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Dual booting

Posted on 2002-05-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I have 98 on C:(8GB drive)- This is all FAT32@100%
(There is a ton of wasted space on C: since its all
taken up),
and all my storage on D:(4GB drive) also FAT32@100%
Im running 98 and I want to add in Linux/Red Hat 6.2

(a)>What will be the best suggestions on how to do this?  

(b)>Does the start-up disc for Linux should be taken at its
literal meaning? (With it Linux starts, w/o 98 starts).

(c)>(d)>Does it really matter which operating system is installed first?
(ignoring the 1st question and assuming that the
computer was freshly formated)-(and to tag this question
with, Why would 98 prefered to be first by hearsay?)

(e)>Is there a general Q&A page available asking this type of question?
Question by:jgrosber
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Expert Comment

ID: 7036287
A) What operating system are you going to use as a primary system? If you're just going to play with Windows 98, a 2GB partition should be enough. I think Win 98 takes about 700MB full install and add application programs and other updates, 2GB should be quite enough.

You can leave D drive alone, don't play with your data drive but as a safety measure, please DO make backups of your data before you install any operating system (esp. Linux) :) I'm not bad-mouthing Linux, but since the installation procedure is quite complex, it's easy to "stuff it up". And Pooh! Out goes your data drive!

B) Your Linux CD should be a bootable CD, that's why with CD in CD-drive it starts Linux, and without it, Win98 starts.

C) Yes..it DOES matter which one you install first. You need to install Win98 first, let it write to MBR (Master Boot Record) then install Linux. Lilo (Linux Loader) is smart enough to detect another operating system in MBR and it'll effective "append" to it instead of overwriting it. If you install Win98 after Linux, you'll lose the Lilo info and only Win98 will boot. If you want to remove Linux from your system, you can boot up your machine using DOS Floppy and type "fdisk /mbr". This effectively overwrites the MBER (sort of like doing Windows 98 install without copying files).

D) Not sure about that one, but I'm sure Internet is rich with information. Try www.linux.org (Just a starting point. There will be many more links from that site)

Expert Comment

ID: 7036292

If you want to keep the current install of Windows 98 and install Linux reformatting, use Partition Magic to resize your existing partitions. I would suggest you divide C drive into 2 equal 4GB partitions:

4GB C - Win98
4GB D - Linux
4GB E - Data

Also, when you install RedHat, choose "Workstation" instead of the other two options (I think "Server" and "Developmental" or something rather). If you choose "Server", it will delete everything on your HDD and start fresh! Not quite sure on the options, but read a lot about it before you start venturing into Linux. :) Esp. when you have valuable data on your HDD.

Use another "physical" HDD to install Linux if possible.

Author Comment

ID: 7036800
I am running 98 right now and going to keep
it as primary.  Im interested in linux and will
keep it as secondary once its put in.

I have not took the CD out of its envelope yet,
is it ok to view the contents w/o starting it?

The machine is at the max of holding only two
drives so the order of 4/4/4 will be it. Bumping
up and a incision of a partician will be my next plan.

Is there a 3rd party s/w out there as good as
Partician Magic that is a fraction of its price that
is just as trustable, and is there a means of
doing what PM does but only by doing it manually?

Once both sytems are up and presumably running
well  can Linux be put into storage as well as 98?
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Expert Comment

ID: 7036941
Win98 running as primary, in that case, use a partitioning software to resize the partitions on your HDD. that's the best option.

Yes, you can view the contents of the CD without installing it. Load up Windows 98 as normal (without the CD in the Drive) and if you go to Explorer, you can view the contents of the CD-ROM. But it prob. means nothing to you, except the documentations directory, where there might be a few tips and tricks and don't-dos that might help you when you're installing Linux.

Partition sizes don't have to be 4/4/4. That was just a plain old suggestion. You can set it to whatever you want, as long as both operating systems have enough HDD space left for its own swapping needs.

I'm sure there are a lot of partitioning software out there on the Net, but honestly speaking, PM is the only software I have used with great reliability.

Go to this link and you'll see PM7 is listed at the top of the search results:


Since you have Windows 98 and FAT32, a version as low as version 5 can be useful. (I've used version 5) If you have some old friends who might have a copy PM 5, go ahead and install it. PM has been reliable since version 4. Versions 6 and 7 added support for Windows NT/2000 (the support which you don't need).

