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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    XP / Linux dual boot assistance please

    I'm being one of the many who are looking at this now - no need to guess why!

    I've down-loaded Zorin as it claims to be XP user friendly! I've followed a YouTube video on doing the install - it seemed pretty straightforward, but the installation was done using its disk management tool to split the existing operating system partition to create a new partition for Zorin.

    What the video didn't address was how to select an existing partition for this installation. With two drives on my machine, I would like if possible to put the new OS files into a partition I've set up on the 2nd drive so the whole lot can be easily and safely uninstalled if I don't like it. Can this be done, and if so how please?

    Rob

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  3. #2
    Star Lounger
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    I recently helped replace XP with Ubuntu on several computers whose resources were scant by today's standards (1.6GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 100GB hard drive.) In every case the 32 bit version of Ubuntu ran perfectly. Several days ago I installed Ubuntu 64 bit on a second hard drive in my Windows 7 desktop. Like you, I wanted it on a totally separate drive that would not interfere with or contaminate my Windows system.

    The process is relatively straightforward if you start with a clean second drive, i.e. no partitions. The process is detailed in this link. Make the swap partition the same size as your RAM or at least 2GB.

    http://askubuntu.com/questions/31278...in-a-dual-boot

    The only thing you need to change is placing the boot loaded on the second drive, which will probably be /dev/sdb. That is presuming you want your PC to normally boot to XP. To boot to Ubuntu, just access your BIOS boot order list and select the second drive. If you follow the instructions in the link, the boot loader for Ubuntu will be placed on your Windows drive, which does offer the advantage of providing a convenient OS selection menu at startup.

    Returning to my comments in the first paragraph. If you don't have a need to run Windows software, Ubuntu is a viable total replacement for XP. Some Windows software can be run on Ubuntu using the Wine package, but not everything. The latest Ubuntu version, 14.04 LTS, is very impressive and includes all of the apps you're likely to need. Check out the Ubuntu website and take their Tour.

  4. #3
    New Lounger
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    Rob,

    I just stumbled upon a nice resource for Linux exploration: http://virtualboximages.com/

    I already had VirtualBox installed (virtualbox.org) that allowed me to work with virtual machines. The advantage of the 'images' site is that you can download VirtualBox appliances. These are archives that include a virtual hard disk and a VirtualBox prefs file. Double-clicking the latter launches VB and opens the virtual machine. For login, both username and password are 'adminuser'. This would give you the chance to explore Zorin (you can search for it) and see if it really is friendly enough for you.

    Another alternative is downloading a ISO image file (from a distribution vendor like Ubuntu.com), burning it to DVD to create a Live DVD and then boot from it to try Linux before committing. It will also allow you to install later, if you desire. A recent Linux install went ridiculously easy. It noticed i had another OS (Win7) and asked if I wanted to install Linux (Ubuntu in my case) alongside. I clicked Yes. It did the smart partitioning.

    Naturally, I would encourage you to have a backup first.

    By the way, I installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (long term support) that just came out about a week ago. But later found a site that has 10 steps to get you to a full desktop environment (plays audio CDs, DVD films, good selection of fonts, etc.) It does take some familiarity with terminal commands and adding a couple package repositories to the prefs. The instructions are straight-forward and mostly copy-and-paste to the command prompt.

    Things to do after installing Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr
    http://howtoubuntu.org/things-to-do-...04-trusty-tahr

    Good luck.

    Paul
    Last edited by xpuserpjc; 2014-05-02 at 01:35.

  5. #4
    New Lounger
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    Rob,

    Since you are probably running XP, which is a 32-bit OS, you might want to get a 32-bit Linux installer. You can check if your computer supports 64-bit addressing (can handle more RAM, etc.) by using the Securable utility:

    https://www.grc.com/securable.htm

    It will tell you if it is 32 or 64, whether it supports hardware security (DEP), and if it can handle virtualization, like VirtualBox.

    I also find it handy to know about the CPU and RAM available. Start > Control Panel > System: General tab. That info is under "Computer:" I also run Speccy from piriform.com to get a summary. I jot both sets of info on a pad in case I need it.

