Talk:Multi-booting

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Linux woes[edit]

The following was copied from Wikipedia:Reference Desk. Some of this information may be able to be integrated into the article. --Benc 03:10, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Well I finally decided to get around to trying Linux. I decided to go for the “safest option” and run a live distribution from a cd (Morphix). I ignored the warning on the disc that read “read the instructions inside the magazine first” because I no longer had the magazine. So I just put it in the drive and rebooted. Everything went ok, I had a bit of a look around, decided there would be a very steep learning curve, and I really should look at a few books (there was no documentation on the cd at all!). Then I pressed the button on the DVD drive and nothing happened! Panic set in, as I realise that a bootable cd meant I couldn’t just switch off and on again. I has visions of prising it open with a screwdriver ( the computer is 4 days old I really didn’t want to smash it up) then I came to my senses and thought of changing the boot order in the bios. That worked so I did boot up Windows and get the disc out, but surely there must be a way of opening it from within Linux? Also when I tried to connect to the internet, it didn't dial up (I get broadband in two weeks yeah!) how do i tell it about dial up networking? theresa knott 19:01, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think you can eject a live distribution while the OS is in use - you have to shut it down and the last thing it does is eject the CD. However, if you insist on using one, Knoppix is about the most friendly Linux distribution I have ever seen (live or on-disk). →Raul654 19:11, Jul 29, 2004 (UTC)
Indeed, the root filesystem is mounted off the CD, so the eject button is (quite rightly) disabled. I'd echo Raul's fondness for Knoppix. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:51, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I don't know about Morphix but Mandrake Linux (the distro I use) has a whole control center (very nice) that should recognize your dial-up modem. Problem is, it doesn't recognize my D-link DWL-520! (nor does any other distro I tried) :(. A good distro is Debian because it makes installing packages a lot easier, and it's what lindows is based on. Good luck. Ilyanep (Talk) 19:19, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

First off, if you have a built in 'winmodem', generally it is not worth trying to get Linux to recognise it. All hardware modems should give you a better shot at it. How old is the CD you're using? Using the most recent one will give you a much better crack at getting it going, as Raul says, Knoppix is the best at this. As for getting the disk out, when it's running, you can't, because it is a Live CD, running from the disk. Shut it down using the icon that, I think, on Gnome, is a foot, but honestly could be anything depending on the theme. It's analagous to the start button on windows. There should be a 'log out' or 'shut down' option. Go for it, and the disk should eject. If it doesn't, turn the computer off at the power switch, and find the little paperclip hole on the front of your cd drive that hardware ejects the cd. HTH Mark Richards 20:31, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

If you want specific help about how to configue it to dial up, let us know what computer, and what version of Linux. Mark Richards 23:04, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your halp everyone. Now that I come to think of it, it makes perfect sense not to allow removal of the disc when the operating system is on that disc. But it does not eject when the computer shuts down :-( Anyway I found a quick way to get the disc out, by rebooting, pressing F1, watching the light of the DVD drive an opening it when it flashes. It then boots to Windows just fine. As for dialup, i think I may as well just wait a couple of weeks to I go over to braodband and try to get that to work instead.
I intend to run a dual boot system - what's the best way to do this let Linux shrink my Windows partition, or use something like Partition Magic? I have version 5 ( current version is 8) free on a magazine disc. Has anyone used that with XP - it says it's compatable with Windows 2000 but XP hadn't come out yet when version 5 was new. I'd rather not pay for the latest version if I can get away with an older one. theresa knott 00:29, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Unless you're strapped for cash, I'd avoid dual-boot like the plague. Partition management (of every flavour) can be a bit dicey, and windows frequently doesn't play nice with the boot sectors of other OSes (particularly when you need to reinstall XP, it'll generally write the drive's MBR, meaning your linux partition becomes unbootable, at least until you fix the boot partition after booting from some install media or live CD). If you can at all afford it, get one of those cheapo removable drive caddy things (you know, it's just a slot on the PC's front, and a regular IDE hard drive goes inside). Then have one drive for booting windows, and another for booting linux. It's marginally less convenient than dual boot, but much safer. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:40, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I would like to echo Finlay's advice - dual boot is 10x more headache than it's worth. 'Tried it, *hated* it. Now I have two machines (XP for fun, Fedora Core 2 for work) and life is a lot happier. If you have an older machine lying around, put linux on that one. Just one comment - the "good" Window managers (read - friendly and intuitive) are very processor hungry. →Raul654 04:36, Jul 30, 2004 (UTC)
Dual boot isn't that hard, although I would recommend making an emergency boot disk to repair the boot loader if something happens. The Grub boot loader is fairly robust and works well either from floppy or disk. Repartitioning is a bit dangerous, but if done right, works well. I think getting a second disk would be much easier and cheaper than the "drive caddy things". I sometimes install grub in the last cylinder on the disk, which windows invariably forgets to use anyway. --ssd 04:25, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Yes, dual boot isn't such a big deal. Get a nice tool such as Partition Magic to help you. The concerns about MBRs are valid, but if you can get your preferred OS to rewrite the boot sector you want, if Win overwrites it (a boot floppy would help), you should be fine, really. Dysprosia 14:00, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Partition Magic costs $$$; if you're looking for a no-cost no-frills alternative for resizing partitions, check out BootItNG Ambarish | Talk 18:08, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I have used dual boot, and found it, as others said, a pain, but not insurmountable. The solution I came up with was to make a floppy or cd boot disk that boots to a partition on the hard drive. If that disk is in the drive, it boots to linux, if not, it boots to windows. Seriously though, hard discs are not expensive, get another one and don't mess around with partitioning. Mark Richards 15:15, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

