Dual Boot / Multiple OS

Hi guuwey,

I don’t have an english version of windows so I can’t tell you exact terms.
There’s a tool for this that comes with windows as such. Something in the windows ‘administration’ or so.

A further remark on the following:

I forgot:
when you’re running windows 7, in addition to the windows “drives” (C:, D:, …) you have an additional small partition created by windows
(named: system-reserved), which by default isn’t shown by the windows explorer.
But this one counts as well with respect to the total number of partitions present on your hard disk.

Good luck

On 2013-01-10 16:06, ratzi wrote:

> Hopefully you don’t have too many windows partitions, because the
> number of partitions is limited on a hard disk
> (at max 5 as far as I remember) that is formatted in the old
> conventional way (means no UEFI-booting).


> Unlike windows, openSUSE runs fine booting from a logical drive within
> an extended partition.

I have installed Windows Server 2008 on a logical, but there was also a
Windows 7 install that had a small boot partition as well.

Carlos E. R.

I only have 4 true partitions as well …

This is my setup

myHost:~ # 
myHost:~ # parted
GNU Parted 2.4
Using /dev/sda
Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
(parted) print                                                            
Model: ATA Hitachi HDS72302 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 2000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system     Flags
 1      1049kB  106MB   105MB   primary   ntfs            type=07
 2      106MB   429GB   429GB   extended                  boot, lba, type=0f
 5      107MB   17.3GB  17.2GB  logical   linux-swap(v1)  type=82
 6      17.3GB  51.6GB  34.4GB  logical   ext3            type=83
 7      51.6GB  86.0GB  34.4GB  logical   ext3            type=83
 8      86.0GB  258GB   172GB   logical   ext3            type=83
 9      258GB   429GB   172GB   logical   ext3            type=83
 3      429GB   704GB   275GB   primary   ntfs            type=07
 4      704GB   2000GB  1296GB  primary   ntfs            type=07

(parted) quit                                                             
myHost:~ # 

I well remember that I contemplated on how I could get 2 different versions of openSUSE
(or openSUSE and perhaps another distro) running with these restrictions :wink:


I am having problems with this parted magic. I’ve written it on my USB and tried booting from it. But everytime I turn on the power of my laptop, after changing the boot priority, it always starts normally. I do not know what’s the problem.

What I did is I turn on the computer, pressed F2 upon startup. Then change the boot priority. I even placed the 3 USBs indicated on the list because I don’t know what to choose. (http://azbooki.ru/wp-content/uploads/service_manual/acer/Aspire_4745_ServiceGuide.pdf page 32)

Am I doing the right thing?

You can’t just copy the iso to the device you need to dd it or to be sure you need to follow instruction on the site to get a proper boot image to the USB stick.

Which restrictions?. You can get 50 Linux distros (or more) installed and booting on this hard disk. The only restriction is that you propably won’t have time to install them and play with them. The number of logical partitions you can create with MBR partitioning is unlimited. The number of kernel devices used to be limited by the old SCSI and PATA drivers, but it’s a different problem*. With GPT, you can have 128 partitions. They are all primary partitions. Thus, in theory, you can install more OSes on a single MBR partitioned disk than on a GPT disk, where you won’t get more than 127 OSes (1 partition being needed for the ESP) or rather 126 if you exclude the swap partition.

  • I don’t know what’s udev limitation. It probably has some (in major an minor disk node numbers). So it’s probably still possible to create more partitions than you could actually see… but I don’t think we’re going to try.

Actually any distro with Gparted on it will do the partitioning. Linux Mint is one example. It might be easier for you to figure… Unetbootin and all that…

Mike, as please_try_again says, having two Linux installs on your system is not only possible but your setup could accommodate more. I always have at least two installs (one for serious things, another for tinkering around). You can stick any Linux distro on a logical partition so long as you can boot via MBR. In accordance to the advice from SDB:Partitioning - openSUSE (near bottom) I have a separate primary bartition for a /boot/ but I don’t know how essential this is to be honest. If you need to move around partitions, you can do using either Windows’s DISKPART utility, or Gparted ( although openSUSE Wiki’s SDB link http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Gparted seems to be broken :frowning: ).

Hi again,

  1. In order to shrink your partitions, you can use the windows partitioner.
    Like described on the page the link to which you gave in your 1st posting.
    It would probably be helpful to defragment your existing partitions beforehand.

