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Installing Windows 7 over CentOS - Easy or No?

Posted on 2010-09-22
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
I'm want to:

1) Install Windows 7 on a machine that currently is running CentOS.  (It's been our office file server for a while, but no one wants to learn Linux, and we have no more Linux IT support person)

2) Then I want to move files from another CentOS machine to this one, preserving all of the Mac folder colors and styles that the Macs on this network have created.  

(When I moved files to a Windows machine before, invalid file names and the Mac style files in each folder resulted in an error, and I had to click "skip" hundreds of times.)

Is there anything I should know?  I've installed Windows before, over top of Windows, but never over another OS.

Thanks a lot for all input!
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Question by:Kenten
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33743742
If you mean dual boot, take much care. Windows wants to take over the master boot record, and you risk invalidating your Linux install. If you have no Linux support at all, I don't recommend it.

Alteratively you can get VMware for Linux (check for CentOS support) and then load Windows 7 as a machine inside VMware. If VMware runs in CentOS, this will work and will be the easiest for you. It will have no impact on the CentOS physical machine as it still runs.

Newer versions of VMware have shared folder support and should be able to move files from one machine to the other. I have the inverse running (Ubuntu inside VMware on a Windows 7 Pro host) and I can see my Windows 7 host from Ubuntu.  ... Thinkpads_User
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rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 33744021
To install Windows 7 over a CentOS installation is easy, you just delete all partitions when you get to that menu point and then create new ones the way you want. The MAC folder options I wouldn't know about, but this probably requires some attributes that NTFS doesn't provide for, so I don't believe that will be possible with a Windows OS.

Since no one is prepared to "learn Linux", why don't you just get a NAS (many of them use a 'nix based OS and file-system, and they should probably keep the MAC attributes, or then get a simpler to manage Linux than CentOS, like SME server. This is actually based on CentOS, but it offers a very easy to use web-based management tool, which makes it easy to setup for Linux illiterates:

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=smeserver
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by:Kenten
ID: 34005686
Thanks, I wasn't trying to set up a dual boot, just overwrite the CentOS with Windows 7.  
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