Installing Linux Dual Boot With Windows OS

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Dual booting Linux becomes as simple as it can be if you understand your hard drive and its partitions and the way different OS looks and recognizes and displays it for you to view. It’s very simple to look at the partition table on a Windows machine all you need to do is just double click on the My computer icon. Also you can check the partition table by right clicking on My computer and then click on Manage and then select Disk Management.

Well how Linux identifies and names your partition will be important

For IDE drives Linux recognizes the drives with the name

hd(x)

For SCSI drives Linux recognizes the drives with the name

sd(x)

Where x letter differentiates multiple hard drives for example if you have two IDE hard drives on your computer Linux will detect the first as hda and the second as hdb. Similarly if you have three SCSI disks on your system it will be detected as sda, sdb and sdc.

Now that’s how Physical hard drives either SCSI or IDE are detected on Linux, lets also understand the way the partitions windows loader 3.1 download are detected by Linux say if you have three Partitions on a your first hard drive it will be detected as

hda1
hda2
hda3

and if you have four partitions on your second hard drive they will be detected as

hdb1
hdb2
hdb3
hdb4

That is as simple as it is. This understanding is important and also you will come to know about this once we understand dual boot installation.

Now let’s take an example and then start our Linux installation to work as Dual Boot. I will be taking the example of my computer but will not get into the complexity of Quad Boot as on my computer and that may confuse some.

Points to Remember before starting a Dual Boot Installation:

1) You should have an empty partition at least 10 GB if you want to install a GUI based Linux and other necessary software. If you have more there is nothing like that.
2) You should never use Auto Partitioning when installing Linux on a Dual boot installation.
3) Make a rough note of the total partition on your hard drive. Like if you have C: D: and E: make a note like below
C: 10 GB
D: 20 GB
E: 10 GB
4) Make sure to install the GRUB on the Master Boot Record or else you may have to make a bootable drive say a floppy drive each time you want to logon to your Linux and I don’t recommend doing that.
5) Install Linux on the last empty partition
6) Let’s get started.

So our assumption is that you have three partitions (if you have two partitions even then you can install Linux on the second partition provided you are ready to loose anything stored on that second partition) your computer and the partition no three i.e. E: is empty so we will install our Linux on the last partition empty.

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