  2. The .iso image of Parted Magic represents a bootable live CD, like the .iso image of openSUSE KDE Live CD does,
    which, besides, you may as well use for installation of openSUSE, if you are connected to the internet at reasonable
    bandwidth (at least 0.5 to 1 Mbit/s would be good) !

You may perhaps have difficulties to understand this hint

Translating that for you I would write:
In order to get Parted Magic booting, you as well have to follow one of the procedures described on page

In order to get it all running and installed, you anyway need to get practice on how to boot from an USB stick,
or at least a CD or DVD drive.

And as proposed by caf4926 earlier:
Do it, download an openSUSE Live CD through www.opensuse.org,
burn to a CD or transfer it to an USB stick,
boot from it and have a look.
This won’t change your system at all, until you eventully decide to push the button and install.

I suggest you use the openSUSE KDE Live CD, with which you, being used to windows, probably will feel more familiar with,
and which I like most … :slight_smile:
If you don’t intend to have more physical RAM than 2 MB in your laptop, and as you’re not UEFI-booting,
even the 32 bit version of openSUSE will do.

And, the openSUSE Live CD’s are like quite comfortable rescue systems for openSUSE !
You’ll probably have your recovery/rescue CD for windows as well, don’t you?

Good luck

(edit: removed a ‘probably’)

Hi please_try_again,

The OP does not seem to have an UEFI BIOS, and has a pre-installed windows 7 on a 320GB HDD whichthis thread he wants to keep,
so a GPT isn’t a real topic here :wink:

Hi flymail,

Be assured that I quite well knew what I did, and why.

Trying to install openSUSE 11.4 with a 1st configuration of my quite new PC where windows 7 occupied about the first 1.5 TB of HDD space
I once got the warning message

The bootloader is installed on a partition that does not lie entirely below 128 GB.

see posting #1 in this thread of this forum.

Despite some in this forum later on stated, that this would be a warning message relevant only to quite old hardware, and that it can be ignored,
as described in the same posting in the same thread, my system just failed to boot openSUSE from hard disk !

After making a guided tour around UEFI booting openSUSE and windows 7 with please_try_again then (same thread),
I finally took the decision to return to a conventional MBR setup for my internal hard disk,
because windows 7 wouldn’t install with a GPT. Period.

Because I was in the lucky situation that I had a real windows 7 installer disk instead of just a recovery CD,
I allocated the extended partition as the second partition, right after the small “system-reserved” partition necessary for windows 7,
see my partition setup as posted above.
This made it possible to have all root partitions and swap below 128 GB.

This may have been resolved in openSUSE 12.1, but I didn’t check that then.

Besides, I don’t even use yet the 2nd set of logical drives earmarked for Linux distros.
Probably I’ll install openSUSE 12.3 on it, when that gets finished off.


Ops, sorry I misinterpreted your question!

In my experience that warning is virtually always a guarantee that the system won’t boot after installation.

TBH, I find It’s an issue that’s conveniently swept under the carpet' by installation guides. I hoped the problem would go away with GRUB2. It didn't. If that warning is supposed be relevant for only quite old hardware’ than by `old’, the people giving you advice must be referring to hardware built in 2011, because I’ve regularly seen boot failures after such warnings have been issued.

Sounds like a sensible solution. I find that dual-systems are most easily managed from scratch (so long as you have all the relevant installation CD/DVDs to hand). I remove all partitions and start again: two primary partitions and one extended. The first primary is /boot/, the second primary is Windows (if I want it), and I divide the extended partition into at least five more logical partitions (Windows’ page (D:/), a common NTFS partition for data (E:/), / (i.e. slash), /swap/, /home/ (with symbolic links to E:/).

Nowadays on desktops, I just find it a lot easier to install a second hard drive for dual-boots, physically partitioning Windows and Linux. Unfortunately this isn’t a solution for laptops where the situation is often made worse by not having a Windows Installation DVD to hand because they’ve shoved a recovery image on the first 10GB of your hard drive as a primary partition! >:(

Just finished downloading OpenSuSE DVD installer on the site itself. Now my question is on how to do dual-boot or have multiple OS in my computer?

I am definitely new on doing this. And I don’t want my computer be messed up.

What we really need to see is the output of

su -
fdisk -l

As requested by caf4962 at post #3

If you are not sure how to supply this info please ask, explaining what you are having trouble with.

Similar info can be supplied from Gparted, (using screen shots) The easiest way to use PartedMagic is to burn it to a CD, some options shown here
If you need to use a PartedMagic liveUSB you should look at this

Hi flymail,


In my experience that warning is virtually always a guarantee that the system won’t boot after installation.[/QUOTE]

… seems I’m not the only one :wink:

Which version of openSUSE ?

