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I had an idea and wanted to put it out there. If it is no good, please recommend an alternative. I was wondering if even a third drive could be ...
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  1. #1
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    two drives: good idea?


    I had an idea and wanted to put it out there. If it is no good, please recommend an alternative.

    I was wondering if even a third drive could be included into the mix. Ideally, I'd like to split them into separate computers but I'm investing in storage drives right now.

    Let me explain. I currently have a dual boot or multiboot system using a 320 GB OS drive. It is an adequate method, I installed XP and several distros. But, I have to clean things up. I might have to re-install Windows as I am nearly out of partition space. My Linux partitions are running out of space, too. Not sure if I have to re-install but probably. I don't know how much space will be freed by copying/moving data files to a storage drive.

    This is a project in itself but here's my idea: I was thinking of using two hard drives, one for Windows and one for Linux. Is this not recommended? Is it a pain and complicated to set up? Grub Legacy can do it but what about Grub 2? I think Grub Legacy required you to manually edit your menu.list with the 'mapping' command? I don't know how Grub 2 handles two booting drives. I don't want to switch the booting in the BIOS if I can help it.

    Okay, the reason for this idea is because I was looking at SSD drives and I think the 30 and 60/64GB drives are too small to dual boot.

    Am I better off to continue a dual boot method on on drive or are there distinct advantages to using one drive for Windows and one for Linux?

    If I dual boot, is 80GB good for Windows? Then the rest of the 320GB drive split like this: Ubuntu 10.04 - 50GB, Debian Testing or sidux; 50GB, Fedora 12 - 40GB, OpenSUSE 11.2 - 40 GB (rest of space for swap etc.)

    Which method is better?

  2. #2
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by penguin2 View Post
    This is a project in itself but here's my idea: I was thinking of using two hard drives, one for Windows and one for Linux. Is this not recommended? Is it a pain and complicated to set up? Grub Legacy can do it but what about Grub 2?
    Yes, you can use multiple drives and put a different OS on each drive. The pain level of doing it would depend on your technical skills, but it's really just a matter of properly editing the boot loader... and yes, both versions of GRUB can handle the task.
    oz

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozar View Post
    Yes, you can use multiple drives and put a different OS on each drive. The pain level of doing it would depend on your technical skills, but it's really just a matter of properly editing the boot loader... and yes, both versions of GRUB can handle the task.
    All my booting and GRUB experience is one drive. So, you won't mind my posts illustrating my confusion with this configuration?!?

    I am pretty clueless when it comes to using two drives that boot. If I just switch via the BIOS, that is easy but time consuming and hopefully not necessary.

    I know that GRUB has 'Windows fooled' into thinking it's the primary (and only?) drive when that drive boots so it's just a matter of choosing which drive you want to boot up. I suspect you might want the 'Linux drive' to decide so if you choose Windows, it just passes over to the 'Windows drive' and it boots naturally. A bit like chainloading but Windows is tricked still?

    Anyway, 'good to know this is doable.

    I am not sure if this is better than a dual boot one one drive, though.

    Could the Linux drive 'read' the Windows drive (w/ ntfs-3g installed)?

    I also thought that the Linux 'drive' could be set up with Virtualbox so if I needed to temporarily do something with Windows, I could use it instead of booting up the 'Windows drive.'

    Comments?

  4. #4
    oz
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    Yes, with ntfs-3g installed you can read/write to NTFS drives.

    A couple of the best tutorials that I've found for GRUB Legacy and GRUB2 can be found here:

    GRUB bootloader - Full tutorial

    GRUB 2 bootloader - Full tutorial
    oz

  5. #5
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    I've been dual booting with two drives for years. One good reason for that is if you should lose one of your OS's, at least you can still keep on working with the other running OS. Many times if you have two OS's on the same drive, and the drive suddely goes terribly bad, then you may lose both OS's, and all the work you did and stored on that drive.

    I've done dual booting with desktop machines, and currently, with latptop computers. The second hard drive is an external USB connected device. I've also done dual booting using a USB flash drive. If you do use a Flash Drive, make sure that it's large enough so that you can use it like a normal installation on a regular hard drive. The one that I currently use is a 32GB PNY Flash Drive.

