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Old 12-13-2007, 01:21 PM   #1
Astrotoy7
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Dual Boot Guide & Operating System FAQ

Sticky Clutter reduction note: Merged with Niner's OS Discussion Thread, which was chiefly a summary of commonly used OS and relevant to this thread - Astro

Firstly, aside from commenting on the guide Im about to describe, please feel free to use this thread to discuss your multiboot plans or experiences

sources Ive used to do this are chiefly these:

Screens Ive used are chiefly from these sources.

The info at these slights differs a little, there are different ways to approach it depending on what your scenario is.

My reason in writing this guide is to present a distilled version of all the info I found that worked for me. Arent you all so lucky The great thing is that doing it this way will involve no messy 3rd party partitioning apps, and no terminal window fumblings in linux. Just one simple freeware app to run from vista to correct and tweak your vista bootloader - thats it ! If anyone wants to report on alternate methods, especially ones preserving existing installs - feel free to do so. I always like to do things afresh. I have a second drive on so backing stuff up is a breeze for me whenever I want to nuke my OS drive.

*Clicky 1
*Clicky 2
*Clicky 3
*Clicky 4
*Dual Boot Superguide

and finally the utility EasyBCD 1.7 used by everyone from Astro to MS for exactly such a purpose - however please note that if you are doing a XP>Vista dual boot only, then you actually wont need to tinker with your bootloader - when you boot up vista it will give you a selection to load either Vista or an "earlier version of windows". If you are fussy, you can use BCD in this instance to call the bootlader options whatever you want.

However, you *will* need it if you want to dual boot vista/linux. If you want to do an xp/linux dual boot - I suggest you read the superguide linked to above before you plunge into this guide

* * *

Recently, since having adopted vista x64 as my main OS, there were a couple of little compatability problems I experienced. These definitely do not warrant the anti vista rant that some like to give - as the games I wanted to run(KOTOR1/2) were made pre-vista and the hardware(usb capture device) I was wanting to use has a lazy manufacturer who could not be bothered with x64 drivers(when many of its competitors do)

I gave virtualisation a try - no good. Its limited, especially for multimedia and gaming.

I was happy enough with vista to not want to revert for these minor things but used it as an opportunity to school myself in the geeky but useful art of multi-booting. I definitely think it has leveled me up as far as geeky compy skillz are concerned

Having done it - I can thoroughly recommend it ! Its like having multiple pcs. In other tech areas I inhabit - Ive also noticed the increasing desire to throw mac into the multiboot mix. The mac vs pc divide seems to dissolve for alot of people as long as they can throw it on the rig they already have, rather than fork out inflated prices for a boutique pc that is aesthetically offensive to some.

So, here Im going to write out a guide as to how I did it, having devoured many sources. For those curious and adventurous, all I can say is *please* back up important stuff you have - as if you encounter difficulties and want to revert to your original install state - you wont lose important stuff.

And remember, if you try this stuff, its AT YOUR OWN RISK. Please be aware that doing such things may potentially void your warranty if you have a store bought system, so best to check about that if it concerns you.

@D333 - hope that is sufficent caveat from a legal POV!

The guide Im about to present explains a Triple-Boot setup of
*Windows Vista x64
*Windows XP Pro SP2 (x86)
*Ubuntu Linux Gutsy Gibbon 7.10

Im pretty sure it would be easy to add another linux distro as this process doesnt seem to mess too much with the windows systems. But I havent tested this yet. I also have not tested a Mac install, as I dont own a copy of Tiger or Leopard. I have seen several setups with a concurrent mac install working *mostly* OK, with some intermittent hardware probs(wifi cards etc)

Firstly, relevant hardware:
AMD x2 6000 w shuttle proprietary mainboard.
4GB DDR2 800
150GB(system) plus 750GB(media) HDDs
Geforce 8800GTS 640MB.

The speed of your components really dont have much to do with the multiboot process itself. Whatever your components will give you on a single OS install is what they will give you on a multi install.

Requirements:
*windows vista install disc (w product activation key)
*windows xp install disc (w product activation key)
>>Im not going to mention anything about hacked copies so dont ask !
*ubuntu linux disc. I used the 4gb version, Im not sure how this works with the lite editions > if the partition manager is the same, then I imagine it would work similarly...
>>linux experts will be better aware than I am how different distros manage partitions - so this guide only applies for Ubuntu FF/GG as far as I can say. (the guide I originally read described a feisty fawn install, which worked just as well on GG)

One final thing: Installation sequence : There is indeed a difference if you decide to install each of these OS in a sequence different to the one I have. described. The chief of these seem to revolve around XP - which seems to have a quite destructive bootloader ! Also, when doing the initial format, it also insisted on being installed on the first formatted drive(the one that gets labelled C) - so if you work back from a vista install etc you may find that the XP install may not even appear, or that XP will overwrite vista's bootloader, locking you out of vista until you enter a product key.

The sequence Ive listed seemed to be the most painless as it gives automatic dual boot functionality, without having to restore vista's bootloader. As you install Vista's bootloader second, it seems to take XP under its wing naturally, which of course doesnt happen the other way, when xp barges in over a vista install. It obviously wasnt designed with vistas different bootloader in mind !

SO: This is what ended up being the easiest for me:

Step 1. Installing XP and Creating Partitions
Different guides Id read mentioned fiddling with command line partition management stuff, or doing it in disk management first. However, this gives you less control over partition size than if you start an install from scratch. My recommendation is > back all your stuff up, and set it all up the way you like, rather than messing with command line stuff or third party partition managers.

