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How to dual-boot Fedora 14 and Windows 7

fedwin11

FedoraHow to dual-boot Fedora 14 and Windows 7 is next in a series of articles on dual-booting Windows and Linux distributions. The first was how to dual boot Ubuntu 10.10 and Windows 7. That article gave detailed instructions on how to dual-boot, with GRUB, the Linux bootloader, installed on the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the hard disk. This article will show how to dual-boot by letting the Windows Boot Manager take care of the dual-booting responsibilities. The method used here is a lot easier than that suggested by a commenter here. The actual reason behind this approach is to prevent Windows from messing with GRUB when it (Windows) is updated/upgraded.

The first task is to create Windows partitions, leaving some unallocated space for installing Fedora 14. When dual-booting Windows and Linux, this is the recommended method. It is safer than exposing the whole disk to Windows and letting the Linux installer make room for installing Linux by shrinking the space used by Windows. Note: To make taking screenshots a lot easier, the images used in this tutorial came from a virtual installation, with a disk space of about 92 GB.

To start, boot the computer using the Windows 7 installation disk. The disk partitioning step is shown in the image below. To create the Windows partitions, click on New.

fedwinDl

Disk under Windows installer

The available size of the hard drive will be presented in an editable field. Knowing that a new installation of Windows 7 takes up about 7 GB of disk space, any value higher than this should be sufficient. For this tutorial, I chose to allocate 30 GB to Windows.

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Edit partition size

Here is the new size for Windows. Click Apply.

fedwinDl2

Specify partition size

The Windows partitioner will create two partitions. The first, 100 MB in size, is for the /boot partition, and the second is the main Windows 7 partition. The unallocated space will be used for installing Fedora 14. Click Next to install Windows.

fedwinDl4

Continue installation

After Windows installation has completed, reboot into the Fedora 14 installation CD or DVD. For this tutorial, I used the DVD installation image. Click until you get to the step shown in the image below. Because the disk has been partitioned to create a free space, untouched by Windows, the option to select here is “Use Free Space.” If you want to add a physical security layer to your Fedora 14 installation, enable “Encrypt system.” See how Fedora protects your computer with full disk encryption for the benefit of this option.

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Fedora 14 partition methods

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Jason
Jason
11 years ago

Nothing here is helpful!!!!!!!!! What I am looking for is a way to install Fedora 14 in a partition created specifically for it and then use that as a secondary boot. VMPlayer is a pain in the backside and is only 15% reliable on Windows 7 unless you purchase the full VMWare package. If anyone has any helpful recommendations please reply.

mikej
mikej
Reply to  finid
11 years ago

He said, he used a virtual instalation (Fedora loaded in VMware) so he could take screen shots easier. NOT that this is how you load in and run it in a Virtual Machine.

It’s really easy just do like he said.

Preston
Preston
11 years ago

So, I’m stuck and perplexed. With Win 7, I used Computer Management to free up 25GB of space for a new partition. I restarted with a Fedora LiveCD, selected the Free Space option, and proceeded to install it and the default Grub Legacy loader the way the LiveCD wanted me too. However, whenever I restart, there is no boot menu, and it loads straight back into Win 7. So I went back to the above guide, installed the bootloader as recommended, and used EasyBCD to create a Fedora boot option (and, eventually, several, each pointing to different partitions just in case) which only take me to a blank screen with a blinking cursor. I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled Fedora several times, using variations of the above method. Any idea on to how I’ve already screwed this up?

mr holmes
mr holmes
11 years ago

hi.very nice and helpful article..
first time i am trying linux. i got one problem during the installation of fedora 14.
win7 is already installed on my laptop.i have fully empty partition of 85gb(ntfs)on which i am trying to install f14.
when i select the option “custom layout” then “create” option,it display the message “not enough disk space”. how to resolve this error??

mr holmes
mr holmes
Reply to  finid
11 years ago

thank you very much for your rply.
the drive on which i am trying to install f14 is fully empty drive(drive G: 85gb free space). win7 is installed on another drive(drive C:).
so why i can’t install f14 on drive G: ?? is there any method to do so ??And if i am converting drive G: to unallocated space and installing f14 on it,then will i able to access this partition from win7??

Bob
Bob
11 years ago

Thank you for the tutorial. Did several dual-boot installs before, but not with win 7 64 and Fedora with Grub. followed the bootloader setup as described here. Works perfectly.

