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Yet another newbie who may have bit off more than he can chew.... Ok, here's what I'm planning: I have a 20 gig partition for XP, 10 gig for Server ...
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  1. #1
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    WinXP Pro, Server 2003, Mandrake 10.2 Tri-boot on SATA RAID Array!


    Yet another newbie who may have bit off more than he can chew....

    Ok, here's what I'm planning:

    I have a 20 gig partition for XP, 10 gig for Server 2003 and 10 gig for Mandrake and one massive chunk for storage (All NTFS at this stage). I've got the hard disks on a RAID 0 config through the nForce3 ultra controller in BIOS.

    Will I need a third-party boot loader? In what order should I install? Can I use NTFS? How can I get Mandrake to recognise my RAID 0 array? That's my biggest pickle as Mandrake will recognise the SATA drives, but it won't recognise both as a RAID disk.

    If there are any other probs that I'm likely to run into, please let me know (I know nothing of patching kernels and other linux stuff btw - newbie remember? hehehe). All and any help is greatly appreciated!

    Jeffro

    System Specs:

    AMD Athlon 64 939 3500+
    Gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939 (BIOS version F9)
    Corsair TwinX-XL Pro 3200 1GB
    2 Western Digital 200GB SATA Hard Disks (RAID 0)
    Asus V9999 GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB

  2. #2
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    Hi Jeffro, since you're planning before jumping in, it sounds like you aren't biting off more than you can chew.

    I would install XP first, 2003 Server second, and Mandrake last. Mandrake has two perfectly good bootloaders that can run Windows OSes without problem, called lilo and grub. You are prompted to install one or the other as you install Mandrake. Lilo is the default, but grub is just as good. They are different but have very similar capabilities. I'm not sure it makes a difference which one you pick. And you can change your and install the other one instead later on if you want.

    I strongly recommend that after you've installed Mandrake, you make a boot floppy or CD for whichever Linux boot loader that you chose. Because if your boot loader gets wiped off the MBR, you won't be able to get back into Linux, and you'll be pretty much screwed. Windows OSes can attack and kill Linux boot loaders, so I hope you'll take this recommendation seriously.

    Something that I'd also suggest you do is choose the kernel-source package when you're picking software to install off the Mandrake install CDs. That is necessary for adding some hardware support to the kernel after installation, especially for ethernet cards.

    Also, you should create an additional partition in one of the FAT formats, because Linux can't write reliably to NTFS, and WIndows can't write to Unix and Linux partitions. The FAT partition is a way of transferring data between Windows and Linux file systems.

    I don't know anything about RAID or special SATA issues, but I'm sure someone here will know how to deal with them. BTW, how did you come to have a RAID setup on your PC?

  3. #3
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    Thanks for all your advice Seren. Good to know about having a FAT32 partition; I'll create one. If Windows may kill the boot loader, then I will definitely make a boot-loader backup too!

    Ok, now about choosing the kernel source package when picking software to install - I can't do that, simply because I've never been able to get that far. When it tries to detect hard disks, it can see both SATA drives, but not both combined as a RAID array, so I can't continue.

    My motherboard came with a BIOS RAID controller built in. I just enable it in BIOS and then it has its own setup just after the BIOS screen(pressing F10 if I recall). Handy feature from nVidia.

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