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I have a Dell 1564. I want to install back-box a Debian based flavor of Linux.

I don't really wish to dual boot like switching between operating systems, but I do wish to run either at choice from the hard drive. Can I partition the hard drives in two parts and install Linux on one and windows 7 on the other?

If so will, I get a choice when booting?

marked as duplicate by slm, Anthon, Chris Down, jasonwryan, bahamat Nov 21 '13 at 9:00

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So you want to dual boot on a single hard drive without using a boot manager like grub?
You simply can't.

However, most laptops and computers will run from a USB key, external harddisk (eSATA or USB) or SD Card.

And Linux - depending on your use - will run easily on anything up from 8GB

I've had good experience with a high grade 32 GB and 16 GB SD Cards.
Simply connect the card, stick or drive and you'll be able to boot from the disk selection menu.

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