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Lab 2

Install Operating Systems


In this lab, you will partition your drive and install Windows XP and Linux. Upon completion of this lab, you should have a dual–boot machine with Windows and Linux living in harmony on the same machine. When the machine starts you should be able to select the desired OS to boot from a menu.

2.0 Before you start

1. Open the PC, and make a note of the various types of hardware (e.g., video card type and amount of memory, ethernet card type). This is useful information during any OS install.

2. Obtain an unused drive from the TA and make a note of its number. All your work during the semester will be done on this drive.

3. Insert your drive into the drive rack. This will be the first step of every lab from now on. BE SURE THE POWER IS OFF BEFORE INSERTING OR REMOVING A DRIVE TRAY!

4. You will answer a series of questions during the installs. Some, but not all, of these choices can be changed later. Be sure to carefully record all install decisions.

5. You should plan out your drive partitions before starting (see helpful hints below). While you can always re-partition your drive, doing so usually means re-formatting and re-installing the operating system(s).

2.1 Partitioning your drive

There are several tools that may be used to partition a drive. Note that you may leave part of the drive “unpartitioned” and use more than one partitioning tool. For example, you may use the Windows partitioning tool to create the Windows partitions, and then use a Linux partitioning tool to create the Linux partitions.



On the Fedora rescue CD

You can boot from the Fedora rescue CD to use some basic Linux u tilities (very handy if you have problems with your Linux installation). There are two partitioning utilities: parted and fdisk . With fdisk , you must specify a device (i.e., a drive), this is usually

# fdisk /dev/hda

while parted may be invoked simply as

# parted

2.1.2 Windows XP Repair CD

You can boot from the Windows XP install CD in “Repair” mode to use Windows (console) utilities. The drive partitioning tool is diskpart . Note that you will not be able to create Linux partitions with this tool.

2.1.3 During Fedora install

You can partition the drive during Linux installation. Even if the drive is already partitioned, you will need to assign mount points (e.g., “/boot ”, “/home ”, “/ ”) to your Linux partitions during the installation.

2.1.4 During Windows install

When installing Windows XP, you are given the options to create and delete drive partitions (using the diskpart tool).

2.2 Windows installation

1. You should format the main Windows XP partition (i.e., “C: ”) as NTFS.

2. You should create a FAT or FAT32 partition to allow copying between Windows and Linux (currently, Linux can mount FAT partitions but not NTFS).

3. Windows installation is a series of setup “wizards” and reboots. It is (usually) safe to do other activities (e.g., shut down the machine, install Linu x) during the reboots.

2.3 Linux installation

1. Write down the root password in your lab notebook (ordinarily you would keep the root password much more secure than this). It is difficult to reset the root password if you forget it.

2. Select as few software packages as possible during installation. It is easy to install packages later.



Helpful hints

1. Your Windows partition (C: drive) should be at least 5Gb.

2. Your Linux partition that contains /usr should be at least 5Gb (most Linux applications will go here).

3. You will need a Linux swap partition about twice as large as the available RAM on the machine.

4. You should use file system type “ext3” for all Linux partitions except the Linux swap space.

5. The Windows installer will crash in certain cases if it can not read the partition table.

6. For a dual–boot machine, you need to install a bootloader that is capable of booting both Linux and Windows. GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) can do this and should be installed during the Linux install. Windows installation will overwrite GRUB. It is possible to re-install GRUB using the Fedora Rescue CD.

7. Windows does not use UTC for the hardware clock.

2.5 Configuring

1. Create a Windows XP account for each member of your group.

2. Create a Linux account for each member of your group.

3. Check the date and time in both operating systems. I.e., you should not have to reset the clock when you boot into another operating system.