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Dual Boot ArchLinux and Win7
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Author:  Girkers [ Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Dual Boot ArchLinux and Win7

I currently have Win7 on my PC however after using a Knoppix disc to do some work to upgrade my HDD in my LinHES box I was really taking by the windows manager. I have also wanted for a long time to convert to Linux as my Main desktop but as always never got around to it.

Unfortunately I can't drop Windows completely so that is why I am looking at using dual boot and I have a number of options. I currently have Windows 7 installed on a 500GB HDD which is over kill for my OS and I was looking at moving it to a 250GB HDD, all my games are installed on another drive, so it is only the OS and main applications. The current install is only using 70GB.

The option that I want to explore the most is moving the current OS to the 205GB HDD and halve the drive and have Arch on the other partition. That is fine, but how do I go about doing that.

Do I install Arch on the new drive first and then create another partition for the Windows install, "migrate" the Windows across to that partition and then use GRUB to allow me to boot that partition.

Or do I move the Windows system across to the 250GB HDD and then install Arch after that?

Could anyone offer up some words of wisdom on this grand adventure that I am about to undertake?


Author:  goofee [ Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

I setup my laptop to dual boot xp and ubuntu. The ubuntu installer has an option to auto resize the windows partition and install ubuntu side by side. Never player with arch but I assume the installer would have something similar.
check out the screen shot for step 4

Author:  mattbatt [ Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

Windows is the pickiest. You should migrate windows first make sure it's working on it's own. Then install Linux. Linux is used to dealing with a windows partition but windows doesn't know how to deal with a Linux partition. Linux will install a boot manager for you.

Author:  tjc [ Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:41 am ]
Post subject: 

As for migrating MS-Windows, get one of the Linux hard disk tool kit CDs like Parted Magic and it will let you resize the partition on your 500Gb drive then clone it to the 250Gb drive. That's probably the quickest and easiest path.

OBTW - creating a dummy FS on the smaller drive will tell you how small to make the existing partition before moving it.

Author:  Girkers [ Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

OK, so the consense seems to be move Windows first, that is easy enough. However do I leave a empty partition at the front of the drive for the Arch boot partition, or just put the Windows at the start of the drive and then just use the rest for Arch?

Thanks again for the assistance.

Author:  mattbatt [ Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

windows really likes to have the first partition

Author:  Girkers [ Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:09 am ]
Post subject: 

I have gone ahead and done the "upgrade" and it is all running, mostly, pretty well.

It is suprising how quick a computer can be when you don't have all the extra guff running in the background that you don't need.

To finish the topic off I will explain what I did. I took my 500GB and used Ghost to clone it to the 250GB drive and in the cloning options I reduced the size of the partition. I then put aside the 500GB drive and booted the 250GB and checked that Windows was working fine and everything was hunky dory.

Next started the Arch install and that went through alright after countless times of reading how to set up the partitions, what a nightmare. Anyway got it installed, sorted out Grub and was good to go.

Thanks for all the feedback, if someone is interested in helping me a bit more with Arch could you please PM me as I find the Arch forums a bit slack and agressive.


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