Dual Booting All discussion on Dual Booting 2 operating systems (or even more!) on the Dell Mini

Thread Tools Display Modes
  (#1) Old
robohunk robohunk is offline
Junior Member
Posts: 1
Join Date: Mar 2010
Talking My triple boot XP/SL/UNR experience & solution! - 03-05-2010, 01:40 PM

Hello all,

I've been lurking for the past few weeks while trying to get a solid triple boot setup going on my Mini 10v. The threads I've followed have been invaluable in helping me find a process that worked for me, so thank you all for sharing your various insights and experiences!

It occurred to me that other people may be having the same problems setting up a triple boot between Windows XP, Snow Leopard and Ubuntu Netbook Remix that I've been having, so I'm going to try to describe my experience so that others may benefit. I'm going to describe in general the processes I used to get this done; the details of various other steps (i.e. prepping OSX install media to use MBR or installing XP from a flash drive) can be found elsewhere in this forum.

Here's the tools I used:

8GB USB flash drive - OSX 10.6.0 retail install DVD prepped with NetbookBootMaker 0.8.3, with altered OSInstall.mpkg to allow MBR install
4GB USB flash drive - Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 prepped with usb-creator.exe
2GB USB flash drive - Windows XP/Dell restore CD prepped with WinToFlash 0.6

First, I booted from the UNR media and ran gparted. Since I wanted to do this with MBR (as I could never quite get GUID/MBR hybrid to work properly), I set up the following partitions:

/dev/sda1 - FAT32 primary partition for Windows
/dev/sda2 - hfs+ primary partition for Snow Leopard
/dev/sda3 - ext3 primary partition for Linux (/boot)

/dev/sda4 - extended partition for other Linux stuff, like:

/dev/sda5 - logical partition for swap space
/dev/sda6 - ext3 logical partition for Linux (/)

With these partitions in various sizes to my liking, I went through the install process for all the operating systems.

First was XP; I booted from the XP install media and chose option 1, then formatted the first partition as NTFS and went from there.

After XP I booted from the OSX media. I had to use Disk Utility to erase the hfs+ partition before I was allowed to install to it, but after doing that there were no problems setting up OSX.

After this, I booted the UNR media again and opened the installer. I set up the primary partition sda3 as the "/boot" mount point, and the logical partition sda6 as the "/" mount point. Previously I had tried to do this with a single partition mounted as /, but this always screwed up grub for some reason. Near the end of the install, I clicked the "advanced" options and set it so that grub would install to /dev/sda3, the /boot partition.

After all of this went through, I restarted without any install media connected, Chameleon came up, and all three operating systems were available as choices. When I select "Linux" from Chameleon it brings up grub, but then that goes quickly into UNR.

The major points that seemed to make this work when nothing else would were as follows:

1. Set up OSX install media to be able to install on MBR
2. Install Windows on first primary partition
3. /boot set up on a primary partition
4. Due to the limitations of MBR, an extended partition has to be set up for the swap space and /

There are still lots of updates to run, but it all appears to be working as it should for the moment. There were a few post-install caveats though:

1. I was concerned about breaking OSX during my update to 10.6.2, but this was avoided by booting to the OSX install media after running Software Update and reinstalling Chameleon. I don't know if it's necessary with NBI 0.8.3 final but better safe than sorry I suppose.
2. Wireless didn't work in UNR at first, so I had to plug into a wired network connection and do some things to fix it.3. Without an optical drive, I could not install various drivers from a cd in XP, so I had to bring at least the wireless driver over on a flash drive after getting it from the Dell website.

The good news is that other than spending some time running various updaters and getting several drivers straightened out, my triple boot adventure has ended in success.

I hope my story is somewhat illuminating for others in my same situation! I realize there may be even easier ways of getting this done, but I was able to do this with minimal command line tinkering after the setup of the install media.

Anyway, I hope I have been of service. Happy triple-booting and thanks again!

Reply With Quote
  (#2) Old
steve19137 steve19137 is offline
Posts: 45
Join Date: Feb 2010
Default 03-31-2010, 11:03 PM

wow! im so glad that you posted a general guide to getting this working! im getting my 10v tomorrow, and this will come in handy. thanks a bunch!
Reply With Quote

mbr, snow leopard, triple boot, ubuntu netbook remix, windows xp

« Partitioning options? | Help with blue screen please »
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Copyright © 2008-2016 MyDellMini.com.