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Multi-booting Your Pc

Multi-booting Your Pc



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Published by pedpalina
Multi-boot set-up and procedures
Multi-boot set-up and procedures

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Published by: pedpalina on Feb 08, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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FAQ: Secrets to Running MultipleOperating Systems
Why limit yourself to one operating system when youcan have two (or three) on the same PC (or Mac)?
Scott Spanbauer
Tuesday, February 05, 2008 10:00 PM PSTYou don't need separate computers to run different operating systems. Sure, Windows is by far the most common OS running on the millions of PCs in daily use, but that doesn'tmean you're stuck using just XP or Vista.You can add a newer--or older--Windows version to your existing one, and you canchoose which one to load from a boot menu when you power on the computer. The latestMacs also offer the ability to dual-boot Mac OS X and Windows via the company's BootCamp utility. And both Macs and PCs can run popular versions of the GNU/Linuxoperating system, such as Ubuntu and openSuSE.(Warning: Creating multiboot configurations often involves using disk-partitioningtechniques that can damage or destroy your data. Before adding, removing, or resizing partitions, modifying boot loader software, or altering the master boot record, be sure to back up your files.)
Multibooting on Your PC
Q. I'm not sure I want to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista. Can I justadd Vista to my existing Windows XP installation so I can boot either one?
A. Yes. When you install Windows Vista, choose the
install option, and theninstall to a different partition than your existing Windows XP installation. To delete andcreate partitions, boot your system with the Vista install disc rather than running theinstaller within an earlier Windows version; this approach gives you additional optionsfor creating and deleting (but not resizing) partitions. To shrink existing partitions andmake room for a new one, use a third-party partitioning program like the free PartitionLogic. After you install Windows Vista, the operating system's boot menu will give youthe option of booting either Vista or your previous Windows version.
Q. How do I change which operating system boots by default, the delay beforebooting, and the menu text in the multiboot menus in Windows XP and WindowsVista?
A. In Windows XP, open the Control Panel's
applet,select the
tab, and click 
Startup and  Recovery.
Select the default operating system from the drop-down list in the
System Startup
section, and select the delaytime in the field next to 'Time to display list of operatingsystems'. Click 
System Startup
to open the boot.iniconfiguration file in the Notepad text editor; this editor lets youmodify the default text label (enclosed in double quotes) for each operating system in the menu. Windows Vista's bootmenu options are nearly identical to those in Windows XP(click the
 Advanced system settings
link in Control Panel's
applet, and then choose the
tab), but Vista lacks the
 button.To modify the boot menu listings, open a Command Promptwindow as Administrator (choose
 All Programs, Accessories,
Command Prompt,
 Run as Administrator 
),and enter 
. You'll see a list of the current boot menusettings, including separate sections for each operatingsystem listed. To modify the menu text for a listed OS, usethe command
bcdedit /set
description "
, where
is the identifier listed in the bcdeditoutput, and "
Menu text 
" is the new menu text you want tocreate. For example, to change Windows Vista's default entry for Windows XP from theannoyingly vague 'Earlier Version of Windows' to the more specific 'Windows XP HomeEdition', use the command
bcdedit /set {ntldr} description "Windows XP HomeEdition"
Removing a Windows Partition
Q. I've decided that my system is better off running Windows XP. How do I removethe Vista partition?
A. Deleting the Windows Vista partition (using either the tools in the recovery console of the Windows XP boot disc or a third-party tool) is only part of the job: Windows Vista's boot loader will remain behind. To restore the Windows XP boot loader, boot the PC withyour XP install disc, press
to enter the recovery console, and log on to the WindowsVista partition. Enter the command
to write a new partition boot sector to theWindows XP partition, and then the command
to write the Windows XP bootloader to the Master Boot Record of the hard disk where the Windows XP partition islocated.
Q. I like Vista--how do I remove the XP partition?
A. Deleting the Windows XP partition gets the OS off your hard disk, but not out of 
Windows Vista's boot menu. To delete Windows XP's entry from Windows Vista's bootmenu, first open a command prompt with administrative rights (using the same stepsdescribed above for removing Vista); then enter the command
bcdedit /delete {ntldr} /f 
Q. Can I add a Linux distribution to my PC without disrupting my existingWindows installation?
A. Absolutely. Novice-friendly Linux distributions such asUbuntu and OpenSuSE include disk-partitioning software that lets you resize or delete existing partitions to makeroom for a new partition for your Linux installation. In addition, Linux distributionsgenerally install their own boot managers (the most common one these days is the GNUGRand Unix Bootloader, or GRUB) and automatically add a system's existing Windows boot configuration to the Linux boot loader's menu.
Q. Can I triple-boot Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Linux?
A. Sure. The easy way is to install them one at a time--first XP, then Vista, then Linux.This arrangement yields a chain boot configuration in which the Linux boot loader (usually GRUB) appears first, listing the Linux distribution and Windows Vista. Selecting'Windows Vista' launches the Vista boot loader, which in turn offers 'Windows Vista' and'Windows XP' boot options.
Q. Now that OS X runs on Intel processors, can I install it on my PC?
A. Apple supports OS X installations only on Apple hardware, and it has added featuresto the OS that make installing OS X on non-Apple computers difficult. Nevertheless,several intrepid OS X fans have managed to install both OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and OS X10.5 (Leopard) on systems with hardware configurations similar to those of Apple's Intel- based computers. If you're willing to buy the compatible hardware and battle through theincompatibilities and workarounds, you might be able to do the same. Start your quest atThe OSx86 Project, where Tiger- and Leopard-loving PC users document their successesand failures on the site's OS X-on-Intel wiki. Or you could just buy an iMac.
Multibooting on Your Intel-Based Mac
Q. Can I install Windows Vista to dual-boot with Leopard on my new Mac?
A. Yes. OS X 10.5 (Leopard) includes the final version of the Boot Camp multiboot configuration utility. To startthe process, launch
 Boot Camp Assistant 
in Leopard's
folder. You'll see an option to print an installationguide before getting started--definitely print it out, but beforewarned that it is 25 pages long. Boot Camp Assistantdefaults to creating a new 5GB Windows partition, whichis too small for Windows Vista. Two buttons below the partition graphic let you choosewhether to divide the hard disk equally between Mac OS X and Windows or to create a

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