[clug] Dual boot HD suggestions

James McNeill James at heague.com.au
Mon Jun 16 10:36:35 EST 2003

This depends on witch windows version you are talking about. ie. a DOS* (98,
SE, ME) based one, or an NT (NT, 2000, XP) based one.

* if it's got an IO.sys and an MSDOS.sys, then it's a DOS, in my books ;-)

Most recent distros (but not debian) will automagically set up dual booting
when they see a windows install. But if that's not the case, then:

If it's DOS, simply make two partitions (three if  you want a linux swap).
install Windows on one, then install linux on the other, and tell LILO (or
GRUB if you feel so inclined) that it can boot off the windows partition.

If it's an NT sorta OS you want, then things get a bit trickier. I would
reccomend using the windows boot loader instead of a linux one, since it's
far easier to configure and linux's NTFS support is not 100%.

so, in short you want to:

make two partitions
install linux on one of them (windows will be a happier OS if it gets the
1st partition)
make a copy of the master boot reccord, something like:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/linux.mbr bs=512 count=1
install windows, overwriting the MBR
boot linux from a CD or floppy
copy linux.mbr to the root dir of the windows partition (may need to use a
floppy as a middle man as you can't write to NTFS)
edit c:\boot.ini to have a new line involving linux.mbr

reboot ... and cross all your fingers and toes.

yes, this is very brief. but there are several HOWTOs on this topic. see


> In the near future, I will be setting up a disk for dual booting Windoze
and Linux.
> Where can I find sage advice, please, about the TYPE of partition I should
> With thanks,
> Peter
> --
> Peter R. Ellis

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