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Re: problem installing Debian on dual boot with WinXP

Klistvud wrote:
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...

I have done that. The scandisk started automatically at the first reboot following resizing. But that did not solve the problem : the Ubuntu 10.10 iso install CD did not reckognize any workable space to do its job.

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?
Yes, it does
If so, feel free to format it to a GNU/Linux filesystem (I'd reccommend ext3).
I have tested just about every possibility : no format, format to ext2, format to ext3, format to ntfs... with similar results

Then, Ubuntu installer should recognize it.
It does not. I then tested another Ubuntu iso install CD with an older version: result was the same, despites the fact that said CD had been successfully used by someone else.

Next I am going to go test a Debian Lenny install CD. This concern a computer at my clubhouse, not my own (here I have Lenny + WinXP on my Desktop and Ubuntu 8.04 alone on my laptop)

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