Setting Up Dual Boot With Windows And Linux


Understanding your hard disk, its partitions, and how various OSes look, detect, and present it for you to view makes dual booting Linux as straightforward as possible. On a Windows computer, viewing the partition table is as simple as performing a double-click on the My Computer icon. Additionally, you can view the partition table by selecting Disk Management from the Manage menu when you right-click My Computer.

It will be crucial to how Linux recognizes and names your partition.

Linux identifies IDE drives using their names.


Linux detects SCSI disks using their names.


Whereas the x letter distinguishes various hard disks. For instance, if your computer has two IDE hard drives, Linux will identify the first as hda and the second as hdb. Similarly, if your system has three SCSI disks, they will be remembered as sda, sdb, and sdc.

Let’s learn how Linux detects physical hard drives, whether SCSI or IDE drives. For example, if your first hard drive has three partitions, Linux will identify it as having three.




And your second hard drive’s four partitions will be recognized as





That is all there is to it. This knowledge is crucial; you will become aware of it once we comprehend dual boot installation.

Let’s use an example now, and after that, let’s get our Linux installation working as a dual boot. I’ll use my computer as an example, but I won’t go into the intricate details of Quad Boot because they might be confusing to others.

Before beginning a dual boot installation, keep the following in mind:

1) If you wish to install a GUI-based Linux and other necessary software, you should have an empty partition with a minimum size of 10 GB. There is nothing like that if you possess more.

2) Never use Auto Partitioning when setting up a dual boot system with Linux.

3) List the total number of partitions on your hard drive. Make a note in the format below if you have C, D, and E.

C: 10 GB

D: 20 GB

E: 10 GB

4) Install GRUB on the Master Boot Record to avoid having to create a bootable disk, such as a floppy drive, each time you wish to log on to Linux, which is something I don’t advise doing.

5) Set up Linux on the final unoccupied partition.

6) Let’s start now.

So, assuming you have three partitions on your computer and the third partition, E: is empty, we will install Linux on the last empty partition. However, if you only have two sections, you can install Linux on the second partition if you are willing to lose any data stored there.

Start the computer with a CD-ROM.

To install Red Hat in graphical mode, press Enter.

Choose Next.

English is the selected language (English)

Choose Next.

Go to Keyboard and choose U.S. English.

Choose Next.

Setup for disk partitioning:

Disk Druid manual partition selection.

Choose Next.

The hard disk names I mentioned at the top of this page are listed here.

As a result, you will observe:

Windows Fat 10237, or /dev/hda1 (10GB).

Windows Fat 20480, or /dev/hda2 (for 20GB),

Windows Fat 10237, or /dev/hda3 (10GB).

You must remove the third partition, /dev/hda3, and begin choosing from the options below: –

SWAP for the system, how much?

The total SWAP partition that must be provided to the system is always double the amount of RAM that is accessible. Say your SWAP partition is 512 MB if you have 256 MB of RAM and 2 GB if you have 1 GB of RAM.

Note: When the main (RAM) memory is complete, the operating system uses SWAP space. To free up the system’s main memory for the currently active process, the OS simply swaps and moves the processes that are idle but still consuming RAM to the SWAP memory.

Do you want the drive to be partitioned further?

I want to take you to a perspective of the types of partitions that are available right now.

This should not take up more than 100 MB. Thus it is sufficient.

The amount of storage space needed for /home depends on how many users will use the system; if you are the only user, 1GB should be more than adequate. This is similar to Windows’ My Documents folder.

Assign all available space to this partition if you don’t want to create more cells.

However, I would advise you to create just one partition at first and then begin further partitioning as you learn more about Linux installation through experience.

Therefore, the subsequent steps of your installation will begin only with the SWAP space and the / partition.

Draw attention to /dev/hda3.

Select Delete.

Draw attention to /dev/hda

Select New.

Please complete the following details.

SWAP is a file system type.

HDA drives are permitted. (Ensure that hda is selected.)

Size: 512 MB (Continue as is)

Select Fixed Size

Input OK.

Select New.

Please enter the following details:

/ Mount Point

ext3 file system type

HDA drives are permitted. (Ensure that hda is selected.)

(Leave as is) Size (MB)

Select Fill to the most significant extent permitted.

Input OK.

Now, our partition table resembles this in several ways.

Windows Fat 10237 (for 10GB), dev/hda1

Windows Fat 20480, or dev/hda2 (20GB).

9725 dev/hda3 / ext3

512 MB dev/hda4 swap

As a result, our partitioning is complete.

To continue installing, click Next. Choose the boot loader and allow it to be loaded onto the Master Boot Record.

Continue with the installation now that the major component has been completed so that you won’t have any more problems moving forward. Additionally, since we choose to install it on a machine with a partition with more space than 10GB, there shouldn’t be any issues.

Even if you install all the packages using the Package Defaults option, there won’t be any issues. However, you may always check the box and select Customize the list of packages to be installed to install the system more quickly.

The tutorials for installing Linux for DUAL boot are now complete. If you are successful, installing Linux on a solitary system will be similar to taking a stroll in the evening. That’s all for now; we’ll keep going because learning Linux is enjoyable.

Mr. Jaspreet Sandhu

Setmynet Computer, Web Services to Home Users and Small Businesses Operating from Slough.

Read also: