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Re: Dual Boot With Win XP - Debian First?

* Bob <spam@homeurl.co.uk> [070627 07:21]:
> russ421@aol.com wrote:
>> I want to dual boot windows XP and Debian.  I've seen the guides, but 
>> they all recommend that users have Windows XP installed first, and 
>> then install Debian.  This allows you to set it up with the default 
>> Debian installation to use GRUB / etc. and dual boot. 
>> However, I won't have a copy of Win XP for my new machine for a month 
>> or two probably.  I'd like to go ahead and install Debian, otherwise 
>> the new computer will be a paperweight.
>> Is it possible to install Debian first and then Windows XP later on?  
>> Can you change the Debian configurations?  Is it not too difficult?  
>> Impossible?
>> I'm installing on two separate hard drives, so partitions shouldn't be 
>> a big problem I don't imagine.  Debian on one, XP on the other.

With two hard drives -- one for Debian and one for Window$ -- this is
trivial; I do it routinely.  

The use of a separate cable for each drive is nice, but it is not
essential with modern motherboards.  If I recall correctly, modern
motherboards incorporate an independent controller for each drive, so
that there is no performance penalty if two drives are attached to the
same cable.

I have no experience with XP, but with W2000 it doesn't matter whether
you install Debian first or Window$ first.  However, if you do install
Debian first and wish to ensure that Window$ cannot mess up the
system, simply unplug the Debian drive before you install Window$.

You need not worry about Debian messing up the Window$ installation
(apart from the fact that GRUB is going to replace whatever boot
manager Window$ may install).  

Partitioning in Window$ and partitioning in Debian are independent,
UNLESS you put both operating systems on the same drive.  But
considering the pitfalls and the low price of drives, I think it
generally foolish to put both operating systems on the same drive.

If you install Window$ first and subsequently install Debian, GRUB
takes care of everything, automatically, and leaves you with a boot
menu which includes both Debian and Window$.

But if you install Debian first and then install Window$, Window$ may
install its own boot manager in place of GRUB.  But that's not a
problem; all you need to do in that event is boot Debian and, from a
command line prompt within Debian, reinstall GRUB, whereupon
everything again is taken care of automatically.  Of course, in this
event you need to use a GRUB boot CD to boot Debian.  So once Debian
is running, make it a priority to burn yourself a GRUB boot CD.  

To see how to burn a GRUB boot CD and how to reinstall GRUB, take a
look at the GRUB man page or the GRUB manual.  Or just google a bit.


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