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Multi-Boot Configuration Handbook, The

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Multi-Boot Configuration Handbook, The

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  • Published Mar 29, 2000 by Que.

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  • Copyright 2000
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Adobe DRM)
  • ISBN-10: 0-7686-5581-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7686-5581-0

The Multi-Boot Configuration Handbook provides guidance to installing two or more OSes on a single computer. This book explains why things work the way they do and gives examples of real-world experience in using multiple operating systems in harmony with one another. You'll be able to coax several OSes into coexisting on one computer. You'll also understand something more about the basics of how a PC operates. See how to avoid the frustration of installing multiple operation systems. The Multi-Boot Configuration Handbook provides a guide to the intricacies of installing and maintaining a multi-OS computer.

Sample Content

Table of Contents


Who Should Buy This Book? How This Book Is Organized. What's on the CD. Conventions Used in This Book.

Text Conventions. Special Elements.


1. The Trials and Triumphs of a Multi-OS Computer.

Getting Started. The Desire and Need for Multiple OSs.

Gaining Access to Additional Software. Using the Right Tool for the Job. Transitioning from One OS to Another. Learning About New OSs.

Avoiding Potholes on the Road to Multi-Boot.

Know Your Hardware. Know What to Expect of a New OS. Give Yourself Adequate Time. Expect a Learning Curve. Assemble OS-Specific Documentation.

Nessus: The Eight-OS Computer.

The Hardware. The OS Players. Disk Partitioning. Boot Management. Data Sharing Arrangements.


2. Operating Systems for x86 Hardware in 2000.

Your OS, Please.... DOS.

Varieties of DOS. Best Uses for DOS. When to Ditch DOS.

Windows 95 and 98.

The DOS Heritage of Windows. Uses for Windows. When to Consider Alternatives.

Windows NT and Windows 2000.

Microsoft's New Technology. When to Use NT Rather than 95 or 98. Limitations of NT.


The Second OS for the PC. The Three Faces of OS/2. Limitations of OS/2.


BeOS's Macintosh History. BeOS as a Multimedia Platform. Limitations of BeOS.


A Free Reimplementation of UNIX. Linux as a Server and on the Desktop. When Not to Join the Bandwagon.

The BSD Variants.

A Free Evolution of UNIX. BSD as a Server and on the Desktop. When to Use Other Versions of UNIX.

Commercial Versions of UNIX.

The Forking of the UNIX Heritage. OSs for Servers and High-Performance Computing. Do You Need a Commercial UNIX?



3. The x86 BIOS: Its Limits and Capabilities.

BIOS History and Design Theory.

16- and 32-Bit Code. The BIOS as Driver for DOS. Modern Uses of the BIOS. What BIOS Do You Have?

Add-On Card BIOSs.

Video BIOSs. Boot BIOSs for SCSI and Networking. Additional BIOSs.

BIOS Updates. EIDE and SCSI Hard Disk Handling.

Understanding CHS Geometry Limits. Getting Around the 1024-Cylinder Limit. Common BIOS Disk Utilities.

The Handoff to the OS. Summary.

4. Boot Loaders: Simple and Complex.

The Post-BIOS Boot Process.

The Job of the Boot Loader. Partition Hiding. The 1024-Cylinder Limit Revisited. Multi-Disk Arrangements.

Single-OS Boot Loaders. Designs for Multi-OS Boot Loaders.

Floppy-Based Boot Loaders. MBR-Based Boot Loaders. Boot Sector-Based Boot Loaders. Dedicated-Partition Boot Loaders. Booting from a Running OS. Chaining Boot Loaders.

Common Boot Loaders.

Windows NT's OS Loader. IBM's Boot Manager. Linux's LILO. PowerQuest's BootMagic. V Communications's System Commander



5. Hard Disk Partition Basics.

The Need for Partitions.

Breaking Data into Manageable Chunks. Isolating OSs from Each Other. Improving System Performance.

Partition Types.

Primary Partitions. Extended and Logical Partitions. Software's Varying Approaches to Partition Types.

Filesystem Codes.

Identifying a Partition's Format. When Codes Collide.


6. Tools for Disk Partitioning.

Partitioning Mechanics. MS-DOS's and Windows 9x's FDISK.

Creating FAT Partitions. Deleting Partitions. Understanding FDISK's Limitations. Variant FDISKs in Other DOS Versions.

