Questions about installation of Sabayon w/ Windows 7

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Questions about installation of Sabayon w/ Windows 7

Postby kinzo23 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 15:07

I have a couple questions that im hoping someone could help me with.

I have Sabayon installed on my 8GB flash drive. I really have come to like the OS. I was wondering if there is a way to install the OS on a hard drive that has 1 partition currently and has windows 7 already installed. Is there a way for me to install Sabayon onto this 80GB hard drive and still allow Windows 7 to still function ? I kinda walked through the installation and got stuck on the /home /usr part. To be honest I dont know much about linux and am just starting to learn more and more every time i play on the OS on my flash drive.

If someone could help me with my questions I would be very grateful :D
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Re: Questions about installation of Sabayon w/ Windows 7

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Thu Mar 25, 2010 19:25

There is a way; it's called 'dual booting'. Unlike Windows XP, with Windows Vista and Windows 7 it's more complicated to install Linux with Windows. Broadly speaking, this is what you need to do if you already have Windows Vista or 7 installed to your HDD with a single partition holding Windows Vista or 7:

1. Reduce the size of the existing partition.

a) Defragment the Windows partition.
b) Use Windows' Disk Management to shrink the partition (see ... ows-vista/). The problem with this method is that Windows will only shrink the partition until it reaches the MFT (Master File Table), which means there will be a lot of free space in the Windows partition that you may have wanted to use in a Linux partition.
c) If you cannot shrink the Windows partition to the size you want, then you need to move the MFT (see ... -problems/). Basically you need to download a shareware ('trialware') tool that will move the MFT and defragment the Windows partition to a size you select.

Do NOT use GParted to reduce the size of the existing Windows partition, or you will screw up your Windows installation.

2. Create the new partitions for Linux

Boot a LiveCD/DVD which has GParted on it, and run GParted to create and format partitions (for example /, /boot, /home and swap) in the free space you created in Step 1 above. SystemRescueCD is one good LiveCD to use for running GParted.

3. Install Linux and bootloader

Boot Windows Vista/7 and download from the freeware tool EasyBCD. N.B. You will need to download EasyBCD beta version 2 if you want to install a Linux distribution that uses Grub2. If you're going to install a Linux distribution that uses Grub1 (e.g. SL 5.1-r1) then the current version of EasyBCD should work. Follow the instructions on the EasyBCD site for how to install Linux (

Hope I haven't forgotten anything.

If you only have an 80 Gb HDD then you are going to struggle. I've read that Windows 7 should work with only 50 Gb, but that would only leave 30 Gb for SL. You could fit SL in that, but it doesn't give you much room.

EDIT (May 9, 2010 15:49 BST): I have created an article in the SL Wiki about how to configure a PC with Windows 7 or Windows Vista already installed to dual boot with Sabayon Linux: Dual Boot Sabayon Linux and Windows.
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Re: Questions about installation of Sabayon w/ Windows 7

Postby bennachie » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:03

I have had no trouble at all running Windows 7 and Sabayon together, each with 40GB of total space (Windows in a single NTFS partition, Sabayon with a 10GB "/" partition, a 27GB "/home" partition and a 3GB swap partition). Windows 7 is much less of a resource hog than was Vista. I have a fairly large collection of documents, pictures and audio files, but still have around 12GB of free space in the C: disk.

If you have an existing Windows system, then you should begin by clearing out any surplus applications and data. The next step should be to defragment and consolidate the system. There are many tools for that purpose. I use Auslogics Defrag, but YMMV. Finally, you shrink the partition using the Disk Management functions within Windows, and convert the rest of the disk to free space. Most Linux distros will allow you to install the system into that free space any way you like, and will set Grub up for you to dual boot with Windows. Sabayon is no exception, and has a rather nice graphical installer.

Sabayon is, of course, a "feature-rich" distribution, and my KDE installation understandably uses about 5GB of the 10GB "/" partition (as compared with around 3GB for any of the "big four" distros or their close derivatives). That still seems to leave plenty headroom for future updates and extensions.
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Re: Questions about installation of Sabayon w/ Windows 7

Postby kinzo23 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 23:28

Thank you for your help :) Going to be doing it now while in class.
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