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Old 08-25-2006, 11:39 PM   #1
Traviswf
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Can I dual boot if Linux is installed to a 2nd hard drive?


Hi there everyone. I'm very new to Linux and my biggest problem right now is getting it installed on to my desktop. I was able to install Suse on an old Toshiba laptop, but I really want to have an installation on my main computer with current hardware.

What I'm trying to do is install Linux to an IDE drive, whereas my Windows XP system (and MBR)drive is actually two SATA drive in a RAID array.

Every dual boot installation instruction I've found talks about putting Linux on the system drive in a seperate partition. Is it possible for me to maybe boot via a floppy disk or CD? Ideally, I'd like to install a few different distributions of Linux to my IDE drive and then have a bootloader (with Windows as default - or my wife will kill me...) let me choose between them all - even if they're on another drive entirely.

Thanks for any help, and please, forgive my ignorance. I'm apparently lacking the imagination to find the right search terms to find the answers to my questions. I appreciate any help you can give.

Thanks!

-travis
 
Old 08-25-2006, 11:54 PM   #2
weibullguy
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Yes, you can install Linux on a second or third or fourth HDD. When you get to the step of partitioning you drives during the install, just don't use the primary drive. Select to partition /dev/hdb (assuming this is the second drive) and install Linux there. Most Linux distros I've used will detect the presence of other OS, including Windows. If you use the bootloader your distro installs, the installation program should configure the machine to boot Windows. Some of the GUI driven installers, Fedora comes to mind, let you choose your default OS during the install. If yours doesn't, editing the configuration file is easy, but we're happy to help if you can't figure it out.
 
Old 08-25-2006, 11:59 PM   #3
sdexp
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Bootloading options can be tricky. It may be best to install a bootloader as GRUB onto a floppy disk (or CD, for reliability).

If you can install Linux onto that one partition you were talking about and leave all other partitions unformatted/unchanged then this should work well. Make sure to choose to write the bootloader to the floppy/CD and only the floppy/CD though.

You can copy the floppy image to CD if you can't write the CD image directly.

I'm sorry that I can't help much since your problem wasn't too specific to me.
 
Old 08-26-2006, 12:20 AM   #4
syg00
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Mmmm - that sounds like a "mickey-mouse" on-board RAID.
Which means Windows driver even though they might advertise it as "hardware RAID".
Should probably work as you're only updating the MBR, but I refuse to play with that type of RAID, so I can't really help.
In general, using separate disks is not only supported, it's the way I try to build always - much safer than exposing some other system due to a "finger check".
 
Old 08-26-2006, 09:48 PM   #5
Traviswf
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Raid

Quote:
Mmmm - that sounds like a "mickey-mouse" on-board RAID.
Which means Windows driver even though they might advertise it as "hardware RAID".
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "mickey-mouse" RAID. But I'm fairly certain it's hardware RAID. It's an Abit AV8 motherboard.

I'm going to try Suse and see if that works. Is there any reason to run multiple distros other than simple experimentation?

Thanks again for the help!

-travis
 
Old 08-26-2006, 10:05 PM   #6
Emerson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviswf
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "mickey-mouse" RAID. But I'm fairly certain it's hardware RAID. It's an Abit AV8 motherboard.
There is a piece of code in BIOS what tells Windows to load software RAID. Do a Google for "fake RAID" ...
 
Old 08-26-2006, 10:06 PM   #7
HappyTux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviswf
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "mickey-mouse" RAID. But I'm fairly certain it's hardware RAID. It's an Abit AV8 motherboard.

I'm going to try Suse and see if that works. Is there any reason to run multiple distros other than simple experimentation?

Thanks again for the help!

-travis
I have that board and it is the type of raid he is putting down you need to load drivers for it to work in software. When setting up whichever distro you choose make sure that you set the boot priority for the IDE driver to be number one in the BIOS that way when the bootloader gets installed it will be on the IDE drive not one of your SATAs and as to running multiple distros pretty much your idea although it can be helpful when trying to choose which one you finally want to run.
 
Old 08-26-2006, 10:31 PM   #8
syg00
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Sorry, I wasn't trying to put down software RAID per se.
I just object to that being marketed as "hardware RAID" and people being misled.
 
Old 08-27-2006, 12:54 AM   #9
Traviswf
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Quote:
Sorry, I wasn't trying to put down software RAID per se.
I just object to that being marketed as "hardware RAID" and people being misled.
And with good reason, because apparently I was misled... The dastardly fiends!

So I should be able to put the boot loader on my IDE drive, and set that drive as my first boot drive in the bios - but within the boot loader I can set Windows XP as my default OS with the Linux distros accesible but installed on the IDE drive?

And one day, when SUSE is actually finished downloading I'll try this out! For some reason the torrent I'm using is leech infested...
 
Old 08-27-2006, 01:46 AM   #10
HappyTux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviswf
And with good reason, because apparently I was misled... The dastardly fiends!

So I should be able to put the boot loader on my IDE drive, and set that drive as my first boot drive in the bios - but within the boot loader I can set Windows XP as my default OS with the Linux distros accesible but installed on the IDE drive?

And one day, when SUSE is actually finished downloading I'll try this out! For some reason the torrent I'm using is leech infested...
Almost all on-board RAID is just software run there are no real controllers on the board itself. With the IDE drive showing up as the first device that is where the boot loader will be installed and Suse should probably give you the choice where it will be installed or at least it did a while ago when I last used it. For the torrent problem you should check on the Suse site for what is called a ftp/http install disks, you just download and make a couple of boot floppies then boot from them to do the install from the net it will save on the bandwith in the long run and time right now waiting for the download. One more thing sometimes windows will get confused when trying to boot after you have added a drive and changed the boot order for this you modify the grub configuration file and do drive mapping to lie to it telling windows that it is still the first drive(s) in the system. I'm not sure if this applies to the RAID though as I think you get some kind of RAID boot menu that comes up with the AV8 don't you or at least I think thats what it was showing up in my boot sequence until I disabled the RAID ROM in the BIOS as that was the only way to get my single SATA drive to show up in the BIOS to be able to install anything on.
 
  


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