I Want To Dual Boot Debian and XP - The Debian Chronicles

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Mar 1, 2007 4:04 PM EDT
LXer.com; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, USA)
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LXer Feature: 01-Mar-2007

With the gift of a new computer the help of a friend I recently decided to move from running OpenSuSE to duel booting Windows and Debian. Thus begins my adventure in Debian.

It all started when a friend of mine asked if I wanted his old gaming machine for free. "It has Windows on it though, is that ok?" he added, with a smile on his face. Everyone has heard me rant, or go off "You shouldn't use Windows because...", and, "You should use Open Source Software". I pick my battles and try to show them by example how it is better, but, who ever listened to logic anyway? Darn Friends...

I had been living Microsoft free for over year because I had written over the original Windows install with SuSE 10.0 back in November of 2005. You can read about my SuSE exploits on my Switching to SuSE 10 thread.

I've not missed having to take care of a Windows desktop but my new job has me working with Windows only programs, and, after a year away from it I needed to get used to using Windows again. My one nagging issue with my old machine was that it was essentially un-upgradeable. I couldn't upgrade the amount of RAM or speed of the processor and the front side bus was a wonderfully slow 66mhz. As a result I was unable to play many of the popular new games that have come out for PC since I bought it. I've always wanted to try gaming under Linux but until now did not have the ability (speed) too.

A couple of weeks ago I got around to asking my friend about the computer and he was kind enough to drop it by, I have such good friends. I have to say if this is his "old gaming machine" then I am afraid to see the "new" one because WOW! It is a Cadillac compared to my existing machine. I am going from an AMD 1600+ 1.4g 512mg-RAM 66mhz FSB to an Intel P-4 2.4g and 1.5g-RAM, 533mhz FSB. It is easily the most modern PC I have yet to own.

But first I wanted to upgrade a couple of things. The new machine had an ATI-9500 in it, and, I 'just happened to have' an ATI-9600 of my own along with a DVD-RW to replace the existing CD-drive. So, with the new video card and CD-drive installed, I used about half a can of air (am I the only one that blows out the dust in my cases every week?) and was ready to power up, and check out my new computer.

The new machine has two hard drives, one 40g and one 60g. My friend had installed Ubuntu along with Windows-XP on the 40g hard drive. It was partitioned into ext/3, swap, ntfs and fat-32 file formats. Ubuntu was on the ext/3, XP on the NTFS and FAT-32 partitions and the 60g hard drive was one big empty fat-32 partition. It made me feel good to know that my friend had actually used one of the Linux CD's that I give out to everyone I know during the holidays.

While instant messaging with a friend one evening and I told him about my new computer, what I'd done and that I wanted to put Debian on it (so I can be a "real" Linux user). Only "hardcore" Linux users use Debian or Slackware or Gentoo (Its true!), and I've only used Red Hat and SuSE, meaning I don't know jack. I 'just had to' do this to be taken seriously...

After a few chuckles, my friend (and Debian advocate) offered to help me set up my machine and show me all the cool things he knows. I owe my friend a large debt of gratitude, I've learned many new things in the last several weeks thanks to him. We talked about it for a bit and we put together a to-do list, here is what we came up with:

1. I Formatted the 60g HD into ReiserFS using GParted and used the existing 1.6gig swap. GParted is a great tool for re-formatting partitions and entire Hard Drives, like I did.
2. I re-formatted the 5gig Ubuntu partition into ReiserFS. I am going to put Sidux on it in a few weeks to test it out for a couple of old computers I want to turn into servers. More on that later too.
3. I download and burned a Debian net install cd, It was only 35 megs in size. We figured we could pull everything else off of the internet.
4. I cleaned up the Windows partition and ran the disk defragmenter. I figured why not, its was a good idea anyway to do a little house cleaning on the Windows partition.
5. Take a deep breath..

So in my next installment, or as I like to call it "How I un-installed synaptic and other tales" I will share with you my trials and tribulations in Debian-land. I will tell you how I upgraded KDE 3.5.6 and lost synaptic at the same time, and how I got it back too. Plus I describe all the fun I have been having turning a Debian "net Install" into the desktop of my dreams.

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» Read more about: Story Type: Humor, LXer Features; Groups: Community, Debian, GNU, KDE, Linux, LXer, Microsoft, SUSE, Ubuntu

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Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
You realize you're not a 'real' Linux user ... DarrenR114 30 2,753 Mar 14, 2007 9:44 AM
canned air Sander_Marechal 20 3,401 Mar 5, 2007 3:02 PM
Well phrased mjjohansen 12 1,979 Mar 4, 2007 11:59 AM

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