>>Boot off XP install disc, once youve agreed to MS evil dictums, you will get to the bit where it shows you what discs you have... I was targeting my 150GB HD > so this is how I sliced it up. (xp has these listings in mb, so to mnake a 20GB partition, you need to type in 20,000)

1st: 15GB (becomes C drive) >>for XP
2nd: 120GB >>for Vista
3rd: 14GB >>for Ubuntu Linux
4th: 1GB >>Linux swapfile

It looks like this


You can tweak that the way you want, though anything under 20GB isnt a good idea for vista !!

IMPORTANT: XPs bootloader is fussy so insists on being installed on the first partition it creates(C drive). Please keep this in mind when picking the size of the partition you want for XP.

>>>After all that proceed with xp installation, you do NOT need to format all the drives here, just the one you will be installing XP on(I uses ntfs quick - im
not sure if using another option - eg FAT32 affects this process). If this is an issue for you, than you may want to read up on it. If Vista is in your install plans, please be aware than it cannot be installed on a FAT32 partition.

>>XP fully installs in 30-60 minutes usually. During setup, it may ask you to put your product key in then, and then to complete activation later. This seems variable as some people just get the latter. In any event, know that whatever usual activation process for xp you have had will be required for a reinstall.

Once you are in XP, I suggest you finish off a basic driver install, chipset, gfx sound etc. Don't waste your time doing all you apps etc until youve finished everything with the other OS and have it working the way you like

Im doing a an XP>VIsta>Ubuntu Triple so the next step :
Once finished with XP > Restart and boot off Vista Install CD

2. Installing Vista
Those familiar with Vista will know the installation sequence is slightly different from XP > you put in your product key at the start and select which vista flavour you install. You eventually get to the partition manager - you will of course want to do a fresh install on the partition you created eralier(in my case 120gb). The upgrade install option shouldnt be highlighted, but just in case it is - dont select it !

Again with product key stuff, whatever happens on normal install is replicated here, there is no special trick >> please do **not post** here saying "but Im using 1337 activation crack - what do I do" I have 3 trained and crazy admins in the yard here, waiting to tear anyone up who utters such things

Remember what I mentioned above about Vista's bootloader taking XP under its wing ? This is the advantage of doing the XP>vista method, as once the Vista install is completed, you will now have a fully working dual boot config. A normal startup will give you the option to launch "Microsoft Windows Vista" or ""Earlier Version of WIndows" Vista will be the first option - if you actually prefer to have XP listed first(as teh default OS), you can tweak this in vista, without need of a third party app by going to

>> Desktop, right-click the Computer icon, and choose Properties. Then, in the System window, click Advanced system settings over in the left side of the window. This launches the XP-style System Properties dialog, which should be on the Advanced tab by default (Figure). Click the Settings button in the Startup and Recovery section to launch the Startup and Recovery dialog. If you really need to change the option that says "Earlier Version of Windows" to "Windows XP"(or whatever you like!) you can do this via the command prompt - or by using the great little app EasyBCD. As I was needing to use EasyBCD to configure the linux install, I changed mine in there, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered

Once in vista, I suggest you do the same as with xp, get basic drivers going first - then proceed to doing the linux bit. If you're not interested in the linux install, then you're done !

3. Installing Linux (Ubuntu 7.10 GG)
As I mentioned above, this guide specifically refers to an install process that will work on Ubuntu FF or GG. Those wanting another distro will need to verify what is the most appropriate method for that distro. I havent tried another distro in the triple boot mix, so cant comment myself. Im sure most of you linux champs are yawning now, saying -sudo apt hurry apt astro install guide

OK. Vista and XP is installed, you still have those two partitions awaiting linux, so off you go ! Pop in your linux disc(I used the DVD version) though I imagine the partition manager would be the same on the CD versions..

on the first screen - press "start or install ubuntu" > this will start the live cd version, once this is completed - start the install process proper from the "install" icon on the desktop.



After you pick language etc, you get to the partition manager screen - please select MANUAL !


Once in the partition manager you will see the partitions you created way back in the xp install. Thet are listed with check boxes next to them. Here's a crappy picture but you get the gist!


All you need to do is tell linux where to install itself, and which to use as its swapfile.

in my example

>>find the 14GB partition > select edit partition. A box appears with two selection lines on it. As this will be the linus root installation partition, in the top line select ext3 and on the bottom line /



>>Then go to the partition you selected as the one for the linux swapfile > select edit - asll you need to do is go to the bottom line and select swap If this is selected as the bottom line, the top line will usually be blocked out.

Once thats done - continue with install. As Ubuntu does this it's bootloader(GRUB) takes over from windows, so when you boot up, on your mulitboot system you will get this:

So if you want to get into vista or xp, you need to select the windows options, and then that will take you into the vista bootloader:


If you were preferring to default go into linux - then you might as well leave it here, but to get to vista/xp vista is a 2 step process - ideally we would like *one* screen where all three options are presented.

The easiest way to do this is to use the freeware app EasyBCD which I linked to above. To get it going > book back into Vista (yep, from the linux loader select windows, then select vista from the vista loader)

Make sure you are logged in as an administrator, and install EasyBCD.

