Dual Boot W7 & Linux (Fedora Core 11)

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by jimc52, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. jimc52

    jimc52 Senior Member

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    Windows 7 is so new that there isn't much out there on the W7 boot loader or how to install Linux in a dual boot configuration with Windows 7. Some comments on certain Linux sites suggests that W7 doesn't "like" Linux. Some people have lost the Windows 7 bootloader trying to install Linux. I want to install Fedora Core 11 in a dual boot configuration with W7. Does anyone have a KNOWN good step-by-step method or know of a URL with step-by-step methods for doing this?

    How is Windows 7 bootloader DIFFERENT or the SAME, from Vista Bootloader?

    Thanks
     
  2. Richie086

    Richie086 New Member

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    It's not that it does not 'like' linux, it simply cant read linux file systems. It sees that there is something there, but has no way to read the data.

    You need to install windows 7 first, but dont tell windows to take up the entire drive (if you computer only has one drive).. If you have two hard drives, install windows on one and linux on the other.. Regardless of your configuration, I would reccomend doing Windows first because installing Linux first will mean the Windows installer wont look at the Linux install and realize there is anything there.

    This is because when you install GRUB or LILO (linux boot managers), it by default will install itself onto the disks MBR (master boot record), or the first place it looks when your computer finishes the POST process. GRUB or LILO (grub is the only boot manager i have a lot of experience with, so i suggest it over LILO if it's even still around) loads and guess what, Linux can see the Windows install, knows what it is, and will create a boot entry for it for you to select from.

    Basically if after installing Linux you have issues with Windows not being able to boot from Grub, it is almost always due to the GRUB configuration not pointing to the correct partition.
    I did find this blog posting from a guy who looks like he has done a dual Windows 7/Linux install that was successful. Looks like both lifehacker.com and tuxmachines.org have linked the article, so it's safe to say this should work for you :)

    Adding Windows 7 to Linux Multiboot Loko’s Domain
     
    #2 Richie086, Nov 7, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  3. jimc52

    jimc52 Senior Member

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    That was very helpful! Thank you. I have always been confused tho, with the Linux descriptions of hard disks and partitions and installing Linux has always been such a scary (hit or miss) thing for me. In the article you just pointed out to me, he says that...

    "You can spot which partition holds what by the boot flags, such as "/boot". Linux should be the one with the output "/dev/hda3" or another consisting only of a forward slash (/)."

    Ok, what is a "boot flag?" What bothers me is the use of the term "such as," because the instance he gives is not definitive, but general, and my system may not fit that description. Is there something out there that is definitive and will give me concrete examples of "boot flags" so that I know what I am looking at when I see it?

    Generally, past installs of Linux have given me a default recommended install. Does the default recommended install take into account the fact W7 bootloader is in the MBR? Where do I put Grub if it is not to go into the MBR?

    I get the impression that:

    W7 starts first, and then Grub starts...is this true?

    I definitely do not want to loose W7 here, so just being very cautious.

    I really appreciate your feedback :) THank you!
     
  4. Richie086

    Richie086 New Member

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    Boot flags are simply pointers to tell GRUB where to look to find the different partitions

    When you install Linux (not all version work this way, but more often than not) you need a boot partition (usually very small in size, all it contains in the code that gets your version of the Linux kernel up and running. It is usually located in /boot and the 'flag' is just referring to the fact that it's pointing to that location of /boot

    If you wanted to see what is in /boot, just open up a terminal and type
    Code:
    ls /boot
    You will see a few files, such as initrd-#.##, config-#.## (replace # with kernel versions)

    Next thing Linux needs is the root partition or /, this is where all the actual files you read, write, execute, delete are stored (directories such as /bin /sbin /etc are part of the root partition). This partition will take up the majority of the disk space since it contains all the files necessary for Linux to be Linux. I usually set this partition to be 95-98% of the size of the drive. The type of file system used commonly is EXT3, JFS, ReiserFS, XFS... Different distributions tend to favor one over the other and there are definite advantages to each. I would check this out for more info List of file systems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Finally, the third type of flie system is called a swap partition. This is usually double the size of the RAM your computer has installed. It is supposedly used to store temp data from RAM to your hard disk, but is very seldom used these days. The swap partition is not mounted in a directory like the /boot or / (root) and the file system type is called SWAP..