John Wayne
John Wayne
11 years ago

Thanks for the great guide. I am following now and in the am stuck on the last step of the 1st page. Where in the Fedora install it says use freespace on the current drive. I have many HDD’s and am installing on a 1tb Samsung, I have the drive partitioned 500gb for each O/S. However when I choose “use free space” it says there isn’t any. It only notices the device not the partition and lists its size as 1tb.

The initial windows install is working fine. I though well maybe in 7 it automatically lumps unallocated space on the same HDD, so I formatted it in NTFS to see if the Fedora installer would pick it up. But again it is only picking up drives not partitions.

So I am stuck on that step, thanks for your reply.

John Wayne
John Wayne
Reply to  finid
11 years ago

Thanks for the quick reply.

Originally I did have it as unallocated space as your guide instructed, it gave me the same error which is why I booted into 7 and formatted it as NTFS with still the same error.

When I go into “create custom layout” it shows

/dev/sdd1
sdd1 953866mb type ntfs
free 1mb

So I’ve now booted into 7 and downloaded a partition manager and am formatting the 500 gigs for fedora into ext 3 and hoping the installer picks it up.

BTW I didn’t mention this the first time but I’m using an F13 cd, doubt that is the issue but it’s the only thing that I can tell is different from your tutorial.

John Wayne
John Wayne
Reply to  finid
11 years ago

Update

I downloaded a new F14 cd to see if that changed anything. I still can’t use the “use free space” option. However when I click on the “create custom layout” I do see the different partition.

I see

/dev/sda
sda1 128mb
sda2 190gigs

/dev/sdb
sdb1 128mb
sdb2 190gigs

/dev/sdc
sdc1 500gig ntfs
sdc2 453gigs ext3
free 2

/dev/sdd
sdd1 953gigs ntfs

/dev/sde
sde1 1910mb vfat

John Wayne
John Wayne
Reply to  John Wayne
11 years ago

Well I figured it out. Just stupidity on my part all along. I have 2 2tb HDD’s and 2 t tb HDD. For some reason I thought my main OS was on my 1tb seagate, and that I cleared and partitioned the samsung for these installs. Evidently I had it backwards so everytime I choose the samsung, then tried to find freespace it couldn’t because I had the wrong HDD selected.

So I’m past that part and on my way to dual booting.

Sorry for the confusion 🙂

Berwhale
Berwhale
11 years ago

Question: If I was to follow this and install Fedora 14 after win7 with the partitioning scheme here leaving an unallocated partition (large) at the end – how can use this as a common data store accessible by both OSs? I have read stuff about formatting as NTFS, then pointing Win7 libraries at the partition, creating appropriate directories. Then doing same in Fedora 14. Does this leave an unused logical partition /home in the Fedora 14 LVM? Is it possible to leave out home in the Fedora 14 install but assign it to the NTFS partition? I have read many partitioning schemes…. a bit confusing?

Mario
Mario
Reply to  finid
11 years ago

Haha whoops i did not know there were four pages to this, ok forget my last question

Mario
Mario
Reply to  Mario
11 years ago

and sorry this was for the comment below

Berwhale
Berwhale
Reply to  finid
11 years ago

So then does Fedora go in an unallocated /dev/sda4 ? Then Fedora install would create its /boot partition and /, /root and /home here? But /boot must be primary yes? Am I running out of primary partitions or can Fedora (/boot and all) exist in an extended partition /dev/sda4 ?

Mario
Mario
11 years ago

I have a question, if i were to already have windows on my pc, can i just put the installation disc to make partitions of the remaining free space of it without hurting any data on it? Also after the last step that the tutorial shows, does it allow you to pick which partition to use or does it do it automatically?

Mario
Mario
Reply to  finid
11 years ago

Ok well i think i made my partition correctly, I used the partition manager that comes with windows(i did not use the installation disc). I partitioned my 450gb hdd by taking 50gb to make a partition. I made 50 gb of unallocated space for fedora 14. I think im all set to do “use free space” if im correct?

Mario
Mario
Reply to  finid
11 years ago

I’m in the installation and there is no “home” in the partitioning part, also sda1 is vfat not ntfs…does that make a difference?

