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Thread: Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

  1. #1
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    Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

    I am new to all of this, although I have used Fedora 14 for about 3 years because I could not reinstall Windows XP, probably due to bad sectors on my hard drive. I recently installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I like Ubuntu very much and would like to keep using it. But I want to run Windows XP sometimes as well, because Linux is not fully supported on some websites. Specifically I seem to be having trouble with JAVA browser plug-ins while in the Ubuntu operating system. And I am just learning about Linux terminal commands, like sudo, etc.

    It looks like I have two options: 1) dual booting Ubuntu & Windows XP or 2) a Windows XP Virtual Box in Ubuntu. My questions are mostly about system requirements to do 1) or 2). I want to buy a new hard drive and maybe go up from my current 40 GB to 60 GB. 40 GB with either Windows XP or Ubuntu alone works fine for me. I am not into games or photography or CAD/CAM, so I don't need a lot of memory.

    QUESTIONS: Will a 40 or 60 GB hard drive allow me to 1) dual boot Windows XP & Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 2) Virtual Box WIndows XP in Ubuntu? Or do I need even more hard drive space?

    Is 1.25 GB of RAM enough to Virtual Box WIndows in Ubuntu? 1.25 GB of RAM is all I have.

    Is it difficult for a new Ubuntu user to 1) dual boot Windows XP & Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 2) Virtual Box WIndows XP in Ubuntu?

    Thank you,

    R.

  2. #2
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    Re: Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Forums

    Quote Originally Posted by RMcGinnis View Post
    I am new to all of this, although I have used Fedora 14 for about 3 years because I could not reinstall Windows XP, probably due to bad sectors on my hard drive. I recently installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I like Ubuntu very much and would like to keep using it. But I want to run Windows XP sometimes as well, because Linux is not fully supported on some websites. Specifically I seem to be having trouble with JAVA browser plug-ins while in the Ubuntu operating system. And I am just learning about Linux terminal commands, like sudo, etc.

    It looks like I have two options: 1) dual booting Ubuntu & Windows XP or 2) a Windows XP Virtual Box in Ubuntu. My questions are mostly about system requirements to do 1) or 2). I want to buy a new hard drive and maybe go up from my current 40 GB to 60 GB. 40 GB with either Windows XP or Ubuntu alone works fine for me. I am not into games or photography or CAD/CAM, so I don't need a lot of memory.
    Windows XP reaches end of life in April 2014, and after that there will be no security updates. You can keep the system, if you isolate it from the internet, but you can expect a lot of virus and other malware to take the opportunity to attach XP after end of life.
    QUESTIONS: Will a 40 or 60 GB hard drive allow me to 1) dual boot Windows XP & Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 2) Virtual Box WIndows XP in Ubuntu? Or do I need even more hard drive space?
    Disk space is rather cheap per gigabyte nowadays. I would say at least 80 GB for a dual boot system or Virtual Box system, if possible at least 120 GB.
    Is 1.25 GB of RAM enough to Virtual Box WIndows in Ubuntu? 1.25 GB of RAM is all I have.
    It is enough for dual boot but not for a virtual machine with Window XP. I have run it with 2GB, which was possible, but would actually recommend even more.
    Is it difficult for a new Ubuntu user to 1) dual boot Windows XP & Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 2) Virtual Box WIndows XP in Ubuntu?

    Thank you,

    R.
    There is a learning curve, but if you ask us at the Ubuntu Forums, you will get excellent help so no worries

    I think dual boot is easier than Virtual Box, but not that much. If you cannot get more RAM, Virtual Box is a bad choice anyway.

  3. #3
    squakie is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

    +1 on the Windows XP warning. I have just converted a few people from XP to xubuntu (just Ubuntu with a different desktop manager). So far for them (none are into playing games, cad, etc.) that has worked well for them.

    As sudous stated, then end of life for XP is very close, and the proverbial "flood gates" will be open then for all kinds of attacks - viri, trojans, rootkits, etc. - to infest any XP installation. Sudous mentioned keeping it isolated from the internet as about the only way to stop this. However, since you are talking about websites not working correctly, this may not be an option for you. Either way, I would try my hardest to stay away from XP at the end of March onward.

    Sudous mentioned the support you can get here on the forums. They are 110% on that. They, and many others, have provided me with countless answers to my questions and problems. So each time you run into something that doesn't seem to be working correctly, please open a thread here and just wait for help - it will come.

    I am forever grateful for the help I have received here. I hope your ubuntu experience is as wonderful as mine has been.

  4. #4
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    Re: Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

    Thank you very much Sudodus and Squakie,

    I have a better idea what I need now. Looks like I need a lot more RAM or Hard Drive space, unless I can use a peripheral USB hard drive to dual boot (see below). And it looks like Windows XP is a dead end. And there sure are a lot of complaints about Windows 8. I'll have to look hard & double-check to see if there are some Windows work arounds. I'll consult the Ubuntu help and forums to see about this. Maybe I can forget about Windows altogether. If the worst comes I suppose I could upgrade to Windows Vista or Windows 7 ---- I don't want Windows 8.