    There is a way to do a non MBR grub install, and it is actually what you need to do if you have Linux installed first, and want to install windows on the same drive. It can get messy and I don't recommend trying it unless you for some reason want Windows on a machine with Linux already installed (like an actual server that is in use).

    If it does not write to the MBR, you will speicify a location for it (usually in /boot) and requires some knowledge of the nitty gritty stuff in Linux that I don't advise doing on any production machine. In reality, a real server is not going to be running two OS's due to the fact you are going to want that one operating system up 24/7 365 or as close as possible to that time frame.
    You would never 'loose' W7. Worst case scenerio is it points to the wrong location on the disk to look for W7. This is rare but does happen occasionally. If this does happen you can edit the commands that GRUB issues when the screen pops up. I would not worry about this too much. If you do run into this problem, be sure to not panic and reinstall. Post back here and let me know its not booting and I can help you further. Basically every situation is really determined by how many hard drives you have connected, where they are in the communications chain, if you you use SATA, IDE or SCSI drives, etc. All of these things determine the location that you will have to point the GRUB config to look at. I suggest taking a look at the /dev directory in a Linux console to see the huge list of devices to see what i'm talking about.

    No.. Your computer goes thru the POST process, next when it goes to see what i can find on the hard disk, it checks the MBR. The MBR is where Windows usually stores its boot manager. GRUB also installs by default to the MBR. If GRUB is installed, it will present you with a menu that lets you pick between windows, Linux, FreeBSD, whatever you have installed. Before you make a selection, Linux is not loaded, Windows is not loaded. You are just interacting with a little chunk of software that will then load your OS of choice..

    hope that helps!
     
    #4 Richie086, Nov 7, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  5. jimc52

    jimc52 Senior Member

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    Hi Ritchie, Again

    Hi Rich: Thank you for replying again. It's been a rainy and LAZY day here in Oregon, and I just slept through hours of it. Got back on line to find your last post. Ok, so to pick up on where you left off...Right now, I have 5 actual hard disks, 4 of them are internal SATA drives and one is an external driver I use for backup purposes in Windows.

    So, that leaves me with four internal hard disks. I currently have W7 installed on my main hard disk, it is a 1 teribyte drive. It has 3 partitions: C (970 gigs), a 100 Mb partition W7 created that is system reserved, and G partition with another 100 Mb that I do not know how it got created...somehow, when W7 was installed.

    I then have 3 other internal SATA drives, D, E and F drives, each are 500 gig HD SATA drives, and I want to dedicate
    the last drive F to Linux. This means that I do NOT want the main hard disk (C,G, and Reserve Partitions) to be used
    for Linux. I have plenty of hard disk space on these three other drives I am basically not using. F would be a perfect
    drive to use to run Linux with. I have used device manager to get the details on each of the hard disks, including the physical hard drive serial number so that in Anaconda I can tell which drive is which even if I don't understand completely the Linux hard disk number/lettering system. As I remember from a while back, Linux treats SATA devices with the same naming convention as SCSI devices. Please tell me if this is wrong. I do NOT have a single IDE device on my computer (nor do I want IDE)...and I know that Linux prefers an IDE device over SATA. As a matter of fact, I know the last time I had a mixture of IDE and SATA devices, Linux (Fedora Core) only got confused finding both kinds of drives and I had a corrupted install...boot device errors, all kinds of problems and I decided to not use Linux if it could not properly detect the difference and cause me such evil headaches. Now that I have stripped OUT all IDE devices, Linux will have no opportunity to get "confused." It is going to be forced to deal with all SATA devices this time. My one DVD ROM device is also SATA.