    Cheers!

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    i always have two drives in my pc's (with backups on each) so that if one hard disk dies, i can immediately start using the other without having to stop working until i've bought and installed another drive. apart from this physical advantage (and the possibilties for raid etc.) there is really no practical difference between multibooting among different partitions on one drive and on two (or more) drives: it's only a matter of configuring the boot manager for one or the other scenario.

    yes, windows is careful not to let itself down in terms of its reputation as a crap os, when it comes to multibooting: as you say it tries to prevent you from installing it as one among many alternatives. this means you do need to fool it (to make it think it's on the primary drive, no matter where it actually is), but typically this only requires a small edit to your boot manager's config file: have a look at the various online guides for multibooting linux and xp for examples of how to do this.

    basically, you can install xp on either drive and boot into it or gnu/linux or whatever else you have in your boot menu. as for using one entire drive for windows and one for linux, yes, you can do that if you want: i don't think it's "better than a dual boot one drive, though". it all depends on the size and speed of your drives and what makes the most sense for your particular needs.

    yes, linux can read and write ntfs and fat32, and there are even some tools allowing access to ext2/ext3 partitions from windows, so you can share data either way, if you need to. and yes, virtualbox runs windows quite nicely from inside linux...however, you won't be accessing the hardware directly via windows drivers, so don't expect to do your 3d gaming in a virtual windows environment on linux: for that you will need to dual boot. this being the case, while you CAN use the same installation for virtualbox and for dual-booting (so that your virtual system is also your real system...it requires some careful setup but is possible) i don't really see the point. if you don't need real hardware access (e.g. for windows games) then why dual boot? the only reason i can think of is if your gnu/linux distro boots painfully slowly and you use windows often enough that the extra time to launch windows via virtualbox would be a significant nuisance. anyway, basically everything you've asked about is possible so you can do whatever you want: it's just a matter of deciding what will work best for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penguin2 View Post
    I had an idea and wanted to put it out there. If it is no good, please recommend an alternative.

    I was wondering if even a third drive could be included into the mix. Ideally, I'd like to split them into separate computers but I'm investing in storage drives right now.

    Let me explain. I currently have a dual boot or multiboot system using a 320 GB OS drive. It is an adequate method, I installed XP and several distros. But, I have to clean things up. I might have to re-install Windows as I am nearly out of partition space. My Linux partitions are running out of space, too. Not sure if I have to re-install but probably. I don't know how much space will be freed by copying/moving data files to a storage drive.

    This is a project in itself but here's my idea: I was thinking of using two hard drives, one for Windows and one for Linux. Is this not recommended? Is it a pain and complicated to set up? Grub Legacy can do it but what about Grub 2? I think Grub Legacy required you to manually edit your menu.list with the 'mapping' command? I don't know how Grub 2 handles two booting drives. I don't want to switch the booting in the BIOS if I can help it.

    Okay, the reason for this idea is because I was looking at SSD drives and I think the 30 and 60/64GB drives are too small to dual boot.

    Am I better off to continue a dual boot method on on drive or are there distinct advantages to using one drive for Windows and one for Linux?

    If I dual boot, is 80GB good for Windows? Then the rest of the 320GB drive split like this: Ubuntu 10.04 - 50GB, Debian Testing or sidux; 50GB, Fedora 12 - 40GB, OpenSUSE 11.2 - 40 GB (rest of space for swap etc.)

    Which method is better?
    I also suffered from the problems of dual booting until I was advised by a computer engineer about 8yrs ago to install removable hard-drives, which I did. I've had 2 replacement desktops since then (the latest about a year ago) and had a direct link internal rack fitted to each. On each computer I bought 3 of these each of which comprise of 2 pieces i.e. (A) the actual internal rack that is fitted into one of the optical drive slots and has a hinged flap and (B) the slide-in mobile component, fitted with a handle, inside which you install your hard-drive. Each complete pair costs only Au$30 or $40, depending on the brand. Of course you only need the one fitted rack segment so, if like me you want 3 different hard-drives, you'll have a couple of spare pieces left over. I've currently settled on Ubuntu as my regular OS so the hard-drive housing this is the one continuously housed but I retain WinXP Pro on one of the other hard-drives for very occasional needs and keep the third for "playing about" with e.g. sampling other Linux distro's or BSD. When Ubuntu 10.4 is finally released in April I'll install it onto this third HDD to make sure that all my hardware,etc. works on it before removing Ubuntu 9.10. I hope my methods will give you some food for thought.

