centos 6 will not load as dual boot without wiping my hard drive

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centos 6 will not load as dual boot without wiping my hard drive

Postby imbrognolouis » 2011/07/28 15:39:05

I had windows 7 ultimate loaded intially and wanted to load centos 6 as a dual boot option. I've dual booted many linux variants without any issue. But for some reason when i go to install centos 6 it tells me it cant install it it must reinitialize my drive. when it does this it formats the whole drive and wipes out windows. If i hit the ignore option it doesnt go any father and will not let me continue until i hit reinitialize. How do i get around this? I thought maybe its because i had a few partitions so i deleted all the partions and made all the space unallocated. then created my one 250g partition for windows 7 and installed it.
When installing centos 6 i recieve the same initializing issue once again. I usaully go this route dual booting linux so i can install it second, then insert the win 7 cd and run a repair which fixes the windows boot loader. once i'm up in windows i run easybcd to load linux distro as a boot up option. I am pretty unfamiliar with grub and this saves me alot of hassle. Any assistance would be appreciated.
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Re: centos 6 will not load as dual boot without wiping my hard drive

Postby hawaiian717 » 2011/07/29 00:05:57

When you get to the screen that reads "Which type of installation would you like?" in the CentOS 6 installer, select the Use Free Space option.

The grub bootloader should automatically detect the Windows partition when you go to install it (it will probably just call it "Other", you can change the name to "Windows 7" or whatever you like). I haven't set up a dual boot system with 7, though, only XP, Vista, and OS X.

Since this is a CentOS 6 question, it should have been posted in the "CentOS 6 General Support" forum, rather than "CentOS 5 General Support".
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Re: centos 6 will not load as dual boot without wiping my hard drive

Postby AlanBartlett » 2011/07/29 02:01:23

Since this is a CentOS 6 question, it should have been posted in the "CentOS 6 General Support" forum, rather than "CentOS 5 General Support".

Thread moved, as suggested. :-)
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Re: centos 6 will not load as dual boot without wiping my hard drive

Postby satanselbow » 2011/07/30 09:30:57

hawaiian717 wrote:
When you get to the screen that reads "Which type of installation would you like?" in the CentOS 6 installer, select the Use Free Space option.


I am currently tri-booting W7 / Arch and most recently CentOS 6 (installed from LiveCD source).

You might be better served using the "Manually partition" option and ensure you move the grub installation from /dev/sda (mbr) to the 1st section of your / parition ;-) I find that the "use freespace" or "guided partitioning" options can have undesirable results when dual / tri booting and it is not a problem exclusive to CentOS by any means :-(

Now there are live CD's to be had you can even setup your partitions with gparted before you go for the harddrive install which makes life easier.
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centos 6 will not load as dual boot without wiping my hard d

Postby pschaff » 2011/07/31 01:21:08

I can't agree with that. If one installs GRUB on the boot partition rather than the MBR the system will not be able to boot CentOS unless you install some other bootloader or figure out how to convince Windows 7 to load it.

The real trick is making free space on the disk for CentOS. The RHEL/CentOS installer does not deal with NTFS due to TUV's concern about legal issues.

One trick is to use a recent Ubuntu distribution install procedure that does know how to shrink the Windows partition. Kill the Ubuntu install after it finishes the partitioning and tell the CentOS installer to overwrite Linux partitions. Write the GRUB bootloader to the MBR and it will automatically add the Windows partition as "Other". You can edit that to use a more descriptive label.

One issue I have run into with recent Windows systems, that have the restore/rescue system on disk rather than providing DVD media, is that they use 3 of the 4 primary partitions! The only way to handle it seems to be to remove at least one of the partitions, after creating the restore media and before shrinking the Windows partition, in case you ever need to get back to the factory configuration. The primary Windows partition should still boot.
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Re: centos 6 will not load as dual boot without wiping my hard drive

Postby satanselbow » 2011/07/31 08:23:40

pschaff wrote:
I can't agree with that. If one installs GRUB on the boot partition rather than the MBR the system will not be able to boot CentOS unless you install some other bootloader or figure out how to convince Windows 7 to load it.


Very true. The OP did state that they were happy to use easybcd. It would likewise be necessary to manually edit grub's menu.lst if another linux distro's grub were on the mbr. On that I was not very clear - apologies ;-)
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