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I have a brand new computer on its way. My first hard disk is an 80GB SATA drive (from Western Digital). I also plan on using as my second hard ...
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  1. #1
    dt2
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    Dual-boot XP on SATA drive, Linux on IDE drive using NTLDR


    I have a brand new computer on its way. My first hard disk is an 80GB SATA drive (from Western Digital). I also plan on using as my second hard disk the 6GB IDE drive that I'm salvaging from my old computer.

    My plan is to install Windows XP Pro on the first (80GB SATA) drive, and Mandrake Linux on the second (6GB IDE) drive. (I made this decision because (a) I've read that it can be difficult to install Linux on a SATA drive, (b) it gives me the opportunity to get XP up and running on the SATA drive before I even plug in the second hard disk, and (c) I've read that installing XP and Linux on separate physical drives leads to fewer headaches than installing them on separate partitions on the same drive.)

    Because I am very familiar with XP and have extremely little experience with Linux, I want to keep XP as happy as possible and offer Linux as few opportunities to "take control" of my system as possible -- this feeling may change in the future, as the main reason I'm installing Linux at all is to improve my understanding of this OS, but in the meantime this is the reason that I would very much like to go with NTLDR as my primary boot manager instead of LILO/GRUB.

    (Whew...if you've managed to read this far, perhaps you'll be kind enough to read the actual question now...) If my C: drive, with Windows XP, is on my primary hard disk, and Linux is on my secondary hard disk, do I need to have Linux's /boot partition on the same physical disk as XP (i.e. does /boot need to be on the 80GB SATA drive even though the rest of Linux will be on the 6GB IDE drive)? My original thought was to but the /boot partition, / partition, and swap partition all on the 6GB drive, and simply reference this drive (as /hdb1, I guess) in my boot.ini. Ideally, I would love to do it this way just for the sake of simplicity.

    However, I started questioning whether this was possible when I read in a HOWTO ("Dual-Boot Linux and Windows 2000/Windows XP with GRUB HOWTO" from Ed's Software Guide on Linux, link below) that "If you have multiple hard drives (disks), /boot must be on the same hard drive (probably the first hard drive) that has the Windows boot loader (NTLDR) on the MBR." Is this true? And if so, will I run into problems since this disk is a SATA drive?

    EDIT: If I put /boot as the first 50MB or 100MB or so on the 80GB SATA drive, will that even work (i.e. will Linux recognize the SATA drive)? Also, I will be downloading the latest version of Mandrake Linux (10, as I understand).

    FYI: The above-referenced HOWTO is available at:

    http://www.geocities.com/epark/linux...w2k-HOWTO.html

    The other guide I've been using (and which is very helpful other than not mentioning the answer to this question) is by S J Parsons (who no longer seems to be at Purdue, sadly):

    http://www.devhood.com/tutorials/tut...utorial_id=313

    If it's relevant, I will be using an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ processor on an MSI "K8T Neo-FIS2R" K8T800 chipset Socket-754 motherboard.

    Many, many thanks!

  2. #2
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    I've having a very hard time believing it would be hard to install Linux on a S-ATA drive, considering the fact that S-ATA chipsets are engineered to look like an ordinary P-ATA interface. That is, even if your Linux kernel doesn't have native S-ATA support, it will still see the S-ATA drives as normal P-ATA drives, having the S-ATA chipset operating in compatibility mode.

    Anyway, technically speaking, you shouldn't have to have /boot on the S-ATA drive, since, AFAIK, NTLDR just takes the boot sector image, loads it into memory and runs it, which is the same thing as the BIOS would do. So in that regard, it should make no difference.

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    dt2
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    Thanks for the quick response.

    So I guess at this point the plan is to install XP on the (whole) 80GB SATA drive first (presumably hda1?). Then I'll install Linux on the 6GB IDE drive (presumably hdb1, or perhaps hda2?). Then I'll take the boot image (with the dd command), copy it to my C:\ drive, and reference it in boot.ini (i.e. as per instructions littered all over the web). All my Linux partitions will be on the IDE drive, and all my Windows partitions will be on the SATA drive. (Actually, one of the partitions will be a FAT32 "shared" partition that both can see, but I think that's irrelevant for the current decision.)

    If I got all that right and this setup is good to go, I'll go ahead and try that. Computer arrives in one week (it's actually already here, but it's a birthday present...), so I'll let you know how it goes from there.

    Thanks again. Confirmation of the above plan-of-action would be appreciated if you have the chance.

    Peace.

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    Well, as always there can be unforeseen factors, but I'd be very surprised if it wouldn't work.

    Just remember to choose during the installation to install the boot loader on the boot partition and not the MBR.

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    dt2
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    Many thanks. Good to go on not installing the boot loader on the MBR since I'm using NTLDR. I'll post an update when I have results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolda2000
    I've having a very hard time believing it would be hard to install Linux on a S-ATA drive, considering the fact that S-ATA chipsets are engineered to look like an ordinary P-ATA interface. That is, even if your Linux kernel doesn't have native S-ATA support, it will still see the S-ATA drives as normal P-ATA drives, having the S-ATA chipset operating in compatibility mode.

    Anyway, technically speaking, you shouldn't have to have /boot on the S-ATA drive, since, AFAIK, NTLDR just takes the boot sector image, loads it into memory and runs it, which is the same thing as the BIOS would do. So in that regard, it should make no difference.
    No they are not i have a set of them and needed a experamental live-cd of gentoo untill i installed the via sata drivers they do not get detected as pata (well they do since there hde/g but the dont work out of the box).

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    Well, I don't know about your experiences, but here's mine:
    1. I'm currently booting and running Gentoo off an S-ATA disk detected as a P-ATA interface. I have explicitly avoided the S-ATA drivers since they are reportedly still alpha-quality.
    2. I have read on the S-ATA specification homepage that one of the design goals with S-ATA was that it would be possible to run it without upgrading operating systems, and in order to do that, they require from S-ATA chipset makers that they supply a compatibility mode that emulates a P-ATA interface.

    That's just what I know.

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    dual booting problem with ntldr

    i need some help; i have one ata drive (windows xp) and one sata drive (debian).. i have ntldr on mbr and grub on sata drive.. i can not dual boot by just copying first 512 bytes of sata drive and referencing it in boot.ini. When I try to choose linux on ntldr screen, I get a frozen "GRUB".

    In linux, hda is the ata drive and hde is the sata drive. In windows, sata drive is recognized as the first hard drive and then the ata drive. I could go to linux through booting directly using sata harddrive and no ata hard drive.

    Can some one please help me with this?

    Thanks

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    Dual Boot

    For what its worth, heres what I do to boot Vista, XP and SUSE 10.1
    I use grub on hda (120G IDE) booting Vista on hda1 and SUSE on hda5. the IDE has 6 partitions 2 for Vista as I upgraded XP and placed the old XP files on another partition, and 4 for SUSE which includes a 2G swap file.
    XP runs on a 200G SATA (sda1) all to itself as I copied the XP from the IDE. I had a spot of trouble at first with GRUB booting the SATA until I loaded the sata drivers which came with the Motherboard driver CD. Now it loads just fine. I have a second SATA fitted (partitioned sdb1, sdb2, sdb3), also 200G which I had intended to install the pair as a RAID, but gave up after 2 days faffing about, as nothing would boot correctly.
    AG

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    Heya. I am also in need of help.

    I already have Linux on this machine and am going to install Windows Vista on a second HD (not in the machine yet). I made the mistake of putting ALL off Linux on one partition.

    So how do i install Vista on a second HD with Linux already all on one partition on the first!?

    Many Thanks,
    Tom

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