Wireless
Wireless
11 years ago

Hey.. Nice tutorial..! I have a question. Do I get GRUB loader screen after I select Fedora 14 in the windows boot manager if I update Fedora to list the different kernel?

andreas
andreas
11 years ago

solved the ptroblem after 6 hrs of fiddling. it was related again as often before to inconsistencies of grub.
in recovery mode under grub it would yield for find /boot/grub/stage1 (hd2,0).changed that in grub.conf from value of (hd0,0), still no change in behaviour.
then:for easy BSE 2.0.2 i needed to check option “grub isn t installed to MBR/boot sector”. after reboot it would finally be in grub and stop. doing find /boot/gru/stage1 again in command line mode would NOW yield (hd1,0). interesting. changed that. it would now boot into fedora.
why easyBSE always lists path to drive C: under advanced, even now for the fedora is not a flaw. it is just because easy BSE is using a boot sector excerpt THERE on drive c, it needs to pick up boot on target linux drive.

andreas
andreas
11 years ago

having another issues yet. setup is dual boot win7 on HDD sdb1 and fedora 14 on sde1, i.e. 2 HDD. followed ur tutorials, writing GRUB to sde1 instead of sde. then used compliated BSD: added new entry, specified on first setup what was sde1 (not drive letters shown), GRUB legacy. wrote that to boot.ini. rebooted. selected linux entry, short blink of cursor, then cold reboot. rebooted win, rechecke “easy”BCD: suddenly entry read drive C for linux. interesting. also: u can t edit existing entries, but have to delete and add new. smart approach. did so. this time, menu did not give sde paths, but suddenly there was a drive G:, which i selected for GRUB legacy, again boot loader is not written to mbr left unchecked. wrote this to boot.ini. rebooted, same thing as before. checking “easyBSE” again: this time linux entry read again drive C. so it appears at least that easy BSE is faulty. setup is: older MB with standard HDD on standard IDE (not bootable), si680 ATA card in ATAPI mode with sdb on primary channel and sde (sde choice of os, not mine) as master on secondary channel. also i think sde is flagged bootable (if not it should hang but not just reboot).
just am not sure against ur tutorial, that fedora, which installed without problem, upon redirecting GRUB to sde1 instead of sde gave the entry as u show “mapper”, i think it just gave “other”, which i left selected.
also: before with fedora 8 i had dual boot setup requiring FAT32 to initiate boot on drive c and redirect it to fedora partition using bootpa. but i want to avoid risk of damaging windows partition so i prefer urs, am just lost as to cause of why this does not work.
how could i try correcting the mapper issue ? probably need to reboot with rescue function…

rakesh
rakesh
11 years ago

I installed fedora 14 on a free drive with win 7 as mentioned above, but whenever i select fedora 7 in the windows boot manager it throws a blank screen with a blinking cursor. I have installed the whole linux setup on a second sata HDD (160GB).

Could you please suggest to help this!!!

rakesh
rakesh
Reply to  finid
11 years ago

Thanks Finid!!!
Yes, i am working with Fedora 14 & Windows 7..

I installed the Boot loader at the boot partetion (500mb) on the second drive. the second drive was split into /boot= 500MB & rest as a LVM partetion.

In EasyBCD i selected the same /boot partetion (only linux partetion with 500MB).

rakesh
rakesh
Reply to  rakesh
11 years ago

I selected “GRUB isn’t installed to MBR/bootsector” option and after reboot i get the boot loader selection option. i selected fedora14 there and then it throws an error that the drive is ntfs!!!

Allen
Allen
11 years ago

Due to the requirement that Windows be installed first, would this mean that a Windows/Linux dual-boot be out of the question if I also wanted /boot /, swap and /home on a software RAID 1?

I’m not too bothered about installing a Windows RAID, it merely needs to be on one of the mirrored bootable disks. I thought perhaps to install both OSs on two hard disks, then making additional partitions on the disk with Windows, establish the RAID then, rsync /boot swap /root and /home. However, surely the new partition map would come into conflict with the Windows installation.

This question is mainly academic as I’m still without the machine that this will be used for so have not tested anything yet.

John A
John A
11 years ago

Yes, it does help. Thank-you. I did follow this tutorial and did install Fedora 14 and Windows 7 very easily.

John A
John A
11 years ago

What if Disk 0 unallocated space is not 63.1Gb but something like 1.7Tb. Where do I need to create the size (say 50Gb) of the drive for Fedora?

Does Fedora encrypt the windows 7 partition too? This tutorial doesn’t really explain things very well.

John A
John A
Reply to  finid
11 years ago

thank-you for your reply. This type of information should be early in the tutorial. It will give people a much clearer view of the differences between the Fedora install and Win install.

hendro
11 years ago

why would i need to dual boot with crappy windows in my computer?

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