  8. #8
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    question is why ?

    I run Ubuntu on a SATA drive and windows on a EIDE drive and use the CMOS to PICK THE HARD DRIVE. . I just have to remember which way it going to boot after being gone for a day maybe a tag one says Win and one says Ubuntu hanging on the monitor ! ! Why go through the stuff of dual booting if a problem develops in the MBR your up a creek and NO PADDLE

  9. #9
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    Smile Alternative Front Loaded HDU Case

    Quote Originally Posted by badale View Post
    I also suffered from the problems of dual booting until I was advised by a computer engineer about 8yrs ago to install removable hard-drives, which I did. I've had 2 replacement desktops since then (the latest about a year ago) and had a direct link internal rack fitted to each. On each computer I bought 3 of these each of which comprise of 2 pieces i.e. (A) the actual internal rack that is fitted into one of the optical drive slots and has a hinged flap and (B) the slide-in mobile component, fitted with a handle, inside which you install your hard-drive. Each complete pair costs only Au$30 or $40, depending on the brand. Of course you only need the one fitted rack segment so, if like me you want 3 different hard-drives, you'll have a couple of spare pieces left over. I've currently settled on Ubuntu as my regular OS so the hard-drive housing this is the one continuously housed but I retain WinXP Pro on one of the other hard-drives for very occasional needs and keep the third for "playing about" with e.g. sampling other Linux distro's or BSD. When Ubuntu 10.4 is finally released in April I'll install it onto this third HDD to make sure that all my hardware,etc. works on it before removing Ubuntu 9.10. I hope my methods will give you some food for thought.
    I also use front loading HDUs for multiple "fast changing" (although they are not hot swap it is still a great advantage if you like to change OS often).

    I found the Zalman GS1000 case and just love it since I can power and select between six drives.

    Email me at crystalmountain2001@yahoo.com for URL links to this info. I can't post them here since I have not done 15 or more posts yet.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  10. #10
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    Actually I had 4 drives at one time

    At one time while changing the desk top over to Linux I had 4 hard drives plugged in and running . . 2 each EIDE abnd 2 each SATA drives as IDE NOT listed as RAID So I could copy files from the windows crap to LINUX folders .. Now I am down to just 3 drives plugged in 1 EIDE and 2 SATA ( EIDE drives with SATA drive adapters added onto them ) . . I drive is Windblows crap ( just games now ) and the other is a SATA connected and runs Linux ( Ubuntu ) with Virtual Box added in so I can run Bleeping windblows programs inside of Linux ( companies who will NOT make a Linux version of their stuff ) Like ADS Tech moves video to the computer via the VCR and Pinnacle Studios for editing the movies to add to Youtube dot com /jackie40d. . The third drive connected to SATA ( using the SATA adapter ) is seen by both O/S and is used for saving extra junk there . . plus I have a USB 160 gig Back Up drive attached and both O/S's see it . . what I wonder is why the GIANT drives of 0ver 250 gig's space I have had windows loaded with tons of programs on a 80 gig drive AND never got beyond 50% filled . . I now have Linux on a 120 gig HD and Virtual box has 40 gig of that for windows an I still do not have over 50 % of it filled and Pinnacle studio has about 4.5 gig of the Virtual box hard drive . . So what do you add to the giant drives ? . . I add the movies to the same directory out on the second SATA drive ( tobemovies directory from inside virtual Box with windows XP Pro added ) Oh yeah I have a Person who destroys Windows almost every day which I made his computer LINUX ( Ubuntu ) and I do not see him very much any more I ALMOST MISS HIM ! LMAO . .

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