    Here is another article (from a site with good articles):

    Windows XP Support Ends Today: Here’s How to Switch to Linux
    http://www.howtogeek.com/186591/wind...itch-to-linux/

    By the way, if your hardware is old, there are lighter weight Linux distributions ('distros') and window managers out there. I haven't had to take that path, fortunately.

    The Ubuntu folks also have good articles, like this one:

    DualBoot/Windows
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DualBoot/Windows

    Again, good luck to you.

    Paul

  6. #5
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJG View Post
    I recently helped replace XP with Ubuntu on several computers whose resources were scant by today's standards (1.6GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 100GB hard drive.) In every case the 32 bit version of Ubuntu ran perfectly. Several days ago I installed Ubuntu 64 bit on a second hard drive in my Windows 7 desktop. Like you, I wanted it on a totally separate drive that would not interfere with or contaminate my Windows system.

    The process is relatively straightforward if you start with a clean second drive, i.e. no partitions. The process is detailed in this link. Make the swap partition the same size as your RAM or at least 2GB.

    http://askubuntu.com/questions/31278...in-a-dual-boot

    The only thing you need to change is placing the boot loaded on the second drive, which will probably be /dev/sdb. That is presuming you want your PC to normally boot to XP. To boot to Ubuntu, just access your BIOS boot order list and select the second drive. If you follow the instructions in the link, the boot loader for Ubuntu will be placed on your Windows drive, which does offer the advantage of providing a convenient OS selection menu at startup.

    Returning to my comments in the first paragraph. If you don't have a need to run Windows software, Ubuntu is a viable total replacement for XP. Some Windows software can be run on Ubuntu using the Wine package, but not everything. The latest Ubuntu version, 14.04 LTS, is very impressive and includes all of the apps you're likely to need. Check out the Ubuntu website and take their Tour.
    can i run .EXE and .COM compiled objects on linux like i do from a DOS prompt?
    don

  7. #6
    4 Star Lounger
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    No. But maybe Windows-based programs if you have Wines installed on Linux.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=wine...10.O2nu6VBGuRw

  8. #7
    New Lounger
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    Personally I hadn't any troubles installing any GRUB- or LILO-managed Linux distros over XP, on one or more physical drives. The key to success was always to install Linux over Windows, not Windows over Linux. May be something changes?

  9. #8
    3 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    GRUB- or LILO-managed Linux distros over XP,
    Both can be treacherous to the uninitiated. Both myself and my Linux friend have killed a company computer. We both had enough knowledge to recover, but not everyone does.

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  10. #9
    4 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgeek.1974 View Post
    Personally I hadn't any troubles installing any GRUB- or LILO-managed Linux distros over XP, on one or more physical drives. The key to success was always to install Linux over Windows, not Windows over Linux. May be something changes?
    Most Linux installers know about Windows, and can recognize a Windows System, partition the hard drive, install Linux in the new partition, and have the boot manager properly start both operating systems.

    The Windows installer does not know squat about Linux. Microsoft certainly knows about Linux, but they do not build this knowledge into their installer.

    Therefore it is much easier to install XP first and Linux second. It can be done the other way, but it's complicated. I have considered adding XP to a system that already has Linux, but decided that it was easier to clean the hard drive, and start over with XP and then Linux.

  11. #10
    2 Star Lounger
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    I have run Linux and Windows on several different computers. One good thing about Linux is that it can be booted from almost any properly set up partition.

    I recommend installing EasyBCD from NeoSmart Technologies. This free program makes multi-booting easier to manage. Their documentation explains the proper procedure to multi-boot Windows and Linux.

  12. #11
    4 Star Lounger
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    EasyBCD would be nice to use but it seems you need a Facebook account just to download the free version.

    http://neosmart.net/Download/Register/1
    Downloading EasyBCD…

    Please like EasyBCD on Facebook to continue to your download..
    I was trying to get the latest and can click the Download button but it does nothing.

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