Dual OS?

General support questions including new installations
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Posts: 1
Joined: 2005/03/04 02:56:47

Dual OS?

Post by Rabid » 2005/03/04 03:42:30

I realize this may be a redundant question for many of you, but your guidance is appreciated.

A long time ago I installed a Mandrake Distro on a Windows (98?) machine. During the install I was prompted with a utility that allow me to bot either my Windows or Linux OS. About 2 weeks later my harddrive died and that was the last of Linux I ever saw, at least on my desktop.

Before taking the plunge I would of course like my PC to have the ability to run Windows while I figure out how, among other things, to get my home network up and running under CentOS.

Is this a possibility with this Distro or do I need a thrd party software to acheive this?

Currently I have 2 hard disks, 120 GB each.

The first HD has wndows installed on the first partition, and the second partition is used for file storage.
The second HD is strickly backup of files I'd like to save in case (or should I say when I) loose another harddrive.

If I can have a dual boot system, I would assume I would keep the seconday disk for backups still, but I am wondering if I can install CentOS on the primary disk without damaging Windows, and, possibly just install CentOS on the existing second partition on the primary drive, or if I just need to repartition everyting on the first drive completely for something that makes more sense.

Any input is greatly appreciated.


Posts: 23
Joined: 2005/03/06 19:26:14

Re: Dual OS?

Post by meekrob » 2005/03/06 20:54:33

It shouldn't be a problem, grub (the CentOS bootloader) can handle all sorts of OS's including Windows. Learn about grub here:


I haven't installed any Redhat or CentOS with an existing windows partition but I wouldn't be surprised if it recognizes and configures grub for a dual boot for you. Otherwise you need to use grub "advanced options" during the install.

Posts: 6
Joined: 2005/02/26 01:36:03

Dual OS?

Post by crichey » 2005/03/07 00:39:13

The CentOS installer will allow you to install to your available 2nd partition on the 2nd drive with no problem; none of the other partitions will be touched. Hint: you may need to delete and redefine the second partition, since Linux needs a swap partition (1G or less) in addition to the root partition. You can do this from the installer.

CentOS will install the grub boot loader, and both your CentOS and your existing Windows will be bootable.


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