Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (686 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Dual^H^H^H^H Multi boot OS12.3 and Vista
On 2013-07-25 13:14 (GMT+0200) C composed:

Dylan wrote:

I need to set up a machine to dual boot OS12.3 and Windows Vista. I figure
the process will be as follows:

1 - Install OS12.3 (During the process, create a partition for Vista)
2 - Install Vista into the prepared partition
3 - Boot from the OS12.3 install media to re-install GRUB with Windows added

Are there any gotchas in the process I should be aware of?

I recommend being conservative on the amount of space you allocate to openSUSE / partition, and keep /home on a separate partition. Furthermore, if you make two / partitions, then you have the option to test each next release without committing to it before you or it are ready. Once you have a second Linux installed, you have the other readily available to use to repair the other should anything happen to disrupt its use.

I recommend creating at least two small primary partitions, one FAT for Windows to use as its "/boot", the other for Linux /boot. A third small primary could be reserved for an alternate /boot for a second Linux, or for a master bootloader fully controlled by you. It might look somewhat like only without so many EXT# partitions. The extras there are for testing pre-release versions, and comparing behaviors among releases.

Ouch.. Vista :-(

Anyway, you've got the steps backwards. If you need to install a dual
boot system with Windows and any Linux distro, always install Windows
first (if possible).

The problem is that only works once. So, better to forget that myth and allow for what happens when it's not first installed. Meanwhile, completely partition before doing anything else, so that you fully control what goes where and how much space anything gets.

Windows does NOT play well with other OSes - it
assumes that it's the only OS on the planet, and behaves that way
during install.

Not exactly. When you pre-partition, it gives a list of partitions found, and you get to pick where it will live.

You install Windows first, and then Linux. openSUSE will nicely set
up GRUB for you when you install, including an entry for booting
Windows. This is the "least pain" route if you're setting up a system
with clean installs of Windows and Linux.

Least pain is ensuring Linux's bootloader goes on a primary partition instead of MBR. That way, when Windows needs to be reinstalled, it's a simple matter taking only seconds to use any Windows, DOS or Linux tool, including FDISK from decades ago, to restore active status to the Grub primary, if indeed you wish Grub to be the master bootloader. Window's bootloader is perfectly capable of "chainloading" to Grub.

If you have to install any version of Windows after installing Linux,
you will have to "repair" the MBR... it's definitely possible, but
it's a pain.

Repair of MBR is not necessary when it is not broken in the first place by putting Grub there. It's only necessary to flip 2 bits in the partition table to move bootable status back from Windows native to Linux native, if that's what's desired.

All the foregoing is applicable to MBR systems. If a newer EIF/GPT system, booting is simplified by shared use of a global boot partition.
"The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata ***
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