[nmglug] Questions About Dual Booting From A USB Drive

William D. Nystrom wdn at lanl.gov
Tue Apr 5 12:01:03 PDT 2005

I've ordered a 100 GB portable USB drive that I want to set up to dual
boot both Windows XP and Linux.  What is perhaps a little different about
what I
want to do is that I want to be able to dual boot my USB drive from either
OS and also from 2-3 different machines.  So, I'm thinking that for
Windows, I will have a data partition that contains my personal files,
data, etc and that I will then have a separate Windows partition for each
machine.  For
Linux, I would plan to have a separate data partition as well and then have
different partitions for each machine and Linux distro.  Initially, I'm
interested in trying Debian, Fedora Core 3 and perhaps Gentoo.  I plan to
start by getting this running with just one machine and add a second and
possibly third machine sometime later.  So, here are some of my questions:

1.  I'm thinking I will probably need to do alot of partitioning and     
resizing of partitions.  Is Partition Magic 8.0 the way to go here or are
there better alternatives?  I've used Partition Magic in the past but not
at all recently.  Reviews complain about poor technical support and
about draconian key activation issues.

2.  Would I start by installing Windows XP first or Linux first?  Are
there still limitations with Windows regarding the maximum cylinder on the
hard drive which would dictate how I might do the partitioning?  For
should I use NTFS or FAT32?

3.  Are there any issues with this plan that I have not thought of?


Dave Nystrom
Phone: 505-667-7913
Fax:   505-665-2227
Email: wdn at lanl.gov
Smail: Mail Stop T085
       Group X-2
       Los Alamos National Laboratory
       Los Alamos, NM 87545

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