There are 3 steps to this very important process ! Here's a pic from my setup

click to enlarge


1. Hey GRUB, give that vista bootloader back!
>>unless you are content to go into linux by default, to startup via vista bootloader and be given the option to boot into either 3(vista/xp/linux) is the most appealing to me >> you need to get the vista bootloader back

>>Once youve installed EasyBCD go to manage bootloader > select "reinstall vista bootloader" click write MBR to save > and then reboot to check that its worked !!

NB>>even if you prefer XP or linux, your far better off letting vistas bootloader doing it for you. XPs bootloader will mess with vista and GRUB>windows as default involves annoying terminal windows command lines , which alot of users(me included) wont understand. Some of you purport to enjoy the "power and control" the TW gives you in linux, I have to say it aint giving me that at all. I like ubuntu and sabayon, and Ive discovered a linux experience for a non super savvy user definitely is possible. Its only a matter of time before some of these more 'human' distros make further steps away from their reliance on that thing and it will be a function that lurks in the background, like the windows command prompt.

anwyay, if you really insist on GRUB or XPs bootloader doing this, you will need to google some other guides about that specifically

Step 2: You've reinstalled Vista bootloader, but you want to add linux to the list!
In EasyBCD got to "add entries" have a look at the pic I have attached. Above you will see what you already have lurking on there. Too add a linux entry - click the linux/penguin tab, and the drive where linux has been installed, select its bootloader type(in ubuntu - GRUB) and pick a name for the entry(its NST something by default > I chose "Ubuntu Linux") as it will appear in the bootloader. Press add entry/save and reboot !

You should now have all 3 OS listed in the vista bootloader !!

Final step/Optional >>

3. Renaming Entries and Changing default order (optional)
If you are content with whatever vista is going into first(usually vista), and are content with the bootloader referring to xp as "earlier version of windows" then you dont need to worry about this bit... if you do want this final tweak >>Go Into change settings, the tope bit allows you to change the default OS, the bottom allows you to change the display name.

As you can tell from my pic, Ive changed "MS windows vista" to Windows Vista x64, and "earlier version of windows" to "Windows XP Pro SP2"

save/reboot, and start enjoying your tri boot goodness Play KOTOR, then jump to vista and give DX10 crysis a bash, and then hop over to linux and play with that(erstwhile giggling at the terminal window). IMO, Its a great way to maximise functionality of your pc and give yourself full options for its use, rather be limited by one OSs peculiarities.

good luck !!

REMEMBER- if you feel the need to try this - back your stuff up first dammit !!

mtfbwya


PS - Id be especially interested to hear from anyone who has tried OSX on a pc(not vice versa) !!


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Last edited by Astrotoy7; 07-06-2009 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:06 PM   #2
tk102
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Huzzah Astro! Over the past couple days I've looking at the idea of changing my system to a dual-boot: XP -> XP/FreeBSD. The dual-boot superguide link you provided suggested same path forward as I had assumed, but it's good to see it spelled out nonetheless.

I have Partition Magic so I'll be using that to carve out my FreeBSD niche. I'm a little concerned how much of an obstacle the GRUB/NTLDR issue will be. I've read that you can be faced with "NTLDR Missing" message if NTLDR isn't found in the MBR. I guess I'll just have to cross that bridge when I get there. I have an old laptop so I will probably try using that as a test platform before jeopardizing my XP desktop.

I'll let you know how it goes.


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Old 12-13-2007, 02:52 PM   #3
Miltiades
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Great! Just what I needed. There's some project I have to do for school (well, more of an integration assignment) in which I need to put together a computer with the parts we get and then install both XP and Linux and use dual boot. I already roughly knew how to do it, but this clarifies some things. And since I can choose which Linux to install, Ubuntu seems the best choice, as the install is very easy.

Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:57 PM   #4
Astrotoy7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Huzzah Astro I've read that you can be faced with "NTLDR Missing" message if NTLDR isn't found in the MBR.

I'll let you know how it goes.
yes, that NTLDR thing has proven to be a thorn in many backsides! Will you be trying a fresh install or trying to preserve your existing XP install...always trickier to do it with existing OS installs... OSs are so stubborn sometimes - theyre like little kids that clutch onto the shelves when you want to leave the toy store

let us know how you go, same goes for Miltiades

mtfbwya


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Old 12-13-2007, 08:11 PM   #5
Negative Sun
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Amazing stuff Astro!
I was looking into multi-booting guides for XP/Linux a couple of months ago but I never found anything as comprehensive as what you've posted...Once I can fully back up my system to an external drive I'll give Kubuntu a whirl on this machine probably



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Old 12-13-2007, 11:33 PM   #6
Astrotoy7
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I had a feeling an XP/Linux combo would be a popular choice so have started hammering out a guide for that too. Im going to be using the laregly unused 'kids pc' as my test box. Im hoping it will involve bits of step 1 and 3 above and a bit of bootlader tweaking again - but I'll see how I go. Similar to above, the guide will be from the perspective of a clean format and install of xp and linux. I have read enough to see that troublshooting problems that arise from preserving existing installs is a pain in the a$$. The chief problem being people that plunge into the dual boot for an existing setup caper often DON'T back up their stuff before doing so, and end up S.O.L and mad at Gates and the Penguin when they mess things up

Im very pleased to see NegSun being very prudent and backing his stuff up before he starts his dual boot adventures. Good work !