    Since I need a lot more hard drive space to dual boot, would it be possible to dual boot using a peripheral hard drive that connects to a USB port? I have a 160 GB Seagate peripheral drive that connects to a USB port. I use it for back up, but after several years it still has over 100 GB of free space on it. And I could free up even more space on it by cleaning it out and using some other back up methods.

    QUESTION: Is there any way I can use this peripheral 160 GB hard drive to get the extra space needed to dual boot if necessary?

    By the way, the most RAM I can possibly get is 2.05 GB by changing the RAM chips. I have 1.25 GB of RAM now.

    Thanks again for your help,

    R.
    Last edited by AbleTassie; January 31st, 2014 at 08:17 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

    Quote Originally Posted by RMcGinnis View Post
    Thank you very much Sudodus and Squakie,

    I have a better idea what I need now. Looks like I need a lot more RAM or Hard Drive space, unless I can use a peripheral USB hard drive to dual boot (see below). And it looks like Windows XP is a dead end. And there sure are a lot of complaints about Windows 8. I'll have to look hard & double-check to see if there are some Windows work arounds. I'll consult the Ubuntu help and forums to see about this. Maybe I can forget about Windows altogether. If the worst comes I suppose I could upgrade to Windows Vista or Windows 7 ---- I don't want Windows 8.
    If you need Windows after XP end of life, I would recommend Windows 7, which is better on most hardware than Vista.
    Since I need a lot more hard drive space to dual boot, would it be possible to dual boot using a peripheral hard drive that connects to a USB port? I have a 160 GB Seagate peripheral drive that connects to a USB port. I use it for back up, but after several years it still has over 100 GB of free space on it. And I could free up even more space on it by cleaning it out and using some other back up methods.

    QUESTION: Is there any way I can use this peripheral 160 GB hard drive to get the extra space needed to dual boot if necessary?

    By the way, the most RAM I can possibly get is 2.05 GB by changing the RAM chips. I have 1.25 GB of RAM now.

    Thanks again for your help,

    R.
    Yes, it is possible to use a USB mass storage device (pendrive, HDD, SSD) to boot your Ubuntu based operating system. A HDD is much better than most pendrives, because the flash memory is often slower than the USB 2 interface. But it will be much slower than an internal disk.

    After housecleaning (removing unnecessary files) you can use gparted booted from an Ubuntu boot CD/DVD/USB pendrive and edit the partition table. And finally, you can install Ubuntu into a partition that you created with gparted.

    Many people boot installed linux systems from USB nowadays. That way you can carry your system in a pendrive or small USB disk and boot it into most computers, because Ubuntu and many other linux systems are portable. Due to licensing issues, Windows cannot be installed into a USB disk.

    -o-
    In order to give really relevant advice, we need more specific data about your computer

    - Brand name and model of computer or motherboard
    - CPU
    - RAM size we know, 1.25 GB, (max possible 2 GB with makes it possible to run Windows in VirtualBox)
    - graphics chip/card

    And what about your internet connection, is it fast or slow?

    This would make it possible to suggest which / how many versions and flavours of Ubuntu to try.

  6. #6
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    Re: Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

    Quote Originally Posted by RMcGinnis View Post
    QUESTION: Is there any way I can use this peripheral 160 GB hard drive to get the extra space needed to dual boot if necessary?

    By the way, the most RAM I can possibly get is 2.05 GB by changing the RAM chips. I have 1.25 GB of RAM now.
    it seems you have an older maschine with probably ATA (IDE) disks. newer disk use SATA to connect. you might have a port for those available. hard to say we would need to know the model of motherboard to get that info from internet.

    ram is porbably ddr or ddr2 which is quite expencive these days. but if you can increase it with no investment then do it. otherwise leave it be.

    yes you can dual bootusing USB drive. you would need to install (probably Ubuntu) to it. then make sure during install that GRUB is put on external drive and then only set the BIOS to boot from USB first.

    another option is to move most data to external drive and do dual boot on internal drive. if you don't have too many programmes installed then winxp will do just fine with about 20 GB disk space and you can leave the rest for Ubutnu. i had (until recently) a 5GB partition with win XP on it. had about 700 MB free. in the end it was corrupted by malware it seems. but i had most programs on other partition.

    you could run XP in virtualbox but you would need to use lighter desktop enviromnment (such as the one foiund in lubuntu). it would free up more ram for you to use for XP mashcine + virtualbox.
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup: Redobackup

  7. #7
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    Re: Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

    I had this same situation and once had mistakenly deleted entire data on my hdd. After the loss all i had left was knowledge and experience to install ubuntu the correct way. Dual boot is helpful rather than running on VM's.

  8. #8
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    Re: Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    If you need Windows after XP end of life, I would recommend Windows 7, which is better on most hardware than Vista.

    Thanks Sudodus, I will keep this in mind. Answers to your questions are below in blue.



