Multiboot with XP new hard drive


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Thread: Multiboot with XP new hard drive

  1. #1
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    Multiboot with XP new hard drive

    Hello:
    I need to replace a failing hard drive and wish to install Win XP, Ubuntu, Fedora 16, Opensuie and Debian on the new replacement drive - WD PATA 320gb into a Dell 4600i.
    I have never installed an OS nor have I partitioned a disc and made sure the booting was set up correctly and neither do I know how to create a shared partition that all these operating systems including XP can use.
    What I do know: XP “should be” installed first. Grub will somehow eventually control the booting process of all the operating systems. Four partitions are allowed on a disc, one must be primary, XP “should be” first and must be primary and there are also extended partitions and logical within extended and Linux doesn’t care if it is in an extended or primary partition.
    I need a basic outline of how to do this and I have a couple of questions now and may become more than a little confused.

    Questions:
    - Can all the partitioning and OS installations be with the old failing hard drive is made slave and the new hard drive is made master?
    - Should XP be installed before partitioning the disc and then Gparted used to shrink the XP primary partition or should I partition the disc first?
    - Do programs used by all or some of the operating systems have to be installed in every OS partition or can programs go in the separate shared partition?
    - How complicated is it to connect these operating systems to the files and folders and possibly programs in a separate shared partition?
    - What file system is best for the shared partition to give all operating systems including XP full functionality?
    - Will the XP install from the XP disc pretty much take care of its own small boot partition or should I create a small FAT partition before XP install or should I just create a NTFS partition of about 30GB for the XP install?
    - In what order should the Linux OS’s be installed?
    - Anything necessary to make sure Linux can be upgraded in this multiboot partitioning?
    - If I remove the old drive after this entire process will it affect the volume lettering: A:, B:, C:, D: etc?
    - Will this cause me to lose Windows updates with the XP?

  2. #2
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    Harrison,

    Welcome to Justlinux!


    Here are my suggestions.

    (1) It is owner's right to select master and slave drive by making the appropriate connection at the motherboard. Every OS is installed with the disk number embedded. Thus an OS installed as a master (Disk 0) will not boot when it is connected as a slave (disk 1). However there is tricks Grub can do by switching the disk order on-the-fly.

    (2) If you plan your move and create the partitions with the correct size you will have no need to resize them afterwards. Resizing operation can take a long time. You can use a Linux, boot up as a Live CD, to do all the partitioning. For Xp all you need is to specify the partition type as 7. XP installer will use it immediately.

    Suggested partition scheme (assuming disk identified as sda (if it is a master)

    sda1, primary, type 7 for Xp, 50Gb
    sda2, extended partition. put all remaining space in it.

    sda5, first logical partition, for Linux swap, type 83, size 1Gb (yes 1Gb as larger size has no use)
    sda6, 2nd logical partition, for personal data partition, Type 7, 100Gb
    sda7, 3rd logical partition, for Ubuntu, type 82, size 50Gb, every partition created with a Linux partitioning tool (cfdisk, fdisk, sfdisk, parted etc) will be type 82 automatically.
    sda8, 4rd logical partition, for Fedora, type 82, size 50Gb,
    sda9, 4rd logical partition, for Opensuse, type 82, size 50Gb,
    sda10, 4rd logical partition, for Debian, type 82, size 50Gb
    Leaving the remaining hard disk space unallocated for future usage (for another 2 primaries sda3 & sda4 or more logical partitions.)

    If you don't want any more OS then I suggest swap sda6 with sda10 and use all the hard disk space for your data partition.

    Partitioning tool recommended: cfdisk in a terminal. (with cfdisk you do not need to create an extended partition. The first logical partition created will automatically use the next primary as the extended partition. You can learn partitioning from cfdisk. It is that good!

    (3) You install programs in each OS in its own partition. Programs are not shared.

    (4) XP does not support Linux so you need a 3rd party driver to mount Linux partitions in Xp. Linux supports MS Windows so it will mount every MS Windows partition (normally automatically) for read and write. You don't need to have a shared partition. A shared partition, for your data only, is a good idea it is easier to maintain.

    (5) If you make it a NTFS partition for sharing then every OS can read and write it.

    (6) No need to have a devoted boot partition unless you are planning something.

    (7) Linux can be installed in any order and in any partition.

    (8) No need to worry about upgrade in Linux. It will do upgrade automatically (just like Windows) once you are using it.

    (9) Only MS Windows use drive letters. Linux does not use them.

