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Sharing a computer between two operating systems often requires dual booting. You can use either operating system on the computer, but not both at once. Each operating system boots from and uses its own hard drives or disk partitions.
This chapter explains how to configure your system to boot into both Red Hat Linux and another operating system. For clarity, we will assume that the other operating system is Microsoft Windows™. But the general procedures are similar for other operating systems.
If Red Hat Linux will coexist on your system with OS/2, you must create your disk partitions with the OS/2 partitioning software — otherwise, OS/2 may not recognize the disk partitions. During the installation, do not create any new partitions, but do set the proper partition types for your Linux partitions using parted.
If you want to be able to read from and write to a Windows NT, 2000, or XP partition from Red Hat Linux, do not set the Windows partition to file system type NTFS. If the Windows partition is of type NTFS, the partition can not be read in Red Hat Linux. If the Windows partition is of type VFAT, the partition can be read in Red Hat Linux.
If you have multiple Windows partitions, not all of them have to be of the same file system type. If you have more than one partition in Windows, you can set one to use VFAT and store any files you wish to share between Windows and Red Hat Linux on it.
If you do not have any operating systems installed on your computer, install Windows first and then install Red Hat Linux.
If you are installing Windows 9x or Windows ME, you can not define partitions during the Windows installation. Install Windows, and then refer to Section G.3 Partitioning with parted for instructions on using parted to repartition your hard drive and create free space for Red Hat Linux.
If you are installing Windows NT or Windows 2000, you can create partitions of a specific size for Windows. Leave enough free space (space that is not partitioned or formatted) on the hard drive to install Red Hat Linux.
While partitioning your hard drive, keep in mind that the BIOS in some older systems cannot access more than the first 1024 cylinders on a hard drive. If this is the case, leave enough room for the /boot Linux partition on the first 1024 cylinders of your hard drive to boot Linux. The other Linux partitions can be after cylinder 1024.
In parted, 1024 cylinders equals 528MB. Refer to http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/bios/sizeMB504-c.html for more information.
Refer to Section 1.3 Do You Have Enough Disk Space? to determine how much disk space to leave. After installing Windows, refer to Section G.2 Installing Red Hat Linux in a Dual-Boot Environment.
If the computer you want to install Red Hat Linux on is currently running Windows (or some other operating system you have installed), you have an important decision to make. Your choices are:
Do you want Red Hat Linux to be the only operating system on your computer, despite the fact that you already have Windows on your computer? If yes, you do not have to configure a dual-boot system. Backup any information that you want to save and start the installation. During the installation, if you choose to have the installation program automatically partition your system on the Disk Partitioning Setup screen, choose Remove all partitions on this system. If you choose manual partitioning with Disk Druid, delete all the existing DOS (Windows) partitions and then create your Linux partitions.
Do you want to install Red Hat Linux and then have the option of booting either Red Hat Linux or your other operating system? A Red Hat Linux installation can be performed so that Red Hat Linux is installed on your system, but the other operating system is not affected. Since you already have Windows installed, you need to allocate disk space for Linux. Refer to Section G.1 Allocating Disk Space for Linux, and then refer to Section G.2 Installing Red Hat Linux in a Dual-Boot Environment.
Remember to back up all important information before reconfiguring your hard drive. Reconfiguring your hard drive can result in the loss of data if you are not extremely careful. Additionally, be sure to create a boot diskette for both operating systems in case the boot loader fails to recognize either of them.
If you already have Windows installed on your system, you must have free hard drive space available on which to install Red Hat Linux. Your choices are as follows:
Add a new hard drive.
Use an existing hard drive or partition.
Create a new partition.
For all three options, be aware that the BIOS in some older systems cannot access more than the first 1024 cylinders on a hard drive. If this is the case, the /boot Linux partition must be located on the first 1024 cylinders of your hard drive to boot Linux.
The simplest way to make room for Red Hat Linux is to add a new hard drive to the computer and then install Red Hat Linux on that drive. For example, if you add a second IDE hard drive to the computer, the Red Hat Linux installation program will recognize it as hdb and the existing drive (the one used by Windows) as hda. (For SCSI hard drives, the newly installed Red Hat Linux hard drive would be recognized as sdb and the other hard drive as sda.)
If you choose to install a new hard drive for Linux, all you need to do is start the Red Hat Linux installation program. After starting the Red Hat Linux installation program, just make sure you choose to install Linux on the newly installed hard drive (such as hdb or sdb) rather than the hard drive used by Windows.
Another way to make room for Linux is to use a hard drive or disk partition that is currently being used by Windows. For example, suppose that Windows Explorer shows two hard drives, C: and D:. This could indicate either that the computer has two hard drives, or a single hard drive with two partitions. In either case (assuming the hard drive has enough disk space), you can install Red Hat Linux on the hard drive or disk partition that Windows recognizes as D:.
Windows uses letters to refer to removable drives (for example, a ZIP drive) and network storage (virtual drives) as well as for local hard drive space; you cannot install Linux on a removable or network drive.
This choice is available to you only if the computer has two or more hard drives or disk partitions.
If a local Windows partition is available in which you want to install Linux, complete the following steps:
Copy all data you want to save from the selected hard drive or partition (D: in this example) to another location.
Start the Red Hat Linux installation program and tell it to install in the designated drive or partition — in this example, in the hard drive or partition that Windows designates as D:. Note that Red Hat Linux distinguishes between hard drives and disk partitions. Thus:
If C: and D: on this computer refer to two separate hard drives, the installation program will recognize them as hda and hdb (IDE) or sda and sdb (SCSI). Tell the installation program to install on hdb or sdb.
If C: and D: refer to partitions on a single drive, the installation program will recognize them as hda1 and hda2 (or sda1 and sda2). During the partitioning phase of the Red Hat Linux installation, delete the second partition (hda2 or sda2), then partition the unallocated free space. You do not have to delete the second partition prior to starting the Red Hat Linux installation.
The third way to make room for Linux is to create a new partition for Red Hat Linux on the hard drive being used by the other operating system. If Windows Explorer shows only one hard drive (C:), and you do not want to add a new hard drive, you must partition the drive. After partitioning, Windows Explorer will see a smaller C: drive; and, when you run the Red Hat Linux installation program, you can partition the remainder of the drive for Linux.
A number of non-destructive third-party partitioning programs are available for the Windows operating system. If you choose to use one of these, consult their documentation.
For instructions on how to partition with parted, a program that is included with Red Hat Linux, refer to Section G.3 Partitioning with parted.