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Figure 3. Partial Partition Magic screen shot showing the Windows FAT32 C: partition (dark green), the Linux Ext2 aprtition (maroon), and the extended partition which includes the Linux Swap file partition (maroon).

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Because Partition Magic must be run under either DOS or Windows, you will need to install Windows 9.x, ME, NT, or 2000 (or just plain old DOS if you prefer) on your computer first. After you have installed Windows, you can install and run Partition Magic and Boot Magic.

Then use Partition Magic to create the primary Linux partition and the Linux swap-file partition. Next install Linux onto the Linux partition and add the Linux installation to the Boot Magic configuration.

First, before engaging in partition procedures or enabling boot management, make sure you fully backup at least all your critical files. It's best to do a full backup. If something goes wrong when you are working with drive partitioning and/or boot management, you easily can lose the entire enchilada if you have no backup.

Also, if you never have done this sort of partition and/or boot management stuff, it's best to do it the first time with a more experienced friend or associate looking over your shoulder. Better safe than sorry.

Now, whenever you start your computer, if you have installed and enabled Boot Magic, the Boot Magic OS selection menu will appear. Then Boot Magic lets you chose which OS, Linux or Windows, you want to run for that session. If you chose Windows, Boot Magic will start Windows. If you chose Linux, Boot Magic will start Linux. However, as Linux starts the Linux Loader (LiLo) will again give you a choice between Linux and Windows. Simply again chose Linux.

One safety feature of this Boot Magic dual-boot scenario is that you can configure Boot Magic to hide the primary Windows partition, or any of the Windows logical drives for that matter, from Linux when you are running Linux. Windows cannot see the Linux-formatted partitions.

Please keep in mind that you cannot run both Linux and Windows at the very same time using this sort of dual-boot schema. Each time you start your computer you must chose to run either Linux or Windows, but not both. If you want to run the other OS, you must reboot the computer and select that other OS for the next session.

One advantage of this dual-boot computer system is that you can run both Linux and Windows on just one computer. Moreover, you do not have to uninstall one OS and install another OS each time you want to change which OS you are running on that one computer. Although, you can run only one OS at a time.

Copyright 2000, 2001 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved

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