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WinXP Pro 64-bit and Fedora Core x64 dual-boot

by Adi / November 20, 2006 5:47 AM PST

Hi,

Wasn't sure which forum to post this in since it concerns both Windows and Linux, but hopefully someone will have advice. I'm wanting to set up a dual-boot of Windows XP Professional 64-bit Edition and Fedora Core 6 x64. I've bought a new hard-drive ready for the cause with the intention of partitioning half for Windows and half for Linux. My question is, which installation would be best to run first? And should I partition the whole drive and then re-partition with the other OS install, or just partition half and leave the other half unpartitioned ready for the next OS install?

This is of course assuming that what I'm trying to do is possible, but I don't see why it shouldn't be. I know Linux is a bit more complicated to set up partitions for though so I'd appreciate some advice/links on that front if you know of any, especially relating to Fedora Core. I have installed Linux before but that was for use as a server rather than a workstation.

If anyone has instructions on how to set up the dual-boot as well, that'd be helpful Happy


Cheers,
Adi

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XP first.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 20, 2006 5:51 AM PST

Then watch as it asks for partition sizes. For Linux I take the suggested plan. Fedora installs it's boot manager so this is almost a push the return key install. However I've seen people agonize and research this for months. Why do that. You can always wipe out and try again.

Be sure you have your XP 64 drivers ready and if you install to SATA, I feel sorry for you already.

Bob

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Start feeling sorry
by Adi / November 20, 2006 7:28 PM PST
In reply to: XP first.

Yes, I install to SATA... is there some notorious mal-support issue I wasn't aware of? What is the problem with SATA - the dual boot, Linux, 64-bit? I had WinXP 64 bit installed on a SATA before with no trouble.

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It's the usual drivers issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 20, 2006 10:38 PM PST
In reply to: Start feeling sorry

The stock XP-64 and XP didn't have the SATA drivers so owners when they tried to install, reinstall or boot to the recovery console are faced with hard disk access issues. It's widely discussed but it's just a matter of having the motherboard drivers to supply at the right step.

Bob

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Windows first
by jackson dougless / November 20, 2006 6:24 AM PST

Fedora Core uses the Grub bootloader, which will pick up on Windows automatically if it [Windows] is installed first.

I'm going to agree with Bob however, in suggesting you make sure you know what you're getting into with the 64-bit XP. It was a pretty half-hearted release, coming so late into the XP lifecycle, and was really more to help the Vista developers create the 64-bit version of Vista. There's next to nothing worth using it for as things stand today. Even Linux, which has supported x86-64 CPUs almost since AMD created the instruction set, still has rather lousy support for it on the app side. I run the 32-bit version of Fedora Core on my Athlon64.

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GRUB
by Adi / November 20, 2006 7:35 PM PST
In reply to: Windows first

Referring to http://fedora.redhat.com/docs/install-guide/fc6/en/sn-upgrading-bootloader.html it says that Fedora cannot update a Windows boot loader, and I guess the reverse is true. However, if I install Windows first, and then install Fedora choosing to create a new boot loader, will that automatically create one for booting into Windows and Linux?


As for moving to 64-bit, I just feel that the 64-bit processor is a bit wasted chugging away on 32-bit applications, so I thought I'd give the 64-bit thing a try. Also it's a good excuse to install Linux and see how they compare. I may be setting myself in a bit deep, jumping to Linux and 64-bit at once, but the fun is in experimenting, no? Happy

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After a re-read...
by Adi / November 20, 2006 7:38 PM PST
In reply to: GRUB

I realise that yes, Linux will create a new GRUB bootloader with dual-boot for both Windows and Linux. Ignore that part of my previous post... (wish there was an edit button)

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I used to feel the same
by jackson dougless / November 20, 2006 11:19 PM PST
In reply to: GRUB

But then the harsh reality of the poor app support set in, and it just wasn't worth it. Not to mention the extra headache of having to maintain a set of 32-bit libraries for 32-bit app support, which just increases the overhead.

And I know you figured it out, but just to make it really clear for anyone else who may read this... Fedora Core, or any other Linux distribution for that matter, will obliterate the Windows bootloader and install its own, which is capable of booting Windows. You CAN get ntldr, the Windows bootloader, to boot Linux, but it's a real PITA compared to the other way around.

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Do you think it's worth bothering with Linux x64 then?
by Adi / November 21, 2006 1:19 AM PST

There are a few programs I definitely want to run on 64-bit Windows so I'll be installing that, but if the amount of x64 apps for Linux is virtually non-existent then I might as well just install a 32-bit version. I thought being open-source, x64 uptake might have been greater on Linux.

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Probably not
by jackson dougless / November 21, 2006 2:18 AM PST

Most programs can be compiled as 64-bit programs on Linux, but some of them have highly specific code that doesn't translate as well. Mplayer, for example, has a lot of hand written MMX/SSE/SSE2/3DNow! assembly code to make the decoding process as efficient as possible. They've been very slow to make this 64-bit compatible, and I don't know if they have since the last time I tried a 64-bit Linux a year or so ago.

While 64-bit support in the open source world is considerably better than the Windows world, it's a matter of there not being much of a compelling reason to bother. There are very few things 64-bit platforms improve upon over 32-bit, and most of those are only useful to specific application classes. There's no real point in installing the 64-bit version of Windows OR Linux... At least not yet, and it's impossible to say when that will change.

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For me it was worth it. BUT....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 21, 2006 2:51 AM PST

It was some video encoding work that I could shave time off by running it on the 64-bit OS (Suse). I'm not as convinced about XP64 as I was last year. Microsoft seems to have left it half baked. Some real promise there but for now I'll just run 32-bit Windows and 64-bit Linux where I can.

Bob

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