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Archive for January, 2010

Setting up Netbook to Dual Boot to Backtrack 4

January 15, 2010 1 comment

back|track 4 logoI have an Eee PC 1000HA and have been wanting to get more familiar with Backtrack.  I was tempted to just wipe out the drive completely and run pure BackTrack, but that would probably be less effective for my wife who shares the laptop with me.

The box touts 160GB total, but that’s inflated by 20Gb (not to mention the wrong calculation of GB – 160,000,000,000 Bytes (what retailers say is 160 GB) is really only 149 GigaBytes).  The break down of partitions ends up being

  1. 80 GB for the main partition, with XP installed on it
  2. 60 GB as an empty partition
  3. 9 GB as the emergency recovery drive
  4. 41 MB as something unidentifiable – I’m assuming this is just leftovers that didn’t fit somewhere

The tutorial on offensive-security.com showed the capability of choosing a guided-partition resize option, that let you drag a little bar to tell it how much space you wanted allocated for the install.  Well, all i got was either an option to format the whole hard drive or manually edit the partition tables.  I ended up taking the crash course in hard drive partitioning.

I figured I’d install Backtrack on part of the 60GB and freaked out when I sized it to 40GB, that the other 20GB became unusable.  After doing some research I found that I could easily extend the 40GB partition to fill up the 20GB, but with there being already 4 primary partitions, I couldn’t split it up, at least with the GUI provided.  So I went with a 60GB BackTrack partition with 1GB of swap memory.

So the final distribution ends up being 80GB for windows, 10GB for the emergency recovery, 59GB, about 1GB for swap.  I created a logical partition for the swap since it didn’t matter.

On the last stage of the installation, under the Advanced menu I left the boot loader device selection at default (hd0).

In theory, this should work.  But it didn’t for me (I got a little excited and posted this before I actually rebooted my computer).  The Grub boot loader never displayed on start-up.

What did end up working was to copy the /boot and /casper directories to my main hard drive and install Grub for windows (with some changes to the boot.ini and BackTrack menu.lst file).  Check out John’s very clear description here (written for BackTrack 4 Pre-Final, but it worked for me with the final release of 4).

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