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Dual operating system on a laptop


kimdotcomnz
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Hello :rolleyes:

As I go deeper into IT and tech gadget stuff, my PC running Windows 7 is facing limitations.

I'm planning to purchase a laptop to do all sorts of experiments and run (probably) up to 3 operating systems (Windows 7, Linux and BackTrack 5)

due to my budget problem laptop spec is not that great <_<

CPU: i3 2.2 GHz (2 gen)

GPU: Integrated graphics (thats what it syas...)

HDD: 500G

RAM: 4GB (1 X 4GB)

ODD: DVDRW

OS: Windows 7 (64 bit)

I'm thinking of removing ODD and adding an extra hard drive to run: Linux and BackTrack 5 (Keeping main hard drive separate / fail safe :ph34r: ). I think I should keep Windows 7 for the applications. Other then that I don't have issues with having Linux as main OS on this laptop.

I'm posting this to get some valuable advice :D .

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Why linux and backtrack. Most of the backtrack tools are either available in the pentoo/debian/ubuntu security tree, or you can download the retrospective packages from source.

You should be able to dual boot through grub, unless the bootloader is UEFI which has its complications.

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Is there a reason you want to run all those separately? I'd take a look at running these alternate OS's in virtual machines. If you get the ODD adapter you're talking about, put the 500GB in there and then buy a SSD for your main OS, of which I'd recommend windows or a well suited distro of linux (not backtrack). Also throw in an 8GB stick of ram (super cheap) and you're set. Running backtrack and windows 7 at the same time, each with 2GB of ram, each pulling as much space as they want from the big old 500GB - all while leaving you with the same 4GB of ram you have now plus a new screaming SSD for your host OS. Theres lots of advantages to this such as snapshots, not constantly rebooting to get into another OS, you can setup vlan's between your "victim" and "attacker" so you won't accidentally hack your roommates, etc.

telot

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Another advantage of using virtual machines is that you can experiment with a number of different OSs without having to have lots of partitions or risk overwriting your existing OSs when installing (Trust me you don't want to find out that the installer for an OS repartitions your disk without asking in a live install with other OSs on the disk).

Also your i3 has 2 cores with multi-threading, which would let you comfortably run a virtual machine along with your host OS

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Another advantage of using virtual machines is that you can experiment with a number of different OSs without having to have lots of partitions or risk overwriting your existing OSs when installing (Trust me you don't want to find out that the installer for an OS repartitions your disk without asking in a live install with other OSs on the disk).

Also your i3 has 2 cores with multi-threading, which would let you comfortably run a virtual machine along with your host OS

Just to reiterate, even with a paltry single core, on my old Gateway laptop at 2.2ghz, the host being XP SP3, and no more than 1GB ram, I was able to run a Server 2003 VM, all be it slow, as well as a Vista VM when it first came out to try the system out before deciding if I wanted to upgrade. Couldn't do Aero, but that was a limit of VMware and the hardware at the time way back 4-5 years ago.

If you want to try multiple systems and experiment with something other than just Windows, virtual machines are by far the best way to get your feet wet without having to worry about dual booting or corrupted file systems, overwriting MBR's, etc.

Edited by digip
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um ok just to clarify here, linux, and Backtrack5? Redundant statement is redundant. Backtrack5 IS linux. Alot of people say they dont recommend using backtrack5 as an installed operating system or as a main operating system.... I dont see why not, as long as youre not running around as root all the time. and sure you can just install something like ubuntu and just add the backtrack repositories if you wanted as well. the latest backtrack5 r3 and pentest distros like backbox have leaned out the amount of pentest apps installed and kept it simple with the latest and most used apps. if you want a nice complete pentest distro with a shitload of pentest apps (some are pretty redundant and kind of obsolete) to play around with and lean about then try blackbuntu. still one of my fav distros. but i mean when you really look at it backtrack, backbox, blackbuntu are all penetration distros that are really just Ubuntu with with a twist, and some extra repositories. so really the choice is up to you. good advice is to try them all either live disk or vm, and when youre ready, make the switch.

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  • 3 weeks later...

To be honest, VirtualBox is shit(my opinion, anyway). Don't care what people say, I use VMware Workstation for everything. EVERY time I've ever used VirtualBox in the past, have always had issues. Always. Not to say its 100% VirtualBox's fault in this case though. Setting up VM's can be tricky, and installing an OS in a VM, has all the same troubles as they do in a real live machine, so experiment, try remaking the VM. If it doesn't work in Virtual Box, try VMware Player. Its free and can run Virtual Machines and there are plenty of pre-built VM's to get you started playing with different OS's both at VMware's site, and places like Turnkey Linux that has combinations of VM's in both Vmware and Virtual Box format(for most machines).

Also, make sure your CPU and BIOS are enabled for Virtualization. Some computers actually have the ability to turn off virtualization on the host machines BIOS, and is a quick and simple fix. Looking at the screenshots above though, Virtualization is enabled, since you got to load the VM. It may be a matter of your configuration and not allocating enough memory for it, as well as not enabling GPU acceleration which I believe VirtualBox now supports, although I think Vmware's is much better out of the box.

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Like digip said Vmware Workstation is Best, i switched to workstation after long battle with virtual box's shitty usb problem, another fine thing i like in workstation is that in fullscreen mode you can easily switch between other vm's without minimize the screen, add 2 cpu if u want extra horse, wireless alfa cards work flawless.there's lot & lot fun & options with Vmware Workstation.

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