Going to the mac again - theres some interesting info about the legality of it all. Apparently you cannot legally implement an OSX on more than one 'apple computer' at a time(similar to single license windows OSs), but the interesting thing is the device has to be "an apple badged device" Apparently the rules dont exactly stipulate a detailed description of an apple badged device, making some wishful Hackintosh peeps, think that merely sticking an apple sticker on their pc covers them legally

Hence, due to the murky legalities of "Mac on PC", please keep your references to it as vague as possible ie. no one will be posting a guide about it here anytime soon! I do think its just a matter of time until this is standard practise though - Apple can boost sales if they ship this OS as standalone, and PC hardware devs can market their stuff as MAC/VISTA compatible. I dont see why Apple should get in such a huff about it, Apple users get bootcamp, we want our Hackintoshes ! Even more interesting are the benchies showing up from users running Mac on their PC - with the PC equivalent doing really well. I wont link to any such sites, but you can find them if you want to!

>>so, keep your eyes peeled for the xp/linux guide. will be up in the next day or so.

mtfbwya


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Old 12-14-2007, 12:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
words
1) Partition drive as:
  • 1st = Windows XP
  • 2nd = Linux Swap
  • 3rd = Primary Linux (ext3, xfs, etc)
2) Install Windows XP.
3) Install Linux with no bootloader and take note of the contents of /boot
4) Reboot into Windows XP.
5) Install Win32 GRUB (get it here).
6) Configure Win32 GRUB by editing the menu.lst file - if you followed the partition order above, then it should be similar to:

Code:
timeout 60

default 1

fallback 0

title Windows XP moar liek XD
unhide (hd0,0)
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

title Lunix
root (hd0,2)
# remember when you TOOK NOTE OF THE CONTENTS OF /boot ?
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-whatever
initrd /boot/something.gz
Or, if you're a Gentoo user who used genkernel:

Code:
timeout 60

default 1

fallback 0

title Windows XP moar liek XD
unhide (hd0,0)
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

title Gentoo moar liek GOONtoo
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/kernel-genkernel-whatever root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ramdisk=8192 real_root=/dev/hda3 udev
initrd /boot/initramfs-genkernel-somethingorother
This way makes sure that once you install XP you don't have to worry about anything MBR-related, it can be removed easily as well. Also take note that I haven't tested the genkernel version (since I've never used it), although I assume if you can install Gentoo you can configure GRUB properly.



"No, Mama. You can bet your sweet ass and half a titty whoever put that hit on you already got the cops in their back pocket." ~Black Dynamite
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:01 AM   #8
Astrotoy7
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thanks jmac

Im sure tk102 understands it - I have some questions on behalf of dualboot novices(who this is all aimed at really) !!

>how do you launch linux with no bootloader
>will this launch into linux by default , how can you change the default OS
>what distros will it work on. eg. any that use GRUB, like ubuntu ?\
>can you tell us a bit more about what Win32 GRUB does > how is it launched, how is it removed ?
>How exactly do you get to/edit the menu.lst file
>what are you meant to be looking for when you say "take note of the contents of /boot" can you give an example
>what are the advantages of doing it this way - ie. why do you like doing it that way
>do you have some screenies.
>can it accomodate a vista install in the same way

I know these might seem like dull questions to you, but for people doing this for the first time - its good to flesh out those details

* * *

I'll still post my xp guide when done. As above, it will be written with the first timer in mind. I think jmacs one is great for more advanced users (especially ones who like the geek chic of pasting blocks of code)

In *all* the sources I read about triple booting, there was always a bit that was glossed over or that didnt match another guide - so annoying! Its like learning math from a lazy teacher with an incomplete text book

mtfbwya


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Old 12-14-2007, 11:14 AM   #9
Ray Jones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
>how do you launch linux with no bootloader
You mean install? Easy, usually every distro's installer asks you whether to install GRUB/LILO/nothing.


Quote:
>will this launch into linux by default , how can you change the default OS
No, it will not lauch linux at all.

Two ways, change the order of OS entries in the menu.lst file, or change [number] in the default [number] line in the menu.lst (starts counting at 0) to select your preferred entry. It is also possible to always select the last booted entry, have a default entry in case of system failure.


Quote:
>what distros will it work on. eg. any that use GRUB, like ubuntu
Let's say, expect it to do so. ^^


Quote:
>How exactly do you get to/edit the menu.lst file
Windows? It should be in C:\boot\grub\, complete with nice commentary for the unknowing.


Quote:
>what are you meant to be looking for when you say "take note of the contents of /boot" can you give an example
When you've installed Linux, the kernel and initrd files are in /boot, to list it's contents grab a console and type
ls -al /boot. It should give you something like my crap SuSE Linux at work does
Code:
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root    4096 11. Okt 08:33 .
drwxr-xr-x 22 root root    4096 14. Dez 09:47 ..
-rw-------  1 root root     512 12. Dez 2006  backup_mbr
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root       1 12. Dez 2006  boot -> .
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   64134  3. Okt 01:49 config-2.6.18.8-0.7-default
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root    4096 11. Okt 08:33 grub
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root      27 11. Okt 08:33 initrd -> initrd-2.6.18.8-0.7-default
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 3151967 11. Okt 08:33 initrd-2.6.18.8-0.7-default
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  369152  9. Mai 2007  message
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   86462  3. Okt 01:51 symsets-2.6.18.8-0.7-default.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  338740  3. Okt 01:51 symtypes-2.6.18.8-0.7-default.gz
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   99320  3. Okt 01:51 symvers-2.6.18.8-0.7-default.gz
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  954130  3. Okt 01:43 System.map-2.6.18.8-0.7-default
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root 2114978  3. Okt 01:49 vmlinux-2.6.18.8-0.7-default.gz
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root      28 11. Okt 08:32 vmlinuz -> vmlinuz-2.6.18.8-0.7-default
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 1618384  3. Okt 01:44 vmlinuz-2.6.18.8-0.7-default
We're interested in the vmlinuz* and initrd* files (with vmlinuz being the kernel image, and initrd being something like just more awesome to make your kernel happy). So what yo must take note of is the names of the vmlinuz/initrd files you would like to boot into.

