[Techtalk] Dual-Boot Installation Order?

Kai MacTane kmactane at GothPunk.com
Sun Oct 7 17:38:19 EST 2001

At 10/7/01 05:17 PM , wny-tc at juno.com wrote:
>I have a Caldera Open Linux dual-boot package that tells one to start in
>Windows and then install the Linux.  It does not make sense that I can't
>do it the other way.
>Am I tramping thru land mines, cow pies or dandelions here if I reverse
>the order?

Somewhat, yes. You're at least making things much more difficult on 
yourself. This is because Windows, being a Microsoft OS, naturally assumes 
it's the only one on the machine. It will install itself into the first 
primary partition it finds on the primary master drive or SCSI boot device, 
and it will write its own bootloader into the master boot record of the drive.

Linux, by contrast, will install itself wherever the hell you tell it to, 
and will then ask you what bootloader you want (probably but not 
necessarily lilo), where you want to put it, and what options you want on 
it. At that time, it's very easy to point to the already-existing Windows 
partition and say, "Hey, make it so you can boot that thing over there, too."

If, OTOH, you install Windows and then Linux, the Windows bootloader 
installation will stomp all over your Linux bootloader, leaving you with a 
perfectly functional Linux installation that you *can't boot* sitting on 
some partition or other. You can then re-load the Linux bootloader, but 
it's an extra (possibly annoying) step.

                                                 --Kai MacTane
"A spark has passed between us, now
  A momentary recognition..."
                                                 --Oingo Boingo,

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