You have convinced me, I shall get another hard drive. theresa knott 19:22, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
tk, There's some preparatory mental flossing generally needed when dual booting, whatever approach one uses. Decide what sort you are, with the two choices being (at the boundaries) computer enthusiast for whom the system is the thing and the work done with a working system not, or a user for whom the whole bit (hardware, software, connectivity, ...) is just a tool. If there were squirrells inside making it all go, that would be just fine as long as nobody makes you feed them and they don't lose/damage your work. the former sort will be quite accepting of the reboot, reload, reformat, recreate cycle some software compells.
If you're the latter sort (even if only sometimes) then dataloss paranoia is quite appropriate. The problem (as always) is that where and how the data (=all that work you've sweated over, or acquired in other perhaps not repeatable ways) can get lost is very hard to foresee, even for the most knowledgable. Monkeying with your partition tables is quite foreseeable, of course, and the problem (even w/ Partition Magic which has a sterling reputation) is of course pilot error, common in inexperienced. The usual resort is to backups, so if lightning (fire/flood/theft/flocks of offended tits/...) does strike, the data will at least still exist (elsewhere will then be your fervent hope). In an era of 60GB disks and rather smaller data tape cartridge capacities (among those offordable by mortals w/o Gates' resources), this is not so simple as it might be. DVD burners are of course an alternative, but at 7GB or so current max, that's a lot of DVDs (and time and trouble) if your disk(s) is full. Currently the cheapest alternative is probably a second disk, but unless it's portable (and kept elsewhere, though regularly updated with the latest not-to-be-lost stuff) the second copy of your vital info might die the same dismal death as the first (in the next door drive bay).
There are several intro to Linux things available on the 'Net, with the Rute Guide being perhaps the most one_source of the responsible lot. There's also a lot of not so useful stuff. Check with the Linux Documentation Project for generally good stuff, though a bit fragmented, rather as the WP often is. The learning curve isn't as steep as you now think, it's just that you're hitting it pretty much flat on when you're undertaking to dual boot, or install a new operating system yourself, or, indeed, to manage your own computer. The M$ folk iterate and reiterate about ease of use, and even easier of use with the newest/latest (only a bit more $!) release, but neglect to note that 1) it's easy (whatever they think they mean by that) only for those migrating from previous versions with a back story of experience and knowledge, and 2) "you don't have to worry about system administration" is a pile of poop and a flat (and every other sort of shape) lie. Every machine -- unless you're one of those for whom data is disposable and recreatable without cost or trouble -- requires a keeper. Even kids -- who are far more self managing than these machines -- requires minders, pretty continuously. At least machines aren't motivated/driven/compelled/poossessed/drawn to get into trouble on their own hook. It's easily doable (by those with certain capabilities, a sense of caution (unless you're one of those ...), and some patience), but does require effort and perspective and a bit of prepatory mental flossing. ww 18:31, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes, dual booting with two hard drives (one for linux and one for windows) is definitely the way to go. The easiest way to accomplish this is:
  1. Install windows on the master hard drive. (I'm guessing you've already done this.)
  2. Swap the two hard drives. I.e., make the master the slave, and the slave the master. Should be a simple adjustment of jumpers and IDE cables.
  3. Install linux on the new master hard drive.
  4. Set up the boot loader to enable dual boot. Both lilo and grub can fool the system into thinking that the windows drive is the master and the linux drive is the slave, making windows happy. (Windows insists on its bootloader being present in the "master" drive, or it won't boot.) Many linux distros will detect windows on your original hard drive and set the bootloader up to fool the system automatically. In case your distro doesn't, here's an example of a lilo.conf set up to virtually swap the master/slave (specifically, the part about map-drive).
The advantage of doing it this way is that the slave hard drive (the one containing windows) is not touched at all by linux. Even if something gets majorly screwed up with the bootloader, your windows installation is safe, and in a worst case scenario you can simply swap the two drives back and boot windows with no problems. It's saved me a couple times. Good luck. :-) --Benc 22:04, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Talk:Dual boot/98

