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Re: Reinstalling windows on a dual boot system



On Wednesday 01 Jun 2005 05:00, sid wrote:
> Hi
> I have Windows Xp prof and Fedora 3 installed on my laptop. I need to
> reinstall my windows xp cos its showing its native behaviour..like system
> hang.. Now i read that if I reinstall windows..it will overwrite my current
> boot loader(GRUB)..and then i will not be able to boot linux. Is there a
> way to do it without losing my linux installation??
> Also has any one tried to work on Fedora installed on a usb hard drive? how
> is the performance? I am considering buying a usb hard disk for working on
> linux on my laptop. thanks in advance..
> Sid

Sid,

I know it's too late for your current installation, and I've not yet tested 
this with XP, but what I have tried in the past is using dd to take an image 
of a 98SE partition, which can then be restored at a later date.

I have only tried it with a fairly small partition of about 4Gb. man dd 
doesn't seem to give a maximum file size, so if anybody can tell us what the 
maximum file size is for dd, if there is a limit, I'd be grateful.

I have used dd to take images of the XP partitions on the last couple of dual 
boot machines that I've set up. These partitions are around 20Gb. dd didn't 
make any complaints about doing this, but I did find that I could not 
compress the image files using zip or tar. Zip and tar both appeared to work 
on these files, producing an archive, but when I tried to extract them I got 
errors.

I know that there are issues with mounting NTFS partitions into Linux 
filesystems, but using dd to simply take a copy of the partition should, I 
hope, just work. I've not yet had to attempt a restore, but I do have the 
images available to give it a try when things get desperate.

The big advantage of doing this is of course that you don't run the $soft 
installer, therefore you don't destroy GRUB.

If anybody on the list has already done this with XP, I'd be really interested 
to hear about it.

Dave Fletcher


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