In that example we want vmlinuz-2.6.18.8-0.7-default and initrd-2.6.18.8-0.7-default so the menu.lst lines would be something like
Code:
title openSUSE 10.2 - 2.6.18.8-0.7
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18.8-0.7-default
    initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.18.8-0.7-default
The root line simply tells GRUB which (harddrive,partition) and boot directory to use.

For a complete documentation of GRUB and the menu.lst, you should consider reading the GRUB manual, 'cause I don't feel like copy&paste.

Hint:
In the directory listing above you may notice some lines starting with an "l".
These are actually links pointing at some file, in this case vmlinuz/initrd are pointing to the actual kernel/initrd (and are changed accordingly with any kernel update/install). This a common technique in Linux, so you can actually almost rely on that. An almost idiot proof menu.lst entry would be
Code:
title 
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz
    initrd /boot/initrd
But remember this will always attempt boot the last installed kernel version.


Quote:
>what are the advantages of doing it this way
In jay's case, it downloads porn. In my case too, but different porn. Also, you can painlessly configure it to boot from USB stick or HDD, or to download even moar porn for you. And you can edit the menu entries while in the boot menu, so basically typos won't render your system unbootable. It's theme-able. And yes, there are GUIs available to manage GRUB.





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Whenever you install (a "native" Linux) GRUB onto some harddisk, just make sure you do not install GRUB onto some partition, but always into the MBR of the HDD itself.

Most distro's installers I know do ask where to install GRUB and the default choice is often the correct one (except you want to boot from an USB HDD or whatever). This is what cause much trouble when not done so (I must know ^^). The point is that way you make sure you do not overwrite any bootsectors of any partition of that HDD, and thus you make sure any possible Windows installation has everything it wants where it needs it on its partition.

When you keep that in mind, it almost does not matter what you do install first, Linux, Windows, err DOS?

However, the critical thing *is* the MBR. The MBR basically contains nothing but info about where to go first. (And in case you install GRUB there, GRUB too)
It is simply the very first sector of any drive out there. Every HDD and PC goes and looks into the MBR where to go next.


Anyway, in case you want to get rid of (Linux') GRUB, there are several ways to accomplish this, one is using a Windows XP installation CD, its rescue mode (A CONSOLE btw), and the FIXMBR command. Or you can backup that MBR in Linux *before* installing GRUB, for a later restore.

In case you want to reinstall GRUB, just take some Linux Live/Install CD and do what the GRUB manual tells you.



Last edited by Ray Jones; 12-14-2007 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:10 PM   #10
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great stuff Ray

How about surplanting one distro for another. Say I dont want to play with ubuntu anymore and replace with sabayon....

Would it be
From Vista >> remove the ubuntu entry from easy bcd and reformat the partitions from either disk management or through the sabayon partition manager itself ?

From XP >> restore MBR from recovery console > and reformat the partitions from either disk management in xp or through the sabayon partition manager itself?? >>I notice sabayon uses gpart, and has a quite user friendly way of selected what you want grub to do when it comes to the loader - eg, if you wanted to load XP first.

I know its not the most popular distro, but bravo sabayon for things like that to make life easier for the lesser experienced in affairs linux.

* * *

Having just completed a XP+Ubuntu install, I can report I did it identically to steps 1 and 3 in the original guide. You end up with GRUB, listing XP Pro rather than "windows vista/longhorn (loader)"

If you want to make XP your default/first boot option >>
In Ubuntu you can also tweak the GRUB bootloader settings. To do this you need to bring up the *blegh* Terminal window (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and type the following into the window:

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

Hit ENTER and then type in your password hit ENTER again and you get access to the boot menu file in gedit.

The default boot entry is defined by the default value. Change this value to reflect which OS you want to boot up automatically. The default value is 0, which means that the first entry in the list (in this case Ubuntu) will be loaded automatically. If you want to change it so that Windows XP loads by default, change the value to 4 (because here XP is the fifth item in the list and the numbering system starts at 0). You can also increase the boot menu timeout by changing the value of timeout from the default 10 to something else. Save to commit the changes.

as mentioned above - sabayons installer gives you the option to choose this from inside its installer GUI.

For completeness/curiosities sake, from everything Ive read, there doesnt seem an easy way to have xps bootloader launch ubuntu, as listed in the vista install. If its just the one windows OS you have on there, theres really no need >> as opposed to the 2 step process to get to XP from the grub>vista loader example.

Someone wanting to do a concurrent Server 2003 install was asking me if GRUB would list it separately to XP. Can anyone verify this or give instructions how? (ie. if server 2003 doesnt appear on the list)

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Old 12-14-2007, 04:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
How about surplanting one distro for another. Say I dont want to play with ubuntu anymore and replace with sabayon....

