Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I want to install multiple OS's on my clean harddrive.

It will consist of Win 7, Ubuntu, and LinuxMint. I've heard about problems with the boot sequence and such, so is there a standard operating procedure to go about when attempting this? I have heard of problems with GRUB (need to look this up. Not 100% sure what it is) but any tips or tricks that would save me any headaches would be appreciated. Thanks

As a note: I've heard that people just recommending using a VM to do this, but it is not an option at this point

share|improve this question
    
People who are downvoting are never required to post a comment explaining it. This is not trolling, this is just using the site as intended (although writing a comment would have been nice, of course). In essence, it should make you think about what could be wrong with your question. My first guess would be that instructions for dual (or triple) boots are actually covered quite extensively in online resources like tutorials and such – and it's not quite clear what exact problems you were facing, if any. –  slhck Jul 20 '12 at 1:52
    
My problem was how to install multiple OS's on a clean HDD. Any particular install sequence I should be aware of mostly. –  EGHDK Jul 20 '12 at 14:45
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

What I did was just installed them (installing windows last) then used EasyBCD to add the other OS's to the boot menu. That's working fine for me, I haven't had any problems. Also, I'm assuming you know that you need 3 partitions (one for each OS) and a swap partition (you can use just one of those for both of your linux distros).

share|improve this answer
    
I know I need three partitions, but what do you mean about the swap partition? –  EGHDK Jul 20 '12 at 1:26
    
The swap partition is equivalent to the paging file on a windows machine. When you put the first linux OS on your hdd it will make you create one. So you shouldn't have to worry. help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq –  imtheman Jul 20 '12 at 1:30
    
Gotcha. Great thanks! –  EGHDK Jul 20 '12 at 1:40
    
You're very welcome. Glad I could help. –  imtheman Jul 20 '12 at 7:56
add comment

You must decide if you want to use Windows boot menu or Linux boot menu like GRUB. I prefer GRUB my self. When installing GRUB I always install Windows on my first primary partition and make it large enough to handle the OS's needs. I make sure it is running happily and patched before going on. Then start installing the nix os's with the one holding GRUB to be your second primary partition. I usually make may 3rd primary my swap and 4th a logical for the remaining os/data/home partitions.

Make a recovery/boot CD for Windows before you get Linux going and then make an emergency boot CD/floppy/flash drive for Linux though most of the rescue disks will work well for that.

Reverse the order with same partition style if you want to install Windows boot loader. It's no trouble to create the partitions ahead of time and leave them unformatted till your install CD is ready to use it. You may have to match up UUIDs in the various Linux's for the swap partition after it gets created. Since I run with several disks I have a swap file on each drive and usually leave my Linuxs to each have their own.

Also if you use GRUB and then decide to go back to Windows you can use a rescue CD and run a MBR repair utility to restore the Windows MBR. It's also not a bad idea to have the MBR utility save a copy of your partition structure for safe keeping on a flash drive or other media separate from that PC just in case a virus or drive failure happens. It can allow you to rebuild the structure so you can run data recovery tools.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.