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BackTrack2/Windows XP Dual Boot How-To
WARNING:
While this procedure is pretty darn safe (if followed correctly) and we’ve never had a meltdown as a result,
you should know that ANY time you mess with your harddrive, especially repartitioning it, you are taking the risk of
losing EVERYTHING. Make sure your backups are up to date, make a Ghost image, pray to your God, whatever.
Most of all... if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

Part I: Repartition your existing Hard Drive

1. Properly shut down your windows operating system. If there are any errors on your windows
partitions, the tool will detect them and prevent you from repartitioning your drive.

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2. We’ll be using the GParted tool to resize your existing windows partition in order to make room for
the new Linux operating system. There is a self-booting ISO available at http://gparted.sourceforge.
net. Download the ISO and burn it to a CD or DVD. (Note: We’ve found that ISOs burned to DVDs
tend to boot faster compared to the same ISO burned to a CD).

3. Boot your computer from your GParted disc. At the boot menu (See figure 1a), hit Enter to accept
the default choice.

4. Press Enter at the “Load keymap


(Enter for default):” prompt.

5. Press Enter at the “Load keymap


(Enter the number matching
your language, Enter for
US):” prompt.

6. The system will now attempt to auto-


detect your computer’s video card
and monitor settings. If the software
is unable to find a compatible video
driver for your computer, you will
be dropped to a shell prompt.
figure 1a - GParted boot menu

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At the prompt, type

gparted ~# Forcevideo

7. at the “Type the name of the driver you want to be forced in xorg.conf” prompt,
enter “vesa”

8. At the “which resolution do you want to set?” prompt, enter “1024x768”

9. The system will now start the graphical environment using the standard VESA drivers. It won’t be
terribly pretty, but it will work just fine. Alternatively (eg: in the future when you know this is going
to happen anyway), you can select the following option from the boot menu:

GParted-liveCD Force VESA driver

10. The X graphical environment starts, and you


are presented with the GParted display (see
figure 1b). Select your NTFS partition and click
Resize.

figure 1b - GParted GUI

11. Repartition your disc such that there is a 10GB


partition at the beginning of your drive. You

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can create the new partition at the end of your
drive if you like, but BIOS limitations in many
computers prevent the system from booting
from such a partition, especially if you have
a large hard drive in your laptop. Your resize
window should look something like figure 1c. figure 1c - GParted Resize Window

12. Click Resize/Move. You will be returned to


the main GParted window, which shows the
proposed changes to your hard drive.

13. Your screen should look like figure 1d. Click


Apply to begin the repartitioning process. This
can take several hours, depending upon the
speed of your computer and the size of your
harddrive.
figure 1d - GParted GUI

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14. If you have errors on your NTFS partition, you may
see a screen similar to figure 1e. If so, reboot into
windows and repair the disk errors before trying
again.

15. When the process is complete, click Exit (see


figure 1f). Select Eject and reboot (see figure 1g).
figure 1e - GParted NTFS error

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figure 1f - GParted repartitioning completed
figure 1g - GParted exit screen

16. Allow your computer to reboot into


Windows. You will notice that a disk
check is forced -- this is normal. Just
let it complete (see figure 1h).

17. You are now ready to install BackTrack


Linux to your hard drive :)

figure 1h - Windows wants to run a disk check

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Part II: Install BackTrack

1. Download the BackTrack 2 ISO from http://www.remote-exploit.org/backtrack.html and


burn it to a CD or DVD.

2. Boot your computer from the BackTrack


disc.

3. At the login prompt, login as user “root”


with password “toor”.

4. At the prompt, type “startx” to launch


the graphical environment.

5. Open a Shell window by clicking on the


black terminal icon in the lower left of your
screen (see figure 2a).

6. At the prompt, type “fdisk -l” to show


all of your disk partitions. On most systems
with PATA hard disks, your primary hard figure 2a - BackTrack terminal window
drive is called /dev/hda. If you have SATA
drives, it will be called /dev/sda.

7. Having learned the name of your hard disk, type


“fdisk /dev/hda” (or “fdisk /dev/sda”
depending upon what your disk is called) to
begin the disk partitioning tool (see figure 2b).

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8. At the fdisk prompt, enter “p” to print (on the
screen) the list of partitions. You should see your
newly-resized windows partition listed.

