Dual Boot Win XP Pro and Linux [Archive] - Glock Talk


View Full Version : Dual Boot Win XP Pro and Linux

06-02-2005, 11:56
I am thinking of building a new PC. I would love the final result to dual boot Win XP Pro and Linux (Mandriva??). I have some parts on the way and am saving up some money for the rest. While I’m waiting on the $$ I am researching what all I will need to do.

I have Googled my brains out and it appears to me the dual boot should be fairly straightforward with GRUB. The sights I have looked at appear to be “dated,” and kind of confusing. For example; Do I put GRUB in the Master Boot Record? Some say yes some say no. What about Window’s BOOT.INI? Can I just use that?

I guess what I’m really asking from someone who has done it, is there a better “how too” for what I’m trying to do?

I would really appreciate if someone could point me in the right direction for something to read.

Thanks in advance


06-02-2005, 11:59
Install windows first.

When you install Linux, Grub will set up dual boot automagically.

Install it in the boot sector of the first HDD.

If you ever reinstall WIN, it will blow away the boot sector and you will no longer have dual boot until you reset Grub.


06-02-2005, 12:26
Thanks HerrGlock

Thats what I was getting from my reading but I wanted to be sure. Thanks again


06-02-2005, 12:45
Originally posted by mfackler
Do I put GRUB in the Master Boot Record?

if you are only installing those 2 operating systems, yes (it's probably the default option anyway).

06-02-2005, 13:23
Mandriva has fairly good Windows bootloader reinstaller.But if you are going to have two hard drives,you can install Windows first then switch the Windows hard drive to SLAVE and the other drive to MASTER.Install Linux on the now Master drive with the Linux bootloader on the Master Boot Record of it's drive.It will reconize the Windows Slave drive and allow booting to Windows also.This way if you every remove or change Linux the Windows drive will be unchanged and able to boot on it's own by switching it to be the Master drive.

06-02-2005, 16:02
DC's advice is very close to my method.

In my PC's I set the new HDD as Master with no other hard drives present. Install up to three Linux kernels to separate partitions there. Don't forget to budget in 512MB each for swap files!

It is also helpful to set up a 20GB or so FAT32 partition if you can spare the space. Use this for swapping files between Linux and XP, and also for archiving the root and home directories of your Linux installs for safekeeping.

Then remove this drive completely, install the 2nd HDD and install XP to it. Slave the Linux disk in once this is complete.

I use GAG bootloader to identify and assign each OS a letter; GRUB and LILO will usually work but I have found that everything is just tighter with LILO installed into the individual partitions, then use GAG, installed into the MBR, to allow for OS choices.

Pretty easy after you do it a few times. BTW, I prefer Debian-based OSes.

Good luck.

06-02-2005, 18:56
Thanks again everyone. I should have said that I was only planing on the one HD (160GB). I think that must be the key. I was thinking it would go like HerrGlock said. I have been around here enough to know that when Washington,D.C. says something it's best to listen he's got me convinced he knows what he's talking about.

Debian was my second choice. Will probably put that on another box.

06-02-2005, 20:31
I agree, DC and fastvfr are required reading for any techie wannabe. When I set up both my home computer and my laptop to dual boot XP and Slackware, I followed fastvfr's instructions (Lilo and GAG) and it's worked flawlessly.

06-03-2005, 20:21

Thank you, Washington D.C., for the procedure on loading Linux on two hard drives. I followed it to install Redhat Fedora Core 3, but had to make one change. Windows would not boot from Grub. I did a quick Google search, and found the solution. I needed to go in as the root user and change the windows title code in the boot.conf file to the following:
title Windows
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
root (hd1,0)
chainloader +1

Everything is great now. I just need to learn how to use Linux better, now.

Have a great day!

06-04-2005, 20:03
Here's your source, Vince!!


Everything Linux, all distros, has been or will be discussed there.

Have Fun!!