Windows NT Disk Administrator.

Creating Partitions. Deleting Partitions. Adjusting Partitions' Disk Labels.


Creating Partitions. Deleting Partitions.

Linux's fdisk.

Creating Partitions. Deleting Partitions. Advanced Operations. Linux fdisk Variants.


Creating Partitions. Deleting Partitions.

Additional Partitioning Software. Dealing with Large Hard Disks. Partition Formatting.

Low-Level and High-Level Formatting. When to Format a Partition. Tools for Disk Formatting.


7. Tips for Optimizing System Performance.

Optimizing Performance. Minimizing Primary Partition Consumption.

OSs That Require Primary Partitions. Booting from Logical Partitions.

Fast and Slow Portions of Hard Disks.

Hard Disk Design Consequences. Locating Important Partitions Optimally. Locating Partitions Relative to One Another.

Splitting OSs Across Multiple Hard Disks.

Minimizing Head Movements Through Independent Heads. Consequences of Dissimilar Disk Speeds. EIDE and SCSI Speed Differences. A Sample Configuration.

Splitting Files Across Partitions.

Reliability Advantages of Multiple Partitions. Flexibility Advantages of Multiple Partitions. Minimizing Head Movements by Isolating Data. The Dangers of Too Many Disk Partitions.


8. Modifying Partitions After the Fact.

Modifying Partitions. Consequences of Drive Repartitioning.

Drive Letter Changes. UNIX Device Identifier Changes.

Converting a Partition from One OS to Another.

Clearing Away Old Data. Recovering the Partition's Space. Moving Data to Its New Home.

Backing Up, Repartitioning, and Restoring.

The Need for Reliable Backup. Tools to Use for Repartitioning. Restoring Data.

Using PartitionMagic.

The Need for Reliable Backup Revisited. Checking Your Data's Integrity. Moving and Resizing Partitions. Copying a Partition. Converting Partitions. Using the Wizards. Cleanup After the Change. Coping with Troubled Partition Tables.



9. The OS Installation Checklist.

Why This OS?

What Faults Do You See in Your Current OS? Does the New OS Meet Your Unmet Needs? What Features Do You Like in the New OS? Other Reasons for Installing an OS. Alternatives to a Full-Blown OS Installation. How Great a Leap Is It to the New OS?

Checking Hardware Compatibility.

Verifying Your Hardware-The Theory Checking Your Hardware Before OS Installation. Doing a Test Installation.

Cleaning Up Existing OSs.

Cleaning Out Unused Files and Programs. Defragmenting Your Hard Disk. Preparing Your Hardware. Anticipating Drive Identifier Changes.

Preparing Disk Space.

Creating New Partitions. Formatting New Partitions. OS Installation Order. Installing the New OS. Reinstalling the New OS.

Installing a Boot Loader.

Selecting a Boot Loader. When to Install the Boot Loader.


10. Installing Specific Operating Systems.

Preparing for More Than One OS. DOS and Windows 9x.

Partition Requirements. The 1024-Cylinder Limit. Protecting Other OSs. Tweaking Hardware After Installation.

Windows NT and Windows 2000.

Partition Requirements. The 1024-Cylinder Limit. Adding Drivers to the Install Procedure. FAT and NTFS.


Partition Requirements. The 1024-Cylinder Limit. Adding Drivers to the Install Procedure. FAT, HPFS, and JFS.


Partition Requirements. The 1024-Cylinder Limit.


Partition Requirements. The 1024-Cylinder Limit. Kernel and Driver Versions. LILO Configuration.


Partition Requirements. The 1024-Cylinder Limit.


11. Finding Help.

When Things Don't Go as Planned.... The OS Publisher.

Useful Official Contact Information. Knowing What Information to Have at Hand.

OS Help Files. Independent Publications.

Your Friendly Local Book Store and Library. Computer Magazines for Assorted OSs. E-zines: Online Computer Magazines.

The Internet.

Using Web Sites for Online Help. Reading Usenet Newsgroups. Using IRC to Get Help. Subscribing to Internet Mailing Lists.

Local User Groups.

Locating a User Group. User Group Regular Meetings. User Group Special Events.



12. Filesystems for Assorted OSs.

Understanding Filesystems.

