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Creating dual boot drive using two clonezilla images

Posted on 2014-08-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-08-19
I've got a nephew who has a laptop (a beater) that with WinXP that he uses for work.
(He's a field tech and there are 2 or 3 windows applications that he needs to use)

About a month ago, he created a image of his drive, then installed Linux on his laptop.
He was happy with the change, but found that he couldn't work around the windows apps he needs to use

My first thought since the software requirement isn't needed that often, VirtualBox was the obvious solution, however due to the limited CPU of the laptop he's using it crashes consistently after 5-10 min.

A image was created of the Linux installation, and the XP image has since been re-instituted.

The question (and mind you I don't think it's possible with out clean installs), is If the hard drive was large enough, is there a way to use both images (XP/Linux) to give the laptop dual boot functionality?
Question by:kenfcamp
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Expert Comment

ID: 40261318
There are a variety of ways to do this, but by far my preferred choice is using Boot-It BM, which makes it very simple to set up a multi-boot system (not just 2 OS's -- you can have as many as you have space for on the drive (see my current boot menu below with 8 OS choices).

Boot-It also overcomes the 4 partition limit by using an Extended MBR structure to completely hide the other OS's ... this provides complete isolation between them -- but you can also have common partitions visible to both (or all) of the OS's as needed to share data.   Note that this also means every OS will use the "normal" partition letters (i.e. all of my OS's show a C: drive for the OS) -- unlike many boot managers, where every OS will be on a different drive letter.

It's a bit "geeky" to set up, but NOT hard, and is the only thing I use these days for multiple boot situations.    The only "flaw" is that it's not yet been updated to work with Secure Boot environments, which means you can't use it with factory-installed Windows 8 systems [It works fine with Windows 8 if it's not installed using Secure Boot].

Well worth the $40 cost:  https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-next-generation.htm

... it's free to download and try it.

Here's my current boot menu ...

Boot Menu
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

garycase earned 1500 total points
ID: 40261327
Just realized I haven't updated the graphic I have stored for my boot menu.    The menu I posted is actually from Boot-It NG ... I've since updated to Boot-It BM.    The concept is the same ... and the menu looks very similar, but it's a bit more "modern" on the new one.   You can see screen shots for it on the Boot-It BM page I linked to above (just click on "Screen Shots"
LVL 14

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40271155
Hello garycase,

Your solution wasn't what I was looking for, but due to the fact that nobody else responded and the fact that your solution "would" (or should) work I gave you the points

LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 40271160
Boot-It BM not only WILL work well; but it provides far better isolation than any other boot manager.   I presume you're looking for something that's free, rather than the nominal cost of Boot-It.    In that case, simply read up on using the Linux GRUB boot loader.    This will let you do the same thing -- although the two different images will result in different drive letters, and won't be completely isolated from each other.

Personally, I can't imagine setting up a dual (or more) boot system these days without simply using Boot-It.

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