View Full Version : hiding partitions

Mad Hacker
1st May 2009, 09:39 PM
hi, i want to dual boot fedora 10 and winXP, and i read here (http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/principles.htm) that i should hide the fedora partition when i install it.

i am running fedora 10 on a dell 3000

so my questions are:
1. how can i hide the partition? i looked around in the system settings in kde and gnome and didn't find anything that looked like it would help

2. will i be able to make a new partition in the windows installer, or ought i make it beforehand? i suspect the latter

3. if i need to make the partition beforehand, how would i go about doing so?

thank you for your time :)

1st May 2009, 10:53 PM
Hello Mad Hacker,

That article to which you referred, discussed installing five MS operating systems on a single hard drive and booting each one individually with a third-party boot manager. The author configured the boot manager to hide the partitions with operating systems not being booted so that the one being booted thinks it is alone, so to speak, and calls itself the C: drive. That also made his two data drives consistently be lettered as the D: and E: drives in all of the Windows systems.

However, you are installing Fedora and XP. You don't have to do any of that stuff. What you want to do is very common and done all the time with one exception: it is nearly universally agreed to be easier to install the MS system first. It's possible to do it the way you are planning, but here are some of the issues:
Your existing partition layout may cause trouble for XP Setup. When XP is installed first, XP Setup will install the XP system and the boot loader files in a primary partition and mark it as the active partition. But when other systems are already present, XP Setup may complain about not having a compatible (FAT32 or NTFS) active primary partition at least for its boot loader files. The XP system itself can go into a logical partition if necessary, but not the boot loader files. If such a partition is not present, XP Setup will stop until you create one using its version of a disk druid. If you cannot create such a partition because you already have four primary partitions and none are XP compatible, then you cannot install XP in that situation. This is probably why the author of your linked article installed each MS system separately and then made a backup image of it before deleting that system and installing another. Then he restored all of those images to the hard drive and tweaked the boot manager to boot them. It would have been a nightmare to install five MS systems on a single hard drive any other way and then individually boot them with a third party boot manager.

XP Setup will write MS boot code into the master boot record overwriting GRUB stage1 there. That will break Fedora's boot loader. After XP is installed, you will have to re-install GRUB in the master boot record using your Fedora disk in the rescue mode or with some other utility for that purpose. You also may have to tweak the GRUB configuration file (grub.conf in Fedora) to make it boot XP. All of this stuff is heavily documented and usually simple to do.

The XP CD is well-known to refuse to boot normally into XP Setup when a Linux operating system has already been installed. Go ahead and try, but don't be surprised if it happens to you. There are some workarounds for this (http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=167302), but they are so hard to do that they are not worth doing unless the Linux system is exceedingly valuable for some reason.

There may be other issues along the way.At least consider starting over and installing XP first.

Mad Hacker
1st May 2009, 11:25 PM
it looks a lot simpler, i think i'll do that, thanks for your help

1st May 2009, 11:31 PM
In that case, simply install XP then Fedora. One easy way to accomplish that is to have XP Setup create a partition for XP that leaves some unpartitioned space for Fedora's installer (aka Anaconda) to find and use for Fedora.

Mad Hacker
1st May 2009, 11:36 PM
i think i'll do that