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Dual booting Win 7 and a Linux OS?

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  1. Mehta23

    Mehta23 Well-Known Member


    I realise that there may be some similar threads, but iI thought it might be easier to just start a new one.

    ATM I am running Windows 7 64-Bit on my new computer , and I've already added all my games, applications and even started personalising my desktop with Rainmeter and Onmino .

    But I don't know if dual booting ( so that I can slowly get into it ) Linux would cause a problem, or if it would be good to do . I understand Linux has advantages over Win7 and I'd quite like to try it .

    Another thing, would it be easier to start this now , or wait until I get my SSD?

  2. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Now that there are good and free virtual machine programs that allow you to run Linux on top of Windows, that might be the best first step for you.

    Dual booting from the same physical disk requires a fairly good knowledge of partitions and boot loaders. If you had the knowledge, you wouldn't be asking (I presume). If you're getting a second disk that can be switched in the BIOS setup to be the first boot disk, that's safer and easier than carving a space for Linux.
    Mehta23 and argedion like this.
  3. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog Moderator

    I agree with Speed here. You may also look in to playing with live disk before really wanting to allocate space on your hdd for it.
    Mehta23 likes this.
  4. Mehta23

    Mehta23 Well-Known Member

    So if I get a ssd, I'm alright to install Linux and move windows onto it?
  5. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    When I tried moving Windows 7 to another drive on my laptop, something went wrong and I had to start from scratch. I still haven't figured that one out. I ended up getting the (then) latest version of the disk copying software that had (back then) just added Windows 7 support. If you're using software that's good for Windows 7, you should be OK.

    If you plan on having both Windows and Linux on the SSD, you should move Windows first, leaving a space for the Linux partitions, and then install Linux after you know that Windows is working properly. If you install Linux first, you'll lose the Windows boot code, and risk messing up the partition order, which can bork Windows. That's why I suggested keeping them on their own separate drives.
    argedion likes this.
  6. Mehta23

    Mehta23 Well-Known Member

    Oh right, if I kept say Linux on my hdd, would it still perform alright?
  7. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog Moderator

    yes Linux will perform great on your hdd.
    Mehta23 likes this.
  8. Davdi

    Davdi Well-Known Member Contributor

    Dual booting is not a problem with current Linux distributions. Get some live linux DVDs and see which you like. try the various desktops (KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXDE are common across most distributions) Uniy is Ubuntu's own and cinnamon/Mate are Linux Mint's own but becoming popular among those who don't like Gnome 3.

    If you do decide to install a dual boot, just let the Linux installer handle resizing the windows partition, or tell it to install on a 2nd HDD if you have one. But, as always, BACK-UP first.
  9. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    It always has! :D

    If you're thinking that there might be some conflict due to the type of drive, as long as it has a standard interface like SATA or SAS, it doesn't matter what the storage medium is. Linux will see it as a /dev/sd* device. Other flash media such as USB flash drives, SD cards etc. work differently, but a flash-based SATA drive has the same interface as a spinning disk SATA drive.

    Obviously the performance of an older spinning disk HD will tend to be less than a brand new SSD, but not so much that it will make the old HD not worth keeping and using.

    I hope that makes sense. Computer storage is a deceptively complex thing. You don't have to "know it all", but it never hurts! :p
  10. Dngrsone

    Dngrsone Well-Known Member

    One can still run into problems with the installation. As noted, back up. Make a second back up, and have a set of restore discs.

    Then, make sure you have a recovery disc for Win 7. I know for Ubuntu, sometimes Win gets borked up and you have to boot the recovery disc and repair Windows boot.
    Mehta23 likes this.

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