You too, OK.
I already proceeded that way under openSUSE 10.2 which I then installed on a Pentium III PC, with a hard disk by far smaller than 128 GB.
The reason then was that I just didn’t have enough free space left on the 1st internal hard disk.

So long

I tried GRUB2 for openSUSE 12.2 since it was the default bootloader. It didn’t correct the problem, and I found it was borked for other reasons (messing up virtual console resolutions).

Hi dvhenry, hi guuwey,

the OP (guuwey) seem to have absolutely no experience with Linux.

So I’ll try to translate again:

the code above are commands for the Linux command line.

As long as you don’t run any Linux, you of course can’t enter them anywere.

The simplest way to do it, is
(1) boot from an openSUSE Live CD,
(2) open a text editor,
(3) open a terminal,
(4) enter the commands given by dvhenry one by one (press return key after both of these commands),
(5) mark the contents in the terminal with the mouse,
(6) copy using the edit menu of the terminal window,
(7) change to text editor and paste there,
(8) save as text file on a windows partition on your hard disk or on a USB stick.
(9) I don’t know if Firefox is included on the Live CD, which could make it possible to access this forum directly running openSUSE from the Live CD.
If this doesn’t work, reboot windows, open the text file again, and post its contents here.
Doing that, try to use CODE tags: mark the text pasted in the window for editing your message and then click on the number sign (#) at the top of that window.

Another way to do all that in principle would be to boot the ‘rescue system’ from the openSUSE installer DVD.
But then you only have the command line and nothing else (no mouse, no windows, no graphical text editor, …).
Probably a bit hard for you.

In order that you know what you’ll do by this:
the Linux tool ‘fdisk’, similar like the command line tool ‘fdisk’ in DOS and the earlier versions of windows (same name but different program),
can be used to handle partitions on a hard disk.

The Linux command ‘fdisk -l’ lists all partitions present on your hard disk.

Good luck

… and if this all seems too much, we could at least have a vague idea of your partitioning according to Windows…

Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management

… then screenshot the partitioning (using e.g. Print-Screen, or Snipping Tool) and post it here…

Hi guuwey, hi flymail,

Again on that:

The bootloader is installed on a partition that does not lie entirely below 128 GB.

Just had another look at GParted Manual.

Using GParted, it is possible to not only shrink, but as well to move partitions.

So if the openSUSE installer should not be able to handle the setup,
guuwey should still be able to install openSUSE, after moving the windows partitions for “C:”, “D:”, etc., towards the end of his hard disk.

A prerequisite of this of course would be, that he doesn’t have installed any programs under windows with
some weird copy protection relying on using specific absolute (vs. relative) locations of a hard disk
(not MS office, rather more special programs).
Those in the past even were an obstacle to defragmenting.
However, I think such mechanisms of copy protection, that have been used in the past, are a bit outdated now,
and the distributors of proprietary software today more seem to rely on that their software connects by means of the internet
(more or less like some trojan) along with the glorious new laws of commercial copyrights on almost everything that exists in this world -
except for Linux :slight_smile:

So, guuwey,
would you like to try it, after you’ve made your backups, and after you gathered some experience booting from a Linux live CD
like GParted or the openSUSE Live CDs ?

You’ll have to have both, a GParted live CD as well as an openSUSE Live CD, that have to be prepared beforehand !
This seems to be a must in this case.

Good luck


guuwey, it should be clear that this may take a few days, instead of hours.

On 2013-01-11 21:16, ratzi wrote:
> Hi guuwey, hi flymail,
> Again on that:
> Code:
> --------------------
> The bootloader is installed on a partition that does not lie entirely below 128 GB.
> --------------------
> Just had another look at
> GParted_Manual (“http://gparted.org/display-doc.php?name=help-manual&lang=C”).
> Using GParted, it is possible to not only shrink, but as well to -move-
> partitions.

In the cases where this warning turns true, my solution is to create a
smallish /boot partition (~300 MB) that is below that point in the disk.
Sometimes you can shrink a bit one partition to create this one
(preferable a primary).

In fact, that was the recommended procedure 15 years ago. :slight_smile:

Carlos E. R. (12.1 test at Minas-Anor)

The 128gig limit is a older BIOS limit and not an Linux limit. The warning is there in case your BIOS can not handle the address space. This should not be a problem with any newer BIOS. The solution is as Robin says make a separate root below the limit