what about renaming this article "multiboot"?[edit]

what about renaming this article "multiboot"? why not?

Dual booting is the most common scenario, and it's usually referred to that way. Twinxor t 06:48, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

"Multiboot" makes sense. Also, why not a discussion of installing Linux on an external USB drive? That seems to be an unduly difficult task. The simplest way may be to unplug the internal drive(s) immediately prior to the installation, so the BIOS only sees the external usb drive, but there has to be a good way that does not involve touching the hardware. 75.180.46.42 22:22, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I concur with renaming this article to "multiboot". While dual-booting is a more common scenario, it is contextually incorrect when booting three or more operating systems. I am personally planning to set up a quadruple-boot system (Gentoo, WinXP, FreeBSD and LFS) once I get enough disk space (a 750GB Seagate Barracuda should do ;), which is just as possible as having two operating systems. "Multiboot" encompasses, per definition, any amount of operating systems greater than one. The only semantically correct meaning of "dual-boot" is booting two operating systems. --Sir Link 11:12, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

I see what you mean, but the general term for it is dual-boot. I have never in my life before reading this comment heard of the term multi-booting. Sure, it by definition means two operating systems but it doesn't mean that it can't just have an off meaning encompassing more than 2 as well. Megamanfanx7 18:01, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Multiboot exists, as a redirect to Multiboot Specification. But "Multiboot" has other meanings, including Game Boy Advance's method of netbooting, along with RAM-based GBA programs that are compatible with netbooting. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 22:39, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Two (or more) operating systems on a single partition?[edit]

Since when can you install two operating systems on a single partition? Maybe on a single drive, using multiple partitions but not in the way this article is suggesting. --Mphilp 00:20, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

You're wrong. Of course you can. Boot the XP CD, choose a partition has already has XP on it, and install it to a different folder. It will ask which you want when you boot, and both work fine. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 64.40.47.123 (talk) 23:07, 5 May 2007 (UTC).
Any two operating systems which support the same filesystem should be fine. 82.17.131.125 (talk) 01:48, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

An operating system can be contained in just a few files, and inserted in the same partition as another, with minor changes to startup files. This is doable with portable OS's, and is useful for system support.

Stylized depiction of a boot manager's menu[edit]

What is the point of the image that is captioned "Stylized depiction of a boot manager's menu..."? It might as well be called an artistic impression of a menu. It's completely useless and irrelevant.

I agree. How about a screenshot of GRUB or LILO with multiple options. --165.91.51.177 16:46, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Can you help me set up VMWare to make such a screenshot? --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 22:35, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Check that, the free second stage loaders all have screenshots already, but wouldn't putting a specific loader in the lead show a bias toward that loader? --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 02:47, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Dual split boot[edit]

I would like to see more information about dual split boot (where every operating system has its own hard disk). --Nukeless 22:21, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

W2000 and Mac[edit]

I have Windows 2000. Can I install Mac on my PC? (Anonymous, unregistered.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 61.83.208.247 (talk) 13:02, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Windows does natively support multiboot systems.[edit]

By adding a line in the BCD, another operating system may be booted from Windows Boot Manager. So the paragraph in the article needs changing. 82.17.131.125 (talk) 01:50, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Moving parts of the article to this talk page[edit]

The article is full of dubious/unsourced statements. I plan to move many of these, to this section, and post replies to them here. Lumenos (talk) 03:23, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

from "Windows and Linux" (1st)[edit]

