Dual Boot Setup

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Dual Boot Setup

Postby gavinjb on Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:20 pm

Hi,

I am looking at setting up my Laptop to dual boot with Windows XP & Mint, but have a couple of setup questions relating to how I am planning to (hopefully) set it up.

My Proposed Setup is as follows on a 250GB HD

1. WindowsXP - NTFS (40GB)
2. Linux Swap (1-2GB)
3. Linux / - Ext3 (15-20GB)
4. Data (Rest)

With Data what I would ideally like to set it up in a way so that from Linux it is mounted as /Home and available for users data and in Windows I would map My Documents to the same place so that all data is easily available whether in Linux or Windows, my concerns with this are as follows

1. How to do this in Linux (the MyDocs part in WinXP is easy)
2. What Type to format the drive (I would prefer Ext3, but Win can't read this so looks like Fat or NTFS and NTFS looks the better choice)

Any additional comments would be appreciated on this setup.

Thanks,



Gavin,
Linux Mint 7
HP G60-217EM Laptop
2gb Ram, 250gb HD (1gb Swap, 20gb root, 229gb Data)
NVIDIA GeForce 8200M
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Re: Dual Boot Setup

Postby viking777 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:26 pm

If you want my opinion (and I freely admit I may be wrong) - forget it.

If you did manage to set up a Linux system with an NTFS home folder (which I doubt you can) it would be a living hell to deal with. I speak from my own experience of NTFS external hard drives on Linux systems which are always prone to crashing. I am pretty sure your home folder will have to be ext2 or 3.

There are ways for Windows to access linux file systems though, this site might be of use to you but there are a lot more like it, just search.

http://www.howtoforge.com/access-linux-partitions-from-windows
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Re: Dual Boot Setup

Postby gavinjb on Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:35 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the advice and the help, looks like Ext3 is the better way to go, I was looking at NTFS as I had yet to find any tools for Windows which integrated into the file System (had only found Explore2fx previously), so wasn't aware of anything which could give me support to read/write Ext3 from Windows Explorer.

Thanks,



Gavin,
Linux Mint 7
HP G60-217EM Laptop
2gb Ram, 250gb HD (1gb Swap, 20gb root, 229gb Data)
NVIDIA GeForce 8200M
15.6 (1366 x 768) screen
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Re: Dual Boot Setup

Postby DataMan on Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:32 pm

Gavin,

Glad to see that you are thinking this through before the commit of the hard drive etc. For what you mentioned there are a lot of variations to get where you want to go with this thing. I'll give you my slant on recommendations for whatever it's worth:

1. Pre-configure your partitions before you install. This means setting up your partitions prior to any installation. One path for this is to get a copy of GParted Live, burn the iso and boot to it.
2. For the actual configuration of the partitions, you can do one of several things:
a. Make a dedicated partition for "/home" and make it large enough to accomodate all of your data.
b. Make a dedicated "/home" and a dedicated "data" partition.

My personal recommendation is to go with both a dedicated /home and an dedicated data partition. Use the '/home' to store your settings and some light data. Use the data partition for all of your heavy lifting data items. I would also recommend making the data partition an ext3 partition. SAMBA will take care of the network sharing between an XP box etc.

For a 250G HD here's what I would suggest:

sda1 NTFS (your windows partition).
sda2 swap (1-2G max)
sda3 extended (the rest of the drive)
sda4 ext3 (within the extended AFTER you have created the extended) 8-10G for "/"
sda5 ext3 5-10G for "/home"
sda6 ext3 for your data (balance of available space within the extended partition)

If you're interested in going this route and need assistance with the installation thinger, re-post here.

