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 Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1

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MattB4
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PostSubject: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:08 am

Well... I have turned to the dark side and bought a computer with Win7 Home premium on it. The computer is due to show up on Monday. I have built my last computers myself and that is my preferred method but this one was a Holiday special and the value was better than anything I could put together. It has been just about forever ago in the far distant pass I did a dual boot setup and that was with Win 98SE and SUSE 10. So I am not sure if it is the same.

Here is the parameters. The computer will have Win 7 preloaded (BTW it is this one here.) I have a 12.1 Kde live cd that I want to work from. So what is my best bet to setup this thing for dual boot?

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:55 pm

Heck of a deal! You're right, I don't think you could build anything like it for close to that price. My last experience with dual booting was on my laptop with vista pre-installed and installing SUSE 11.0 to dual boot. Very straight forward, no changes from the past. Mostly just take care during partitioning not to over write the windows partition or the recovery partition, GRUB did the rest. Don't know if it's changed since then, but 12.1 has the new boot scheme that's supposed to be so fast, so there may be something different. I assume GRUB's still there for dual booting.

My son come up for Thanksgiving and brought me the detritus from his last upgrade: an MSI 790XT-G45 motherboard with a with an Athlon 64 X2 (not sure of the speed), a HUGE cooler for it, and, I believe, 8 gigs of memory. Just have to select a time to shut down and get it installed. Have a few time pressures going on so I haven't done it yet. Thinking about getting a PATA hard drive to complete the upgrade and do a complete new install of SUSE 12.1.

Have fun!

clown

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:10 pm

Thanks for the information, Bozo! Sounds like you picked up a nice computer from your son. Not sure what you will do with all that computing power though it might be handy for Frozen bubble. Laughing

I noticed a fairly nice barebones kit that had a solid state hard drive and had considered it. The only problem is to get the best price required doing a rebate. I do not do rebates. I expect the SSD will become standard in the next few years. What I really want is a computer about the size of a deck of cards that runs on 2AA batteries and has connections for the monitor, keyboard, mouse and Internet. They have a few out there but are out of my price range.

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:24 pm

Looks like it will make a nice workstation. I will say that Win 7 is a fine OS too, but before you do anything create the Recovery Media unless you actually received a 7 Disk. I do dual boot my laptop with Win 7 and OpenSuse 11.4. Haven't taken the time to upgrade yet. I do have a slightly different setup. My laptop has 2 hard drives, so I installed suse on the 2nd drive. The boot loader is on the first drive with Win7 though. I had no boot loader troubles.

My understanding is that Win 7 will resize partitions with little trouble. I know it gets done at work sometimes. Found a short tutorial http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/resize-a-partition-for-free-in-windows-vista/ to help you.

Don't forget if you have video issues with 12.1 use "nomodeset" as a boot param.

I think you'll enjoy your new machine.

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:00 pm

Thanks for the information, bdquick!

Should be interesting since I have not use windows for a long time. Will report how it goes. The worse that could happen is I blow Windows away which won't hurt my feelings much. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:56 am

nice hardware choice matt. Just a heads up, unless you do a lot of gaming (and really need the graphics acceleration) stick with the opensource ati driver. 12.1 will install it by default and it works quite well.

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:04 am

Thanks Welan. Have not done a lot of gaming in a long time. Sorta burnt out on after spending countless hours playing Starcraft and Age of Empire. This new computer is just to replace my regular use computer that is getting a bit long in the tooth. It will be retired to just be used with my printer and scanner as needed.

I have been simplifying recently and tossing out old computer stuff that I have been saving. In the process I found out my emergency backup computer was DOB (dead on boot). I had been using it only occasionally since it was the Windows 98SE computer dual boot. But in a pinch it allowed me to get online and download things if I needed to repair the regular. With it being totally unbootable I needed a spare.

Sounds like it should be straightforward to setup the new computer. Thanks all for the advice.

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:57 pm

Got the computer in and running. Screwed up a bit under Windows and got a virus called Privacy protection. It was my fault since I am not that used to looking out for them after years of running Linux. What a pain in the butt it was since I did not now at first what the heck it was and wasn't sure whether it was part of the new computer.

What it does is it acts like a virus protection program and starts scanning (supposedly) for infections. Meanwhile it takes over Windows and does not allow you to do much of anything or eradicate it easily. Luckily I still have my other computer so I could research what was going on. Google being my friend, I found a kill command for it. After which I rolled back the Windows to a earlier state before I had did upgrades and it eradicated it.

How did I get the virus? Simple and stupid. After getting the computer initially setup I immediately created a repair disc and than did updates. After that I used Internet Explorer to go onto the net. I searched for Firefox through the Bing searchbar. The first link was for a site called Firefoxdownload or some such. I foolishly went there and clicked to download Firefox 8.1. Windows warned me that this was a potential hazard, but I (foolishly) thought that was because MS simply did not like Firefox. They were right, I should have gotten Firefox from the Mozilla.org site. Why Bing search results displayed that Trojan site ahead of the official site is another question entirely. I did get it right the second go round. Now I have it all fixed.