Would it be
From Vista >> remove the ubuntu entry from easy bcd and reformat the partitions from either disk management or through the sabayon partition manager itself?
I personally do it all during the install process, and usually I do not recreate the partitions, I just tell the partitioner/installer to format the partition, and to mount it as root fs.

Quote:
I know its not the most popular distro, but bravo sabayon for things like that to make life easier for the lesser experienced in affairs linux.
SuSE's YAST, for instance, offers this for years now

There is also a project called startupmanager, which is pretty good, I think. (available also for Ubuntu, Debian, source, w/e)


Quote:
If you want to make XP your default/first boot option >>
In Ubuntu you can also tweak the GRUB bootloader settings. To do this you need to bring up the *blegh* Terminal window (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and type the following into the window:

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
Alternatively, right click on the (GNOME) desktop, select "create launcher", in the following small dialog enter a name, and as command enter sudo gedit %U, chose an icon, click close, there you go, an editor with root rights -- for like ever. Also you might want to edit your username into /etc/sudoers if you do not want to type the root password every goddamn time you type sudo or use that launcher.

Or, install startupmanager and use that one.

However, be careful, and use a "normal" editor where you mustn't do otherwise. Also, be aware that a "passwordless" sudo means that user (when logged in) has unconditional root access, without any security barriers (do not use in a production environment XD).


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Old 12-14-2007, 11:53 PM   #12
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cool stuff Ray - like the idea of startupmanager. Might have a play at it later when have the energy to look into another distro.

Im goona get back to my games now, COD4 and KOTOR2 light side campaign(which Ive never done!) beckon

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Old 12-23-2007, 04:02 PM   #13
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XP / FreeBSD Dual Boot

Goals: Install FreeBSD 6.2 as a partition to a drive that currently runs XP Pro. Use XP's bootloader to choose the OS.

I spent a frustrating day yesterday performing this installation and there a point when I thought I might never recover from a corrupted partition table. After all this, I'll summarize the steps involved in getting this working and hopefully save someone else some time.


0. Confirm you have your Windows XP Setup Disk. If anything bad should happen, you may need this to go to the Recovery Console and fixmbr.
1. Create an Ultimate Boot CD.
2. Create a FAT32 partition on your hard drive of about 2GB.
3. Create an unformatted partition where you want to install FreeBSD (mine: 20 GB).
4. Download the boot-only ISO image from ftp.freebsd.org and burn it to CD. (eg: link)
5. Create a folder on the root of your new FAT32 partition called "freebsd" (eg. G:\freebsd)

Note: If you have a wired connection to the internet you can skip step 6 and then in step 13 choose an FTP installation. At the time I performed this installation, I only had wireless adapter and so had to resort to downloading the FTP tree ahead of time to my FAT32 partition.
6. Go to the releases section of ftp.freebsd.org (eg. link) and patiently download the entire contents of your release into the freebsd folder on your FAT32 partition, preserving the directory structure.
7. Insert the FreeBSD boot-only CD and reboot. Change your BIOS to allow you to boot to CD if you haven't already.
8. Choose 1 from the FreeBSD menu. Look at all that system info... Select your country. Choose (S)tandard installation. Don't get worried about disk geometry messages.
9. In the FDISK-like screen, highlight your target partition and choose C to Create Slice. Keep the 165 partition type (FreeBSD native). And type Q to finish.
10. In the Boot Manager screen, select (S)tandard to create a MBR with no boot manager.
11. In the Disk Label Editor screen, select (A)uto Defaults. Look for the Part that has DOS as its Newfs. Highlight it and select (M)ount Pt. For the mount point name call it "/mnt". Press Q to finish.
12. Choose (A)ll for a full installation. Say yes when asked whether to install Ports collection. Select OK.
13. Choose (5) DOS as your installation media. Proceed with installation. You may want to note any packages that aren't installed in case you want to get them later.
14. Set up whatever final configurations you like and create any usernames, set the root password. Finally, exit installation, causing a reboot to your new FreeBSD installation.
15. Login as root. Edit /etc/fstab set your /mnt label to Options: rw (couldn't find how to do this during installation).
16. shutdown -r now to reboot to FreeBSD once more.
17. Now that /mnt is read-write, we need to copy the boot sector of FreeBSD so that XP's bootloader can find it. Execute the following as root:
dd if=/boot/boot1 of=/mnt/bootsect.bsd bs=512 count=1
18. Insert your Ultimate Boot CD and reboot to it. Select Filesystem Tools: Partition Tools: Free FDISK. Click OK to everything. When Free FDISK executes, Answer Y to "Do you want to enable FAT32 suppport". Click 2 to set active partition. Set partition #1 (your XP partition) as the active partition. Esc, Esc, Esc, reboot.
19. In Windows XP, copy the bootsect.bsd file (eg. G:\bootsect.bsd) to C:\
20. Edit your boot.ini adding the new line under [operating systems]

Example:

[boot loader]
timeout=5
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOW S
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
c:\bootsect.bsd="FreeBSD 6.2"

Now you should be able to reboot to either OS.


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Old 12-24-2007, 11:59 AM   #14
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great stuff tk

Can I ask what you chiefly get up to with FreeBSD, please give the answer in non nerdy laymans terms !

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Old 12-24-2007, 12:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
Can I ask what you chiefly get up to with FreeBSD
Lucasforums and LFNetwork run FreeBSD. As the sysadmin-elect, I felt acquainting myself with operating system was the least I could do.