Good Luck,

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Re: Dual Boot Setup

Postby gavinjb on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:05 pm

Hi,

I have decided to go for a Dual boot system with Data areas for both Windows and Linux and Sync the data between the two. This is where I come to my problems I have tried installing Ext2IFS but when I try to use the drives that I have mounted, I get the following error:

Code: Select all
C:\Documents and Settings\Gavin Blackford\Desktop>mountdiag.exe M:

The volume has an Ext2/Ext3 file system, but the Ext2 IFS 1.11 software did not

mount it because the file system has an inode size unequal to 128 bytes (inode

size: 256 bytes).

The only way to solve it is to back up the volume's files and format the file

system: give the mkfs.ext3 utility the -I 128 switch. Finally, restore all

backed-up files.

After that, the Ext2 IFS software should be able to access the volume.


As I have had a safe shutdown of Linux, not sure what could cause this problem.

My other thought is to set the Sync up in Linux, I would want to Sync the following any suggestions on how to do this (Windows is NTFS).

Linux - Windows
\Documents - \MyDocs\Documents
\Pictures - \MyDocs\My Pictures
\Videos - \MyDocs\My Videos
\Music - \MyDocs\My Music
\Downloads - \Mydocs\Downloads

Thanks,


Gavin,
Linux Mint 7
HP G60-217EM Laptop
2gb Ram, 250gb HD (1gb Swap, 20gb root, 229gb Data)
NVIDIA GeForce 8200M
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Re: Dual Boot Setup

Postby frisil on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:12 pm

Gavin, you were a little faster than me, so here's an update to my original post:

Do not use a separate home partition, just a huge data partition with ext3. There are windows drivers for ext3, so install them and you can access the data partition with windows. If this causes too much trouble, you can use fat or ntfs for the data partition, as it only hosts data files and linux rights management is not really needed. (But I'm not sure how well the ntfs support works with Mint, as I don't use windows at all).

In your Mint install, delete the documents folder in your /home/username folder. Then drag and drop the windows documents folder on your data partition to your /home/username folder and PRESS ALT when letting go the mouse button. This will give you the choice to select "link here"; you will create a so-called symlink. Now you have a documents folder in /home/username that can be accessed as if it was on the root partition, but actually rests on the data partition also mounted to windows. You can do the same with folders for videos, music, etc.

IMHO a separate home partition is always nonsense because I don't see any point to this. I always use a data partition for all my data file folders and symlink them to the /home/username folder of any Linux I'm using. This way, config and data files remain separate as they should be and the data files can be used with multiple OSes.

UPDATE: just use NTFS of FAT for the data partition and use symlinks as I explained above. This should solve your problem!
Last edited by frisil on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dual Boot Setup

Postby AK Dave on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:15 pm

This is all doable. No problem.

First I'd suggest a minor revision to your partition plan. Put SWAP first:
[code]2. Linux Swap (1-2GB)
1. WindowsXP - NTFS (40GB)
3. Linux / - Ext3 (15-20GB)
4. Data (Rest)[/quote]

You'll be fine with up to 20gb for linux, but you won't need it. Nah. No way. You can load a linux install for bear and still have a hard time using as much as 8gb. I figure 10-12 to be extravagant. 20gb? Unnecessary. Especially if your /home is going to be essentially empty.

Thats right.

What you do is create all of those directories that you already specified, and then use Konquerer (KDE) or Nautilus (Gnome) or the commandline to create symlinks. Take the real folder, make a symlink of it, put the symlink in your /home, and linux treats it as a happy real member of the filesystem family.
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Re: Dual Boot Setup

Postby AK Dave on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:32 pm

As for ext3-vs-ntfs for the data partition, make the decision based on which OS is going to used primarily. Will you be 60% Mint, or 60% Windows? If your primary OS is linux, make the data partition ext3; if your primary OS is Windows, make the data partition ntfs. Simple answer. Why? You want your primary OS to have the right tools to perform any necessary maintenance of the partition and its data.

If you're Mint time is >60%, then I have to wonder why you need a seperate partition for Windows in the first place. Stick with linux, use Virtualbox, and run Windows from within Mint. Maybe keep a seperate Windows partition purely for game use. Maybe. Thats up to you.
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