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#1 2007-04-14 14:43:45

aardwolf
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2005-07-23
Posts: 254

Dual boot

On my new computer, I want to install Archlinux as my main OS, and Windows XP for in case I want to play a game that only works there.

There is totally nothing installed now, it has a blank HD.

Which should I install first? Windows or Archlinux?

I'd like to do Archlinux first, but I'm afraid that if I do Archlinux first, and Windows only after that, that Windows will ruin the MBR and grub.

What will really happen if I install Archlinux first and then Windows? If the MBR is really ruined, how can I get grub back?

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#2 2007-04-14 14:48:03

ozar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2005-02-18
Posts: 1,681

Re: Dual boot

better to install windows first


oz

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#3 2007-04-14 14:49:40

Cerebral
Forum Fellow
From: Waterloo, ON, CA
Registered: 2005-04-08
Posts: 3,108
Website

Re: Dual boot

Windows install generally does overwrite your MBR - when I do it, I usually make sure my partitions are set up as I want, then install Windows first, then Arch.  Everything just goes smoother that way.

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#4 2007-04-14 14:52:55

aardwolf
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2005-07-23
Posts: 254

Re: Dual boot

What tool can you advice to partition my harddrives before starting the installations of Windows and Archlinux?

I know there exists for example partition magic that works well.

But are there any free equivalents available, that boot from a simple CDROM or floppy?

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#5 2007-04-14 15:01:34

ozar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2005-02-18
Posts: 1,681

Re: Dual boot

the Gparted LiveCD is a good tool for doing it:

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php


oz

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#6 2007-04-14 15:15:16

SiD
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2006-09-21
Posts: 729

Re: Dual boot

I booted from  a Linux-LiveCD and then just used fdisk.

Last edited by SiD (2007-04-14 15:15:31)

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#7 2007-06-28 00:47:46

Bes
Member
Registered: 2007-06-20
Posts: 79

Re: Dual boot

So I take it the best order for preparing disks is?

<Small partition for GRUB bootloader / Arch>
<XP>
<Other Arch partitions, swap, etc>
<Shared FAT32>

Does that sound right?

Thanks

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#8 2007-06-28 02:50:18

smurnjiff
Member
Registered: 2007-06-25
Posts: 211

Re: Dual boot

In my opinion, it would be better to place Windows in the first partition, place the boot and shared after it, and then place the Arch mountpoints in extended partitions.

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#9 2007-06-28 10:06:06

Bes
Member
Registered: 2007-06-20
Posts: 79

Re: Dual boot

Ok I have that setup running now but I am really struggling to get Grub to become my bootloader. All I get is XP booting! Please can someone point me to or post an idiot's guide?

Thanks smile

Last edited by Bes (2007-06-28 10:08:12)

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#10 2007-06-28 12:54:32

tom5760
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Registered: 2006-02-05
Posts: 283
Website

Re: Dual boot

So, you have Windows and Arch already installed, but Windows always starts anyway?

Do this:
Boot the livecd
Mount your Arch partitions on /mnt

mount /dev/sdaX /mnt

Mount some extra partitions (sysfs, dev, proc)

mount -t proc   proc      /mnt/proc
mount -t sysfs  sys       /mnt/sys
mount -o bind   /dev      /mnt/dev

CHROOT into your system

chroot /mnt /bin/bash

Then install GRUB onto your main hard disk

grub-install /dev/sda

Then reboot, and you should be good to go.

NOTE: Info taken from http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Reinstalling_GRUB

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#11 2007-06-28 16:50:59

Bes
Member
Registered: 2007-06-20
Posts: 79

Re: Dual boot

Install Grub on the XP partition? (if thats what you mean by main harddisk) That will destroy Windows' bootloader and stop it booting at all?! Is that right?

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#12 2007-06-28 17:34:35

ataraxia
Member
From: Pittsburgh
Registered: 2007-05-06
Posts: 1,537

Re: Dual boot

No, /dev/sda points to the front of the whole disk (the partition table / boot sector area), not the first partition. It's safe to do "grub-install /dev/sda" with this setup.

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