How to Set Up a Dual Boot with SLED 10 and Windows

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 8 Dec 2006

Scott Morris shares a solution he provided for a user on how to set up a computer to dual boot SLED 10 and Windows.


I have heard that there is a way to set up a computer to dual boot, giving me the ability to have both Windows and SLED on my computer. Is this true?

If so, how can I do this?


For doing dual boot, you have a few options. The first one is that during installation of SUSE, you will get to a partitioning screen. It will likely show you in its list something about resizing the Windows partition, and possibly creating others. This has worked about 90% of the time successfully. Even when it has failed, the Windows partition remains untouched. Thus, in 100% of situations where I let SUSE do everything, Windows is still intact.

The second option is to use a separate tool to resize the Windows partition yourself. If you are familiar and comfortable with partitions, this is the course of action that I would (and do) take. To do this, there are two (main) choices:

The basic concept is that you will take your tool of choice and repartition your HDD. What is a good partitioning scheme? Well, the simplest is to have three partitions:

  1. Windows Partition - The minimum I'd go here is 7 Gig. If you store additional media and/or files on this partition, you may want to adjust accordingly. I usually go about 12-15 Gig for this partition.

  2. Create a partition of a Gig or so. Eventually, this will be used as the Linux swap partition. When you create this partition (with gparted or Partition Magic), you do not need to tell it to be a swap partition.
    You will do this as you are installing SUSE. You install normally, and when you get to the partitioning screen, it may already assign this partition as your swap. If not, you simply instruct the SUSE installer to assign this partition as your swap.

  3. Create this final partition from the remainder of your hard disk.

This will be your SUSE system partition. You'll want at very least 5 or so Gig here. Again, when you create the partition, you don't need to tell it to use this as your SUSE system partition. During the installation of SUSE, on that partitioning screen, you'll set this up as your / (or root, as it's called) partition.

If you're looking for a challenge, I actually like to set up my partitions as follows:

  1. Windows (20 Gig)
  2. /boot (64 Meg)
  3. swap (2 Gig)
  4. Extended partition containing partitions 5 and 6
  5. / (20 Gig)
  6. /home (120 Gig)

I make /home as its own partition so that when I reinstall, I retain all my user data, files, and personal stuff. That way, I just have to reinstall the Gaim package, and all my accounts, logs, icons, smilies, etc, are already there.

Hopefully, this answers your questions, or gives you a good starting point at *very* least.

Have a good one,

Scott Morris

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