Complete newbie

i tried installing suse before and it was a mess, i couldn’t boot my vista xp afterwards, i know a lot of you explained about grub etc… I seriously aint got a clue what that is etc… so if anyone could really explained to me how to get it to dual boot with xp and vista… and ooooh yeah i did mount my ntfs drives but had some permission issues… if someone could explained to me nicely what to do so i can get all 3 to boot together… I dont want to reformat again…

I got 5 drives… One which i will split for suse in / /home and swap. i can do the partition etc… just how to mount my other drives so i can access the ntfs files (all my songs in there) and hmm wep the booting thing ? Its so confusing when you guys talk about grub, and the command thingies

If you have a drive you are giving over to SUSE entirely, you’ve got no problems whatsoever. :slight_smile:

Grub (The GRand Unified Bootloader) will boot Windows XP, and Vista (with a little bit more coercion I hear), but it can cause problems if installed on a Windows drive because it changes it in ways that Windows is apparently deliberately designed to fail to cope with.

If you’ve got a drive you want to give over to SUSE entirely, none of this applies.

Enter your PC’s bios, and disable all the drives you don’t want to change anything on. If you’re being ultra cautious, or this doesn’t work, you could even just unplug them (assuming you’re comfortable taking your PC apart - anti static measures MUST be observed - post back if you’re at all unsure, cos you don’t really need to do this, and you should be able to just disable them in the bios).

Then install SUSE, making separate root (/), home and swap partitions. About 20 - 25 gig is fine for /, swap should be up to about double your ram (unless you’ve got masses of ram), and everything else for home. Let it put the bootloader on the MBR (Master Boot Record) of the target drive.

Then, once that works, you can tell the SUSE bootloader to ‘chainload’ the other drives with Windows on, without having to change them at all.

I tried installing it, and i am installing it on another partition not a drive… when done it wont boot my vista ? So any help on what ihave to do to get it to boot ? and wep it didnt’ even boot my xp ? it just comes with the suse thing and boot up suse with no choice. and also during setup how to get my other ntfs partition to be read by suse ?

Ok. Unfortunately I’ve no experience with Vista, but there’s a sticky at the top of the forum you can learn about that from. XP should be easy though. Load SUSE, and open a terminal. Type

su -
fdisk -l
cat /boot/grub/menu.lst

Entering your root password when it asks you to. Past the output back here.

i formatted the suse off ma drive got xp running… just want to make sure i can install it without messing my other OS… also what strange was when i had all these probs i reinstalled xp and the suse booom no booting, i mean there was no option to even choose it? dual booting is so hard bleh

Nope, these commands are to get a picture of your drives, and how the suse boot menu is currently set up. Those are lower case 'L’s by the way - not '1’s. Type each line as it appears, with a return in between, and it should work. Then copy and past all the output back.

i guess i just reinstall suse… and then… post you this thingy ? Just before i redo so, in the expert mode for disk partitioning, that what im using cause it wants to install itself on my OS one… how do i make the other ntfs accessible ?

Ok - you edited your post, so my reply makes no sense. :slight_smile:

You should be able to install SUSE and get it to integrate the other operating systems into its boot menu while you’re installing it (at least if you’re doing it from the DVD, and I think from the LiveCD as well).

There’s some point where it lets you check the boot menu, and I think there’s a button that lets you integrate other OSes if it hasn’t done it of its own accord.

But if you’re reinstalling SUSE to get it to boot the other OSes, you probably don’t need to - you should be able to fix it as is. But as I said, I have no idea how you do it with Vista.


I don’t think you need to fix the NTFS thing while you’re installing. Probably easiest to get all three OSes booting first, then fix that.

So if you don’t have SUSE installed, install it, and select ‘new partition set up’, putting it on the drive you want it on, and worry about getting access to other drives afterwards.

Of course if it doesn’t see the drive you want to install to, that’s another problem…

GRUB Boot Multiboot openSUSE Windows (2000, XP, Vista) using the Grub bootloader.
I will just follow the steps and let you know :wink: Big thanks nyway! Really helped…

Let me know how it goes. But the general rule is:

Take your time, and DON’T PANIC!

Most things can be fixed if you know what you’re looking for (I’m only starting to get the hang of it, but there are some very knowledgeable people on this board).

If it goes wrong, first instinct might be to reach for the reinstall, but generally exactly the same thing will happen again, because installing is a mostly deterministic process. As long as you can still get on the internet, you can still find out how to fix it. :wink:

hi newbe;
it’s often very helpful to define to us the specs of the system you are doing so the answers can be brief and to the point. This works for both you and helpers.
ie: AMD athlon X2, 1.5TB harddisk, atheos wireless, realtec nic, 4MB ram etc…
desired config: XP, Vista, Linux, 3 data partitions, swap

What is important is to Install XP first! as it can't understand Vista or Linux. When XP is configured with service packs etc, then progress to Vista install which will build the windows multi-boot for XP and Vista. Install any service packs etc needed by Vista. Vista can understand XP but not Linux. Next Install Linux as expert. Decide where (partitions) Linux should be put and where it's swap goes. At the summary stage, you can edit the grub bootloader to enable other op systems and specify how & where the bootloader is put.

Something to keep in mind when dealing with windows is that to get each version working, the manufacturer’s motherboard drivers must be installed for the current version before installing the next version. Also, re-install of XP can delete Vista, and will delete Linux access. Re-install of Vista will delete access to Linux.
Once you have both windows versions & Linux installed, you can use Yast and a host of other Linux tools to configure access to the windows drives.

good luck:)