    Ok, so essentially, I have a 500 Gig hard disk, in Windows, Letter Drive F and I want to put Fedora Core 11 on THIS and no other drive. So here is what I am thinking or wanting to know:

    F Drive:

    /Boot partition - THIS IS WHERE GRUB GOES? Yes or no? And is this the MBR of the physical F drive, NOT THE C drive!?
    OR - must I put GRUB on the C drive into MBR? If NOT in the MBR on C drive, WHERE do I put it?

    / The root partition on F drive - Where the rest of Linux O/S goes

    /SWAP - I have 8 Gigs of RAM memory, so I guess this should be 16 gigs? on F drive?

    Will you please confirm this with me? How would I make a backup copy of the current MBR on C disk (1 Teribyte drive) so I could restore/repair the boot loader for W7 in case things go WRONG? Murphy's Law, ya know! I don't leave anything to chance.

    I really appreciate your help. Reading some of the other rare comments on here, I see some other people have lost W7 bootloader attempting to install Linux, so I don't want that to happen. Either we get it right or I don't do this.

    Thanks for all your help! Jim
     
    #5 jimc52, Nov 8, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  6. Richie086

    Richie086 New Member

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    KK.. This will make your particular situation a bit more difficult (possibly). This is due to the fact that more drives mean more possibilities for device names.
    KK so you have a disk you want to use for your linux install.. Keep in mind when it comes to Linux, drive letters do not exist at all.

    Yeah it CAN be very confusing, even for people who have been using Linux for nearly 10 years :) How it usually works is all the devices (anything plugged into the computer, internally and externally) has an entry under the /dev (short for devices) directory. So the first partition of your first hard drive, which is a SATA drive would be /dev/sda1. if there are other partitions on that drive it would continue on like this /dev/sda2, /dev/sda3

    The next disk, assuming its a SATA disk would follow the same naming convention, but will be called sdb so it would be /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdb2 and on and on depending on the logical partitions.

    Yeah usually they will follow the same sda, sdb, sdc naming convetion. I think the only time it uses a different naming convention would be if you had a SCSI tape backup device, i know it uses some wierd ass naming convention that I ran into once. Cant remeber what it was, but I would say generally it will be sda, sdb, etc..
    That USED to be the case, it all really depended on your choice of distribution. I remember a few years back that my Sillicon Image SATA controller would only work under debian. Red Hat and many other distros just didnt seem to have any way to load a working driver for the device no matter what I did. I know I have installed newer versions of Fedora or Red Hat since and now it works. I think it was just due to the fact that it couldnt find a good choice of driver. Debian based distros seem to be ahead of the curve these days when it comes to supporting cutting edge hardware. This is espically so when talking about Ubuntu or any of it's variants.
    Uh.. I would personally overwrite the MBR on the C drive, because that is where the computer is going to look when starting up. Like I said earlier, it is possible to install grub elsewhere, but not even I would feel totally comfortable assisting you in getting everything to work properly. I did it once or twice when I was in college, and I dont remember it being too easy to get working.
    Bingo! you got that one..
    Uh.. Well... I wouldnt personally. I think the idea of the SWAP space being x2 the size of the RAM installed is a carry over from the days when 512MB of RAM was a LOT of memory. Kind of like in windows, your page file is usually around double the amount of memory of your physical memory.. 8GB is a LOT of RAM.. Try making the swap space 1-2GB becuase seriously I have very rarely seen it used at all. The memory management in Linux is really well written from what i hear from people who are linux developers who know the nuts and bolts a bit better than I do.
    I have never made a backup of the MBR to my knowledge.. Maybe it is a normal thing included when you do a backup of the disk, I am not really sure. I would take a look at some of the products that a company named Acronis makes. They may have a tool to backup the MBR.

