How I Set Up My Netbook to Dual Boot Win 7 & MeeGo

My Step By Step Process To A Dual Boot Netbook

I'm not super awesome when it comes to mucking around with a BIOS or setting up a dev build. But since I know MeeGo is new, and many of you will be doing this, and like me probably have not set up a dual boot since the 1990's I thought I'd give it a try and show you how I did it. To my surprise it was pretty easy. Follow these steps to get your system set-up, and as always back-up your stuff, as you are messing with how you system boots.

Step 1: Get a USB Thumb Drive

This is going to be your installer drive. MeeGo install should be about 1 GIG so I recommend using stick with 2Gigs.

Step 2: Free Space on your Netbook

In Win 7 type "partition" in the Start Menu to find the Create & Format Hard Disk Partitions to launch "Disk Manager". You'll need to create a 30+ Gigs drive space to install MeeGo. I had a 60GB D drive on my ASUS netbook. So for me it was simple. I just moved files off the D to my C Drive then deleted that drive in the Disk Manager. You can also shrink a drive while running Windows to create your free space . In the end just make sure you have 30 GB of free space

Step 3: Download the 1.1 Netbook image of MeeGo

This will download a .img file. You can't open that file or copy it straight to your USB, so for now just place somewhere you will remember.

Step 4: Byte Copy:

You'll need to do a byte copy to your USB drive. Use this link to download the byte copy app. Extract & unzip all the files to a location on your netbook, then launch Win32DiskImager.exe. First select your .img file you downloaded from MeeGo.com Then insert your USB thumb drive and select that drive letter. (make sure you are selecting the USB drive you just inserted. You may want to check this in My Computer to be sure you are writing the image to the right drive). And 3rd click "Write" button to write the MeeGo image to your USB thumb drive

Step 5: Boot off USB:

Restart your netbook with the USB drive in. Your netbook may be different but at start-up you should see something that allows you to edit the BIOS or change settings. For my ASUS it's F2.

When in the BIOS use arrow and tab keys to navigate. Here you'll want to change your boot options so the USB is the primary or first boot option. For my ASUS I needed to set 2 things. I needed to say the primary disk is my USB, and not my hard disk. I then also needed to set the boot order so the USB was the first to boot. Finally hit F10 to exit and save the settings. You will now boot your Netbook off the USB. When your netbook boots it will give you 3 options

Before you Install you may want to try the Boot MeeGo option to see that the .img transferred successfully. Using this options allows you to play with MeeGo but you can't install any apps or save anything. So it's mostly a read only environment.

Step 6: Install MeeGo

Select the Install option. With the options available select the : Use free space option. This will find the free space you created and start the install process

 

Step 7: Editing boot default:

If you are like me, Windows will still be your primary environment for your netbook and you may want Windows to boot by default. To set this when in MeeGo, go to Applications > System Tools and select Terminal. This is a DOS like environment You can use commands like DIR to see directories, CD to change directories and the location of your commands. The more you need to tinker with Linux the more you will feel like it's 1992... just saying its a bit nostalgic;-)

Copy and paste this into the terminal: $ sudo vi /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf

Key key commands:

  • To Edit - CTRL I
  • To Leave Edit Mode - ESC
  • To Save - :wq

 

Arrow across the file and make changes:

Give yourself some time to switch your boot

timeout 5 
Set Windows as the Default
label meego
 menu label MeeGo (2.6.33.3-11.1-netbook)
 kernel vmlinuz-2.6.33.3-11.1-netbook
 append ro root=/dev/sda3 quiet vga=current
label Other
 menu label Windows
 kernel chain.c32
 append boot 1
 menu default

 

To get out of Edit mode hit ESC. Now type :ws to save your file.

Step 8: Testing your boot

Restart your Netbook without the USB. Note, you will need to do an Alt S to bring up the boot menu, otherwise it should boot into Windows. You may need to edit your BIOS to boot off the HD & not the USB, but likely that the PC will figure this out... So as your PC boots, hold down the Alt Key and wait for till you see the words MeeGo, then type S. This will bring up the Boot options for MeeGo or Windows.

That's it, your netbook now runs both Windows and MeeGo and you can choose to boot into either whenever you want.

 

 

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