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Old 12-25-2007, 05:04 AM   #16
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jmac said try FreeBSD. I said right after I build a Linux From Scratch.


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Old 12-25-2007, 10:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Lucasforums and LFNetwork run FreeBSD. As the sysadmin-elect...
awesome. I think thats the key to being an admin - having that higher level of software nouse. Either that, or order a hit.

Im happy to be a low level mod, and keep my link "with da people on da streets!" [/what someone says when they know they cant/wont go any higher]

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Old 12-25-2007, 12:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones
jmac said try FreeBSD. I said right after I build a Linux From Scratch.
Clearly the real reason behind tk's switch.



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Old 12-26-2007, 10:50 AM   #19
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Yes, clearly, because *I* installed FreeBSD preemptively for the day I become admin. XD

(looks awesome will be on my server jay :P)


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Old 02-23-2008, 01:11 AM   #20
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Official Software and OS Discussion and Advice Megathread

Niner's opening post in the OS Discussion Thread

The following are questions originally posted by Astrotoy7:

OMG...what OS?
OK. Youve picked your 1337 parts using this guide. Now, what operating system are you going to use? Here are the big 3(as far as DIY)

Windows XP 32 bit:
Pros: Stable, mature. Many bugs ironed out and/or fixed. Wide driver and application compatabilty. Due to its Win2000 roots, will play alot of the older stuff too(apps/games)

Cons: Multi tiered installs - especially if you have an older install disc, a fresh install usually means sometimes hours of upgrade patches. Service Pack 3 will fix this a bit, theres still alot of junk to be got. Will not run pure DX10 games, or fully utilise the potential of DX10 hardware. (Not a huge concern momentarily, as these next gen titles haven't taken off yet) 32 bit limitations apply. Cost.

Windows Vista 32 bit:
Vista, you either quite like it, or really hate it Vista is not as stable as XP, but a full year since RTM, and countless bugs have been ironed out. Driver support from GPU manufacturers has been strong and steady. More driver revisions have been made in one year in Vista than over 5 in XP That being said, some hardware and software simply is not supported, and may never be. It is the responsibility of the consumer to find out if Vista is appropriate for them, and if they are unsure, there are many that can help! Just don't ask a slick haired salesman, thats all

People are going Vista for 4 main reasons:
*Their new PC came with it, they had no choice
*They are early adopters regardless of what it is
*They are excited by the potential of DX10 hardware and games
*They run home theater PCs(Vista media center is a superb home theater pc application)

Cons:
*Restrictive hardware and software compatbility
*32 bit restrictions still apply
*Cost
*Top heavy installation and spec footprint

Linux
There are many Linux variants, serving many purposes. All in all, Linux is a wonderful, free alternative to the above 2. Increasingly, Linux distributions are GUI and user friendly, making a windows>Linux transition an easy one. A distro that has been particularly successful at this is the wonderful and sensible Ubuntu

Main cons:
*support if you are stuck. Help might be easy to find(google!) but not always easy to follow. A simple conundrum can take days to sort out.If you have one linux only pc and cant get online, googling answers is hard (Thus a dual boot is recommended)
*Very limited gaming support

<<for later/anyone else: 64bit OS? Should I Go Mac? >>




have a suggestion for the lf poll? pm me

Last edited by Astrotoy7; 07-06-2009 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 02-23-2008, 01:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
Linux
There are many Linux variants, serving many purposes. All in all, Linux is a wonderful, free alternative to the above 2. Increasingly, Linux distributions are GUI and user friendly, making a windows>Linux transition an easy one. A distro that has been particularly successful at this is the wonderful and sensible Ubuntu :p

Main cons:
*support if you are stuck. Help might be easy to find(google!) but not always easy to follow. A simple conundrum can take days to sort out.If you have one linux only pc and cant get online, googling answers is hard :) (Thus a dual boot is recommended)
*Very limited gaming support
You forgot the pros :O
  • Price. Just about every distro is free, and if it isn't, you're probably paying for tech support. In addition, most software for Linux is also free.
  • Security. Due to its design, the frequency at which its updated, and the relatively small number of people who use Linux outside of the server market, there's virtually a 100% chance you won't be infected with a virus or anything else you'd have to waste system resources protecting a Windows machine from.
  • Ability to customize. Your ability to customize your system is only limited by your skills when using Linux - nearly everything is open source and modifiable.
  • Speed. Because you have the option of compiling everything from source, Linux can have a much lower overhead than Windows, in addition, a bit of fiddling with your iptables configuration should be sufficient security for most users.

Distros (from beginner to not-so beginner)
  • Sabayon. Sabayon is easily the easiest OS to install on any machine I've ever used. It comes with a GUI installer, installs most every driver required by your system automatically, and installs most every application the average user would ever use (including codecs, etc).
  • Ubuntu. Basically Sabayon without the automatic driver installation and such. It's also based on Debian instead of Gentoo (as Sabayon is), which makes application installation slightly easier.
  • Debian. Debian comes with a text-based installer, it's more difficult to install than the last two, but it also allows for the installation of only the stuff you want/need in addition to a base system (note that by "base system" I don't mean desktop environment - I mean you get a console and a list of commands). Essentially, it's Ubuntu plus a lack of extra crap at the expense of user-friendliness.
  • Gentoo. One of the most difficult OSes I've installed. There isn't an installer at all. To install it, you boot into text-only LiveCD environment, partition and format your disks, then download a copy of the base system's source code, which you then compile after configuring make.conf with whatever USE flags and optimizations you want. After that you do all that, you install everything you want, which basically involves compiling it from source. The perks of Gentoo are that it's fast (and I mean really fast) and grants boasting rights :D



