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No current OS - Need dual boot


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There's a lab computer that's slightly different from the rest and a regular lab image with Linux/Windows won't work on it, so I have to do it manually.

All the tutorials I've found only explain how to go from Windows -> Windows/Linux or Linux - > Linux/Windows. I know I could just install one then follow the steps to try and install the other, but is there a better way to get both? Which OS should I start with? Are there any tools in Linux or Windows that automatically set up GRUB and prepare the drive for a dual boot?

Thanks for the help.

EDIT: I'm using openSUSE 11.1, it's the university's choice, not mine, so don't go there.

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Most friendly distros such as Ubuntu will detect Windows during the installation. Regardless of whether or not you tell it to import account settings, if it offers to, you can almost be completely sure it'll put in a Windows entry for you in grub. If you're running Vista and don't want grub as the primarly bootloader, look into using EasyBCD to set up the dual-boot.

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Start with Windows first.

Linux distro's will detect NTFS, but Windows won't detect ext3/ext4/ext2, or whatever you decide.

Set your partitions up first, NTFS, ext* [ext3 is what I've always gone with], swap, and if you decide to do a /boot, /home, or what have you, then install Windows to the NTFS partition, once it's done, install Linux.

If you install Linux first, you'll have issues with the Windows bootloader. You can edit it the Windows bootloader with EasyBCD [Vista] or the boot.ini in XP. It's a pain in the crack, not worth it.

When you install Linux second, Lilo/Grub will overwrite the Windows bootloader, and should automatically add the Windows partition into it's configuration file, so you shouldn't have to do any editing that route.

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