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Dual Boot Gentoo with Windows 8 on two drives.
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Barracuz
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:06 pm    Post subject: Dual Boot Gentoo with Windows 8 on two drives. Reply with quote

Hello there all! Complete newcomer to the Linux world.

So I am going to start migrating into Linux. I know I am a complete incompetent fool when it comes to anything Linux and I know it's not recommended for beginners to use Gentoo but what better way to enter the Linux world than by tackling one of it hardest and complicated distros. what is the worst that could happen?

I have an Asus Q550lf. So my plan is to keep my existing OS, Windows 8.1, on the stock 1tb hdd (might swap it for an ssd) and buy a msata ssd for the msata slot on the mother board for the gentoo installation. I've read that Windows 8.1 isn't very good when it comes to dual booting with linux. So I'm assuming by keeping them on separate all should be good? I was hoping to have the computer load into a bootloader, like grubhub or the stock bios?, first where I'll be able to select which operating system first. Or is it by nature that one operating system boots first and from there you load into the other? I would like have this setup incase I screw up with the gentoo installation I can easily go back to Windows...


Sorry If this has been asked before, did a quick search and I'm reading the handbook for amd64 installations[/list], and excuse my ignorance. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Fitzcarraldo
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although it probably won't mean much to you at the moment, I will offer some advice up-front: My recommendation would be for you to use the application EasyBCD for Windows (free for personal, non-commercial use) to configure the Windows Boot Manager to chainload the GRUB 2 boot manager on the second drive. That way, if you mess up anything on the second drive, it will not affect Windows on the first drive and not touch any boot sectors on the first drive. EasyBCD can handle legacy PC BIOS machines and legacy MBR drives; it can handle UEFI machines and GPT drives. That way you would avoid installing anything at all to do with Linux on the first drive.
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szatox
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barracuz, don't get me wrong, but if you are completly new to linux, you will be much happier with ubuntu than gentoo. Pretty much the same way you don't wan't to take your first driving lesson in a ferrari: for driving lesson you need something that won't get you killed on the spot.
Start with a distro made for newcomers. Get comfortable with it, then move on to bigger toys.

The few things you must know in advance are related to pertitioning: do not let the automatic installer wipe your whole drive. You only need like 6-10 GB for the whole system to get started (30 GB for gentoo. you can give it more if you want). It doesn't matter what filesystem you pick as long as it's not fat, ntfs nor swap. And automatic installers tend to detect windows and configure dual boot automagicaly, just install bootloader on your linux partition rather than in MBR - if you actually install it at all.
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Barracuz
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

szatox wrote:
Barracuz, don't get me wrong, but if you are completly new to linux, you will be much happier with ubuntu than gentoo. Pretty much the same way you don't wan't to take your first driving lesson in a ferrari: for driving lesson you need something that won't get you killed on the spot.
Start with a distro made for newcomers. Get comfortable with it, then move on to bigger toys.

The few things you must know in advance are related to pertitioning: do not let the automatic installer wipe your whole drive. You only need like 6-10 GB for the whole system to get started (30 GB for gentoo. you can give it more if you want). It doesn't matter what filesystem you pick as long as it's not fat, ntfs nor swap. And automatic installers tend to detect windows and configure dual boot automagicaly, just install bootloader on your linux partition rather than in MBR - if you actually install it at all.


Yea I know I know. I've been looking at starting with an Ubuntu distros but from I managed to rearch on it it seems that it is too "easy and premade"? And that's when I found out about Gentoo. I'm gonna jump the gun and start with Gentoo if it's too complicated or if one of my mistakes makes my processor blow up well shame on me, right. But seriously worse that could happen is a formatted hdd which a fresh install of Windows can't fix, right?

Also what do you mean by auto installers? Isn't gentoo all manually installed


@Fitzcarraldo
thanks for the info I will definetly look into it.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, know that the default rescue media for windows MS provides is a joke. Make sure you have real backups before continuing.

Next, if you follow the handbook you shouldn't damage the hardware. Most likely you will just get stuck somewhere after the basic install (ie, getting the internet working) and learn for a few months. That is fine if that is what you want to do. A virtual machine would be another way to do this, but if you want an actual Linux box afterwords then you can't beat jumping right in.

As for booting, there are several ways to do it. I'll add my personal favorite and suggest no boot loader. The UEFI firmware already has all you need. Just disable secure boot and let the built in software do the booting. This cuts out a great deal of complexity and I have found it to be more flexible than most boot loaders anyway.

More on that here and in the handbook. Just don't delete anything! Deleting the windows kernel would be bad.
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Jack Hair
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always install GRUB or w/e to the drive I installed Linux on, I have Windows 8.1 and 2x Linux (Slackware64-current and Gentoo) on separate drives. I just use my motherboards boot menu to choose which drive I boot from, for me that's F12 at post. So all 3 OS's have their own boot stuff and no other OS in the menu's. I like to keep them separated so if something updates on one OS it's not gonna cause problems with the others.
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Barracuz
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack Hair wrote:
I always install GRUB or w/e to the drive I installed Linux on, I have Windows 8.1 and 2x Linux (Slackware64-current and Gentoo) on separate drives. I just use my motherboards boot menu to choose which drive I boot from, for me that's F12 at post. So all 3 OS's have their own boot stuff and no other OS in the menu's. I like to keep them separated so if something updates on one OS it's not gonna cause problems with the others.



I like your idea, simple and easy. But loading up the bios menu is required each time you turn it on correct? Basically if you miss hitting the f12, f2 or the esc button during startup you'll have to shutdown and reapeat correct?
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Jack Hair
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barracuz wrote:
Jack Hair wrote:
I always install GRUB or w/e to the drive I installed Linux on, I have Windows 8.1 and 2x Linux (Slackware64-current and Gentoo) on separate drives. I just use my motherboards boot menu to choose which drive I boot from, for me that's F12 at post. So all 3 OS's have their own boot stuff and no other OS in the menu's. I like to keep them separated so if something updates on one OS it's not gonna cause problems with the others.



I like your idea, simple and easy. But loading up the bios menu is required each time you turn it on correct? Basically if you miss hitting the f12, f2 or the esc button during startup you'll have to shutdown and reapeat correct?


Well you have to press the button to load an OS which isn't the default. Without action it just boots the default which the BIOS/UEFI is set to boot. So when I'd miss it I wait till the OS booted and reboot. And hope I won't miss it again! :lol:
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cwr
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Double on using EasyBCD; on a laptop I wouldn't think of installing Linux any other way.
Windows is far too neurotic to even think of messing with its boot process.

And install Ubuntu first, on say an 8G partition, and then install Gentoo from Ubuntu,
and if you are short of space repurpose the old Ubuntu partition as /home. Installing
Ubuntu and then Gentoo will be a lot quicker than installing Gentoo from scratch.

Will
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