Dual boot XP and Linux without changing the XP MBR

Discussion in 'Windows XP General Discussion' started by Aunty Jack, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Aunty Jack

    Aunty Jack

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    Hello from Aunty Jack,

    As always, I am trying different configurations/OS's/ and whatever. For those who like to puddle around with Linux but don't want GRUB to make changes to or overwrite the XP MBR there is a way to do it (dual boot) if you have some old bits and pieces put away, "just in case".

    Usually these days since Wubi and Mint4Win are no longer included in the Linux ISO it is a tedious process to uninstall Linux if you want to and fix the XP MBR. It can be done but is fraught with danger. Doing it, "by the book" trashed a spare IDE hard disk I had. Still I have another old Seagate hard disk to muck about with.

    To have a "dual boot" system with XP and Linux totally separate and the XP MBR untouchable as well as the Linux GRUB is an exercise in lateral thinking.

    First, does your BOIS have "boot from USB" capability.
    Do you have a spare old hard disk.
    Do you have a USB to IDE connector. Fairly cheap at AUD $29.00.
    Extend the usual IDE four pin power leads to the second hard disk or if possible can you mount the second hard disk in the PC case. I can't as my old, "muck about" PC is a clamshell case Dell with no room inside left for anything but a toothpick. Easy enough to buy a power cable extender or a cut/add a length/solder/insulate job so the second hard disk can sit outside the case and the adapter plugged into a USB port.

    XP will "see" the second hard disk but you may have to go into "manage", "disk mangement" to sort out the second hard disk to have one primary partition and format as NTFS. But, you may have to plug/unplug the power to the hard disk and the USB adapter a few times. Power first, then USB adapter.

    So far so good.

    Download a Linux ISO, say Linux Mint 17 XFCE.

    Google for a program named Rufus. Rufus will create a bootable USB with the ISO expanded on to it. The thing is, Rufus and the whole setup "thinks" the second hard disk is a USB when it is actually a hard disk through a USB to IDE connector.

    Play with Rufus, it is fairly simple to use. When you are confident have Rufus create a bootable "USB", the hard disk which may be drive E:, F:, or whatever with the Linux ISO.

    Now, dual booting between XP and Linux. Each lives on it's own hard disk with it's own bootloader and XP and Linux do not "talk" to each other at the boot level. Your XP setup is separate and safe.

    The process is not really "dual" booting, it is "separate booting".

    To use XP, start your PC the usual way. Totally isolated from Linux.

    To use Linux, hit the start button and get into BIOS and tell your PC to boot from USB. Sure, a little slow to start with but once up and running, Linux is Linux and totally isolated from XP.

    And, it works.

    A bit of fun for a rainy day perhaps.

    Cheers from Aunty Jack.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
    Aunty Jack, Jan 30, 2015
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  2. Aunty Jack

    Elizabeth23

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    I am curious as to how a hdd could be trashed when you can just wipe the drive??
     
    Elizabeth23, Jan 30, 2015
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  3. Aunty Jack

    Aunty Jack

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    Hello Elizabeth23,

    That one puzzled me too. No amount of wiping/formatting as RAW/NTFS/FAT32 deleting all partitions etc worked. Still, the hard disk was about 15 years old and at that age prone to eventual failure anyway, IDE drives are, in American slang, "a dime a dozen" so in the rubbish bin it went but only after destroying all the input pins and power pins. That way no one can have a look at what was on it even if it could be like Lazarus and be resurrected. The amount of scams here in Australia that happen if any bank/credit card/other financial data is left on an old hard disk or "junked" old USB stick is astounding. Most Aussie PC users are not security conscious. I never do online transactions or leave any financial data even on a junked disk or USB.

    Cheers from freezing Adelaide even though it is supposed to be summer here.

    Aunty Jack.
     
    Aunty Jack, Jan 30, 2015
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  4. Aunty Jack

    Elizabeth23

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    Cheers to you, also

    and it is in the thirties at night here in Florida, but the days have been a nice 65 or 70 :)

    ==

    I do no banking on line I just go to the bank :)

    ==
     
    Elizabeth23, Jan 30, 2015
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