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Installing Linux next to Windows

Started by John, 2006-03-20T20:39:28-06:00 (Monday)

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Ok, so I am very familiar with Linux, however I have never tried what I want to do today. I have Windows installed on my hard drive and the partition takes up the whole hard drive. I want to install Linux on my external hard drive that is connected via usb, but my motherboard doesn't support boot via usb. My question is how do I install Linux without modifying the Windows partition at all. If I install Linux and tell it to install on the external hard drive and then overwrite the MBR of the hard drive in my laptop and dual boot will that work? I have heard that LiLO isn't very good at actually booting to Windows.


Since your motherboard does not support removable drive boot , it may not work.
How about linux inside windows ?


I've never had any problems with lilo booting to windows.  Personally if I were you I'd use a program like partition magic or something else to shrink the size of your win partition and then convert it for use in windows.  i've done is several times and never had any problems.

Bryan Grubaugh
Quickly aging alumni with too much time on his hands
Business Systems Analyst, Scripps Networks.

Peter Motyka

I've used this handy boot CD (http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page) that contains GNU parted on it to resize a NTFS partition to make room for linux.  Also, I'd advise using the more modern GRUB boot loader instead of LILO.

Booting and running an OS off an external USB drive?  Yikes, that sounds like an I/O bottleneck to me.
SIUE CS Alumni 2002
Grad Student, Regis University
Senior Engineer, Ping Identity


Hey, I think I found a work around. You're right if I boot via an external HD, then it will be WAY too slow. I can't repartition the HD just because it's a 20 Gig HD and with two OSes on it, it would never work. I am going to instead put it on the other internal HD I have that was originally used for data storage. I just wanted to say thanks for all your help and ideas.

This is the link to the site that showed me the work around I used on the very off chance that someone else has this same or similar problem. http://www.highlandsun.com/hyc/linuxboot.html