The article provides help on Dual booting your system with Windows XP and Fedora Code (6 and above).
Much of the information present in the article was taken from different context helps and forums on the Internet and I thank the people who have contributed there.
The article aims to put in one place the general set of procedure/issues/problems faced with Dual Booting systems. In The last section, I have compiled lists some utilities that can be used in Fedora as compared to programs in windows
What you will need
1. Boot CD/DVD ( Windows) and Drives CDs
2. Boot CD/DVD ( Fedora )
Also, I recommend getting a copy of UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD) from the below link:
Download and burn it to a CD, before you can get to your system.
What is UBCD
1. UBCD is a set of Boot Utilities
2. It will run without any OS in your system
3. It has partitioning and clean-up utilities
Please refer to the website for more information.
Partition your HDD
If you have more than one HDD Logical partitioning may not be needed from OS perspective, but remember that you need to configure the HDD as primary master
(Not slave) to install Windows on the drive.
If you a have single HDD using UBCD or equivalent tools, create logical partitions of your Drive.
For example, if you have a 160 GB HDD, you can create 4 partitions like:
1st partition = 20 GB for Windows
2nd partition = 60 GB for your data
3rd partition = 60 GB for your data
4th partition = 20 GB for Linux
You can vary the number of partitions and their size as per your requirements. What you need is at least 2 one for Windows and one for Linux. I recommend having more to keep your data like music, movies etc shared between your windows and Linux and to keep it safe from OS related issues (corruption, virus etc)
Through your Boot CD for windows, install windows on the 1st Partition.
Once done, in your windows explorer, do not format the logical drive intended for Linux in NTS format, leave it for Linux.
I recommend install windows first because, the windows boot CD does not work properly once Linux gets installed in the system. The problem arises in the Boot Manager Record which windows are unable to determine from the boot CD. You can do some research on this on the net, i couldn’t find a way out as it turned out to be a limitation of DOS/Windows itself.
Through your Fedora DVD, install fedora. Remember, Fedora gives you an option of Overwriting Other OS but do not select them. Instead select the logical drive which was intended for Linux.
Grub is the boot loader for Fedora, here you can change first boot OS. After you install your fedora it will boot to fedora and windows be designated as 'other'.
Boot into Linux, Open the file /etc/grub.conf and change the default "0" to default "1"
The list of OS installed will be listed below in the same file. The numbering starts with 0 onwards. You should be able to find 'Other' with 1 below.
Save the file and restart the system, and you can see windows boot first
Backup and Recovery
What if Windows gets corrupted?
Once you have dual booted your OS, if windows gets corrupted by a virus etc, you cannot simply re-install Windows as mentioned above. You have to keep going with Linux, backup all your data. If you try to simply re-install Windows, the Boot CD wont work, gets hung after hardware check as already mentioned above.
You can use wine to run your windows based programs in Linux. Check www.winehq.org for more information. Remember not to share the original windows C-Drive you had. Wine will create its own within the Linux file system.
Wine can be used to run simple windows exe's. If you want to run graphic based games, then you may encounter porting issues. Another alternative to wine for playing windows games in Linux is cedega (www.cedega.com).
I tried to run Halo Combat Evolved In both Wine and Cedega but it did not work properly for me though.
To access Windows drives use command line utility ntfs-3g (comes by default in Fedora 10). See 'man ntfs-3g' for more information.
If Windows is still needed, then do a fresh install of both windows and Linux. Before you do so, do format and data in the drives using UBCD utilities or equivalent. This is necessary to remove the virus if it has manifested to other drives.
On the other hand, Linux can be upgraded anytime with a appropriate boot DVD without effecting the windows drive in any way.
Working in Fedora
Listed below are a set of utilities to work with fedora while you migrate from windows to Linux. More information about the utilities can be found on google or related websites given below.
Download Manager - yum
yum is the download manager for fedora. It picks up packages from the web and automatically resolves dependencies and installs it on your system
yum needs to have correct repository information to look-up the packages. Apart from the default repositories, you need to add few to get packages not distributed by fedora directly. You can find the latest yum repositories and how to install them on google.
Playing Music and Videos
By Default, Fedora does not come with mp3 and avi file formats support due to licensing and patenting issues. But you can get all of them here
Download and install mplayer/gmplayer from http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/dload.html
Accessing Windows (NTFS) drives
Use the command:
For example : ntfs-3d /dev/sda1 /mnt/windowsC/
Will mount /dev/sda1 (logical drive) onto the mount point /mnt/windowC/.
You should create the directory windowsC in your /mnt directory.
WinAmp like Music player
If you are used to winamp, you can try 'xmms' which is the winamp-like player for linux. For more information check-out:
iTunes like Music Player
If you dependent on iTunes, then try 'songbird':
Saving Websites with wget
If you want to save websites then use command line utility 'wget' see 'man wget' for more information. There are many options available that will help to filter the type of information you want to save.
Photoshop like image editor
Use 'gimp' which comes by default with fedora
Microsoft Office suite in Fedora
OpenOffice comes by default with fedora which is capable of opening/editing doc, word and xls formats.
Other utilities like flash-player, vlc-player etc are available on the internet for fedora