If you can't fork out the $$$ for PM7, it might better for you to backup your data (you've done a backup, right??), repartition your HDD the way you want it (with Linux in mind) and reinstall Win98 then Linux.

Last line of your reply: "can Linux be put into storage as well as 98?" I don't understand.

Expert Comment

ID: 7036951
Some more info.

If you install PM5, that version might not support formatting partitions in Linux ext2 format. I can't remember but I think the support for ext2 was only added in V6. So, in this case, leave the partition unformatted and your Linux installer will find it as free space and ask you whether it should install Linux in that partition.

I would recommend you use RedHat because it has a great installation wizard. Read the messages on each screen very carefully. One wrong choice can wipe the entire HDD.

Author Comment

ID: 7037106
What I have in storage on D: is the copied 98CD as 98_BU, Can Linux be done in the same way such as Linux_BU?

Expert Comment

ID: 7037925
In theory, you should be able to do that, but when the linux installer asks for the source files to be copied onto the HDD, you'll need to point it to the partition with the source files on it. Which means you have to mount the partition and give the path to the installer. I think that might be too much work (and I've never tried it before).

And at times, Windows 98 CAB files are needed when you add new features (like modifying TCP/IP settings, or installing new drivers), but this is only very occassional in Linux. If it does need the CD, it'll ask for it.

Is that the only reason why you want to put the source files on the HDD? Is there a reason why you don't want to boot from CD and start the installation?

Author Comment

ID: 7038226
Many Q&A but thank you for your patients in answering
them as we go through them.

The idea stems if it were to be locally networked to another pc but thats getting a little far field for me
this moment.

When installation is complete does Linux has every thing it needs as its installation and act as if its a executable?

Does the LILO works with just a start up disk?

If the initial installation runs limited to a few items and I dont request a further feature to put in (lets say
sound, modem, NIC etc), Will booting to LILO require only the start up disk?


Expert Comment

ID: 7038248
You mean like an FTP server for installation source for another machine? You'll need to set this up manually, and also you'll need to set up DHCP server so that the client machine can get IP Address and initialise network card so that it can find the server on the network. A little complicated at this time I think.

Startup disk doesn't need LILO..since it has its own "boot sector". LILO just manages the boot sector on the HDD when there are multiple operating system "images" and lets you select which one you want to start.

"Will booting to LILO require only the start up disk?"

I'm sorry, I don't understand.

Author Comment

ID: 7038849
Im told that when Linux is installed as a dual boot operation keeping 98 1st, the start up disk made from
Linux is only required and in effect acts as the switch
to Linux when the system sees it on the FD.
(Order of operation Floppy,CDROM,IDE0 from BIOS setup)
The floppy will contain the necessary material to start
Linux. I think it was also said that all of this needed
to be configured as such to do this.
Is this correct?

Author Comment

ID: 7038866
You have mentioneds back on your first comment,
"Your Linux CD should be a bootable CD, that's why with CD in CD-drive it starts Linux, and without it, Win98 starts."

Is my interpertation off in describing start-up?

Author Comment

ID: 7038874
This might not be the correct order I just mentioned;
(Order of operation Floppy,CDROM,IDE0 from BIOS setup)
need to verify.

Expert Comment

ID: 7038881
Yes, Linux LILO can act as a "switch" on what operating system to boot up. Windows 9x doesn't offer such a functionality.

A floppy can be bootable and can be configured. I've only done changes to LILO config file on a hard drive, and I'm not so sure if such a file exists on a floppy. The LILO file on the hard drive is at: /etc/lilo.conf

After you have made changes to that conf file, you'll need to run /sbin/lilo for the changes to take effect. If you've never seen a lilo.conf before, I'll post a sample file here and explain the sections in detail. It's "almost" like boot.ini on Windows NT/2000 but a few more switches and functions of course.

Accepted Solution

st_steve earned 400 total points
ID: 7038887
That's the order the BIOS will look for a "bootable device": it'll look at floppy disk (whether there is a disk in it, and if there is, whether there is a bootable sector on the floppy drive), then whether there's a bootable CD-ROM, and finally the first HDD installed (Primary Master).

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