9. At the prompt, type “n” to create a new Partition.


When prompted for a partition type, enter “p”
for Primary. Press enter at the next two prompts figure 2b - fdisk partitioning tool
to accept the defaults.

10. At the prompt, type “p” to print the list of


partitions. You should now see your new linux
partition listed (see figure 2c).

11. At the fdisk prompt, type “w” to write the


changes to the disk.

12. At this point, it is wise to reboot your computer.


At the # prompt, type “reboot”.

13. Boot your computer from the Backtrack CD, log


in as root, start the graphical environment, and
open a Shell window (repeat steps 3 through 5).
figure 2c - your updated partition list

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14. Check on your newly created partition by typing
the command “fdisk -l” at the command line.
You should see both partitions listed. Note the
device name (/dev/hda2 or /dev/sda2) for your
linux partiton (see figure 2d).

15. Format your new linux partition with the EXT3


filesystem using the following command. Be sure
to specify the disk name (sda2 or hda2) which is
correct for your system.

IF YOU USE THE WRONG DISK NAME


HERE, IT WILL FORMAT YOUR WINDOWS
PARTITION AND YOU LOSE IT ALL.
figure 2d - note the name of your linux partition

Use this command: mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda2

16. Mount your new partition. Once again, substitute


your partition name for /dev/hda2 (see figure 2e)

Use the command: mount /dev/hda2 /mnt/hda2

figure 2e - mount your newly-formatted partition

17. Start the BackTrack installer. Open the Backtrack Menu (in
the lower left of the screen -- the same place you would find
the windows Start button) and select “BackTrack Installer”

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from the System Menu (see figure 2f).

18. In the “Install Backtrack To” window, select your newly


formatted partition (/mnt/hda2 or /mnt/sda2)

19. Select the “Real” installation method.

20. Click “Install” to begin the installation process. This can take
anywhere between five and sixty minutes, depending upon
the speed of your computer.

21. When the installation is complete, reboot your computer figure 2f - BackTrack installer
by clicking on the KDE Start menu -> Log Out -> End current
session.

22. Type “reboot” at the prompt.

23. The cdrom will be ejected automatically and your system will now boot into BackTrack from the
hard drive installation.

24. Allow your system to reboot, and once again log in as root using the default password of “toor”.
Start the GUI by typing “startx” at the command prompt.

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Part III: Customize your installation.

Now that Backtrack is installed, it’s time for a few


critical customizations.

1. Change the password to your root account by


issuing the command “passwd” at the shell
prompt (see figure 3a). Be sure to pick a strong
password!

2. If you haven’t already done so, type “startx”


to start up the GUI.

figure 3a - change the root password!

3. Now we need to configure a boot menu so that


you can boot into either BackTrack or Windows.
From the command prompt in a terminal
window, enter “kwrite /etc/lilo.conf”
(see figure 3b)

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4. Add the following lines to the bottom of the file
figure 3b - kwrite to edit the boot menu

(see figure 3c):

other=/dev/hda1

(substituting, of course, the proper label for your


hardware -- usually “/dev/hda1” or “/dev/sda1”)

label=Windows

figure 3b - making edits to lilo.conf

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5. You may also wish to adjust the timeout and
your default operating system. In the following
example (see figure 3c), we’ve changed the
timeout to ten seconds, set the default operating
system to Windows, and changed the menu text
to read “Backtrack 2” instead of “bt”:

6. Save the file to commit your changes to disk,


then close KWrite.

figure 3c - more edits to lilo.conf

7. You must now rewrite your boot sector with the


new information. To do this, issue the command
“lilo -v” (see figure 3d)

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8. You can double-check your installation by simply
running “lilo”. You should see one line of
figure 3d - lilo -v command to rewrite boot sector

output for each operating system installed, as


shown in figure 3e.

figure 3e - lilo command to preview boot configuration

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9. Typing “startx” every time you boot gets old
rather quickly, so let’s configure BackTrack
do it automatically. To boot directly into
the graphical user environment, type
“kwrite /etc/inittab” and change
the default runlevel to 4.

10. Save the changes and next time you boot,


the GUI will start immediately.

figure 3f - edit inittab to start KDE upon boot

Well, there ya go. You now have a fully-functional dual-booting BackTrack machine.
If you use BackTrack a lot, don’t forget to make a donation to the
remote-exploit.org team! Great stuff like this doesn’t write itself.

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Look for more great tutorials involving BackTrack and system/network security at pskl.us

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