View Full Version : Best way to make my computer run 3 different Operating Systems?
01-19-2010, 09:58 AM
I have a Pent 4 2.66GHz 3GHz, 300GB HD that I recently upgraded to Windows 7 Home Edition only to find that much of my legacy software and hardware aren't compatible. I guess I should've checked online first. I digress....
What I'm thinking of doing is creating a triple boot computer running Win 7, Win 2000 and Ubuntu, the last of which I keep hearing good things from nerd friends and figured I'd better have it. What's the best way to accomplish all this? Is it just a matter of partitioning the main drive into 3 and then installing each onto a separate partition? Swappable hard discs? Running one OS under another? I'm somewhere between dolt and expert when it comes to computers.
01-19-2010, 10:19 AM
Install Linux (Ubuntu) last. Windows does not play well with other OSes, it will overwrite the master boot record and wipe them out during installation. You'll need to figure out a good boot manager, there are ways to get Windows to do it as well as Linux. I haven't done this in years so I'm not sure about the latest and greatest means of accomplishing this, but there are a number of guides on the internet about how to boot multiple OSes.
Is it just a matter of partitioning the main drive into 3 and then installing each onto a separate partition?
Yes, that would be the way to do. No need to consume other harddrives just to install an OS. From there, each partitiion will be assigned a new drive letter and you have to go into the Bios settings to let it know which drive you want to boot from.
This. Or you can install Virtual Machine software and run two separate machines on your machine.
I've used this one several times (the link will take you to a page you can read about it and download from. It won't actually start a download):
01-19-2010, 11:04 AM
I like the virtual machine thing. I tried it and it works great. I used Parallels software.
01-20-2010, 08:49 AM
Thanks for the input guys. I'm not in a hurry so will explore the virtual OS thing some more. I'd like to find someone whom has done it first.
01-20-2010, 08:58 AM
If you are going to use any of the main linux distros, here is what I would do. Run your distro of choice (ubuntu it seems) and open up the partitioner (gparted). Shrink the partition and then with the free space, create an NTFS partition that you want your Windows 2000 to reside on. Leave the space for ubuntu blank for the time being. Anyways, reboot and install 2000. Once that is done, run the linux livecd again and inform it to automatically install and set up your free space. I can't remember if Ubuntu selects this out of the box, but make sure your primary partition is an EXT4 filesystem. If you want to use the defaults (probably EXT3) that will be fine, but EXT4 is now stable and it smokes the other filesystems performance wise. Someone mentioned earlier about getting all of the OS's to load, but don't worry... thats a piece of cake. 5 years ago configuring GRUB by hand may not have been fun, but today it will automatically detect all OS's and set up your MBR automatically. The only thing you'll need to tell it to do is which one to be selected by default.
Hope this helps. This is really a piece of cake. I don't know your level of expertise, but even if you aren't super techy, this really is very easy to do. The main linux distros set themselves up automatically these days with far better out of box support than Windows.
...ps, you can of course use something like Partition Magic which works greats, but costs money. I'd suggest just using the livecd to do it though. Gparted works every bit as well and its free!
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