Linux and NT

I have NT installed on one partition and nothing is installed on a second partition.  I want to install Linux.  I've been reading documentation, but I can't find out if I will be able to select an OS when I start the computer.
Is there a way to do this or do I need to use a boot disk for Linux?
iamundsonAsked:
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bernardhConnect With a Mentor Commented:
1. run fdisk /dev/hda
2. on the 'Command (m for help):' prompt, type p to display partitions on /dev/hda. from there you can determine which is your nt partition.

3. now, edit your /etc/lilo.conf, it should look (almost) similar to this:

boot = /dev/sda
timeout = 50
prompt
  default = nt
  vga = normal
  append = "mem=64M"
  read-only
map=/boot/map
install=/boot/boot.b
image = /boot/vmlinuz-2.2.12-20
  label = linux
  initrd = /boot/initrd-2.2.12-20.img
  root = /dev/sda4
other = /dev/sda2
  label = nt

4. now run /sbin/lilo -v

5. reboot your machine...

6. when boot: is displayed, press tab
it should display nt and linux as the available operating systems
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swwelshCommented:
Yes, you can do it. The best way is to add the linux partition to the NT boot loader menu. This is explained in the NT loader HOWTO available here:
http://www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/mini/Linux+NT-Loader.html 
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ihardingCommented:
You can either have NT take care of the choosing, use LILO or if you really want to test things out before you change your setup, a boot disk works great.  BTW, LILO is the LInuxLoader, and works before NT can take over.
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iamundsonAuthor Commented:
I read that mini-howto already, but it wasn't clear on the exact steps I need to take to accomplish this.  If I already have NT on partition 1, should I just insert the Linux boot disk?  I'm not sure what to do after that.  The documentation I have isn't very clear to me, and I want to make sure I don't delete anything valuable from my NT partition.
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iamundsonAuthor Commented:
I read that mini-howto already, but it wasn't clear on the exact steps I need to take to accomplish this.  If I already have NT on partition 1, should I just insert the Linux boot disk?  I'm not sure what to do after that.  The documentation I have isn't very clear to me, and I want to make sure I don't delete anything valuable from my NT partition.
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ihardingCommented:
What distribution are you going to use?
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iamundsonAuthor Commented:
Red Hat Linux 6.1
NT 4.0
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bernardhCommented:
if your pc can boot from the cd-rom (check out your bios), insert the rh linux 6.1 cd onto the drive, boot the machine and install rh6.1 onto your second partition. you will be presented with a gui installation which is very easy to follow. somewhere in the installation process the linux loader will ask you where you want to install the linux loader. install it in your mbr (master boot record).

when installation is done and your machine reboot. you will see a boot prompt (boot: ). press tab to choose which os you would like to boot. you nt will be labeled dos. you can change it though by editing /etc/lilo.conf and replacing the word dos with nt4 or whatever name you want to call you nt os. after editing the file run /sbin/lilo -v to make the changes effective.
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bernardhCommented:
if you want a more detailed installation guide, go to this site:

http://www.redhat.com/support/manuals/RHL-6.1-Manual/install-guide/
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iamundsonAuthor Commented:
I did that ut when I reboot and press tab I only et the choice of Linux.  There is no NT option available.  Now I need to know how to get back access to my NT partition
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bernardhCommented:
note: if you didn't see any FAT16, FAT32,  or NTFS partition when you run fdisk and type 'p' on the command prompt, you probably installed it on your nt partition. another case is when you chose the server class install, it will wipe out all data on your hard disk.
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ricksonCommented:
does your winnt is a NTFS format. if so linux cannot access nt filesystem. hte other way i know is using a magic boot from powerquest.
i also install it 2 os nt(fat) and linux (native). but i don't face any problem.
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iamundsonAuthor Commented:
I don't know how to edit my /etc/lilo.conf

how do i do it?  I don't know a lot about Linux.
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bernardhCommented:
vi /etc/lilo.conf

to change a word press Esc followed by cw (change word) then type in the new word. to save changes, press Esc followed by :wq!

to make changes to lilo effective, run /sbin/lilo -v
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