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Thread: Help with needing both Windows and Linux on one computer.

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Help with needing both Windows and Linux on one computer.

    Well, as this is a family computer, everyone wouldn't like me installing Linux on instead of Windows. So i've done a bit of research and i know that you can have both Linux and Windows on one computer.

    I have 2 options that i now know of:

    1. put a version of Linux to a disk, then upload it when i'm on the computer. Then remove the disk, re-boot and hey presto, Windows is back on.

    or 2. Install Linux, and use a duel booting process, which asks you wether you want to start up with Windows or Linux.

    Number 2 seems a good way, but i'm unsure of how much memory Linux would take up? Because my computer is already a bit iffy with the amount of stuff on it, so i wouldn't want nothing clogging all the preciouse memory that is still left.

    Number 1 is good, because that wouldn't require having to install it on the computer so it will take up all the memory. But i guess it's a bit of a hassle, but i dunno.

    Anywhoo, how would i go about doing any of the two, and which one would be most appropriate? Or maybe there's another way?

    Thanks for your time,

    - Adam.

  2. #2
    BS, EnCE, ACE, Cellebrite 11001001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Just West of Beantown, though nobody from Beantown actually calls it "Beantown."

    Re: Help with needing both Windows and Linux on one computer.

    Originally posted here by Adam Burleigh
    1. put a version of Linux to a disk, then upload it when i'm on the computer. Then remove the disk, re-boot and hey presto, Windows is back on.
    If that's your preference, go for a bootable Knoppix CD.


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  3. #3
    Let me give you a warning if you go with option #2:

    DON'T install Linux to the Master Boot Record! Instead, set Linux up to boot from a different partition. I made that mistake and completely locked myself out of the Windows portion of my system (there should be a thread floating around here somewhere where I begged for help some months ago). As long as you stay clear of installing to the MBR, you'll be safe to set up a good dual-boot system. I had mine set up with a Redhat 9 HD slaved to a WinXP HD. Boot up normally, it would go into Windows, boot off of a Linux floppy, and it goes straight to Redhat. It was very handy, once I learned the hard way.

    Now there is a way to go through the MBR and still successfully dual-boot (I think), but I wouldn't bother risking it, at least if you're as inexperienced with Linux as I am.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Scratching my head

    A few years back while I was attending a course on network protocols, a few of us stayed behind after class and installed 3 flavors of Unix on a Windows 98 machine for the fun of it. So needless to say it can be done, but I think it had something to do with the fact that Windows 98 was the first OS in the MBR. After all was said and done, we had a 20g HD with 4 separate OS's. Unix partitions are not very big, so you shouldn't have too many issues with space. Any inputs from the ancients?
    There wasn\'t any paper used here, but millions of electrons were terribly inconvenienced

  5. #5
    4 OS's on one HD? Holy cow, did you still have room left for anything else?

  6. #6
    While Linux and Windows can coexist on the same computer Windows always has to be installed first, if not it will rewrite the MBR and you won't be able to get to Linux without a boot disk. My suggestion would be if you are new to Linux, go with a bootable CD such as Knoppix. That way you can play and learn without having to cahnge your computers base configuration. Linux does have a fairly steep learning curve if you want to be able to use it effeciently.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Well thanks for all your help, guys. I'm going to download mandrake move, burn it to c.d and boot the baby up.

    Thanks again,

    - Adam.

  8. #8
    Senior Member deftones12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    cali forn i a
    as for memory??? linux wont use any of that while your on windows...if your talking about hard drive space then thats another story...it could take anywhere from 46 (dsl, damn small linux) to like 2 gigs with slackware full. you can select the packages you want installed and not installed to save lots of disk space...so i dont think hard drive space should be a restraint, its not a big as hog as windows is on it...how big is your hard drive??? go with your option number 2...having a dual boot system. use LILO as your bootloader.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Hmmm, I guess I am old school or something because I run a dual boot RH9/Win2k system all day long and it has a 10 Gig HD, 6 Win2k, 4 RH. Honestly, for a good install of RH or other Linux system, especially if you are only going to play with it, a 5 or so Gig partition should be just fine.

    As far as RAM is concerned, deftones is correct. Windows will use none of the RAM while Linuxs is running and vise versa. In most cases, Linux needs less RAM then Windows.

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  10. #10
    Just Another Geek
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Another option is to use VMWare or similar products.
    This is a great option if you're still learning Linux.

    You boot your windows and start a VMWare session.
    During the Linux install on VMWare you can use your windows host OS to browse the Internet for answers to troubles you'll be running into ;-)
    It'll be like having 2 seperate machines.
    Oliver's Law:
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