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Old 2nd December 2010, 09:28 PM
holdea Offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 8
Install F14 on a Windows Machine - dual boot

I would like to install F14 on a new machine running Windows7 preinstalled.

Does F prompt me if I would like to keep Windows and install Fedora to have a dual boot machine.

Or where do I find some instructions?

Any feedback is highly appreciated.

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Old 2nd December 2010, 11:22 PM
stoat Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,548
Re: Install F14 on a Windows Machine - dual boot

Originally Posted by holdea

Does F prompt me if I would like to keep Windows and install Fedora to have a dual boot machine.
No. Not like that anyway. It offers partition layout options, and you pick one that will not destroy Windows. You can read about all of that in the Installation Guide. I recommend that even though it's a lot to take in. Reading that is about the best thing you can do to maximize your chances for success and minimize the potential for disaster.

Here are some common issues when installing Fedora alongside an existing pre-installed Windows system (it's a wall of text but important anyway IMO)...
  1. Partition Table: You will need two or more partitions for Fedora. People often forget about or never knew about hidden utility and recovery partitions on their hard drive. So it often happens that the partition table is full with primary partitions and no more can be created even if there is room on the hard drive. Another common partition issue is when Windows is using dynamic volumes. So take a moment to look at the existing partition layout in the Windows Disk Management utility. Confirm that you not only have or can create space for Fedora, but that you also can create more partitions in the partition table. To have more than four partitions, one of the primary partitions has to be an extended partition which can then hold many more logical partitions. Fedora can exist entirely in logical partitions. You can post a screenshot of the Disk Management utility if you need help with it.

  2. Free Space: You will need to create free unpartitioned space for Fedora's partitions. Do that either by shrinking an existing partition or by deleting no-longer-needed partitions. Anaconda (the Fedora installer) will present an option to shrink the current system's partition and then create the default partition layout. You also can elect to do that yourself in advance with the Windows Disk Management utility (probably a better idea), and then choose the option in Anaconda to use the free space you created. You also can use Anaconda or Windows to delete no-longer-needed partitions to create space for Fedora.

  3. Boot Loader: The default boot loader option in Anaconda will install Fedora's GRUB boot loader in the master boot record of the first hard drive. That will replace the existing boot loader (Windows' boot loader). It usually works out okay. Windows usually appears in the GRUB menu as "Other" (that can be modified later). Sometimes though, the GRUB config file is slightly botched regarding the Windows partition. Anaconda is good about detecting and adding a Windows system to the GRUB menu, but it sometimes gets the partition wrong. That means choosing "Other" in the menu doesn't boot Windows. It's usually easy to fix by editing the GRUB config file. Some people prefer to keep the Windows boot loader and make it boot Fedora. To do that, a different boot loader option needs to be selected when Fedora is installed. It also usually involves downloading and installing some free (and popular) software to make that job easier.

  4. Backup Now: OS installers are probably the most potentially destructive things with which you can boot your computer since they effortlessly can reformat entire partitions. You should make thorough tested backups of everything important on every hard drive that will be connected and running when you install a new operating system. Plan and hope for success, but be prepared for a disaster, too. It happens all the time.
So read the Installation Guide. Make the necessary decisions ahead of time. Have a plan. Return here if you have questions before installing or problems during and after.
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boot, dual, f14, install, machine, windows

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