    Not a prob. I am always happy to help if possible. If you want, send me a private message that contains a way to get ahold of you via IM or something.. I'd be happy to try and help you out to make sure this goes smoothly. That way if something DOES go wrong, you have someone on hand to try and make sense of it all :)

    Richie
     
  7. Richie086

    Richie086 New Member

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    #7 Richie086, Nov 8, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  8. jimc52

    jimc52 Senior Member

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    Yippie! We DID IT! And Here is HOW TO

    I think I am about beside myself with JOY! I just took the plung Richie, and installed Fedora Core 11. I had to modify the GRUB Boot Loader to make it work. At first, it looked like I lost the bootmgr (boot manager) for Windows 7, but it was just a matter of modifying the GRUB boot loader. As I said, I am not a genious when it comes to recognizing all the meticulous drive numbering system(s) within Linux, but I took a chance and WON! I thought that this is an excellent post here on the Windows7Forums and I might document what I did so that other Windows 7 users can take up the lead on this to get a working dual boot configuration going for themselves. So here is the detail of what I did, after working with Richie here who gets a chunk of the credit for encouraging me to go ahead, even though I was fearful I would loose the Windows 7 boot loader which resides in the MBR of the primary hard disk (SATA 1) on which my Windows 7 is installed.
    I had a big fear here because right now Windows 7 is so new that there is little to NOTHING on the net with anyone else suggesting on how to do this. So let me be one of the first people to post a HOW TO on how to do this and make it work with Windows 7.

    PREPARATION: The first thing you want to do is get a good backup software. I already had purchased Acronis True Image Home 2010 because I have always believed in thoroughly backing up things anyway. So I went ahead when I bought Windows 7 Ultimate and purchased a copy of Acronis True Image Home 2010 (Server backup and disaster recovery solutions for Windows and Linux OSs, onsite system protection). The important thing is to make sure you have all your hardware issues in Windows 7 solved first. I had a minor issue with an external USB hard disk not being detected. Once that was solved, everything else fell into place in Windows 7. First thing that I did was to make a Windows 7 Boot Disk with Acronis. I tested this disk on reboot to make sure I could reboot with this emergency disk first). Get into BIOS and set your first boot device as your ROM drive, save the change in BIOS and then boot into the Acronis Emergency CD/DVD or thumb drive (as it may be). This way, you know you are covered in case the Linux install fails and you loose the Windows 7 boot file in the MBR. Next thing I did, was to make a complete system backup image to DVD's of all the partitions on my primary drive, so that in case of failure, I could completely reinstall Windows 7, if necessary, first by booting into the Acronis Boot Disk (emergency disk) and then restoring all the partitions on my primary drive with the latest backup on DVD. Since I have a relatively new install of Windows 7, I only have about 38 Gigs of data to compress. I used the Maximum Compression feature in Acronis, to get the number of required DVD's down to just 3 DVD's (four total, with the boot disk). Now that I had this backup to rely on, a lot of my fears faded away...I could afford to experiment without committing digital suicide going into unknown territory! So my first advice to anyone who does this is...create an emergency boot disk, where the MBR is backed up and make a complete image of all your partitions so that you can, if all else fails, restore your Windows 7 system.