It did remind of how insecure Windows can be with every one targeting it. I would never use it for my online banking or purchases.

The dual boot setup was fairly a piece of cake. I simply used Parted magic to gain plenty of free space from the C: drive area. After which I booted first to Windows and watched it run chkdisc. After that I restarted with the Live 12.1 KDE CD and simply followed along with the instructions and recommendations. It did warn me about a potential boot problem for partitions above 128GB for older BIOS (lba24) error 18 but my new computer did not have this limitation so I simply went ahead.

It did the trick and I can safely boot to either OS. Now I have to load a million and one things that the live CD does not contain. Will keep me busy.

One question I have is about speed. Firefox and a few other programs are really slow loading. I wonder if this is due to the video driver. I note it is Radeon for 2D and Unknown Gallium for 3D. Nvidia cards I am real familiar with but Radeon (video is Radeon 6310 HD) are new to me. What does anyone think about installing the proprietary driver? One thing I note is I can not change the resolution for my screen and have it stick after a reboot. Or is there something else making the system slow?

Did get Community repositories loaded for Packman and Libdvdcss as well as the nonOSS and OSS and updated the system. Must admit it has been along time since I did a these things and my skills are rusty. Have to do a bunch of reading and recollecting if I want to get the setup looking the way I like.

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:50 pm

One issue I found was that after installing 12.1 Windows would no longer enter sleep mode. By going into the power advanced setting of Win. I was able to change the settings that prevented if from sleeping. Not sure what suse did that caused this to happen.

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:51 pm

Personally I would install the proprietary driver. Always been my experience that it just works better. They do have a 1-click install http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:ATI_drivers that will do it all for you. Only time I installed the ati was when I built mom a pc a couple of years ago. The driver install went smooth, and I could see performance improvements. I always saw performance hits when trying to scroll text up and down.

On the Windows side I would recommend installing Microsoft Security Essentials. Its a nice little free program that doesn't eat up a bunch of resources like AVG, Norton, or other paid for virus protection.

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:09 am

Thanks BDQuick, I will give it a whirl.

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:47 am

Loading the proprietary driver sped things up quite a bit. Though the new Firefox is still a slow loading beast compared to the one I had in openSUSE 11.2.
I do like the way the one click install worked. It was very simple. Still need to work on my fonts and overall view. Strange how even using the same fonts and size setting from previously ends up with different results.

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:30 pm

Glad to hear it worked well for you. Yeah it doesn't seem like font sizes stay quite the same all the time. The opensuse-community website has lots of helpful things too. Especially things that can't be "officially" supported Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:24 am

As far as firefox goes, well even with my AMD Phenon 2 x6 and 8gigs of ram it's still slow. Seems hardware makes no difference so can only mean it's a software thing. (wondering if it's just gotten to be to big a program, thus the slowness) I'm glad the proprietary ATI driver worked for you. With my system (duel ATI 4670s) it gets a bit flaky.
I've been using "midori" in place of firefox with very good success. Sure it doesn't always load some of the video/audio ads found at the top or sides of a page, but who wants those anyways.
Oh, and by the way "Yes I'm on top of the snow thing." Seems BDQuick's army of Iwegian raccoons have managed to sabotage several of my mondo chillers. I have numerous crews of squirrels working round the clock fix these issues. I intend for everyone to have a white chrismas (Still working on Florida) Laughing Laughing Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:13 am

Laughing Darned near had a white Thanksgiving. Rarely got snow this early for the year. Had a couple of inches Monday last week. Stayed bitter cold until this week. Thankfully I have my wood stove to keep warm with.

Things working real good with 12.1 and it is getting closer to having all things the way I like. I looked through the official forum for ideas on setting up but Gaaah they really changed that place. I do not likee.

On the subject of browsers I might give the midori a whirl or perhaps try Chrome also. Since my Internet usage is mostly Forums, searches for enlightenment and very little video viewing (my connection is not all that fast). There is no point in having too much overhead.

Incidentally to get my fonts looking better I needed to go to Personal Settings -Configure Desktop. Than Application Appearance => Fonts and Use Anti-Aliasing set to enable. Use the configure to select None on Hinting style. No other boxes set. Also set the Force fonts DPI to 96dpi

I googled up speeding up Firefox 8 and used the hints I got and it did speed up the browsing. Sucker still takes twice as long to start cold as did the older Firefox I previously was using. I suppose I need not shut it down all the time after use. Old habit from the Win 3.1 days and Dial up days.


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PostSubject: Re: Dual booting Windows 7 and SUSE 12.1   Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:28 pm

Hey the font tip works well. I finally got around to installing the nvidia driver on my 12.1 box tonight. Finally got full resolution out of my monitor too. Unfortunately since I went tumbleweed with it, I have to manually reinstall the driver after any kernel updates. Not a big deal if I remember.

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