Usually we face backup and OS formatting issues on dual boot systems. Here are few more tricks to make sure you have all mails safe (only for Thunderbird) & same firefox history, bookmarks, themes & plugins.
Case 1: If you have only Microsoft Xp/Vista installed on system, you can just install another linux. Grub will take care of your Xp installation.
Case 2: If Linux is installed already & want to installing Xp without loosing Linux.
Once XP has been installed, it will boot happily into Xp but there's no sign of Linux. To reinstate GRUB as the system bootloader it needs to be reinstalled into the MBR. Use any live CD to go in rescue mode and have your harddisk mounted in /mnt/sysimage/ (usually in Fedora/RHEL)
To enter the GRUB configuration mode, type in "sudo grub" and press Enter. Then type in the following commands after boot with live CD & excute below commands :
Commands to follow :
- sudo grub: This will open grub menu.
- root (hd0,0) : deciding hd0,0 is really important factor ! Be careful, wrong hd selection may format data.
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
23G 7.7G 14G 36% /
/dev/sda3 190M 14M 167M 8% /boot
tmpfs 501M 1.3M 500M 1% /dev/shm
/dev/sda2 30G 28G 2.0G 94% /mnt/d
/dev/sda5 20G 6.5G 14G 33% /mnt/c
It shows /boot mounted on sda3 from hard disk 1 so you need to select (hd0,2) if /boot is installed on sda1 then it'll be (hd0,0).
- setup (hd0)
It 'll simply install grub on selected sda partition. It gives clear confirmation saying "Successfully done".
- quit & exit
Reboot system. You will find Linux, Xp is not available. Now open your /boot/grub/grub.conf , add below line to see your Xp back in position.
Now grub.conf 'll look like
[root@localhost grub]# more grub.conf
# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
# root (hd0,2)
# kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
# initrd /initrd-version.img
title Fedora (188.8.131.52-117.fc10.i686)
kernel /vmlinuz-184.108.40.206-117.fc10.i686 ro root=UUID=c7681502-97bc-4344-b8ff-7c231db6a741 rhgb quiet
Reboot the system. You'll get the GRUB bootloader but Vista won't be an option - we need to add this to the boot options.
If Xp is not booting, go back to Linux & add below text in grub.conf :
title Windows XP
Save the file and reboot. When the GRUB loader launches hit ESC for the boot menu. Windows XP is the last option - select it and XP will load.
If you want to make the GRUB menu always available, boot back into Linux and edit the grub.conf file. Find the hiddenmenu text string and change it to #hiddenmenu.
To increase the menu timeout, change the default timeout 3 to something more appropriate.
To Save your mails :
Just backup your folder /home//private/jzk0qj4u.default/Mail/Local Folders from Linux to some FAT or NTFS partition which is also available in WinXp & mounted in Linux.
Now if you boot in WinXp.
Just install Thunderbird and change "Local Folders" path to Xp path to same Local folder Eg: "C:\private\jzk0qj4u.default\Mail\Local Folders" .
Restart Thunderbird . You'll get all your mails
Matter of fact I drafted half of this mail in Linux & remaining half in Linux !! Its really a great advantage to use :-)
Firefox Plugins & history :
Profile stored at location can be copy pasted and used for Linux. Off course only supported plugin will be seen at respective OS.
Win Xp path: C:\Documents and Settings\Mahendra\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
Linux : /home/uname/.mozilla/..
You'll always have your all bookmarks. You can keep them safe on Foxmark site. Google chrome has released this bookmark sync feature now , which is easily done in Firefox from years !
Its always trouble less while doing any re installations and formating. All above experimets tested ok on my own machine. Welcome if need any help :-)