Ubuntu Discussion on Ubuntu on the Dell Inspiron Mini range of netbooks.

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ryanh ryanh is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Default Dell Mini Windows XP Ubuntu Dual Boot - 11-01-2008, 01:18 AM

Here's how I got my Mini to boot to:
- Windows XP (3 GB)
- DOS (1 GB storage)
- Dell's special version of Ubuntu (3.5 GB)

Note: I have an 8 BG flash Hard Drive in my Mini.

You'll need:
- A Dell Mini
- A live CD version of Ubuntu 8.04
- A host machine running that can boot off the live (CD) version of
Ubuntu 8.04 that can copy files to a USB stick
- A USB Stick that is 2.0 GB or greater (you may be able to get away
with a 1.5 GB stick if you have a USB CDROM drive)

1. Re-install Windows XP from the CD, so that Windows is installed on
a 3 GB NTFS C: partition.
Note 1: A freshly installed version of XP takes up just over 1 GB.
Note 2: I had trouble getting my USB CD drive recognized by the BIOS,
so I had to boot the XP restore CD off a USB stick.
This site here was a great help for that, though it is much more
painful than using the USB CD drive:

2. After XP was installed, create a 1 GB FAT32 partition using
diskpart commands such as
create partition primary size=1024
select partion 2

3. Format the new partition for FAT32 (or FAT) by booting to a
bootable DOS USB disk (formatted with the HP USB format utility)
using a command such as:
format d: /s
Note 1: The HP DOS USB stick format utility can be found here:
Note 2: You can get DOS boot files from here:
Note 3: If you don't care about booting to DOS, you can format
the D: drive to FAT using Windows Explorer.

4. At the host machine, download the Dell version of Ubuntu 8.04.
The following links should point to the OS image file,
Inspiron_910_Ubuntu_A00.img (1.24 GB)
http://support.dell.com/support/topics/ ... ile=280220
http://support.dell.com/support/downloa ... &TabIndex=

5. Format the USB stick for FAT.
Note: If you don't have a bootable USB CDROM drive, copy the Ubuntu 8.04
Live image to the USB stick using a utility such as unetbootin:

6. At the host machine, boot from the live version of Ubuntu 8.04.
Open a terminal and copy the rootfs and bootfs image files to the USB
stick using commands such as the following:
WITH A MOUNT POINT OF /media/usb0:
sudo mount -o loop Inspiron_910_Ubuntu_A00.img /mnt
sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/usb0
sudo cp /mnt/rootfs.img /mnt/bootfs.img /media/usb0
sudo umount /media/usb0

7. On the Mini, boot to Ubuntu 8.04 using the Live CD (or the USB stick if
you don't have a bootable USB CDROM). Insert the USB stick if necessary.

8. Open a terminal and if necessary, create a Linux partition (3.5 GB) using
cfdisk. Exit cfdisk.
Note: I recommend not making a swap partition to save the hard drive.

9. To format the Linux partition and copy the files to the partition,
type commands such as the following:
mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda3
sudo mkdir /tmp/boot
sudo mkdir /tmp/root
mount -o loop -t squashfs bootfs.img /tmp/boot
mount -o loop -t squashfs rootfs.img /tmp/root
mount /dev/$targetPartition /mnt
cp -av /tmp/boot /mnt
cp -av /tmp/root/. /mnt
sudo /usr/sbin/grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda
sudo umount /tmp/boot
sudo umount /tmp/root

10. Edit /mnt/boot/grub/menu.lst and
- Verify the linux root partition is (hd0,2), and the root device is
- Add the Windows and DOS partitions to the grub menu file
(/mnt/boot/grub/menu.lst) by adding entries such as:
title Windows XP
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

title DOS
root (hd0,1)
chainloader +1

11. sudo umount /mnt

You should now be done (in theory). Grub should come up and offer Windows XP,
DOS, and the Dell version of Ubuntu as options.
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