Ask Klaus!

Tri-Boot Tribulations


I am attempting to tri-boot a 3.6GHz P4 80Gb SATA drive machine with XP, Freespire, and Ubuntu, and it has failed twice, each time leaving my computer in a state in which it won't reboot into XP. After partitioning the drive, I attempted to install Freespire, only to have it spit out the disc at 90 percent completion, saying it couldn't install the X server (Error 209). I searched the Freespire support forum for that error and found it. Freespire seems to be touchy about whether or not the drive is "clean."

Since then, I have downloaded KillDisk, a utility to clean my hard drive. I assume that it is OK to clean the partition after reinstalling XP, repartitioning the drive, and cleaning the new partitions. I suspect that this is not the only reason for this error, but hope it is simply solved by cleaning the drive.

Will this solve the install problem?


I am unsure what "clean" should mean here. Assuming it means "disk with no partitions," you would have to delete all partitions from the partition table – including your Windows partition. But maybe it just means that there should be empty space after the first partition, in which case, you would just resize the Windows partition and leave the space afterward empty (i.e., not create a second data partition). If the installation process breaks after 90 percent completion, it could just be the case that the empty space was too small to hold the installation.


  1. Wipe program:
  2. Knoppix:
  3. Wine: see article on page 46 of this issue.
  4. Linux Magazine May 2008 virtualization issue:

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    Klaus Knopper is the creator of Knoppix and co-founder of the LinuxTag expo. He currently works as a teacher, programmer, and consultant. If you have a configuration problem, or if you just want to learn more about how Linux works, send your questions to: klaus@linux-magazine. com

  • Ask Klaus!

    Klaus Knopper is the creator of Knoppix and co-founder of LinuxTag expo. He works as a teacher, programmer, and consultant. If you have a configuration problem, or if you just want to learn more about how Linux works, send your questions to:

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