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  #1  
Old 6th August 2009, 05:03 AM
adai2020 Offline
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windows_xp_2003safari
Issues in Installing Fedora Core 5 with Dual Boot Option

Hi,

I am involved in an embedded systems project which requires the installation of a Linux distribution in our computer in order for the development tools (uCSimm - uCLinux) that we are going to be using in this project to work.

My supervisor has urged us to install Fedora Core 5 as this release version has been tested to be compatible and functional with the development tools that we are using. I currently have a Thinkpad T60 laptop installed with a Windows XP operating system.

The task is, i need to install Fedora Core 5 in this laptop with a dual boot option such that i can boot into either Windows or Fedora Core 5.

Thus far, i have :
1) Downloaded the DVD .iso file for FC5 from
http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/fedora-arch...re/5/i386/iso/ . Hence i have a single installation DVD which is about 3G in size.

2) I have read the installation guide at http://docs.fedoraproject.org/fedora...-guide-en/fc5/

3) Downloaded Easus Partition Master 4.0 Home Edition from http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm .



I have a few specific queries as follows before i start installing the Fedora Core 5 :

1) I know that i need to do some partitioning before installing the FC5. (I prefer to do the partitioning myself before installing FC5). My hard drive is currently configured as : C drive - 50GB ; D drive - 30 GB . I still have about 16 GB of space free in my D drive.

Hence do i use the Easus Partition Manager to shrink my D drive and create a new drive named "Linux" for about 10GB to accommodate the Linux OS. Meaning that after the partitioning, my hard drive will be : C - 50GB ; D - 20GB ; Linux - 10GB .

Is this correct ? Is this what i am supposed to do ?

I should leave the new partition "Linux" unformatted , right ?



2) When i reach the "Disk Partitioning" stage in the process of installing FC5, i will be given three options which are:
- "Remove all partitions on selected drives and create default layout"
- "Use free space on selected drives and create default layout"
- "Create custom layout"

I do not want my existing Windows XP operating system or my previously existing files to be disturbed or altered in any way. I would want all the existing files intact.

So i was thinking of only ticking the check box for my newly created "Linux" drive such that only this drive will be used for installation and choose the option "Use free space on selected drives and create default layout". Please refer to http://docs.fedoraproject.org/fedora...titioning.html for exact "Disk Partitioning" process in the installation of FC5.

Is this correct ? Is this what i am supposed to do ?

I should only choose the newly created Linux drive and choose the second option for installation of FC5 ?



3) The installation of FC5 will by default install GRUB the bootloader overwriting the existing bootloader at MBR provided by Windows.

When i have completed all the installation of FC5 and restart my computer, will i alwayas be given a menu at the startup by GRUB to allow me to choose between Windows OS and Linux OS ?



4) Is the overwriting of existing bootloader at MBR by GRUB dangerous in any way ?



5) Is it advisable to use GRUB as the primary bootloader in dual boot system or as a secondary bootloader in dual boot system ?

Will it be troublesome and potentially dangerous to use GRUB as the secondary bootloader ?



6) If after the completion of my project i decide to uninstall FC5, will it be possible for me to delete the Linux drive and expand my D drive back to its original 30GB size ?

After removing FC5, will GRUB as my primary bootloader still function correctly and as per normal to boot up my Windows XP OS every time i start up my computer ?

Or will i face any problems having GRUB to boot up Windows XP OS after Linux is removed ?



7) If at a later point in time i want to remove GRUB and FC5, what should i do as i do not have any other bootloaders in my MBR and Windows XP OS will probably not boot up ?

How can i go back to my current condition (before installation of Fedora Core 5 and GRUB; that of a new Windows XP loaded laptop) where Windows XP OS boots up normally ?

How can i get back my currently existing bootloader that was supplied with Windows XP OS ?



I would prefer if you could answer each question one by one as per they are ordered above. Answering the questions as they are asked will make me better understand the provided solutions and will better answer my queries in general.


Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 6th August 2009, 10:10 AM
glennzo Online
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Location: Salem, Mass USA
Posts: 14,538
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Before you do anything backup important data.