    Second. Go into device manager. I happen to have 4 internal SATA drives and one external SATA. SATA1 on the motherboard is the first hard drive and it is the hard disk with Windows 7 on it. Don't forget that Windows 7 creates a special 100 Mb RESERVED partition (I think this must be a lot like the SWAP partition in Linux). You need to make sure your backup to disk also backs up this partition too. Anyway, since I have 5 hard disks, I needed to make sure that I was not going to overwrite or wipe out my Windows 7 install. So I clicked on each hard disk in device manager (in the run box, type "device manager" without quotes and bring up the device manager. Go to DISK DRIVES, and write down the SERIAL NUMBER for each hard disk. Each hard disk has an internal serial number and device manager will show this.
    This is critical in making sure you don't wipe out your Windows 7 hard disk! Right click, PROPERTIES, go to the VOLUMES tab and click on POPULATE button and confirm all the information. Write down on a piece of paper your DRIVE LETTER followed by the SERIAL NUMBER of the device and which disks contain what on your system. In my case, I have three 500 gig hard disks to mess with and nothing on them, so I decided that I would dedicate one whole hard disk to a Linux O/S install. This meant, I didn't have to try to squeeze Linux onto my primary (C) drive by having to make room (resize the partition to make room on it). If all you have is just one hard disk, you are going to run into problems because Windows now requires TWO partitions on a single hard drive where the operating system resides (the 100 mb RESERVED partition and the partition with Windows 7 itself). Linux requires three partitions: /boot partition, /root partition, SWAP partition. This would add up to 5 partitions, which violates the maximum of 4 partitions per hard disk device rule, So now, in order to get Linux installed you are going to have to have a second hard disk, one that only has one current partition at the most on it and no more (since if you are going to use a second hard disk for windows too, you will have to have at least one primary partition on the secondary disk, right, formatted NTFS?). This would leave you with three remaining partitions which is what you need in Linux, as I mentioned earlier. However, I would recommend that you do not put any windows files on the secondary hard disk and just let Linux install entirely on that hard disk. Not to fear, if you have already formatted NTFS on the secondary drive and have only files you can toss out or sacrifice, you can merely let Linux wipe the secondary drive and format the drive with one of several Linux file systems. I happen to have some prior Linux experience and I chose the Ext3 file system because it is a journaled file system, like NTFS, it stores the pointers to files in a database like file strucutre, which improves stability and reliability. Even though Ext4 is out, newer file systems sometimes have bugs in them, so staying with an older form of file system type, adds a level of assurance it is more stable and much less bug prone.

    Ok, so if you didn't have a second hard disk, then get one! Even if you have an older one sitting around you aren't using.
    Linux is very good at detecting hardware and will easily detect a secondary HD device.

    There are many MANY flavors of Linux, but the one I like the best is Fedora Core (Red Hat). Fedora Project
    You can download the full iso of either the 32 or 64 bit version and use imageburn (a free utility), The Official ImgBurn Website, to write an iso DVD. I suggest the DVD since if you do it with CD's it will require 6 of them. I have found from past installs, that CD installations are more prone to "disk not found" and I/O readying errors...which more often than not leads to a failed or corrupted install of Linux. It is far better to download the DVD version and burn it to a single DVD and get rid of the idea of having to eject CD's and input CD's. You can also take a shortcut like I did...I went to Barnes and Noble Bookstore and bought a copy of the DVD in a Fedora magazine (in the B&N magazine section). This saves me the trouble of downloading, burning and running a hash check to make sure all 3.6 gigs of data are not corrupted. So whether you do it the hard way by downloading and burning the latest iso or you do it the e-z way like I did and just buy it, is up to you. There are also services on the internet where you can purchase a burned iso copy for a small charge + shipping.

    I decided that one whole hard disk would be dedicated to Linux. I made sure I had the serial number for the device so that when the Fedora Linux Installer (Called Anaconda) gets to the disk detection and partitioning section, I would know right away which disk was which. In the Linux convention of naming devices, Sda is my first hard disk, and if you read back, Richie also mentioned this. This also happens to be hd0 in GRUB (The Grand Unified Bootloader) in Linux. All these conventions and names can be confusing! So you might want to do a little net read to familiarize yourself with the device naming conventions in Linux before doing this...In my case, I decided I would sacrifice F drive to Linux as the test guinea pig device. I took Richie's advice to install GRUB into the MBR of my primary Sda device (where windows is installed). This effectively overwrites the Windows 7 bootloader file in the MBR and replaces it with GRUB. Now, the fact is, that I added a /BOOT partition to my Windows F drive (in Linux, this turned out to be Sdb drive, or the second drive in my system...note the "b" rather than the "a"). This means that the boot is passed to the /BOOT partition of the secondary drive from GRUB. OK, See the next post, they will only allow me 10,000 characters!
     
