[Durham] dual boot install strategy and order

Martin Ward martin at gkc.org.uk
Tue Jan 26 23:44:31 UTC 2010

On Tuesday 26 Jan 2010 15:47, Dougie Nisbet wrote:
> Any thoughts on tactics? As I say, it's been a while, and I used to
> hand-tune LILO to get things the way I wanted. Grub seems to be the
> default boot loader installed so I'm inclined to stick with that.

Grub has certain advantages over Lilo in that you don't need
to re-install it after making changes.

> I assume the order is:
> 1. Partition and format
> 2. Install OS 1
> 3. Install OS 2
> I don't intend having separate file systems on separate partitions. I
> think perhaps install XP first, then Ubuntu? Thoughts? How to partition.
> XP install disk?

Windows will need to be installed on a primary partition.
Last time I installed XP (some years ago!) it had problems finding the disk:
I ended up just deleting the whole partition table and letting Windows
do its thing, then installing Linux (Mandriva) on the free space on
the Windows partition (Mandriva, and probably most Linux distros by now,
can resize an NTFS partition to make space for its partitions).

> This all assumes that the new disk works! And if it does, I shall have a
> spare 2.5" Fujitsu drive 80GB that may be looking for a new home.
> (Though actually when I checked the location and ease of swapping the
> disk out I couldn't believe how easy it was. I might even keep it as a
> spare in case of disk failure or with another distro on it)

You can get an external USB case for a 2.5" drive quite cheaply on ebay,

> On another note I have an external USB hard drive formatted as EXT4.
> Works great. I had wanted to format it VFAT but found that it choked on
> a lot of linux file names (especially long photo names) and I couldn't
> use tools such as rsync so I went with EXT4. It's a shame because it
> means I can't read it Windows boxes. Or can I? Any utilities that might
> do the magic?

There are Windows utilities for reading EXT3 partitions. Here's a couple:
These don't support ext4 though.

Make sure its mounted read-only: you don't want Windows messing up
your Linux partition!

One way to do it is to install a minimal Linux distribution through VirtualBox
which allows you to mount the USB partition on a "real" linux and share
it with Windows over the "virtual" network.

Another method:

> can't make the feb meeting btw as I'm on holiday. Was I the only person
> that turned up in December? How did Jan go? see you in March!

I haven't been able to get to any meetings since the children
started Scouts on Tuesdays :-(


STRL Senior Research Fellow and Royal Society Industry Fellow
martin at gkc.org.uk  http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/  Erdos number: 4
G.K.Chesterton web site: http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/
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