View Full Version : linux and windows together

October 8th, 2003, 12:02 AM
I want to run red hat 9 and windows xp on the same computer. If i buy a second hard drive how do install red hat 9 on it without erasing windows on the master drive. My computer did not come with the cd copy of windows xp so i cant reinstall it if i mess up.

October 8th, 2003, 01:47 AM
Hello there dayday....

As long as you take your time through the process, your installation of RH 9 should progress just fine without disrupting your installation of WinXP on the other drive.

Before you start, be prepared to read a bit first. Linux is still not a "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" installation but RedHat (as well as other distributions) help out with a nice graphical install program.

Your best starting point, especially if you are going to install RH is their online documentation.


In the install documentation at the link above, you should read Section G, on setting up DualBooting, first, and then read the rest of that entire document. It really does walk you through a typical installation.

Second, scan through the following thread here at CTH...
PostCode wrote a good walkthrough that condenses that RH install documentation.

Also scan through the Linux forum here, there are plenty of tips and tricks and even horror stories to use as examples.

Off the top of my head I can think of a few things to plan for before installing so that you know what is in store for you...

-get a listing of your hardware in windows xp first, on the cth downloads page there is a program called aida, use that to get info on your video card, sound card, peripherals and other hardware :: this will help when RH asks for info during install if it needs help identifying hardware

-*important: when asked to make a boot disk....DO SO!

-*important: do not let the installer install on the already formatted (win xp) partition (HD)

-read through the install guide to determine the type of install that you want: server, workstation, or custom :: custom is probably the BEST way to go since it gives you complete control of the install, although you need to study the install guide more for this method :: in your case, if this hard drive that you are adding is going to be a second HD, you'll want to insure that the linux partitions that it sets up end up on hddb (harddrive b) as your windows will be on hdda

-you'll want to ensure that the second (linux hd) is set as the slave, that way you can be sure it will likely end up as hddb and windows won't get "touchy" about not being on the master drive

-give yourself a good 3 to 4 hours getting linux installed and setup

-reading through the documentation will also ask about a boot manager. Here is where my experience with XP is lacking, because I don't know if it has a boot manager built in that will detect a linux partition (ANYONE ELSE KNOW ABOUT THIS??) but I would suggest using GRUB and letting it (and only it) install as the bootloader to the boot record on hdda. BE SURE TO READ UP ON BOOTLOADERS before doing this though. you will need some way of choosing the OS when your PC boots. If after reading about the bootloader you get weary of letting it install itself to your windows HD bootrecord, you could simply instruct the RH installation to NOT install a bootloader and USE THE BOOT DISK when you want to use RH by tossing it in the floppy and rebooting. (many people successfully dual boot with GRUB or LILO so you might feel comfy with that knowledge)

---more next post

October 8th, 2003, 01:51 AM
A few questions too:

1. do you have the RedHat CDs to install from?

2. how big (GB) is the HD?

3. what types of applications do you intend to run? what do you want to use the linux for?

4. you note that your pc didn't come with an XP cd, does it have a RESTORE CD or similar that would have the OS on it? (always cover your butt :-)

October 8th, 2003, 01:14 PM
Is your computer a Store bought one, or did a shop build it. If it is a store type like Hewlett Packard, then your XP may be on a hidden partition. To find out for sure do this. When you first start the PC and the HP logo screen appears, start tapping the F10 key. That should put you into the Recovery Mode.

October 8th, 2003, 10:29 PM
I have the red hat cds to install from

120 gb hard drive

no cds came with the computer (hp)

October 9th, 2003, 01:27 AM
With that much space on a hard-drive, you can do a custom install and install everything that you wish to install.

Having the RH CDs is good for the install as opposed to downloading and burning the ISOs to use for the installs.

Follow Dodge's advice to determine if you have the windows CD hidden on your HD.

Read all the suggested material and good luck. Let us know as you go along.

October 9th, 2003, 10:14 PM
Thanks alot for all the help. I'm gonna try to install over the weekend when I have more time and don't have to rush through it all.

October 13th, 2003, 01:13 AM
Follow all of the suggestions above and install Redhat 9 then Do Some More Reading :-) while enjoying bith OS's I have XP Pro and Redhat 9 installed. I can boot to either OS too.

October 18th, 2003, 08:41 PM
One thing. What ever you do, DO NOT Fdisk that drive. I haven't had the unpleasure of dealing with one of those systems yet, but I have been told that using fdisk to create partition can and will wipe out the hidden partition on your drive and then you wont be able to reinstall XP...

Partitioning that drive is something I'd leave up to a program like Partition Magic. But, I think I'd contact HP before attempting this. Just to see what you need to do. Most of the time, they will give you the directions on how to go about this without harming the system at all. (just a few thoughts)

October 18th, 2003, 10:29 PM
One thing. What ever you do, DO NOT Fdisk that drive. I haven't had the unpleasure of dealing with one of those systems yet, but I have been told that using fdisk to create partition can and will wipe out the hidden partition on your drive and then you wont be able to reinstall XP...

Half-way agree there. I Fdisked my laptop and wasn't able to get the restore cds to work (They wanted to install over the entire HD no matter what partitian I set it up as). I ended up having to use my XP Pro disk set for my main PC.

Just curious though - would Partitian magic work on NTFS?

October 18th, 2003, 10:42 PM
Yes, partition magic works on NTFS. You have to have 7.0 and above I beleive.

With Restore CD's, I've never had a problem with Fdisking a drive, except for on Compaq's. They are very propriority about everything....

October 18th, 2003, 10:44 PM
One thing with HP is that with the Recovery CD's they claim that you need to use the Recovery CD to Fdisk. They say it can cause problems. I'm not sure as to what though. I used the CD once then just used the bootup disk from then on.