    #8 jimc52, Nov 9, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  9. jimc52

    jimc52 Senior Member

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    Yippie PART II

    When the Fedora Core (Anaconda) starts, you will go through some preliminary stuff, like deciding which language to use and setting the system time zone...the next thing you are faced with is the ALL IMPORTANT disk installer. In this case, where I am going to install Linux to the secondary (hdb in Linux, Drive F in my Windows 7), I need to use the ADVANCED utility to wipe out a former NTFS primary partition on the F drive (otherwise, when you just choose the default presented, Anaconda comes back and says there is no room on the disk to install Linux to...there is no room, because you need to wipe out the old NTFS format and create new Ext3 file system partitions!). So choose the advanced utility, in my case, I find hdb drive (with my serial number checking to make sure I have the right device!) and I use the DELETE button to delete the NTFS partition. This wipes the hard disk clean and allows me to create new Linux partitions. First, I choose to create the BOOT partition designated as /BOOT. I made this about 200 mb (not gigabyte, but megabytes). The next partition I created was my ROOT partition, which in Linux is just indicated by a forward slant / You do NOT need to say /ROOT. This is not necessary, Linux knows that / is the root partition (called the PRIMARY in Windows). Finally, you need to create a SWAP partition. As Richie said above, it should be about 2X the amount of memory you have, but I agreed with him, that 16 Gigs of SWAP was rediculous and agreed that 2 Gigs was sufficient hard disk swap space. So I ended up creating a 2 gigabyte /SWAP partition. I clicked NEXT and then Anaconda presents you with where to boot from. It listed OTHER (which is Windows 7) AND /BOOT on Sdb. Further, it recommended overwriting the MBR on the primary disk (Sda) with GRUB. I chose to CHECK OTHER AND /BOOT and allow the MBR on Sda to be overwritten. You then proceed with the rest of the Fedora Linux install and reboot. Upon reboot, hold down your DEL or whatever key, to get into BIOS, change the boot sequence from the ROM device to your primary hard disk (where windows resides). Save the change in BIOS and reboot. When you reboot, you will get a little DOS-like screen in the upper left hand corner telling you you have 5 seconds to either default to OTHER (which is Windows 7) OR to boot into Linux GRUB. If you wait the five seconds, the computer will attempt to boot from the MBR and will come back with an ERROR! BOOTMGR IS MISSING, Hit Ctrl+Alt+Del and reboot it says!

    DO NOT PANIC! We have NOT lost Windows 7, we just need to make a small change in GRUB.

    Reboot the computer and this time, hit return when the DOS-like message comes up. GRUB will start up. Select the Fedora Core install of Linux and Linux starts up. To log in as ADMINISTRATOR and get ADMIN privileges, you need to login as ROOT (the user name is ROOT). The default login is restricted, so if you attempt to do anything like change a critical file like GRUB.CONFIG, you will be denied. You must go into the FILESYSTEM of Linux and find the BOOT directory.
    The GRUB Bootloader is a text-like file that contains the boot sequence details. It is HERE, that we must make a couple of very slight changes, that will boot Windows 7.

    In order to do this, remember your ADMIN login password! You will need it to modify the bootloader.

    On the Menu, on the desktop, go to APPLICATIONS-->SYSTEM TOOLS-->TERMINAL. This starts the terminal where you will modify the GRUB bootloader file. GEDIT is a handy Linux equivalent (but far better than) Notepad.

    Type at the prompt:

    su -c 'getit /etc/grub.conf'

    You will be prompted for your admin password. Enter the password and gedit will open with the GRUB bootloader text file.

    First of all, change the default time from a rediculous 5 seconds to let's say 60, so you have enough time to react before the bootloader initializes and defaults out.