Features Supported by Assorted Filesystems. Key Filesystem Data Structures. Filesystem Speed and Robustness. Journaling Filesystems.

FAT and Its Variants.

From Floppies to Hard Disks: FAT's Long Tenure. Classic FAT. VFAT. FAT-32. Is It Time to Retire FAT?

Windows NT's NTFS.

NTFS's Strengths and Weaknesses. When to Use NTFS.

OS/2's HPFS.

HPFS's Strengths and Weaknesses. When to Use HPFS.


BFS's Strengths and Weaknesses. When to Use BFS.

Linux's ext2fs.

ext2fs's Strengths and Weaknesses. When to Use ext2fs.


Unique FFS Partition Requirements. FFS's Strengths and Weaknesses. When to Use FFS.

CD-ROM and DVD-ROM Filesystems.

Plain ISO-9660: The Lowest Common Denominator. Rock Ridge Extensions to ISO-9660. The Joliet Filesystem. UDF. Miscellaneous Additional Formats.


13. Tools for Accessing Foreign Filesystems.

Providing Shared Access to Filesystems. Methods of Filesystem Access.

Using Access Utilities for Quick Access. Using Drivers for Integrated Access. Read-Only Versus Read/Write Access.

The Ubiquity of FAT.

DOS's Handling of FAT. Windows 9x's Handling of FAT. Windows NT's Handling of FAT. OS/2's Handling of FAT. Using FAT in BeOS. Linux's FAT Options. UNIX's FAT Possibilities.

Foreign NTFS and NTFS 5.0 Support.

DOS Drivers for NTFS. Windows 9x Drivers for NTFS. OS/2 Drivers for NTFS. BeOS NTFS Drivers. Linux's NTFS Drivers. FreeBSD's NTFS Support.

Foreign HPFS Support.

DOS and Windows 9x HPFS Drivers. Windows NT HPFS Drivers. Linux HPFS Drivers. FreeBSD HPFS Drivers.

Linux's BFS Support. Foreign ext2fs Support.

DOS ext2fs Access Tools. Windows 9x ext2fs Drivers. Windows NT ext2fs Access. OS/2 ext2fs Drivers. BeOS ext2fs Drivers. FreeBSD ext2fs Drivers.

Linux's FFS Support. Alternatives to Sharing Filesystems.

Raw tar Files. Networking.


14. Application Data File Formats.

Platform-Independent File Formats.

Platform-Independent File Formats for Text. Platform-Independent File Formats for Graphics. Platform-Independent File Formats for Spreadsheets. Platform-Independent File Formats for Databases. Platform-Independent File Formats for Archives.

Platform-Limited File Formats.

Platform-Limited File Formats for Text. Platform-Limited File Formats for Graphics, Spreadsheets, and Databases.

Platform-Specific File Formats.

Platform-Specific File Formats for Text, Spreadsheets, and Databases. Platform-Specific File Formats for Graphics. Platform-Specific File Formats for Archives.



15. Cross-Platform Utilities.

Making It All Work Together. The GNU Utilities.

How to Get GNU Programs. Using GNU Shells for Common Command Prompts. Using GNU File Utilities. Using tar and gzip for File Archiving. Developing Software with GNU Compilers and Debuggers. Editing Text with GNU Emacs.

Non-GNU Open Source Tools.

The XFree86 GUI Environment. Using InfoZip for File Archiving.

Standards-Based Tools and Protocols.

Using TCP/IP Networking. Using TeX and LaTeX for Text Formatting.


16. Cross-Platform Applications.

Applications or Utilities? Office Suites.

Applixware. Corel WordPerfect Office. Lotus SmartSuite. Sun StarOffice.

Document Exchange: PDF Readers.

Adobe Acrobat Reader. Xpdf and BePDF. Ghostscript-Based Viewers. Creating PDF Files from PostScript Using Ghostscript.

Internet Applications.

Using Netscape Communicator. Using FTP Programs. Using Telnet for Remote Access.


17. Modifying GUI Look and Feel.

GUI Add-Ons for Windows.

Virtual Desktop Pagers for Windows. Changing the Appearance and Function of Windows and the Desktop in Windows.

Altering the Mouse's Appearance and Behavior in Windows.

