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Re: xp not installing
First configure your hard drive in the bios set your harddrive as
primary drive then configure the booting setup you must boot first the
CD ROM drvsave setting and exit. Then if you have a bootable disc
installer for XP any OS insert in in the CD ROM drve. wait for a while
then follow the instruction that goes out in the desktop.
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Redhat ... all installation guides are almost same, but before setting up installation make sure you have no critical data on you drive. You might end up setting it up on wrong drive or complete partition leaving you with erased data.
I would install XP 1st then Open suse or Ubuntu. When you install either of these linux OS's ensure you install to another partition other than the windows one. Both installation routines will allow you to format the drive to the linux ext2 format and automatically install a boot manager (usually GRUB) which will allow you to select the OS you wish to boot.
Anyway, normally when installing any SO lets you select the partition where you want to install the SO. Select the partition belonging to the USB External HD, and do everything else normally.
You must have in mind that you will lose everything in the USB HD, and that using it this way the OS will work only when the HD is plugged to the same PC, it may work with a different PC with different hardware but the SO will install the new drivers for the new hardware.
That's why I recommend you to use linux, check this out www.pendrivelinux.com/
Don't try to edit the xp boot.ini or the vista bootloader. It only leads to other problems and headaches.
Try this first: Take note as to which drive has vista on it, put your vista installation cd in the drive and let it boot to the "installation window", then choose "repair", then "startup repair." Make sure you choose the drive that already has vista on it. Let that run and when it re-boots you should then be given a choice to boot to vista or "other windows".
There is also a (free) program called EasyBCD. Download that, read the directions and have at it.
If none of that works, you'll have to do a clean install. Install XP on one drive first, then Vista on the second drive in that order. The Vista bootloader will pick up the XP. However, XP is NOT forward compatible and will not recognize the Vista bootloader. Make sure that you don't have any flashdrives or media cards plugged in before doing the install.
Another approach would be to shrink the Vista volume, creat a new partition, then install Linux Ubuntu that partition. Linux will detect all of the OS's and create a boot menu. Unfortunately, you'll lose about 5 gigs to the Linux OS and it's swap partition, but then, you get to goof around with Linux :-)
i think the cd from which you are installing might have got scratched so the cdrom couldnt read some files which are needed for installation ... so i suggest you to try changing cd.... there is no problem with installing in laptops we can install linux in any laptops...... i suggest you to install fedora core instead of redhat... fedora core has good functionality and it has inbuilt firewall security also for internet and it has got good options ... so try installing fedora core 5,6, or 7 .. if you dont have means you can download from net as linux is open source to all any1 can download from net ... there are many other linux available like ubuntu,suse, mandrake etc.... suse linux is also very good it is the very user friendly linux ... there other linux which can be run by cd only which doesnt need of installing it just like knoppix live cd etc.... be care ful while partitioning if you make mistake you will lose all datas ....