1. Yes
2. I would choose "Create Custom Layout" and set the partition I'm using as "/" and make sure to have the installer format that partition.
3. Yes
4. Sometimes. Occasionally one runs into problems with grub but for the most part it's reliable.
5. Just let the installer do it's thing. Use grub and don't try to over complicate things.
6. Does your partitioning utility allow for expanding partitions? If you remove grub the system will not boot anything. You will need to re-install the Windows boot loader. Typically this is not a problem.
7. See #6.
8. Backup all important data before you do anything else.

Did I mention backing up all important data?
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  #3  
Old 6th August 2009, 01:43 PM
PompeyBlue Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Portsmouth, UK
Posts: 448
windows_vistaie
If it were me

I'd go with FC11 since if you run into problems with FC5 then you'll get much less support and fewer fixes.

1. Yes on all counts - although I use gtparted from this recovery disc http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page
2. Yes - Although on FC11 you can get it to partition your unused space
3. Yes - You can change the title for WinXP (which will probably be called other) either during install or from /boot/grub.conf (or something, can't remember the precise file)
4. From my experience having windows overwrite the MBR is FAR more dangerous than grub
5. Install GRUB as the MBR it is more flexible than windows MBR
6. You can expand partitions with http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page
7. Run windows installer and go to the rescue part (I can't remember precisely where it is) it will shell out and when you look at the commands there will be something like fixmbr.exe which will get rid of grub from the mbr

Personally, if I were doing what you want to do, I'd consider using the "Live" media and a USB stick for data storage. That way you are not going to get into a world of hurt with resizing partitions, messing around with MBRs etc. You'll have a fully working linux system and everything can run on different machines simply by taking the memory stick with you. I think that is, not tried it, but it would probably only take an hour or so to find out.
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  #4  
Old 6th August 2009, 01:45 PM
markkuk Offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Finland
Posts: 5,075
linuxfirefox
Quote:
Originally Posted by adai2020 View Post
1)
Hence do i use the Easus Partition Manager to shrink my D drive and create a new drive named "Linux" for about 10GB to accommodate the Linux OS. Meaning that after the partitioning, my hard drive will be : C - 50GB ; D - 20GB ; Linux - 10GB .

Is this correct ? Is this what i am supposed to do ?
No. Shrink the existing partition(s), but don't create any new ones. Leave free, unpartitioned space for Linux installation. Easus can't create Linux partitions (based on a quick read of the website) and you can't install Fedora on a Windows partition.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adai2020 View Post
2) When i reach the "Disk Partitioning" stage in the process of installing FC5, i will be given three options which are:
- "Remove all partitions on selected drives and create default layout"
- "Use free space on selected drives and create default layout"
- "Create custom layout"
My suggestion for a Linux newcomer is "Use free space on selected drives and create default layout". This uses the free (unpartitioned) space and doesn't touch any existing partitions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adai2020 View Post
3) The installation of FC5 will by default install GRUB the bootloader overwriting the existing bootloader at MBR provided by Windows.

When i have completed all the installation of FC5 and restart my computer, will i alwayas be given a menu at the startup by GRUB to allow me to choose between Windows OS and Linux OS ?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adai2020 View Post
4) Is the overwriting of existing bootloader at MBR by GRUB dangerous in any way ?
No, you can easily restore the standard Windows MBR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adai2020 View Post
5) Is it advisable to use GRUB as the primary bootloader in dual boot system or as a secondary bootloader in dual boot system ?
Grub as primary is easier to set up and maintain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adai2020 View Post
6) If after the completion of my project i decide to uninstall FC5, will it be possible for me to delete the Linux drive and expand my D drive back to its original 30GB size ?
Yes. You must restore the Windows MBR as GRUB won't work after deleting the Linux partition that contains various files used by GRUB.


Quote:
Originally Posted by adai2020 View Post
7)How can i get back my currently existing bootloader that was supplied with Windows XP OS ?
Use the Windows XP Recovery Console and run the fixmbr command. It's best to set up the Recovery Console and run fixmbr before deleting the Linux partitions.
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