post #11 of 11
This is what I recommend:
XP + Ubuntu dual boot.

1. First install XP on a primary NTFS partition.

2. Install Partition Magic and create a Fat32 partition for shared media and for Boot Magic (it needs to be on a fat32 system)

3. Install Boot magic and set it to boot to XP

4. Install Ubuntu (or whatever distro you choose) and during the install when it asks you to set up the partitions, do it manually. First create an ext3 partition for your /root directory (in linux the root directory is referred to as '/'), you will also need to create a partition for the SWAP file (linux needs its own partition for swap), I also suggest creating another partition for your /home directory, but that is up too you.

5. Once you have created the partitions you next have to select the mount points. What this means is you have the 'link' your newly created partitions to their respective directories ('/' to the first ext3 partition, swap to its swap partition, and /home to the other ext3 partition.

6. When all of the mount points have been selected the installation will begin. Towards the end of the installation, GRUB (linux's boot manger) should detect that you have XP installed and set up a boot loader that will allow you to select between Linux and XP.

7. Restart and cross your fingers, you should now be able to boot into both operating systems.

I have made it sound far more complicated than it really is, the GUI for the installation process is very good. The important part is to have your partitions set up properly, it can be dangerous moving and resizing them after installation. Draw it out on paper first (no really, I'm serious), draw a long rectangle and graphically mark the size and position of each partition on it. If it helps this is how I have partitioned my system (Name, type, primary/logical, size):

1st - Windows : NTFS primary 30GB
2nd- Data (for XP) : NTFS logical (secondary) 50 GB
3rd- Shared (for XP and Linux) : Fat32 logical (secondary) Rest of disk space
4th- /home : ext3 logical (secondary) 25 GB
5th- / (root) : ext3 primary 10 GB
6th- swap (linux swap) : swap 500 MB

I'm not going to get into the designations of 'primary' and 'secondary', but they are important to the overall structure of your hard drive, and are worth looking into. Simply google 'partitions'. Have a look at Kittani's partitioning guide, it is very good http://www.overclock.net/linux-unix-...ing-guide.html

Also, you may wonder why you should install Boot Magic for XP, when the boot loader GRUB for Linux takes over. The answer is, I'm not sure. Although through some hard lessons (read: many re-installations) I have found that you can loose both installations without it.

I'm sorry for the length of this post, I had no intention of writing this much, but I hope that this may make it a little easier for you in your dual-boot ventures. And yes, the grass is greener...
Good Luck.
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24/7 BOINC!!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 @ 3.20 GHz, 1.400v ASUS Commando BFG 8600GTS OC 2GB Team Xtreem PC2-6400 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
250 GB Maxtor Ubuntu and XP for games and CAD Acer AL2216W 22" Logitec 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
SilverStone Zeus 750W Antec P180 Logitech G7 Everglide Richochet 
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