Win Partition

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Windows Partition PMI

Much Credit here is due to the Japanese Knoppix Group for developing an NTFS compatible boot setup, to the various Grub patches authors, and to Ruymbeke for the easy setup and for the adaptation to the domestic versions of Knoppix on DOS/NT/XP machines.

This how-to was originally written by J. Drake to synthesize this thread and make it simpler for new users to follow.

This version of a poor man's installation goes beyond the basics, and utilizes the GRUB bootloader to install Knoppix from a Windows partition (including NTFS). The advantages of this version are as follows:

  • 1. No CD, USB, diskette, or any other device are required to boot. You can choose to boot either Windows or Linux from a simple boot menu.
  • 2. All setup and installation can be done from within Windows. No prior Linux experience is required to have the function and versatility of a Linux HD install. For new users especially, this option is very attractive.
  • 3. In many cases, upgrading is as simple as downloading a new release to the appropriate Windows folder.
  • 4. No partitioning is needed to run HD based Linux off of the typical single-partition factory-built computer, unless the user wants to save data to the hard disk. New users who don't wish to partition their drives can save data on a separate disk or USB drive, while those desiring the enhanced function of a persistent home can create as few as one additional non-NTFS partition. Plus, users willing to experiment with Captive NTFS might potentially experiment with persistent homes in their NTFS partitions (not me).

Note: If you have ever tried any other kind of installation as described in Completely_new_HD_based_HowTo_page, please remove or rename the KNOPPIX directory on harddisk.


  • 2. Copy the files and folders from the "Root_Of_NTFS" folder into the root of your C: drive, except for boot.ini. Use boot.ini from the zip as a template for modifying your boot.ini.
  • 3. While you're in the root of your C: drive, find the boot.ini file and copy it to boot.old, then open boot.ini with notepad. At the end of the file, add the following line: c:\grldr="Start Grub" . . . or whatever title you want to put in the quotes. Check to make sure that the timeout gives you enough time (in seconds) to make a choice. You can refer to the boot.ini in the zip as an example. Save as Boot.ini and exit.

Notes: -With Win2000 computers you may add an alternate boot option in the boot.ini file: C:\bootgrub="Start Grub (old method)" -To work with Windows 9x copy GRUB.EXE from "Root_Of_NTFS" folder to C:\ then edit your CONFIG.SYS file adding the line SHELL=GRUB.EXE. You can use config.sys [menu] to select booting from grub or windows:

  • 4. Find the ISO file you originally downloaded, and copy it to the C:\boot\knoppix.381 folder.
  • 5. Now, open Notepad, and load the file C:\BOOT\GRUB\menu.lst. Check to make sure that each step matches your HD configuration. Exammine the boot stanzas and add any cheatcodes for persistent home, saved configuration, or whatever you may use. Up at the top, I would recommend changing the timeout from 5 seconds to 15. Save and exit.
  • 6. Restart, and wait for a menu prompt which gives you a choice between Windows and Start Grub. Cursor down to Start Grub and enter. Then choose among the options in the same manner. You should be launching Knoppix now.


  • 1. Note that in GRUB, the first disk or first partition are numbered zero. So, if your C: drive is the first partition of your first disk the C: drive will be hd(0,0), and hdb3 would be hd(1,2). On newer stock HP Pavilions, C: is actually the second partition of the first drive (hda2), which equates to hd(0,1) in grubspeak.
  • 2. If you're really new and haven't set up a persistent home yet or saved your configuration, you can set this up later, once you boot into Knoppix. Just click the penguin icon on the toolbar and choose Configure, and follow the instructions to set up a persistent home.