fortypoundhead.com

Dual boot Windows and Linux

Posted On 2011-02-20 by FortyPoundHead
Keywords:
Tags: Tutorial Software Hack/Tweak Tip Linux Windows
Views: 729


The internet is full of technical articles, many of which are way too complicated for the average computer user who just wants to solve a simple problem. If you pay close attention, the internet is also a place where the “gurus” spend a lot of time yelling for help in discussion boards and forums.

So don’t feel bad, nobody has all the answers.

So you want to dual boot Windows and Linux on the same computer—it is really quite easy. I only have enough room here to tell you the most common way to do this on a single hard drive or using multiple hard drives. Obviously then, there are many ways to get the job done, but there are some critical things you should know. Let’s start with some critical information.

Windows and Linux: Same Hard Drive

The windows operating system MUST occupy the master boot record (MBR). Linux, on the other hand does not have to. In this scenario, you must install windows first! After Windows has been successfully installed, then you can install Linux. This is critical! The Linux “boot loader” is called GRUB. When you install Linux—MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT INSTALL THE LINUX BOOT LOADER TO THE MBR.

Configure the Windows Boot Loader: A Two Step Process

It is also possible to use GRUB to dual boot Windows and Linux on the same drive but this is a bit more complex—the Windows boot loader will get the job done. In the following commands, you will create a copy of the Linux boot sector and then save it in a file in the top level directory under Windows (C:).

Step 1: Linux

From the shell in your Linux installation (boot from your installation disks):

Execute the following shell command, replacing /dev/hda3 with the location of your Linux boot partition.
shell# dd if=/dev/hda3 of=/bootsect.lnx bs=512 count=1
Copy the new file—bootsect.lnx—to a floppy disk and reboot to Windows.

Step 2: Windows

Copy bootsect.lnx to C: in Windows. Then execute the following command at the DOS prompt.
C:> attrib -H -R -S boot.ini
Edit boot.ini so that the first two lines are:
[boot loader]
timeout=30

After the last line, add:
c:bootsect.lnx=“Start Linux”
That’s it, you are done! Reboot your machine and you will see a menu allowing you to select either Windows or Linux. Congratulations.

Windows and Linux: Two Hard Drives

This is also quite easy. In this case, you will boot to the Linux drive. We will add Windows to the Linux boot loader (i.e., GRUB). GRUB is my favorite boot loader.

Edit the /boot/grub/grub.conf file. One of the very first lines should contain:
timeout=30
After the last line add:
title Start Windows
map (hd1) (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1

Reboot your machine to the Linux drive and you will see a menu allowing you to select between Linux or Windows. Nice work!


About the Author

FortyPoundHead has posted a total of 1974 articles.


Comments On This Post

No comments on this post yet!


Do you have a thought relating to this post? You can post your comment here. If you have an unrelated question, you can use the Q&A section to ask it.

Or you can drop a note to the administrators if you're not sure where you should post.


Your IP address is:54.163.209.109

Before you can post, you need to prove you are human. If you log in, this test goes away.




Recent Forum Posts

Advanced search added
dwirch posted on September 23, 2017 at about 13:44 in Site News

Job Spammer: Gaurav Mehta - AgreeYa Solutions
dwirch posted on September 22, 2017 at about 10:35 in Spammers

Job Spammer: Prutha Siri - Javelin Systems
dwirch posted on September 10, 2017 at about 6:15 in Spammers

New security implemented
dwirch posted on September 7, 2017 at about 7:16 in Site News

Malicious IP Checker Companion Tool
dwirch posted on August 12, 2017 at about 20:24 in Site News

Job Spammer: Steve Adams
dwirch posted on August 8, 2017 at about 7:44 in Spammers