    (10) Linux doesn't do anything to a MS Windows system. The only thing Linux can affect Windows is it needs to boot up itself and so it will change the MBR which is not part of Windows filing system.
    Last edited by saikee; 03-18-2012 at 05:19 PM.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
    Using a Linux live CD to clone XP
    To install Linux and keep Windows MBR untouched
    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

  3. #3
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    saikee:

    Thanks so much for your time and help. I have a couple more questions, if you don't mind.
    If I make a shared partition for documents would it be a personal data partition set up for both the Linux os's and XP?
    How would I point XP to it?
    Would it be better to make it NFTS or ext3 and use another software (in addition to the mounting software) to allow windows to use it?
    Would the shared partition go last or could it be between XP and the Liux OS's and in ext3 formatted by another partition manager with a drive letter?
    Is a partition invisible to XP a partition in something other than NFTS, Fat etc, or is it any partition created by the Linux partition manager?
    What are your thoughts on putting the existing hard drive in a case and using it as a bootable external drive until I'm through this?

  4. #4
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    (1) For any OS to access a partition is to mount it. If you make the personal partition a NTFS type then Xp will mount it automatically so half the problem is solved. In Linux most distros will mount a NTFS partition too.

    (2) Once mounted Xp will automatically give it a drive letter. It will be D no matter where you put it if you have only one disk. Mounting Linux partitions requires 3rd party drivers and it is optional.

    (3) Generally the system-related software of one OS has no use to another and there is little point to mount it. You can use either NTFS or EXt2/3/4 but the easiest is NTFS.

    (4) Since Xp will mount the data partition so it will be your D drive (assuming no other disk). Other Linux partitions require you to install a driver and mount them by specifying your own drive letters which can be non consecutive. Thus the position of the personal data partition has no consequence. However if you put it at the end you can control its size better (by allocating a smaller size initially and later by resizing it by absorbing the unallocated space.

    Resizing an OS partition will cause problem because every boot loader boots an OS by its hard disk address embedded during installation. If you resize an OS partition, other than sda1, you will have to repair the boot loader afterwards. Thus keeping the data partition at the back of the hard disk helps.

    (5) Xp only supports partitions it recognises. Those partitions can be made by other OS. That is the whole idea of able to use different OS. Fat partitions do not have Ownership and are easier to get damaged by attacks.

    (6) MS Windows do not entertain booting from an external disk vis USB2/3 (but OK if it is eSata) . Not all Linux can be booted from an external hard disk as the system files will have to be rigged for such purpose.

    If you install Xp to the new hard disk but using the same license as the existing disk (regardless if it is a Master or Slave) then Xp will not like it and will do something to the other copy making it unbootable. It is advisable to remove the old Xp and link it only as a USB disk.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
    Using a Linux live CD to clone XP
    To install Linux and keep Windows MBR untouched
    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

  5. #5
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    Location
    Fort Myers
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    Hello

    Referencing the previous post:

    (6) MS Windows does not entertain booting from an external disk vis USB2/3 (but OK if it is eSata) . Not all Linux can be booted from an external hard disk as the system files will have to be rigged for such purpose.


    ?---Is the BIOS the hurdle to booting from an external via usb? If so can I modify the BIOS to allow booting from an external hard drive?

    If you install Xp to the new hard disk but using the same license as the existing disk (regardless if it is a Master or Slave) then Xp will not like it and will do something to the other copy making it unbootable. It is advisable to remove the old Xp and link it only as a USB disk.

    ?---To clarify, I will use the existing license to install XP on the newly installed hard drive, but I plan to remove the existing old internal hard drive first. I may try to use the old hard drive externally and if my new install fails I may reinstall the old hard drive as a last ditch measure to regain use of my PC. Do you feel that XP will install and run this way?

    Thanks for you help,
    Mike

  6. #6
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    (6) MS Windows knows the system on a USB device because it is on a different bus to the internal hard disk. AFAIK no MS Windows works on a USB device but you can get installable systems loaded on it. There ways to load a minimal Xp onto a USB drive but that is used more like a utility.

    (7) To the wise guys in the M$ OEM copies of Xp are supposed to die with the box as that is the purchase agreement. However M$ cannot stop a hard disk from failure so the same license can be re-installed into anther hard disk and M$ will undertake to re-activate Xp again. No question is asked if the reactivation is done infrequently, say a few years in between. Even if M$ refuses to activate your Xp online, via the Internet, you can still call them up by phone for an activation, citing a change of hard disk. As long as you run only one copy of the license of Xp at any time M$ will continue support your operating system you you honour the purchase agreement.

    If your Xp is in a good working order you can always "clone" it onto another hard disk but do stick to one copy at any time.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
    Using a Linux live CD to clone XP
    To install Linux and keep Windows MBR untouched
    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

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