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Old 02-23-2008, 05:24 AM   #22
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And last but not least we got the Linux From Scratch books, guiding you to bootstrap a fully fledged Linux system of any desired flavor out of the big nada. ;~~



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Old 03-06-2008, 09:50 AM   #23
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Well, since I'm interested in dual-booting xp on my new laptop, and the old laptop is nearly toast, I was wondering if I could pull xp from the old laptop to install on the new laptop (or use the program on the startup disk). I'd rather not have to pay for a copy of xp when I have one sitting around already getting unused. Old lappy is Compaq, new is HP pavilion.


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Old 03-07-2008, 02:20 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Well, since I'm interested in dual-booting xp on my new laptop, and the old laptop is nearly toast, I was wondering if I could pull xp from the old laptop to install on the new laptop (or use the program on the startup disk). I'd rather not have to pay for a copy of xp when I have one sitting around already getting unused. Old lappy is Compaq, new is HP pavilion.
Ive seen different things with compaq(who are part of HP nowdays). In some instances, theyve given out a proper install disc with a setup, but more often than not(especially recently) will turf out an undesirable system restore disc, or even just put a backup image on a locked partition(and make you order a disc for $25 if you really need one)

setting up a new install of a backup image that does its own partitioning, has its own set of drivers etc. is possible, but many pitfalls exist for different conditions. Its be much easier if they gave you a proper setup disk > but even then you will have activation issues

Or you could try a linux variant. It will do most things XP can do...including running KOTOR it seems Unless you have a very specific program you want to use that isnt viable in linux, then its a good, free alternative. It will also level you up Geek+1

I havent played with linux in a while, when I did I was most fond of Mint, which was a strain of ubuntu IIRC. But there are many options out there if you are considering going the linux route.

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Old 03-07-2008, 04:11 AM   #25
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I think Jae is a Windows gal, Astro.

But I'm afraid, Jae, without a proper installation disc, you're pretty much screwed. :/


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Old 03-07-2008, 07:20 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones
I think Jae is a Windows gal, Astro.

But I'm afraid, Jae, without a proper installation disc, you're pretty much screwed. :/
The only thing I can think of that might work is deploying a backup image of Jaes current install. Of course, you need a third party app to do the backing up, and reinstalling it. But its a helluva roundabout way of doing it

I did the equivalent of this with two desktops, using Norton Ghost 9. A backup install was made, and the same image placed onto another desktop PCs HD. It recreated the 80gb partition exactly from the original desktop HD on the new 750GB HDD. I had to go in there with a partition manager later on to clean it up and get the partitions the way I wanted them. Still worked though

Activation issues wont apply as you are restoring a snapshot of a full install.
ASTRO EDIT- actually they might! In the instance of **restoring an existing** vista install after an xp install(ie.not a fresh vista install after xp, as in original guide above), Vista may prompt to re-enter a product code, even if you happen to have an enterprise copy of vista that requires no activation!! This is only to particular hardware though. So, just a little warning for those contemplating it. (I had to ring MS to get an 'unlock a product that should never be locked' code)...lolz. If you have the luxury of doing so, installing XP>then Vista fresh(as in the guide above) is the least hasslesome by far, from an activation point of view


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Old 03-07-2008, 04:55 PM   #27
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Be careful with partition managers though Jae, unless you know exactly what you're doing, or you can afford to lose some data and possibly some hair, I wouldn't recommend throwing around partition sizes like that



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Old 05-07-2008, 07:58 PM   #28
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Just posting to say that this guide has really helped me in dual-booting Vista/Linux, and EasyBCD is pure genius!!!

Thanks Astro

Two thumbs up from the Fonz for you:




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Old 05-08-2008, 06:16 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Negative Sun
Just posting to say that this guide has really helped me in dual-booting Vista/Linux, and EasyBCD is pure genius!!!

Thanks Astro

Two thumbs up from the Fonz for you:
cool bananas. The guide was written for adventurous first timers, just like you negsun! (and me before I wrote it)

Easy BCD is a great demonstration of how a well made GUI makes advanced functionalities accessible to all users. Every function in it is do-able via the cmd line prompt, but why bother.... slowly but surely, the more 'people friendly' Linux distros are going down the same path.

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Old 05-08-2008, 09:57 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
cool bananas. The guide was written for adventurous first timers, just like you negsun! (and me before I wrote it)

Easy BCD is a great demonstration of how a well made GUI makes advanced functionalities accessible to all users. Every function in it is do-able via the cmd line prompt, but why bother.... slowly but surely, the more 'people friendly' Linux distros are going down the same path.
Damn straight!



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Old 12-10-2011, 04:09 AM   #31
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Also another alternative to Dual Booting is the use of virtual machines now. Programs like vmware can launch another system in windowed form and just borrows resources from your host OS.

I personally have never dual booted a system but have used a VM when wanting to mess with things (mainly LINUX) and was afraid of messing up my whole system.

The only downside really is that any information saved in the VM cannot be transferred over directly to your host OS, you would have to use some sort of external storage device (External HDD or flashdrive) to transfer it.
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