Dual boot - XP and Ubuntu
September 29, 2005 2:38 AM   Subscribe

How can I set up my dual boot system with Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux?

I've got a dual boot system at the moment with 2 Windows XP partitions and 2 partitions for data and audio files. I use partition magic 8 to manage partitions.

I want to replace one of the XP partitions with Ubuntu, and give also juggle the partition sizes around. I understand that during install I will have the option to give Ubuntu it's own data partition.

What utility can I use on startup to select which OS partition to boot? I've got a utility with partition magic, but have had problems with it.

Will partitions created with partition magic and those done with Ubuntu be 'compatible' i.e. will they all be seen by both OS's or do I have to do this from scratch with a different program somehow?
posted by lunkfish to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Given your comments I would suggest juggling the sizes with partition magic first, format the one you want as Ubuntu as unspecified (you'll reformat it on the install) and go ahead with the Ubuntu setup. In the process it will include a setup for your boot loader and install GRUB with an entry for windows. GRUB works well for the most part and I would recommend that. Linux can see the win partitions, win will not see the linux partition without significant hoop jumping.
posted by arruns at 3:35 AM on September 29, 2005

Yep, Ubuntu will take care of installing the bootloader so you can dual boot.

I had Ubuntu installed on a laptop with WinXP and it generally worked great, with one big exception. The dual booting worked fine at first, but then the first time I did a boot AFTER going into Windows, I found that the bootloader didn't work. It was like WinXP was corrupting it. I eventually figured out a tortured solution involving booting from a CD and running a few grub commands, and then eventually got it to work by abandoning GRUB and using Windows' own bootloader (yes it has one).

My point, and I do have one, is that you shouldn't panic if you suddenly can't boot back into the WinXP side. Do some googling and you'll figure it out. Everything is still there, you just have to get to it.
posted by intermod at 5:31 AM on September 29, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, that's perfect. As long as I can get it on and get back on the internet I'll be sorted.
posted by lunkfish at 5:50 AM on September 29, 2005

Worst case scenario, if you can't boot back into Windows, boot from your XP cd to the recovery console and run fixboot. I can' remember the switches off the top of my head, but that will restore the windows bootloader.
posted by zerokey at 7:46 AM on September 29, 2005

Response by poster: That's useful to know. Cheers.
posted by lunkfish at 8:00 AM on September 29, 2005

As long as you're installing Ubuntu second, you'll be right. Do it the other way around and windows will eat the bootloader.
posted by pompomtom at 2:41 PM on September 29, 2005

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