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Re: problem installing Debian on dual boot with WinXP

Dne, 07. 12. 2010 12:46:54 je Bernard napisal(a):
Hi to Everyone,

I wish to install Linux on a computer where MSWIN XP is already running. I thought I would first resize (shrink) the windows partition so as to create free space for Linux install. I did that, using GParted.

Your absolutely *necessary* next step is to boot into Windows and do a scandisk. Windows has to recheck its own bits and pieces after being resized, or else...

Problem is : at next step, when trying to install Ubuntu 10.10 with an iso CD, the install system does not see any useful partition. It only sees /dev/sda, while it should show /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2. Using "SystemRescueCD', I am able to mount both partitions and display their size using 'df', but the Ubuntu install system does not see them. Whether I format /dev/sda2 to ext2 or ntfs, or if I just leave the space without formating, the Ubuntu install CD does not see any suitable space for that purpose.

I came to wonder if, by any chance, my failure was due to that I did not create a partition table.

No. If you have a working Windows installation, you definitely do have a partition table.

The GParted iso CD offers this possibility, but then it warns you that creating a partition table will erase all data in all partitions..

And that is exactly what will happen. So you don't want to do that. Creating a partition table erases *everything* that was previously on your disk.

So, maybe I should first create a backup of the MSWIN partition using Partimage, then run Gparted again and create a partition table, then install Ubuntu (if the iso CD finds what it needs once a new partition table is created), then restore the MSWIN saved partition... (or, maybe, the way around, that is, first restore MSWIN and install Ubuntu next)

IIRC Windows XP wouldn't work anymore, after such a process. What you want to do is leave the Windows partition(s) untouched. Install GNU/Linux on the freed space, and preferably have Grub install in the GNU/Linux partition, NOT on the MBR. That way, you minimize the risk of Windows having a fit.

Prior to attempting such a risky process, I wish I had hints from those who have already tested, since a number of questions still remain :

Is it allright to backup and restore a MSWIN partition ? Will the restored partition boot ? How about the MBR ? Shall I have to modify GRUB so that both systems work ?

Does the GParted CD see your new partition? If so, feel free to format it to a GNU/Linux filesystem (I'd reccommend ext3). Then, Ubuntu installer should recognize it. If I were you, I wouldn't let Grub modify the MBR, I'd instruct it to install itself in the GNU/Linux partition. Optimally, it will detect your Windows installation and put it up in its menu. Now all you have to do is redirect your system to boot from the GNU/Linux partition (where Grub resides) instead of the MBR. Or, alternatively, make the Windows bootloader give you the choice of booting either XP or GNU/Linux (there are tutorials on the Net on how to modify Windows XP boot loader to do that).


Klistvud http://bufferoverflow.tiddlyspot.com Certifiable Loonix User #481801 Please reply to the list, not to me.

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