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Dual Boot for Windows and Linux: Single and Multiple Drives

The Internet is full of technical articles, many of which are too complicated for the average computer user, who only wants to solve a simple problem. If you pay close attention, the internet is also a place where "gurus" spend a lot of time on the forum and board for help. So don't feel bad, no one has the answers.

So you want to double-boot Windows and Linux on the same computer – it's very simple. There's only enough room here to tell you the most common way to use it on a single hard drive or multiple hard drives. Obviously, there are many ways to work, but there are some critical things you need to know. Let's start with some critical information.

Windows and Linux: the same hard drive

The Windows operating system MUST book the master boot record (MBR). On the other hand, Linux doesn't have to. In this case, you must first install Windows! After you install Windows successfully, you can install Linux. It's critical! The Linux boot loader is called GRUB. When Installing Linux – KNOW NOT to Install LINUX BOOT LOADER to MBR

Configuring Windows Boot Loader: Two Step Process

It is also possible to use GRUB for dual boot on Windows and Linux on the same drive, but it is a bit more complicated – the Windows bootloader loads. In the following commands, you create a copy of the Linux boot sector and then save it to a file in the top-level directory under Windows (C :).

first Step: Linux

From the shell installation from Linux (boot from installation discs):

Perform the following shell command, replace the / dev / hda3 command with the location of the Linux boot partition.

shell # dd if = / dev / hda3 = = bootsect.lnx bs = 512 count = 1

Copy the new file – bootsect.lnx – to a floppy disk and restart it on Windows.

2nd Step: Windows

Copy the bootsect.lnx file to C: Windows. Then execute the following command at the DOS command:

C:> attrib -H -R -S boot.ini

Edit boot.ini with the first two lines:

[boot loader]

timeout = 30

Add after the last line:

c: bootsect.lnx = "Starting Linux"

This is, done! Restart the machine and a menu will appear that allows you to select Windows or Linux. Congratulations

Windows and Linux: Two Hard Drives

It's also very simple. In this case, it starts on the Linux drive. Linux is added to the Linux boot (ie GRUB). GRUB is my favorite boot loader.

Edit the /boot/grub/grub.conf file. One of the first lines should include:

timeout = 30

After adding the last line:

Starting Windows

map (hd1) (hd0)

map (hd0) (hd1)

rootnoverify (hd1,0)


chainloader +1

Restart your machine to the Linux drive and a menu will appear that allows you to choose between Linux or Windows. Nice work!

This article is obviously short and contains no explanation of how these commands work. There are some versions I have introduced here depending on the hardware configuration, but I think they are the most common and need to do the job nicely. I would be happy to direct you to additional resources if this doesn't work for you.

Copyright 2005

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