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Full Version: Dual Boot Laptop Help Needed
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I just got a new widescreen (5105) emachines laptop and would like to dualboot the preinstalled windows xp home and a version of linux. I do not have a floppy drive. I do have 40gig to play with for both OSs. I do not have the original software on disks, only "Restore Disks". I can get a copy of win xp home to install from with my current key but do not wish to loose some of the preinstalled software.
I have searched the web for howtos but only found ways of doing this that either required a floppy drive, or required reinstalling windows once or twice and needing the original instalation cd . I dont think that the restore disks can be used in these instructions. I could use a copy of win xp install disk (and my serial number)for these instructions but am afraid that I would loose some of the pre-installed software.

Has anyone had any success installing linux on a emachines laptop? If so, which distro. did you use? I was leaning towards Mandrake or Red Hat. Any ideas/input?

Thanks in advance
Well, I don't know specifically about that type of laptop under linux. but your current setup should be easy to install linux on.

First off, you would need some partitioning software for windows, I recommend Partition Magic. Use partition magic to resize your windows partition because i'm guessing that your entire 40gig drive is currently under C: correct? In partition magic, you can resize it to free up some space, say, 15-20 gigs. After that space is freed up, you can restart your laptop with the installation cd in the cdrom for the distro you want to install. Your linux install will start then, and you will be able to install it onto the partition that you just freed up. When the install completes, distros like SuSE, Redhat and Mandrake will automatically install a bootloader that will include the option to boot Windows as well.

As for your choice of distro, it's completly up to you. Redhat is not releasing any more free distributions under the Redhat name, but rather "Fedora". Mandrake is a nice option, I've heard some good things from people regarding it. Your best bet is to read up on it, and see what's best for you.
I already partitioned it but was afraid of ruining the bootloader and not straightening it out. (I dont know what I was afraid of as it is new and can be returned to factory quickly). Thanks for the reply
we can easily fix the bootloader...but it shouldn't be a problem.
For tracking's sake, and for other users who may have similar problems, i will post a private message received from the user:

I have tried installing red hat 9.0 on my PC, which already has winXP pro. installed, but every time i do i cant boot back into windows.
When i go through the install of red hat and am prompted to install a bootloader i'm not sure how to set this section up.
Could you please offer some advice

I would recommend that you leave the first screen at the defaults, except check the "Configure Advance boot loader options"

Then in the Advanced Boot loader section (image below), pick the First sector of the boot partition instead of MBR. (The picture shows MBR ... pick first sector of boot partition instead)....this requires that you have a seperate boot partition ... I recommend that you have a boot partition, a root partition and a swap partition on the install...

After you complete the install, your boot up should not show linux at all ... but you should boot to XP just like normal.

Go to the Bootpart website and download bootpart, then use it to modifiy the XP boot.ini file. Here are some instructions for bootpart.

After following the instructions link above (ignore the part abut LILO ... you will be using grub and it was setup before...just do the XP part) ... you should be able to dual boot and maintain your Windows MBR intact...
As duende said in his post ... RedHat is no longer releasing ... so you might want to download FedoraCore1 instead and install that. Joey did a is a very similar install to RH9 (but with newer products) ... and it will continue to get security upgrades and the like after RH9 stops getting them in a couple months.
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