dual booting - accessible partition resizers and some other questions

Willem van der Walt wvdwalt at csir.co.za
Wed Mar 19 11:26:10 UTC 2008

On Wed, 19 Mar 2008, Daniel Dalton wrote:

> Hi all,
> I now want to dual boot windows and linux for another 6 months on my good box
> which is a hp with 1 gb of ram, 320 gb hard disk and dual core 2.1 ghz.
> Then I'll remove windows.
> First what exactly is required to set up a dual booting system?
> Is it just resizing the windows partition, adding a swap partition (in my case
> 2 gb) and adding a partition for linux?
> Does anything have to be done for grub?
> Or am I missing something?
Yes, but a good installer would allow you to create the swap and linux 
partitions during the install.
Resize your windows partition using a program called ntfsresize from 
You boot with whatever talking Linux you have like the blind eye linux by 
I think John Heim, or oralux or Ubuntu Feisti.
There is a staticly linked ntfsresize program somewhere out there, google 
for it.
Put that on a memory stick or floppy, once booted into lets say speakup 
from a CD,
mount the stick or floppy, read the manual for ntfsresize and away you go.

> Do I need to run a disk defrag or something?
yes, to make sure you have your blank space at the end of the win 

> Ok so to resize the windows partition, what do I do?
> Do I use a livecd to do this? And if so is it accessible to a totally blind
> user?
> (Braille or speech...)
> Or can the debian installer handle this?
I do not remember about the Debian installer, but if I have to do a box 
now,I would start with Ubuntu Feisti, not the latest Ubuntu as it does not 
have speakup, but as stated, use any live cd that you can get talking or 
doing brltty.
> Once resizing is done then how do I tell linux to install to its own new
> partition and make a swap and leave windows alone?
Run the linux installer.  I have never worked with a Linux installer that 
distroys things without asking you.
What most does, is to tell you about the empty space on the disk and then 
suggest that it will install itself there.
During the install, grub is also installed and most installers will ask 
you if you want to have your windos as a boot option.
These days the installer does most things for you.

> Finally I believe my windows partition is taking up the whole disk  and should
> I have a windows disk available?
> I don't think I have one...
> Also should I go with ubuntu or debian?
> I was considering ubuntu since there is lots of information on it like in the
> forums and it comes with a whole bunch of stuff that could be useful,
> but I have used debian a lot to and it seems pretty good.
> So what's the best choice?
> I know this is a hard question to answer... :-)
Its up to you, but Ubuntu is easier for accessibility.
You might afterwards want to change your /boot/grub/grub.lst file to 
change the timeout setting, but after the install you would normally get a 
grub menu from where you can press enter for linux and down-arrow then 
enter for Windows.
The timeout is normally very short before the machine starts booting into 
Linux, so that is likely going to be your first boot after install.
HTH, Willem
 > > 
Thanks for any help, > 
> BTW, does ubuntu have an accessible installer?
> Thanks,
> -- 
> Daniel Dalton
> http://members.iinet.net.au/~ddalton/
> d.dalton at iinet.net.au
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