View Full Version : How to install Linux and Windows in the same machine?

11-12-2003, 06:32 AM
i am now running XP. I wanna try out linux OS...can sb suggest a good distro..there are so many...i heard red hat is good...but i think they have started charging money for their software ....What i am worried about is mainly not affecting my current hard drive...i.e. i do not want to lose any data on my hard drive now....and i heard linux installation is quite risky in this sense.....btw, i have two hard drives, so shouldi install Linux on the 2nd drive which does not have any OS on it...will that ensure that i do not lose any of my files...? and what precautions beside backing up data should i take when installing linux...

11-12-2003, 06:35 AM
Also, is there anybody in this forum who started off with windows but changed to linux and have stuck with it so much they do not need windows anymore...?Just curious....I hope these questions on OS are not entirely irrelevant to this forum....


11-13-2003, 01:54 AM
U can always make a partition in ur hard drive while installing.... Depending on ur HDD size, u can make the partition... for example, if u have a 20 GB Drive, for starters I wud recommend 6 GB for Linux n the rest for Windows n boot n stuff.... Installing linux on a partition will not affect your existing data... BUT.. Mistakes do happen, and it is always recommended to back up ur existing data before installing or upgrading ANY software...

And given that u have two HDD, I wud ask u to install Linux in one of them and keep the windows in the other... That way while booting, U can choose between Windows n linux..

Else, One more thing U can do is, Keep the windows, and install VMware... U can Install linux on this VMware (This is a virtual machine... Like a Ghost machine) ... U can also do it vice versa...

Linux installation is not Risky, and Linux is a Trillion billion million times better than Windows as an OS .... Make sure u get the iso files ... You dont have to pay for it.. U can download it from the web for free, though the redhat server takes a while to download... Get the iso files, make a copy in CD's, and install... U will be asked for how u wud like ur comp to be in every step and u can choose what U want... Check out the manuals in the Redhat site... They have very very detailed manuals and documents...

Besides backup of ur data, U dun need to take any precautions... U r not making a Nuke right ???? Just start the installation n sit back n relax watching it... Make sure the System Requirements are met and U have anuff space n stuff like that...

11-13-2003, 02:02 AM
Just a note... even if U are upgrading a a Linux version, You WILL NOT lose any data... Your existing data will be preserved... So is the case when U r making a new linux installation too... So dont worry abt that.. but as I said and as most of the software websites / manuals say, mistakes do happen... so for ur safety U can back up ur data... but if U want to install Linux in ur second HDD, where there is not OS currently, U dun need to worry abt backup.... Cheers..

11-13-2003, 04:10 AM
I suggest you install the boot info on root partition rather than master boot record so that even if by mistake the MBR info is corrupt u can use some boot loader to load the OS...

11-13-2003, 05:04 AM
Note one more thing: The file format (for formatting your harddisk) is different in Windows and Linux (as you probably know). Linux will not recognise the partitions in windows if it is in NTFS. You gotta have it in Fat32. That way it will recognize the partition.

First time when I loaded Linux into my Windows machine, that did look scary.. but its not all that bad. Be patient, use the manuals wisely. It will take some time to get used to it.. then you can fly..

Good luck !

11-13-2003, 07:49 AM
I have a small doubt. A friend of mine once installed Linux in his machine. After some time he needed to re-format the disk and delete Linux and install another OS. But he couldn't do it by normal formatting methods.

Why is this? And how should the formatting be done? Are there any special steps?

11-13-2003, 09:50 AM
Linux DOES recog's NTFS along with Fat.... though Fat is the preferred one... Guess that shud not be a problem in anyway...

And to make sure u r able to boot if there shud be a breakdown, It is always better to make a boot diskette when installing.... While installing Linux you will be prompted to make a choice between a boot on the system or making a boot diskette.... So if U want to play it safe, make a boot diskette...

Not being able to reformat the disk may be due to the Disk being corrupted irreversibly...

Though I am not sure of the exact reason though..

11-20-2003, 09:17 PM
ok guyz, i heard that if i want to install linux on the 2nd HD, then i need to set master slave on the 2nd drive..I do not understand what this means..can sb explain pls...and does this in anyway contradict sweetie's point that i can choose the OS when i boot the comp, i can choose the OS?Andalso, will it be any different ( the matter of choosing OS when i boot my comp) if i install Linux on the same drive as Windows?

11-21-2003, 02:20 AM
When u install two OS on the same drive, while booting up you *CAN* choose between *WHICH OS* you want to start up.... You will be prompted to choose one.,.. Else how do u think the comp will be able to know wats on ur mind regarding the kinda OS u want to use ?????

U will be asked for it... dont worry....

Regarding setting master slave I am not sure.... but as far as I am concerned it shud not be neccessary.... But preferable I wud go in for a Single HDD, with a partition for Windows and Linux on the same drive..... tat wud be a more reasonable thing to so...

11-21-2003, 02:42 AM
No, Palani..

No need worry about which HDD you are going to load Linux. Where ever you have your OS, it has a boot sequence that will search it up and do it accordingly. When you load Linux it will recognize your other OS and ask if you want to load Linux as a second OS. When you say yes, it will install a boot handler (GRUB or something similar) which will prompt you to choose the OS you want to log into when you turn on your computer.

You are allowed to choose an default OS also. If you do so, the computer will wait for some twenty seconds for your choice, and if you don't choose one, it will automatically go onto the Default OS.

It is not strictly required, but for ease of maintenance of your files etc, the main OS (Windows or Linux, whichever one you like) be in the Master HDD. Also note that these days with HDD's upto 80 GB or more, there is plenty of space for both the OS to be in the same HDD.

Hope this helps.