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Windows Linux DualBoot

Posted by Parth Barot on March 8, 2006

Windows Linux DualBoot Tutorial

This tutorial was written to help set up a dual boot on a SATA drive but it will also work for PATA so continue forward and I will let you know if you need to skip something. In order to have a fully functional dual boot system it is preferred that Windows be loaded first. After that you can load Linux and easily dump the boot configuration on Windows NTLDR file (comparable to Linux boot file).

At least one of the following scenarios exist and that is why you are here reading this tutorial;

  • You have a new Serial HDD (SATA) with no software installed,
  • You have a new Parallel HDD (PATA) with no software installed,
  • You have a HDD with Windows already installed, or
  • You have a HDD with Linux already installed.

I used the following software;

  • Windows 2000 Pro (this tutorial should work for 98 and XP also)
  • SuSe 10

1. Setting Up a New SATA Drive

Note: The most popular Windows platforms, Windows 2000 and Windows XP (pre SP1), were released before and during the release of SATA drives.

In order for Windows to recognize the SATA HDD you will need to get the SATA/Raid drivers and place them on a floppy. These drivers can usually be obtained at the web site of your motherboard manufacturer. Look for Raid drivers (usually the location of the SATA drivers also) in their driver download section. If you can search the site look for TXTSETUP.OEM. You absolutely need this file and it will more than likely be located with the drivers needed. If you are unable to find the drivers needed then see this article for information on integrating installation packs and service packs.

TXTSETUP.OEM is a must! Windows Install uses this file to search for the applicable drivers. Proceed to Install windows.

2. Setting Up a PATA Drive

If this is a brand new drive go ahead and proceed to Install Windows.

If this is an installed hard drive with only Linux loaded, then back up and copy all your configuration files to a floppy, cd, or another drive. After that is done and verified the files were copied you need to clean the hard drive so you can start fresh and load Windows first.

If this is an installed drive with Windows already loaded you need to ensure there is sufficient unpartitioned space for Linux to load on. You have two options.

Note: There is a difference in free space and unpartitioned space. Typically when users load Windows they select the C: drive and the whole drive is formatted to NSTF or FAT. Linux needs unformatted/unpartitioned space to install.

  1. You can do a fresh install of Windows, or
  2. You can free up unpartitioned space if you have a partition program.

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