GUI Add-Ons for OS/2. Virtual Desktop Pagers for OS/2. Changing the Appearance and Behavior of OS/2's Windows. Altering the Mouse's Appearance and Behavior in OS/2. WPS Add-On Utilities.

GUI Add-Ons for BeOS. The X Window System: The Chameleon of GUIs.

Understanding the X GUI Model. Selecting a Window Manager Selecting a File Manager. Complete Desktop Environments.


18. OSs Within OSs: Emulators.

When to Use an Emulator. DOS Compatibility and Emulators.

Support for DOS in Windows 9x. Support for DOS in Windows NT. Support for DOS in OS/2. Linux's DOSEMU.

Windows Emulators.

OS/2's Windows Emulators. WINE in UNIX-Like OSs. The Willows TWIN Project. ReactOS: A Windows Clone.


Emulating a PC on a PC. What Is Needed to Run VMware? Running VMware.

When to Run an Emulator, Multi-Boot, or Use Multiple Computers. Summary.


19. TCP/IP Networking.

Using FTP for Cross-Platform Data Exchange.

The Two Sides of FTP: Client and Server. Setting Up an FTP Server. Using an FTP Client.

Exchanging Documents via Email.

Transmitting Plain-Text Messages. Using UUencoding to Send Binary Files. Attaching Documents to Send Binary Files.

Using a Web Site for Platform-Independent Communications.

Creating a Web Site with a Word Processor or HTML Editor. Good Web Site Design Tips.

Remote Logins.

Logging In to a Multiuser OS. Accessing Alternative OS Resources via Remote Login.

Remote GUI Control.

Using an X Server to Control UNIX-Like OSs. Using VNC to Control UNIX or Windows.


20. File and Printer Sharing.

Understanding File and Printer Sharing Basics. NFS for UNIX-Style File Sharing.

Basics of NFS Configuration. Controlling User ID Mapping. Accessing Remote Files with NFS.

SMB/CIFS for Microsoft-Style File Sharing.

Configuring Windows to Share Files. Configuring a Samba Server in UNIX to Share Files. Accessing Remote Shares from Windows.

UNIX-Style lpd Printer Sharing.

Configuring the Shared Printer. Accessing the Shared Printer.

SMB/CIFS for Microsoft-Style Printer Sharing.

Configuring Windows to Share Printers. Configuring a Samba Server in UNIX to Share Printers. Accessing Remote Printers from Windows. Accessing Remote Printers by Using Samba.



21. Ensuring Adequate Resources.

Resource Considerations. Hard Disk Space.

OS Disk Space Requirements. Using Shared Space to Minimize Wasted Disk Space. Tips when Adding Disk Space.

OS Memory Requirements.

Memory Requirements for Various OSs. Getting By with Reduced Memory. Motherboard Memory Support.

CPU Speed Requirements.

CPU Speed Requirements for Various OSs. Intel-Compatible CPUs. Non-x86 CPUs for the Daring.

Cross-Platform Backup Needs.

Selecting a Tape Drive. Determining a Backup Schedule. What to Back Up and from Which OS. File and Disk Image Backups. Developing an Emergency Restore Procedure.


22. Finding Drivers.

Tracking Down Drivers. Determining Your Hardware's Chipsets.

The Importance of Chipsets and Drivers. Using Device Information in Windows. Visually Inspecting the Board. Snooping in Driver Files.

Checking for Drivers from the Manufacturer. Checking for Drivers from the OS Publisher.

Checking the OS Distribution CD-ROM. Checking the OS's Official Web Site.

Checking for Third-Party Drivers.

Freeware and Shareware Drivers Not-Yet-Official Linux Drivers.


23. Performing Hardware Upgrades.

The Upgrade Process. Locating Suitable Hardware.

Researching OS Requirements. Checking Claimed Compatibility. Contacting the Manufacturer. Obtaining Drivers.

Preparing a Zoo of OSs for an Upgrade.

Checking the Existing Hardware Settings. Preparing Your OSs for the New Hardware.

Taking Precautions Against Disaster.

Proper Handling of Computer Hardware. Backing Up Before an Upgrade. Keeping Your Driver Options Open. What to Do If the New Hardware Doesn't Work.

Suggested Sequence of Updates.

Basic Hardware Checks. Easy to Configure First, Difficult to Change Last. Most Likely to Cause Problems First-Or Last. Most Important First. Overall Suggestions.




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