To get that kind of result, right-click on 'My Computer' in XP, then click on 'Manage.' Then, click on 'Disk Management' and delete partitions as necessary. WARNING! Data on a partition you delete will be lost! Don't fool around with this if you don't know what you're doing.
The reason why Linux needs to be within the first 50GB is to avoid having to depend on LBA32 - a BIOS-dependent feature that allows your system to read data past the 1024 cylinder. If your BIOS does not support this, anything referred to in the MBR (Master Boot Record) that resides outside the first 1024 cylinders is practically non-existent, because it cannot be 'seen.' Linux can force LBA32, but if your BIOS does not support this, you'll end up with all sorts of problems. The safest thing to do is just keep the install within the first 50GB.
2. If you're having monitor/display problems with Xfree (especially with nVidia boards), use 'linux skipddc' to install without probing the display instead of hitting enter at the first installation screen. When the time comes to pick up a video adapter, go for VESA. You can then sort out the display problem from within FC/RHs graphical mode once you've downloaded a suitable driver.
2. Proceed with FC1/RH9 install
When anaconda asks you how you want to install (auto partition or disk druid), pick auto partition, then click on 'Keep paritions and use empty disk space.' The empty, unpartitioned disk space we created in step 1 will be the only thing anaconda can use, and it will split it into 3 paritions (depending on what type of installation you picked - 'Personal' yields 3 paritions). Next, use the GRUB bootloader, and make sure it is written to the Master Boot Record. Keep the messages passed to kernel dialogue empty.
3. Complete installation as usual
That's it. Obviously more experienced Linux users are free to explain or correct me where I've gone wrong. If this whole post is a waste of space, admins - please delete it.
Just my two cents really