WinXP and Linux distro on the same HDD?

Hello Tom's,

So as seen by my other posts, I am in the process of updating a very old Gateway Solo 9100 to use as an XP/Linux machine. Since I'm a noob at this type of thing, I ran into a little difficulty flashing the BIOS after I installed a new and faster processor - but we're good now.

Given the fact that XP can run at low processor speeds and memory since it was rolled out in 2001/2002, and given the fact the it's going to be obsolete in about 2 years, the only other hope for this machine is a Linux distro. Now, I should mention this machine is not for me, but for someone else who's never used Linux before. Side note, I have used Linux, but I don't know it forwards and backwards, I just know the basics of it.

So what I was planning to do for this individual is to create two partitions on the HDD - one for WinXP, the other for Linux so that he can get used to Linux.

Now, some questions I have are:

1.) I was told that it's not wise to have 2 OS's on the same HDD. But I see Mac having this Bootcamp program to install Windows on another partition. What's the big deal?

2.) What type of Linux distro do you recommend for this laptop? I can fire off the specs if needed. I'm still working out the RAM, but the new processor speed is 400 MHz, and XP actually runs pretty good on it surprisingly!

3.) Assuming I put XP and Linux on the same HDD, what format does Linux use? NTFS?

3 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    1 Create separate partitions
    2 Have no preference have used ubuntu
  2. Ok rolli59 - thanks for the heads up. I just ordered a new HDD, so when it gets here I will make a partition and such.

    One more question. Obviously I'm going to have a backup external HDD, so how does one go setting up the backup drive for both WinXP and Linux?

    Off topic - but how can one do the same for Win7 and Mac Lion on a MacBook using Bootcamp?

    Any specific programs for either?

    Thanks again!
  3. Best answer selected by victorvictor5.
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