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I have a Dell laptop loaded with Windows 7.

The partitions I see looking at the Disk Manager are the following:

One ΟΕΜ partition 39MB, one NTFS partition 218.20GB (boot, page file, primary), and one recovery NTFS partition 14.65GB (system, active, primary).

I have also burnt a Slackware 14.0 DVD so that I can install the Slackware Linux distribution.

How can I make the laptop dual boot Windows 7 and Linux together?

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Here is a three step solution that I suggest, after successfully adopt it myself :

  1. LiveUSB creation using this link (http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=creating_the_liveusb) In the options use 'parted magic'.
  2. Create partitions using this guide (http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=using_gparted)
  3. Slackware installation based on this guide :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA8BBS5qJ2k

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These are the exact steps I've used for installing Windows Server 2003 R2 (and Windows 7 and XP) with Slackware (versions 13.1, 14.0 and 14.1) on Dell D410, D630, D2100 and M4600 laptops. The partition sizes and numbers are based on my specific setup (C: is for Windows OS and boot partition, D: is for what-have-you, E: is the shared Windows/Linux space, and F: is the Linux OS and boot partition).

Windows Server 2003 R2 / Slackware 14.1 dual boot


Boot Windows Install Disk

  • Create Partitions: C:(200G) D:(32G) E:(32G) F:(32G)
  • Exit (F3) and reboot

Boot Slackware Linux Installer

Configure partitions (do not re-partition):

fdisk /dev/sda

  • flip partition 7 (my Linux partition) type to Linux (t 83)
  • flag partitions 1 and 7 (Windows and Linux boot partitions) type to bootable (a 1 and a 7)
  • write and quit (w, q)

Format VFAT partitions (do not format NTFS partition, we'll let Windows Installer do this):

mkfs.vfat /dev/sda5 (use NTFS if desired)

mkfs.vfat /dev/sda6 (use NTFS if desired)

Format Linux partition:

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda7

  • install Linux to /dev/sda7
  • lilo superblock:

Contents of lilo.conf:

boot = /dev/sda7
message = /boot/boot_message.txt
append = " vt.default_utf8=1"
vga = normal
image = /boot/vmlinuz
root = /dev/sda7
label = Linux
read-only
  • Install LILO:

lilo -C lilo.conf

  • mount /dev/sda6 to /mnt/e

mkdir /mnt/e

mount -t vfat /dev/sda6 /mnt/e

  • save /dev/sda7

dd if=/dev/sda7 of=/mnt/e/linux.bin bs=512 count=1

sync

Reboot (Ctrl-Alt-Del)

Boot Windows Install Disk

  • Install to C: drive (do not re-partition, use existing NTFS partition)

  • Move E:\linux.bin C:\linux.bin

attrib +hidden C:\linux.bin

  • Edit C:\boot.ini

Contents:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Edition" /noexecute=optout /fastdetect
C:\linux.bin="Linux"

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