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i want to install Vista on C:\ and Linux and/or Unix on D:\. At powerup, how can I select which operating system will be used to boot? Is a viable ...
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  1. #1
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    one OS on each internal HDD


    i want to install Vista on C:\ and Linux and/or Unix on D:\. At powerup, how can I select which operating system will be used to boot? Is a viable option to use an external CD/DVD reader? Can I use the floppy A:\ drive? Would a better strategy be to use a software solution, such as Virtual Machine?

  2. #2
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    Most Linux distributions use the Grub bootloader and most will also create a menu for you to select which OS to boot. You haven't given any indication which distribution of Linux you plan to try so it's not possible to tell.

    You can use a boot CD/floppy also.

    You can use the vista bootloader to boot both by using a program called EasyBCD but the Grub solution is a lot simpler.

    I would also suggest that you familiarize yourself with Linux/Grub naming conventions for partitions. Windows users often confuse drives with partitions using the windows letter naming system (C:\, D:\).

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    i should have prefaced the original post by saying that i'm a totally befuddled newbie (I'm sure you hear that often enough), so i may talk nonsense; your patience is appreciated.

    it appears that i am favoring the fedora distribution -- unless you want to recommend something; i understand that Ubuntu is not all it's hyped to be and it is nasty unstable, as is Debian.

    I have tried to install Linux 1 year ago (I'm almost certain it was Ubuntu): i followed all instructions and the damn thing tsunamied my machine! Both internal hard drives were hosed clean. i did not have a backup, so i had to reinstall everything. I am still cursing. I want to avoid this again at all costs so i will certainly physically disengage the primary hd (now holding Vista) before I do anything!

    where do i find the "vista bootloader" (sounds like a contradiction in terms) and "EasyBCD"?

    can you delineate how i can use the A:\?

    can you link me to articles, etc re the Linux partition naming conventions ?

  4. #4
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by nweissma View Post
    where do i find the "vista bootloader" (sounds like a contradiction in terms) and "EasyBCD"?

    can you delineate how i can use the A:\?

    can you link me to articles, etc re the Linux partition naming conventions ?
    You should be able to find the Vista bootloader on the Vista installation disk. Microsoft's instructions for fixing Vista bootloader issues can be found here:

    How to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows Vista

    EasyBCD can be found here:

    Download EasyBCD 1.7.2 - NeoSmart Technologies

    The Linux Partitioning HowTo is here:

    Linux Partition HOWTO

    The easiest utility that I've found for working with partitions in Linux, or Windows, is the Parted Magic LiveCD:

    Parted Magic News

    The GUI makes it very easy to use and understand, plus it has lots of other great tools that come in handy from time to time.

    I'd recommend using GRUB as your bootloader, but the Vista bootloader can be used by those willing to spend the time needed to configure it.
    oz

  5. #5
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    If you are planning to install Linux in different machine then I would suggest you to unplug Vista Hard disk during Linux installation. Plug-in Vista disk as Secondary after Linux installation and add its entry in Linux Boot Loader ( GRUB ). Its really easy to do that. Just post back here after Linux installation and we will post the instructions.

    If you are planing to install Linux in Vista Harddisk only then create two partitions for Linux ( SWAP and root ) and install Linux. I won't suggest you to do anything in Boot Loader section. Let Linux installer do everything there. Linux installer will detect Vista and setup dual boot itself.

    i understand that Ubuntu is not all it's hyped to be and it is nasty unstable, as is Debian.
    Debian (stable) is one of the most stable distro I have ever used. Ubuntu is much more stable than Fedora. Its my personal experience only. Fedora is just a test rat of RedHat Labs.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozar View Post
    EasyBCD can be found here:

    Download EasyBCD 1.7.2 - NeoSmart Technologies
    I'd recommend using GRUB as your bootloader, but the Vista bootloader can be used by those willing to spend the time needed to configure it.
    Ozar, I m waiting for 2 hdd's before i can implement your strategy. In the meantime, i came across this, an alternative to BCD, and it is also produced by NeoSmart
    Download iReboot 1.1.1 - NeoSmart Technologies.

    i solicit your thoughts on iReboot 1.1.1

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    apologies if this post belongs elsewhere -- please move it as necessary.

    Finally received the 2 hdd's needed to implement this scheme.. but i can't get them recognized:

    Inserted the 2 hdd's into a JBOD. While "Safely Remove Device" feature recognizes it, Windows Explorer does not.


    I trekked in the BIOS but i could not discern a relevant entry.

    How do i get this recognized? I did not have this problem with an internal, nor with an internal in an enclosure.

    {Vista32 Home Premium; Wintel 64.}

  8. #8
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    c:\ ,1TB, primary hdd, holds vista 32. a previous bad episode with ubuntu installation on internal, vacant D:\, tsunamied my computer, so I will be sure to physically disengage C: before I attempt any type of os installation.

    This time, there is no internal D: but rather an external dual bay JBOD, now populated with two identical hdd's. My aim is to install several *Nix'es -- Mandriva, Fedora, FreeBSD -- onto the 2 JBOD hdd's, so that I can choose which os to boot will boot at power up, and be able to change the os without the need to power down.

    It appears to me that I have several options: I can use a virtual machine; I can use the likes of Acronis Disk Director Suite Backup software for data backup and disaster recovery in Windows and Linux - Acronis and I can use the strategy delineated by Ozar (above, which I don't fully understand so it may be the Linux equivalent of the acronis software). Additional options are gratefully solicited.

    The first issue is deciding whether I should use the JBOD mode (the two hdd's are seen as 2 separate hdd's) or use the BIG mode (both hdd's are seen as a single one with the summed capacity). Next issue is whether to configure in spanned, simple or striped mode. Thus, at the first juncture, I am faced with 6 permutations: JBOD/simple; JBOD/spanning; JBOD/striped; BIG/simple; BIG/spanning; and BIG/striped. (I can't understand the difference between, eg, JBOD/spanning and BIG/simple! I feel like a sophomore in my first second organic chemistry class: no clue!)

    Another issue is whether I should abandon the JBOD hardware in favor of adding D: internal and then partitioning C: and D:

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