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Dual boot with XP - FreeBSD

>  Yup. The very best way. The only funny thing is that the standard FreeBSD MBR will put ?? in the menu for the XP choice on boots - but it will still work fine. IF you think that is too ugly or can't remember that ?? stands for the XP system, then you can replace it with a third party booter later.   No problem. Just have one of the systems on the first disk and one on the second. Actually, you really need to have the MS system on the first disk or it won't be happy. But, ...

  1. #1

    Default Re: Dual boot with XP



    Yup. The very best way.
    The only funny thing is that the standard FreeBSD MBR will put ?? in
    the menu for the XP choice on boots - but it will still work fine. IF
    you think that is too ugly or can't remember that ?? stands for the XP
    system, then you can replace it with a third party booter later.
     

    No problem. Just have one of the systems on the first disk and one
    on the second. Actually, you really need to have the MS system on
    the first disk or it won't be happy. But, FreeBSD can go anywhere.
    If there are more disks possible then the FreeBSD installer (sysinstall)
    will give you a choice early in the install of where to put it. It
    will be a menu item.

    To install both OSen on a single disk, you will probably need to make
    room for FreeBSD. XP will probably already occupy all of it in one
    large slice, with the possible exception of some diagnostic space
    some vendors, such as Dell, like to use. To make space, you use
    a utility that can shrink the space being used by the MS stuff - leave
    the diagnostic slice alone.

    Since it is XP, there is a good chance that the file system type is NTFS.
    In that case, the little utility that comes with FreeBSD will not do it
    and you have to get a third party partiton/slice manager. The last I
    knew, none of the free ones adequately handle NTFS. I have had good luck
    with Partition Magic from Power Quest. It is easy to use and pretty much
    protects you from doing something grossly stupid. Some other people have
    other favorites.

    NOTE that there is some terminology confusion. BSD Unix calls the major
    divisions of disk 'slices' and subdivisions of the slices 'partitions'.
    MS in its endless concern for the wellbeing of the user, calls the
    major divisions 'partitions' and doesn't really have subdivisions, but
    does have sort of subdivisions that it calles 'extended partitions' - which
    are not recognized, for the sake of installation, by FreeBSD. So, I will
    say slice meaning one of the major divisions.

    There can be 4 slices numbered 1..4 (yes, I know most OS things in Unix
    are numbered 0..n, but not slices) on any disk so far as FreeBSD is
    concerned for the purpose of installing it. Typically the MS OS (XP) will
    be already installed in slice 1. If there is a vendor diagnostic slice
    it will be either 1, with MS being 2 or it will be in slice 4.

    With Partition Magic or whatever you use, you need to shrink the MS
    slice (which they refer to as a partition) without touching the
    diagnostic slice. In any case, that will mean squeezing the MS
    slice down from its top. Don't try to squeeze it from the bottom.

    After you have made an empty space big enough to suit you, then
    tell Partition Magic to create a slice (partition) in it. Make
    it a generic FAT or FAT32. FreeBSD will overwrite it later anyway.
    Save all the changes and pop in your FreeBSD install CD and let er rip.
    When it asks, tell it to install in that slice you squeezed in to
    the disk. It will want to choose the correct one anyway.

    Then, when you do the install, tell it to put in a standard master boot
    record when it asks. That MBR will be smart enough to boot either the XP
    or the FreeBSD system. But it will identify XP as ?? (it will also identify
    the diagnostic bootable slice as ??) If it is really a FAT slice, it
    will identify it as MSDOS. But XP and NTFS are recent and haven't been
    added as identifiers. I think there is not enough room left in the block
    for those additional labels.

    Also when you are doing the disk labeling in the install - sysinstall does
    it all for you - just asks you how to divide up that FreeBSD slice and what
    to call the mount points - make sure you have it marked as bootable. I forget
    which letter, but look at the menu at the bottom of the page and pick the one
    that says to make it bootable. That will make it write the boot block in
    the slice.

    You need both the MBR at the beginning of the disk AND the book block in
    the bootable slice for the boot to work. The MBR gets controll first
    from the BIOS and then passes it off to which ever boot block you
    choose from the menu. A lot of people seem to miss that both are needed
    until they get back on the list asking why they can't make it work..

    The rest of it is all standard install, just as if FreeBSD was the only
    thing on the machine.

    The only difference in making it a two disk install - presuming you
    want one disk for MS (plus diagnostic slice if any) and one for FreeBSD
    is that you don't have to squeeze the MS slice down to make room, and
    you choose to install on the second disk and make that second disk
    all one big slice which you partition. Plus, you need to put the
    FreeBSD MBR on both disks. When it boots, the first MBR will get
    control and ask which disk you want to boot from. Then, if there is
    more than one bootable slice on the disk you select, it will put up a
    menu to choose which slice and then it will pass control to the boot block
    on that slice. Slick, really. Probably the only fairly standardized
    thing that works for everybody including MS, BSD and Linux, etc.
     

