General things needed for multiple OSes
Setting up a multiple OS platform for is pretty straightforward. I recommend you buy another hard drive, because in my experience partitions are nothing but trouble. If you want to go with partitions, then just use tools to do so, there are many of them out there I used to use Partition Magic, but you can easily do this from the DOS prompt as well.
Linux is a highly useful operating system, with many programming tools pre-installed, and it’s really not that hard to get used to. (for me)
I’ve tried many different distributions of Linux, including SuSe, Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, and Slackware Linux. Slackware Linux is my favorite Linux distribution. Why? It’s stable, it gets the job done. I don’t need all the fancy tools they include in Ubuntu. Often I will also install Dropline Gnome onto Slackware, and choose whether I want to run KDE or Gnome. Slackware Linux also offers a few other GUI setups that are less resource hungry, if your PC isn’t up to date, Linux and slackware is the best bet for you.
Linux generally requires an Ext3 file system, but there are others that it uses as well, so in partition magic select that when you go to make the partition, if you’re doing it that way, if you’ve purchased an entirely new hard drive, then continue on.
Now, you’ve successfully partitioned your hard drive or bought a new one. What’s next? Well, just download the distribution you want, burn onto a CD and look into your motherboard for directions on booting from the CD drive. Insert the disc during start up, and wallah start installing Linux.
You might need to format your hard drive to Ext3, or if you made a partition, it should already be formatted. Just install everything, it will also most likely install grub or lilo, (I’ve used both) install that to your boot sector on your main drive. You should be about done now, the PC will restart, and you will be prompted to select Windows or Linux. Depending on your distribution, it may require some setup to get into the gui. Slackware linux generally requires a bit of command line work before you can access the GUI, so you’ll have to read a bit. (here) That guide helped me when I first took on the challenge of installing slackware, interestingly enough, slackware was the first distribution of Linux I ever installed.
Hackintosh is another story alltogether, the same applies for setting up partitions or a new hard drive however. You may have to try multiple discs of hackintosh before the automated installer works for your system. You also have to check to see if your computer components are compatible with Hackintosh. To do this, I advise you read over a few things at insanelymac. There’s also a “legality” issue with running hackintosh, so I’m not promoting it or anything I may or may not have installed hackintosh, I can’t remember
You’re going to have to create a “blank” partition, where it has not been formatted. This is because Partition Magic does not format to the Mac OSX file system, and neither does any other utility. This is done through the installation. Also, if you’ve purchased a different hard drive, then just leave it unformatted. Hackintosh is quite touchy with hardware compatibility, because it’s expecting your computer to be a mac, and macs basically just have USB ports. You’ll have to look for modification scripts on insanelymac, or if they don’t exist, then your hardware wont work and don’t continue. Many people purchase certain components on purpose to make it 100% hackintosh compatible, because their system will be MUCH cheaper than a Mac, but a lot of manual work is required. I’ve never been 100% hackintosh compatible myself.
Anyway, once the installation is done, then you might have to go into the bios and select the drive that hackintosh was installed on to be booted first. There are some utilities that can be modified to make dual booting with hackintosh work without doing it this way, but it is somewhat difficult.
Multi-booting with different versions of windows is a real pain. I currently have Vista and XP installed on separate hard drives, and have not had any issues, but it’s a real pain to setup. Each windows version will vary, Vista is very difficult to get working with dual-boot configurations. It requires some editing of the boot.ini file. Also, some of the boot files from windows XP have to be transferred to the Vista hard drive. This is because it is booting Vista first, and using the Vista bootloader. From there you select either XP or Vista. I can try to help you if you really want this kind of setup, but I’m not going to delve into it here, unless I get a request then I will edit this with the needed info. (Maybe I’m being lazy not wanting to look things up.. What you see here all came from my head )
There are some tools out there that can help you out with multiple Windows versions, I believe that every version except Vista works similar to Linux, but you have to edit the boot.ini file, or install one of the many OS selector applications out there.
Thanks, I hope you enjoyed reading this, and if you need help, I’m here, just go post in the forums
A goal of mine someday is to go Quad Boot. I love to mess around with different operating systems and have a choice when I boot up This is a general overview, to get you started on the road to multiple OSes, if I get a good response on this article I might make a more complete tutorial.
Small update: It seems Ubuntu has made it so you no longer have to partition your hard drive in order to install it. It will run with windows, apparently. I’m going to test this out soon.