"The partitions should be done with a Windows partitioning tool (diskpart, Disk Management), rather than a Linux tool (parted, QTparted), for the simple reason that Windows is more particular (i.e., "picky") about how the partition table is written and will occasionally complain or even show errors if it is installed to a Linux-created (or sometimes modified) partition table[citation needed]. Linux tools are powerful, (e.g., shrinking an NTFS drive) but Windows has particularities which must be considered. (See master boot record and extended boot record)." [Moved from article]

Please read Disk_Management#Compatibility_problems. Lumenos (talk) 03:23, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Have there actually been problems when one standard CHS geometry was used? I think this is the best idea for multibooting, unless using a drive that is over 2 TiB (because this may require using a dynamic disk instead of an MBR). This is also the recommendation of multibooters.com. I rewrote the paragraph based on this theory. Lumenos (talk) 03:23, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

from "Technical issues"[edit]

"Compatibility problems may arise with different operating systems: one operating system may not be able to recognize the other operating system's file system and thus may try to format it to its native file system, erasing existing data. This happens more often when the file systems are in separate partitions on one disk than when they are on separate disks.[citation needed] Sometimes an administrator must manually configure one operating system to ignore the other disk or partition in order to allow multiple file systems." [moved from article]

Windows XP/2000 will generally ignore partitions that are labeled in the partition table, as a type that Windows does not recognize, for example, a Linux partition (type 83). If the partition is labeled as FAT or NTFS (type 07), in the partition table, Windows XP/2000 will give it a letter and show it in My Computer. If you select the drive, Windows will prompt to format it. When else does an operating system "try" to format a partition? Lumenos (talk) 04:48, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

from "Windows and Linux" (2nd)[edit]

"Windows should be installed to the first primary drive. Though Windows can be installed to another drive, certain particularities (drive letter assignments, expected system partition number) can make such installations problematic, while Linux installations on primary or logical drives have no such problems whatsoever." [moved from the article]

Last I used Linux, menu.lst (different for Fedora) and fstab have to be updated, if the drive's number changes, in the partition table (the numbering as you would see from using fdisk -l). In Windows 2000/XP menu.lst is equivalent to boot.ini, and the fstab settings are equivalent to the registry keys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices \DosDevices . The only differences I see here are that:
  • If the Linux system partition is in the extended partition, the number doesn't change if primary partitions are added or deleted. Lumenos (talk) 06:53, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Fstab is easier to edit using a text editor from another operating system (such as a live cd). Windows registry can be edited with Offline NT Password & Registry Editor but it won't edit the registry if the drive was not cleanly dismounted, as may happen if you had tried to boot Windows when the system drive letter has changed. But there is an easier fix for this anyway, assuming you installed Windows on partition letter "C". You simply change the disk signature in the MBR and this forces Windows to re-letter all the drives. It will make the active partition "C:". You can change the disk signature with Linux hexedit from System Rescue CD. [I'm not sure what this will do to Vista. see [1]] This may be easier than editing fstab. Additionally, with Windows XP/2000 you can delete all the "DosDevices" drive letter keys from the registry, before backing up (or cloning) the system, so that after a restore, it will always automatically make the active partition C:, no matter what partition you restore to. With Linux I suppose you need to manually update menu.lst and fstab after cloning to a new partition number. Lumenos (talk) 06:53, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
The reason for installing Windows as the first primary seems to be more because it is suggested to install Windows first and Linux last, in order to install GRUB to the MBR. If you created a new partition to install Linux, in front of Windows, this would require editing boot.ini and changing the MBR disk signature, for Windows to boot properly. Lumenos (talk) 07:05, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Unwanted line breaks[edit]

Apparently something to do with cutting a pasting sections (when using Wikipedia Beta) has resulted in a bunch of unwanted line breaks in the sections "Partitioning" and "XP/2003 deletes Vista's System Restore points" at the time of this revision. Lumenos (talk) 17:22, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I believe I removed all unwanted line breaks. Lumenos (talk) 17:32, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Needs Work[edit]

I am sure the contributor has every good intention, but this article is not up to Wiki standards, IMO. In only the first few paragraphs there are grammatical mistakes. There are references to particular software with advanced instructions on how to use them which is not appropriate. The discussion under each heading is not informative to the topic; rather it is obviously written from someone who knows at least a bit about multi booting and has chosen to write about minute parts to be considered (that are not defined) and not the full subject. There are no citations (that is not major, but Microsoft has information), and acronyms such as CHS and FAT are used without spelling out the meaning (e.g. cylinder-head-sector and file allocation table). Linux and Windows are used as general catch-all names. I have no idea what a Vista paritioner [sic] is.

