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Red Hat 7.1 / Win2k Dual Boot

The following is a "cookbook" appoach to dual booting RedHat 7.1 and Windows 2000 and was written while installing on my Compaq 1800T laptop.  Hopefully I have documented the process well enough that you won't have questions; however, if you do have questions, try reading through the installation manual on the Red Hat site before you begin.

This installation assumes that you have a 20 gig hard drive with Win2k already installed.  If you are starting with a clean hard drive,  set a 50 megabyte partition at the beginning of the drive to hold the Linux /boot partition.   This should be left unformatted or set to Ext2fs.  The reason for the small partition is to hold the Linux kernel image, which needs to be installed before the 1024th cylinder of the hard disk.  After setting the 50 meg partition, set a partition for Win2k ( I chose about 11 gigs).  The remainder of the drive does not need to be partitioned or formatted at this point.  Now, intall Win2k and then proceed to step 3.

If you are starting with Win2k already installed, start with step 1.

1. Resize partition with Partition Magic - I went from 20 gigs on the C: partition to just under 11 gigs.

2. Using Partition Magic, move the C: partition so that there's 50 megs of unformatted space before the C: partition

3. Reboot box and set the BIOS to boot from CD (If necessary).

4. Reboot with Red Hat ISO image - disk 1 in CD drive.

5. Press Enter to install RedHat in graphical mode (image will load).

6. Language

Choose language (English).

Click Next.

7. Keyboard Configuration

Choose Model, layout, dead keys (generic 105-key, U.S. English, Enable dead keys).

Click Next.

8. Mouse Configuration

Choose mouse. (3-button (PS/2) Select Emulate 3 Buttons.

Click Next.

9. At the Welcome screen.

Click Next.

10. Installation Type

Choose Custom System for install type.

Click Next.

11. Disk Partitioning

For Partitioning, choose Manual with Disk Druid.

Click Next.

12. Disk Druid Partitions - Click HERE for a screenshot.

You'll see:
Mount Point Device Requested Actual Type
<not set> hda1 10992 10992 Win95 FAT32


NOTE: The type may be NTFS - it doen't matter, just leave it be.  This is the Windows partition.

NOTE: If you pre-formatted or set aside a 50 meg partition, you will see it listed.  Highlight it and click Edit and designate it as /boot.

13. Click Add and make it look similar to the following:  [help]
Mount Point Device Requested Actual Type
<not set> hda1 10992 10992 Win95 FAT32
/boot hda2 50M 51M Linux Native
hda5 4000M 4001M Linux Native
<Swap> hda6 320M 324M Linux Swap
/home hda7 1M 3706M Linux Native

NOTE:  Set the /home partition to Use Remaining Space.

NOTE: I'm running 320 MB RAM and equalling it in the swap file.

The Drive Summary should equal 100% of the drive.

Click Next.

HINT:  Putting /home on a separate partition is optional, but it is a good way to save information on a partition separate from the main 3 linux partitions (/boot, /, and swap).  Should you ever need to re-install Red Hat due to problems, you can choose not to re-format the /home partition and keep all the information saved there, while getting a fresh installation of Red Hat  to work with.  If this is the case, you must know the designation of the /home partition so that you don't over-write it on the new installation.  In the example above it is hda7.  If you need to recheck this, type df in a terminal window.

I have broken quite a few programs and libraries while learning what I can and cannot do while working in the Linux O/S.  It is often easier for the novice to do a re-install of the O/S rather than to try to repair the many files that may be changed during a program installation.  In most cases, even if Linux won't boot from the hard drive, you can boot it from the floppy you'll make as a part of this installation.

You can then move copies of the files you want to save into the /home directory.  I usually move in the /etc directory.  (This directory contains most of the configuration files - think of it as similar to the registry in Windows.)  I also move in the /usr directory.  This is where many of the programs reside.  Since I have worked hard on setting up my firewall configuration  and don't want to loose it, getting a copy of it from /usr/sbin is important.  I also have many custom configured programs that run from /usr/local/bin.

After a re-installation of Red Hat, I can refer to my config files in /home/backup/etc to reconfigure my programs and move back in scripts and programs that were kept in the /usr directory.  This can keep the time involved in re-configuring you box to a minimum.

