I am trying to set up my computer so that I can have both Redhat and Win XP on the same harddrive. I already had winxp on my computer when I decided to do this. Here is what I did:

-I used Partition Magic to create a partition after the windows XP partition and also a swap partition before the winxp partition for the bootloader.

-I then installed RedHat 9.0 on the Linux partition that I created and GRUB on the bootloader partition.

The problem is that when I boot up my system, it goes into GRUB but I cannot load winXP. It is not in the list. All I see in the list is RedHat in the list. Is there a way that I can add winXP to that list? Did I do something wrong in setting this up? I have never done anything like this before so I probably did something wrong. This was mostly just for a learning experience. Thanks.

Alright, well I might have an idea on what happened. I threw in my xp disk and when I got to where I could see the partitions I saw that the partition I created for Linux was all free space. It seems as if Redhat might have installed on the partition that I had my winxp on. Is this at all possible? When I was installing redhat I did get the option of which partition to install it on and I did select the one I made for LINUX. Any ideas?

We did this at school and I believe you're supposed to install Linux first then install Windows XP. It worked just fine that way.

ok...well I guess I could try that. I was hoping to be able to do this without having to reformat and take all that time reinstalling both again. But I guess I have nothing better to do. :-|

Eh, if it's not working the way you want it there shouldn't be any harm. Tinkering around is fun, but time consuming.

alright, I think I can see more of what is going on. I reinstalled windows, and Partition Magic. When I look in partition magic, I can see all 3 partitions(boot loader, ntfs, and linux) and I can browse through and see that my Linux is installed on the linux partition and windows is on the ntfs partition. However, there is nothing on the Bootloader partition. I think that is why I could not see windows before. I believe that the bootloader is on the Linux partition which is after the windows partition so it can not see it from there. So that brings up another question. How do I load a bootloader onto the partition that I set aside for it? Also all partitions are set as primary and only one can be set as active. Should this be changed? the only other option other than primary is logical. What is that all about?

All of this is very new to me. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

-Also, what if I simply just moved the linux partition in front of the windows partition. Since the bootloader is on the linux will it see the Windows partition as long as it is after the Linux partition? This is just some crazy idea I was thinking of, I really have never done anything with this stuff before so I have no clue what is actually going on.

ALRIGHT! Don't ask me what I did different but everything is working great now. All I did was reinstall windows and then reinstall linux on the linux partition and then when I rebooted and GRUB opened there was the option to boot to both. Everything is working great now. :cheesy:

For other people that have problems creating a dual boot system, here is a nice article about partitioning in general and discusses dual boot hints/tips as well.

Hey, thanks for that article. I now have a question about the swap though.

How important is the swap size? I wasn't really sure what I was doing when I created the swap so I made it only 500mb. According to that article it should be around 1.5 gb since I have 512mb of ram. Is this something that I should be worried about? Should I delete the linux and swap partition, resize them, and then reinstall linux? Or should 500mb swap be ok?

They recommend a swap size of 768MB (1.5 times your RAM). Don't think you'll run into troubles though. Cannot you resize the swap partition using Partition Magic? Another solution could be to reduce the Windows partation and create an additional swap file in linux.

Just a word of advice:

I'm not one to contradict anyone, but my experience has been quite the opposite of frenemy's. I've always installed Windows first, then install Linux. That way, the bootloader installation for Linux can detect the Windows installation (Hopefully), and add the appropriate entries to either menu.lst (for grub) or lilo.conf (for lilo)


Windows first, then Linux. Microsoft has a view that it is the only thing on a computer, and it will try to use the whole drive, and not much else. Note how many systems have a C: and that's it...

Linux is designed to work with many partitions, and be flexible.


I have found that the easiest way to create dual boot systems with one hard drive is to create your windows partition at a size of your choice, DO NOT CREATE any Linux partitions, nor any other partitions. Install your Windows. then setup linux last & choose use free space. The choices at bootup may say DOS, but it will still boot up Windows. Try Linux Mandriva LE 2005, you'll like it better than redhat, especially since Fedora took over the free redhat side & took it backwards.