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Überhacker II, Chapter 3: How to Get Many Operating Systems on One PC, continued ...

File Systems

If you want file-sharing security under Windows NT, 2000 or XP, you must format the partitions it uses with NTFS (New Technology File System). For file-sharing security under Windows 98, 98SE or ME, you need a Fat 32 file system. Sadly, Windows 98 can't see NTFS unless you get a third party program, and NT can't see Fat 32. Neither can see Linux's file systems, but Linux can see them all. That's just one more reason Linux makes an outstanding attack computer. Watch out for trying to write to NTFS from Linux, as the programs out there at this writing are buggy.

The Expensive but Easy Way

OK, let's say you have some virus-free hard drives that are compatible with your BIOS. There is an easy but somewhat expensive way to get around the problem of many operating systems doing battle with each other on a single hard drive.

If you have a BIOS that lets you pick which drive to boot, use one hard drive per operating system. That can get you five operating systems: one for each IDE drive and one for a SCSI drive.

For even more flexibility and more operating systems, get one hard drive for each and set all of them to be the master. Install a bay for removable hard drives. Put each drive in a removable tray that fits the bay. Attach the bay to the end connector on the primary IDE cable - the same connector that was on the hard drive before you started messing with the insides of your box.

What if you want to keep all your exploits or other data on a hard drive that will be shared among many operating system? Install your data disk as slave. Then, for Linux and other Unix-type operating systems, you have to "mount" the drive under its file system. For example, you could mount it under /mnt; or set up any arbitrary designation. Many Linux installation disks allow you to mount the data drive during installation from a point-and-click partitioning menu. Linux is pretty good at reading and writing Fat 32, so that might be a solution if you want Windows to also be able to access it.

All my PCs have removable drive bays. But I want more, more! So I also make double and triple boot hard drives - also in removable trays. This makes it even easier to reconfigure my hacker lab into almost any network configuration.

The System Commander/Partition Commander Way

If you have one really large hard drive, there is one set of tools that will let you install as many operating systems as you can fit and boot them from anywhere on that drive. Use Partition Commander to set up the partitions, and System Commander to boot your choice. See http://www.linguistsoftware.com/syscom.htm to buy these programs. This enables more than 100 operating systems to share the same disk. The only limitation is that a total of only 4 installations of Windows XP, 2000, NT, ME, 98 or 95 may be installed on a hard drive. This is because each one needs a primary partition, and you can create only four primary partitions per hard drive.


The SuSE Solution for Linux Plus Windows XP and 2000 all on the Same Drive

Both SuSE Personal and Professional come with automatic ability to other Windows operating systems, as long as you have installed them first and they are on the same hard drive. Windows NT and 2000 are also helpful because if you install one as the second operating system, if the first one is NT, 2000 or XP, it will automatically set up a dual boot menu.

Here's how to take advantage of this.

1) Start with Windows XP on a hard drive of at least 10 GB.
2) Install Partition Magic. You could use defrag followed by the Linux or Windows fdisk program instead, or Windows NT/2000 Disk Administrator. They will work just as well, but with greater risk of error, and would take a lot more words to describe.
3) Set up the following partitions of about equal size (unless you happen to love one of these operating systems more than another).
· Shrink the partition with your operating system to about one third the total size of the drive, or if this isn't possible, reduce it so it has about a quarter of its space still free. You'll need about 6 GB left over.
· Set up a second primary partition and format it with NTFS.
· Create an extended partition.
· Inside the extended partition, create two logical partitions. Set up a Linux Swap partition equal in size to the RAM of your PC, or 100MB, whichever is larger; and format the rest as Linux Ext3.
4) Install Windows NT or 2000 on the second primary partition. Make sure the dual boot feature works.
5) Install SuSE on what remains. Reboot and you should get a SuSE menu that works for all three.

How to Make a Triple Boot Disk the Harder Way

Here's how to get a triple boot hard drive, with both Windows and Linuxes, to work every time.

1) Start with a hard drive of at least 8 GB running Windows 98, SE or ME; Windows NT workstation, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Personal or Professional. On any of these you can install Partition Magic (from http://powerquest.com).
2) Install Partition Magic. You could use defrag followed by the Linux or Windows fdisk program instead, or Windows NT/2000 Disk Administrator. They will work just as well, but with greater risk of error, and would take a lot more words to describe.
3) Get installation disks for another Windows operating system and a Linux installation CD (or CDs or DVD). In my opinion the Linuxes most suitable for serious hacking are SuSE Professional (http://www.suse.de) and Debian (http://www.debian.org). If you try to download Linux from the Internet, you will get exactly what you paid for.
4) Use Partition Magic to set up the following partitions of about equal size (unless you happen to love one of these operating systems more than another):
5) Shrink the partition with your operating system to about one third the total size of the drive, or if this isn't possible, reduce it so it has about a quarter of its space still free. You'll need about 6 GB left over.
6) Set up a second primary partition and format it with NTFS.
7) Create an extended partition.
8) Inside the extended partition, create two logical partitions. Set up a Linux Swap partition equal in size to the RAM of your PC, or 100MB, whichever is larger; and format the rest as Linux Ext3.
9) Partition Magic will perform all these tasks. When it finishes and reboots, install Boot Magic and activate it. It will, of course, only have one operating system as a boot choice. This is OK. All you want is for Boot Magic to be controlling the master boot record (MBR)
10) Then reboot from the CD of the version of Windows NT, 2000, 2003 or XP that you want to be your second version. Ideally this should be a Server version, as they can do things personal or professional editions can't do - things useful for breaking into Windows computers. Install it on the second primary partition. When you get to the part of installation where it must reboot, take out the CD-ROM and use Boot Magic to boot into your first operating system. Use it to configure a dual boot system with your second Windows. Reboot.
11) Now pick your second operating system from the Boot Magic startup menu and finish installing your second Windows.
12) Next boot from the Linux CD-ROM and install it in the extended partition. You can put it all on that ext3 partition or repartition within the extended partition and format them per your taste. Detailed instructions on how to install a Linux attack computer with recommended partitioning and file system options are in the next chapter.
13) If you are using a recent version of SuSE, let it do its thing and it will automatically configure a triple boot system for you.
For other versions of Linux, if the installation program prompts you for how to boot Linux, chose lilo. If the installation program doesn't prompt for boot options, look for an "expert" menu that allows this. When you configure lilo, be careful to specify that it should boot from /, or, if you have created it, /boot. To get it to boot Windows add this to /etc/lilo.conf:
other=/dev/hda1
label=Windows
This presumes that Windows was on the first partition of your primary master hard drive (hda1).
14) Reboot. If you installed SuSE, it will offer a menu with options to boot into all three operating systems. Choose the Windows option.
15) If you specified Linux to boot into / or /boot, you will get the Boot Magic menu. Choose the first operating system. Use Boot Magic configuration to add Linux to the menu.
16) Reboot and choose Linux. Voila! You have succeeded!
17) Oops! You goofed (er, my instructions didn't work.) If anything goes wrong, it may be because your system has trouble booting from a position too far down on the hard drive. If this happens, try System Commander to boot your operating systems.

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