14. Choose to format the partitions /, /boot, and /home.  You may enable check for bad blocks if you wish.

Click Next.

15. Lilo Configuration  Click HERE for screenshot.

The following boxes should be checked.

Create Boot Disk
Install LILO
Install LILO boot record on:
/dev/hda Master Boot Record (MBR).
Use Linear Mode
Kernel parameters "hdc=ide-scsi

Default boot image should be UNCHECKED
boot label should be dos
There should be a check in /dev/hda5 Linux Native linux

Click Next.

16. Network Configuration

I use a static IP for my box, so I use the following for my Network Configuration:

Uncheck Configure using DHCP - this allows you to enter the IP Address information.

NOTE: This assumes that the computer is on a network and is not the server.  If this is not the case, research this before starting the installation.

 Configure using DHCP (No)
 Active on boot (Yes)
 IP Address
 Netmask  (if you hit "Tab" after filling this in, it will fill out the next two lines for you.)

 Hostname  petey.benchtest.com   (my cat, if you must know)
 Gateway (my server)
 Primary DNS
 Secondary DNS 207.xxx.xxx.xxx (My ISP's Primary DNS)
 Ternary DNS 207.xxx.xxx.xxx (My ISP's Secondary DNS)

Click Next.

17. Firewall Configuration

NOTE: I set up a cursory firewall on installation, then install my own firewall after the box is up.  Install something NOW.  You do not want to have the box on the internet without SOME KIND of firewall, even if it is just for a few minutes while you setup your internet connection.  PERIOD!  This will get you going without opening up too much.

 Choose your security level  - medium


Trusted devices: eth0

 Allow incoming:
 Mail (SMTP)

Click Next.

18. Language Selection

Choose the default language - English

Click Next.

19.Time Zone Selection

Location = America/New York.  (The info on the UTC tab will be set automatically - NY is UTC-05 US Eastern)

Select Daylight Saving Time (if applicable)

Click Next.

20. Account Configuration

Root Password  (make it good!) Twice.

21. Same screen:  Add an account.

Mine looks like this:

Account name: petey

Password: some_password  Password (confirm): some_password

Full Name: petey

Click Add,

add another account if you wish, then

Click Next.

22. Authentication Configuration

Check - Enable MD5 passwords

Check - Enable Shadow passwords

Leave the next 3 boxes disabled unless you know you need them.  You can set them up as you need them from within Red Hat.


Click Next.

23. Package Group Selection -- Scroll to bottom and select Everything (total install size 2,288M).

Selecting everthing gives you an extensive selection of software.  Much more than the average user will need; however, until you know what you will and won't use, it is a great way to start learning what's available.

Click Next.

24. X Configuration

 ATI Rage Mobility

 RAM 16 MB

Click Next.

HINT: If your hardware is fairly recent, it will be detected.  It is pretty safe to go with whatever is listed on the screen.  If the X, Monitor and/or Graphics configuration aren't set correctly, you will probably end up with Red Hat giving errors and running in text mode after you boot up.  I usually go with what is listed as the default configuration and tweak it later.  In the case of this laptop, no tweaking was necessary.  The default settings were perfect.

25. Monitor Configuration

Choose your configuration - if what is displayed, is close, go with it.  You can change this later by running Xconfigurator, but for now we just need it to boot up to a GUI screen.

My settings are:

 Laptop Screen

 H Sync 30-110 kHz

 V Sync 60-110 Hz

Click Next.

26. Customize Graphics

 Color = High Color (16 bit)

 Resolution = 1024x768

Press the test setting button and choose Yes if you see the message.

Choose Gnome for desktop environment and

Graphical for login type.

Click Next.

27.  About to Install -- Click Next.

28.  Installing Packages - The installation process copies the files to the hard drive.

29. Boot Disk Creation - Insert a formatted floppy and click Next.

30. Congratulations, installation is complete.  Click Exit.

If all went well, you should get a Red Hat boot screen with the choice of linux and dos.

There are some additional setup hints in the Compaq 1800T article.

If you want to run the Win2k (NT4) boot loader, take a look at NT / Linux dual boot article.