    What you want to do is you want to go down to the line that says NAME: OTHER and change that to NAME: Windows 7
    Now, the key to getting the Windows 7 bootloader to work is changing hd0,0 TO hd0,1

    Notice, this is all you have to do. This means, that instead of the Windows bootloader being the FIRST boot operating system on the MBR, it is the SECOND boot device). Remember that Linux considers the first boot device as = 0. Since we have our Linux installed on a second hard disk, Linux passes the boot to the /BOOT partition of the secondary drive.
    In GRUB, the SECOND boot device is the Windows Device, or Sda. And since GRUB resides in the first sector of that hard disk, we leave the first ZERO alone. So hd0,1 means the same thing as Sda(first boot sector, second boot device). This is sort of backwards from the logic that initially, in five seconds, Windows 7 would default to boot. In fact, it is Fedora that boots first IF you hit return and go into the GRUB bootloader...Windows 7 is the SECOND O/S on the list, NOT the first one!). So within GRUB, Linux is the first operating system and Windows is the second operating system).

    Save your GRUB.CONFIG file, reboot and once you get to your DOS-LIKE prompt, hit return, choose Windows 7 and you boot into Windows! VOILA! Your Boot loader works! :)

    Hope this helps those of you who may be thinking about installing Linux but cannot find any help on the NET right now.
     
    #9 jimc52, Nov 9, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
    Richie086 and (deleted member) like this.
  10. Richie086

    Richie086 New Member

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    Well done! glad I could be of some help...

    Just wondering, how long have you been using Linux for? If your new to it, I could suggest a few really cool linux apps that might make your life easier. Let me know.
     
  11. jimc52

    jimc52 Senior Member

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    How Long I have been using Linux?

    First off Riche, I am like a newbie all over again, every time I install Linux. So even though I have been truly PLAYING with Linux for about 10 years...I am by NO MEANS a seasoned expert or even a knowledgable one. I have always considered Linux to be a sacrificial lamb. If it gets corrupted and I cannot fix it, I just wipe it out and forget about it until I get the hankering for messing with it again. I started out 10 years ago with SuSE and went through various updates of that. Then, I went to Red Hat, which was sold in the stores for about $60 until it went commercial. I then tried out Fedora Core 4, 5, 6..etc. I also played with Mandake Linux (now called Mandriva)..not much experience there. I have to emphasize and re-emphasize that Linux has been a toy O/S for me, that I am NOT an expert, even though I have goofed with it for years...it has been more of a hobby O/S to me because I have been using Windows forever and I do all my work in Windows. So please, don't get the impression I know what I am doing . So your advice was helpful and refreshing to me and I need to re-learn stuff. I have goofed with GRUB.CONFIG before, so I knew where to go in the Linux filesystem to find it, but I am running into some new barriers with the security features. Just trying to login as ROOT with a root password does not work, and I need to find a way to AUTHENTICATE. I am just barely getting to that now so I can login as administrator. If you or any windows user has thought in Vista that UAC was a bummer, just wait until you login to Fedora and try to change anything. You are harangued to death about admin rights.

    I would like to know more about the cool software you have mentioned. I put my Yahoo IM on my profile here so that you could IM me on Yahoo. I don't see a way to email you, so maybe you do not have an email I could write to. I don't want to post my email here for every whaco in the world to get their hands on. Perhaps, if you see me logged into Yahoo, you can IM me. Do you have a Yahoo IM ID? Would love to chat about windows and linux with you if you have the time.

    Thanks Richie for your help and look forward to hearing from you again. PS - I hope my write up here was helpful. Is there a way to post HOW TO's on this forum? I hope other people try out my method and install a dual boot Win7/Linux computer.

    I may need your help in installing a better nVidia driver...as right now, the stock driver in Fedora sucks! I took a look at nVidia's Linux driver, but I am not an expert in installing the driver and this can be hazardous (if past experience is any indicator).:eek:

    Respects - Jim
     

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