    Yes, it is possible to use a USB mass storage device (pendrive, HDD, SSD) to boot your Ubuntu based operating system. A HDD is much better than most pendrives, because the flash memory is often slower than the USB 2 interface. But it will be much slower than an internal disk.

    After housecleaning (removing unnecessary files) you can use gparted booted from an Ubuntu boot CD/DVD/USB pendrive and edit the partition table. And finally, you can install Ubuntu into a partition that you created with gparted.

    -
    In order to give really relevant advice, we need more specific data about your computer

    - Brand name and model of computer or motherboard
    - CPU
    - RAM size we know, 1.25 GB, (max possible 2 GB with makes it possible to run Windows in VirtualBox)
    - graphics chip/card

    Toshiba Satellite L25-S1216 Intel Celeron M Processor 380 1.60 GHZ, 1MBL2, 400MHZ FSB
    ATI Radeon Express 200M Chipset,

    Graphics ATI Radeon Xpress 200M 32MB-128MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory


    My external Seagate 160 GB drive is USB 2.0, 5400 RPM compatible with Windows XP and Vista. But I have used it with Fedora 14 and Ubuntu and it seems to work fine. I think I bought it in 2008.

    And what about your internet connection, is it fast or slow?

    DSL, I just checked it today: 1.31 Mbps Download speed, 0.72 Mbps upload speed

    This would make it possible to suggest which / how many versions and flavours of Ubuntu to try.
    I don't want you (and others) to spend a lot of time on this, but if you can give me some answers without spending a lot more time on this, great. It will be nice to know I can dual boot if necessary with Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I am going to look into workarounds using Linux/Ubuntu that do not require Windows. I was doing more research on this and I am more optimistic I can get away without needing Windows. I've been using Fedora 14 for almost 3 years and I really haven't missed Windows XP that much. And I've been using Ubuntu for a few days and I like it even more than Fedora 14.

    Thanks again so much,


    Bob

  9. #9
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    Re: Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

    [QUOTE=mastablasta;12915443]it seems you have an older maschine with probably ATA (IDE) disks. newer disk use SATA to connect. you might have a port for those available. hard to say we would need to know the model of motherboard to get that info from internet.

    Hi Mastablasta, Thanks. Yes I have an older machine circa early 2006. Specs just given in my reply to Sudodus.

    ram is porbably ddr or ddr2 which is quite expencive these days. but if you can increase it with no investment then do it. otherwise leave it be.

    Yes, I think it is DDR2

    yes you can dual bootusing USB drive.

    That's good to know.

    you would need to install (probably Ubuntu) to it. then make sure during install that GRUB is put on external drive and then only set the BIOS to boot from USB first.

    Thanks for the link to the manual. I just downloaded the manual. I really like the Linux story, and I think I could work well with the Linux community. Microsoft & Windows is OK, but it has its limitations.

    Thanks again,


    R.
    Last edited by AbleTassie; January 31st, 2014 at 08:48 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Running Windows XP and Ubuntu on a PC

    Quote Originally Posted by RMcGinnis View Post
    Toshiba Satellite L25-S1216 Intel Celeron M Processor 380 1.60 GHZ, 1MBL2, 400MHZ FSB
    ATI Radeon Express 200M Chipset,

    Graphics ATI Radeon Xpress 200M 32MB-128MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory

    My external Seagate 160 GB drive is USB 2.0, 5400 RPM compatible with Windows XP and Vista. But I have used it with Fedora 14 and Ubuntu and it seems to work fine. I think I bought it in 2008.

    And what about your internet connection, is it fast or slow?

    DSL, I just checked it today: 1.31 Mbps Download speed, 0.72 Mbps upload speed

    -o-

    I don't want you (and others) to spend a lot of time on this, but if you can give me some answers without spending a lot more time on this, great. It will be nice to know I can dual boot if necessary with Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I am going to look into workarounds using Linux/Ubuntu that do not require Windows. I was doing more research on this and I am more optimistic I can get away without needing Windows. I've been using Fedora 14 for almost 3 years and I really haven't missed Windows XP that much. And I've been using Ubuntu for a few days and I like it even more than Fedora 14.

    Thanks again so much,

    Bob
    I think Celeron M with 400 MHz FSB has PAE capability but might lack a PAE flag. If this is the case, you need a non-pae kernel or to use fake-pae. See these links, that offer ways to install and run current versions of Ubuntu (and Ubuntu community flavours, re-spins and distros based on Ubuntu).

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Lubuntu-fake-PAE
    One Button Installer, 'OBI'


    The external drive will work with 'any' linux. There are issues with some Radeon cards, but chances are it will work well either with the built-in driver or a proprietary driver. Some intitial problems can be fixed with a boot option, for example nomodeset.

    Booting and running from an internal drive is much faster than from a USB 2 drive. But both work the same way with linux (speed is the only difference).

    The computer has neither horsepower nor memory enough to run Windows in a virtual machine.

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