I would suggest a rewrite of the article. Perhaps a better collection of thought will lead to a more informative article. The author may want to include a reference, citation, or mention of: the number of partitions allowed on a hard disk drive (HDD), limitations of various operating systems (OS) with regard to placement on the partitions (maximum size restrictions) and file systems, and pros and cons of using a multiple boot computer, among other things.

Ruthe1 (talk) 13:32, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Make any changes you feel necessary. You can also label articles or sections using the tags from wp:del#Editing. Lumenos (talk) 22:02, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

www.multibooters.co.uk as a source[edit]

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/partitions.html[edit]

I'm using the following page as a source, you know, because that's what we are (not) supposed to do here, but I'm skeptical of some of the claims on this page and am trying to evaluate its reliability here instead of consulting people with no interest in the subject at wp:RSN: http://www.multibooters.co.uk/partitions.html :

"Vista is placing partitions on the hard drive using different starting and ending positions from the recognised conventions. This means that when most other partition altering applications are used they are likely to re-align the partition during operations to the default norms, which can change both the starting and ending sectors of that partition." ~~ http://www.multibooters.co.uk/partitions.html Lumenos (talk) 16:55, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Ranish Partition Manager doesn't have this problem. I would suggest changing the phrase "most other partition altering applications", to "certain tools when used for resizing or imaging the Vista partition". Better yet, list what software does this and when. Lumenos (talk) 00:36, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
The author may have explained what is commonly thought to be a "bug" in GParted, because most people don't know what the "round to cylinders" option does. I reported this here and here. Lumenos (talk) 05:07, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Indeed a GParted developer has confirmed that before version: 0.4.4 (Released on 2009-04-02) GParted would move the start location to a cylinder boundary when the end of the partition was re-sized, if the "round to cylinders" option was checked. Vista was released to manufacturing on November 8, 2006 and to retail on January 30, 2007, so that was over two years before GParted became Vista "compatible" (for those who didn't know about Vista's new alignments because their partition editors do not reveal this as Ranish Partition Manager does). Lumenos (talk) 08:29, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Dual boot is not multiboot[edit]

The article describes dual boot as a special case of multiboot, but dual boot was actually something quite different.Prior to IBM's introduction of the Boot Manager for OS/2, it had special code for allowing DOS and OS/2 to coexist on the same disk. I don't recall all of the details, but it included renaming files when switching between the two systems. Needless to say, nobody used it once Boot Manager was available. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz (talk) 23:04, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Dual booting, as it is understood outside of the peculiar jargon used in OS/2 is the special case of "multibooting" where you have exactly two operating systems to choose from; just like it says in the article. (besides, your description exactly matches the description of dual booting described in the article).80.162.60.16 (talk) 23:54, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
No, my description of dual boot does not match that in the article, which describes it as a special case of multi-boot. The article describes selecting, e.g., a drive, partition, logical drive, not renaming files or otherwise modifying the contents of files on the boot drive. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 19:39, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Merge with booting[edit]

I would like to propose that this article be merged with the booting article with a possible redirect from multibooting (and dual booting) to the booting article.

The reason I think this is a good idea is that the booting concept is described in the booting article and multibooting is just a special case of the booting concept (booting is booting an operating systems, multibooting is booting an operating system from a selection of such). 80.162.60.16 (talk) 23:58, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Concur. I also suggest that the text distinguish between dual boot schemes tied into particular operating systems, e.g., the Dual Boot feature of OS/2, and generic multi-boot setups where there happen to be exactly two operating system, e.g., grub, lilo, OS/2 Boot Manager. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 17:57, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved. --BDD (talk) 17:31, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Multi-bootMulti-booting – To match booting. Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 06:35, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Why the past tense?[edit]

The following 2 sentences use the past tense. Why?

1)Multi-booting allowed a new operating system to configure all applications needed, and migrate data before removing the old operating system, if desired.

2)Multi-booting was also used by software developers where multiple operating systems were required for development or testing purposes. Having these systems on one machine was a way to reduce hardware costs.

Too Old (talk) 04:28, 27 November 2013 (UTC)