    There are several that are pretty good and the handbook is pretty
    clear too. There are things in the archive as well. I have posted
    essentially the same thing before as have others.

    ////jerry
     

    Jerry Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Dual boot with XP

    David Larkin wrote: 

    Jerry gave a pretty complete answer. I have two cents to throw in:

    Consider reinstalling Windows instead of futzing with shrinking the
    partition to make room for FreeBSD. No question that it can be done,
    but as noted it may cost you for some commercial partition mgmt.
    software for NTFS. But that's not my reason.

    The vendor is highly likely to load your laptop's installation of
    Windows with all kinds of unwanted cruft, including AOL and
    Earthlink dialers, scary automated "helper" software, and gawd knows
    what else. If you install Windows, you get to control it (to some
    small extent). Would you rather have to go and weed out the
    bloatware that you don't want, or would you rather build up a box
    from nothing, including only what you do want? The latter is more
    "the BSD way" and that's why I usually choose to reinstall Windows
    in these cases.

    You'll want to fire up Windows as delivered by the vendor at least
    once and poke around in it awhile, particularly if it comes with any
    "free" stuff you want, like an antivirus subscription or what not --
    sometimes these installations come with serial numbers "embedded" by
    the vendor, that you must use to register the package before you'll
    be able to successfully reinstall them from CD after reinstalling
    Windows.


    --
    Greg Barniskis, Computer Systems Integrator
    South Central Library System (SCLS)
    Library Interchange Network (LINK)
    <gregb at scls.lib.wi.us>, (608) 266-6348
    Greg Guest

  3. #3

    Default Dual boot with XP

    I'm going to by a laptop with wondoze XP pre installed soon.

    The machine will have one IDE disk.

    Am I right in thinking that I can install FreeBSD also without having to re-install XP ?

    I"ve searched the mailing list and found info on how to achieve dual boot with multiple disks< but how do i go about this, which I guess is a common task ?

    Is there a tutorial out there in cyberspace somewhere ????

    Thanks
    David
    David Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dual boot with XP


    >
    > Jerry gave a pretty complete answer. I have two cents to throw in:
    >
    > Consider reinstalling Windows instead of futzing with shrinking the
    > partition to make room for FreeBSD. No question that it can be done,
    > but as noted it may cost you for some commercial partition mgmt.
    > software for NTFS. But that's not my reason.[/ref]

    Partition Magic was about $69 at Best Buy the last time I noticed it.
    Amazon lists it for $21.99. There also seems to be a Norton
    Partition Magic. Maybe Symantec either bought it or is reselling it.

    Interesting perspective below. MS sure does come with a lot of
    unfriendly crap you might not want.

    But, you will still want to make sure and install MS first and THEN FreeBSD.
    That is because of you install FreeBSD first and then MS, it will overwrite
    your MBR with its own and won't be able to boot FreeBSD. You will have to
    get out the fixit disk and tink with it. It is a repairable situation
    but annoying and an unnecessary extra bother.

    ////jerry
     

    Jerry Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dual boot with XP



    On Tue, 1 Mar 2005, David Larkin wrote:
     

    Hello David,

    it is possible to do this, but you need if the Windows XP NTFS-Partition
    is using the whole disk a partition-resizer. The free resizer of FreeBSD
    is not able to resize NTFS-Partions, but FAT16, VFAT and
    FAT32-partitions... You need a commercial resizer or you kill Windows
    XP and install it first, then create a partition for Windows XP but much more
    smaller, because of later when you want to install FreeBSD with
    boot-manager!

    With regards
    Stevan Tiefert
    Stevan Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dual boot with XP

    in message <lib.wi.us>, wrote Greg Barniskis
    thusly... 
    >
    > Consider reinstalling Windows instead of futzing with shrinking
    > the partition to make room for FreeBSD.[/ref]
    .... 

    IBM does/did that. So, before i installed FreeBSD 5.3 on ThinkPad
    T42, i read/followed/did Chatchawan Wongsiriprasert's (thanks much
    CWS) write up ..

    http://freebie.miraclenet.co.th/notebook/t42/
    http://freebie.miraclenet.co.th/notebook/t42/setup.html


    As a result, i got "Windows XP SP2 restore" CD which was originally
    missing from the package of the laptop as IBM does not include it
    and asks for ~$40 for it otherwise. Unlike Dell. Darn it, even
    Lotus software was missing!


    - Parv

    --

    Parv Guest

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