So many articles we see on the net like 'How to make dual boot Windows and Linux'. Yes it is hard, an issue something for experts or challengers. But as for the Puppy Linux, it is so easy and safe. You need not re-construct your hard disk drives or new drives.
Assume your PC is running any version of Windows 95 to 7, and can run Puppy from the live CD or with another measure. And you want to boot Puppy off from your hard disk drive. The version of the Puppy can be any 4.x or 5.x or their derivatives. How to run the Puppy Live CD shall be another article. And i assume you are already used to handling files on Puppy, like one-click the desktop icon 'file'(or 'Home') on the desktop to open the filer, drag and drop files to copy, etc.
You need 3 tools to do this, but the last is optional.
Note: DO NOT use the 'Puppy Universal Installer' nor 'Grub config' both classic Puppy tool.
Follow the next steps.
You can skip this step if you are sure your Windows is healthy and has no problem. But I recommend to clean up your drive before you install Puppy.
We are going to install puppy frugally on the Windows system partition, the drive 'C:'. You need to clean up the drive to be ready for the new comer, Puppy. Desired free space is 640MB and larger. If you canot, drive 'D;' or another is OK if available.
If you have already made the pupsave on the hard disk drive, I recommend to remove it. If it has files you do not want to loose, read this.
The drive 'C:' in Windows is normally 'sda1' in Puppy, but can be 'hda1' or 'sda2'. Run Puppy and see where is the Windows system files, the directory named 'Windows'. You can do it (one-)clicking the drive icons on the desktop.
You can use the GUI tool 'Frugal Installer'. In this case, run the 'Frugal Installer'
Menu > Setup (> Installers) > Frugal Installer
But also you can do it manually. DO NOT use the 'Puppy Universal Installer'. The 'Puppy Universal Installer' can do, but is complex and you may be confused with the verbose messages.
Doing frugal install manually is quite simple.
Assume the Windows drive 'C:' is 'sda1' in Puppy.
If you have the pupsave made before, and you like to continuously use it, read this.
I recommand the most recent version of the Grub4DosConfig. Get grub4dos-0.4.4.v1.6.3.pet or later available here.
See which way you can take for the rescue boot. You may need to look up the BIOS settings.
For the last case, a hope is LupQ-511 live CD. It has Windows boot menu, but not always work. Try and confirm whether it can boot up your Windows.
If you can use floppies, prepare a floppy. New one is preferable. Used one maybe also OK, but remind that all the contents will we wiped away.
If you use a USB flash drive(any small size is enough), i recommend clean up it using gparted.
For floppy or USB drive, follow next step.
If you failed to boot up, check the BIOS settings, and check the above proccess. If you cannot get rid of, do NOT install MBR, skip the step and only make the swap space. You can continue using Puppy from the Live CD. The boot up time must be remarkablly shortend with the frugal instalation you did.
If you feel some anxiety for loosing your existing boot measure, read this.
If you failed to boot up, check the BIOS settings. Boot again with the Live CD, and check the frugal installation process.
If your PC has RAM less than 512MB, you need to set up swap spaces, in other name, virtual memory.
You can use the same file on the hard disk drive as the virtual memory both from Windows and from Puppy.
You need to install the Winfonts if your Puppy does not have. Install winfonts-3.4.pet available here.
Run the Winfonts. Menu > System (> System memory) > Winfonts
The GUI automatically detects the Windows virtual memory and fonts. Tick on the virtual memory, and optionally the fonts.
Move the your important files on Puppy to the disk drive, /mnt/home or /mnt/sda1, etc. Another USB drive is more safe if they are available. If you are not sure what to do, leave the pupsave as is, but copy the pupsave with Windows to a USB drive if available.
The directory name you use for the frugal install should be unique as the top layer of the partitions on your PC. If the same name at the top laye, say '/mnt/sda1/puppy' and '/mnt/sda2/puppy', exists, the boot loader may confuse. No problem with directories other than used for the frugal install.
Essencial files are only 3 or 4, that is, vmlinuz, initrd.gz, *.sfs. Other files in the live CD are no need for the frugal install, but they are small and no harm you leave them.
If you have the pupsave made before, and you like to use it with the new installed Puppy, you can move or copy it into the directory of the frugal install.
But I do not like to do so. No one pours new wine into old wineskins.
See the article
Grub4DosConfig usually overwrites the existing MBR(Master Boot Record). If you like to recover the MBR of windows, you can use Windows Installer CD. But you cannot recover for the PC's which has special MBR made by the manufacturer. Don't fear if you can boot with the rescue media you made here.
Some PC's without CD drive and the Windows recovery system is on the HDD.
In this case from the beginning, it cannot boot up the Puppy Live CD.
For the case, we developed the installer for the Windows(95 to Vista and 7-32bit, but Me not supported. Problem reported with Winodws 7-64bit), Lucid-Puppy-Quickset-edition-511-Installer.exe.
It need not CD and does not replace the existing MBR.
See the topic.
If your PC is running Windows Xp, visit THE Lin'N'WinNewB PROJECT