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Old 02-16-2009, 12:07 AM   #1
wlaxdad
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Question Disk Config for Dual Boot?


I am building a new PC from scratch and want to dual boot XP and Ubuntu. I have two 1TB drives. I was planning to run RAID 1, whereby one drive would mirror the other drive, and install XP, Ubuntu, and all data on the single drive. Now I’m thinking maybe I should reserve the 1TB drive for data and install two smaller drives, one to hold XP and one to hold Ubuntu and their respective programs. In this latter config, the OS and programs would not be mirrored. I’m new to dual booting and linux. I was hoping someone could give me some advice on the best way to configure everything.

Thanks in advance.
 
Old 02-16-2009, 02:16 AM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Ubuntu won't boot from inside a RAID volume anyway - and onboard RAID is often Windows Only.
Full HW RAID should be fine. Note RAID1 is not a backup strategy.

So - your decision to move away from RAID is probably a good idea.

Free software advocates will tell you you do not want or need XP.
If you do not install XP, then you can use linux software raid on your two big drives How abouts putting XP on a small drive while you get used to not using it?

However - your options are wide open ... linux does not insist on having a drive to itself. Windows does not play well with the other kiddies... and it doesn't like linux file systems.

Putting Windows and XP on different drives is a good idea - as you are new to all this, keep it simple. I'd run with just the small drives until I got used to it, then make a final decision about what configuration I want. (Whatever you pick first is seldom what you end up wanting.)

Install XP first (if you must) then install Ubuntu. Put XP on the first drive. Ubuntu will detect it and provide options - accept the defaults.

Couldn't be simpler.
 
Old 02-22-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
archtoad6
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This a duplicate of this closed thread:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...l-boot-704932/
There is one answer there.
 
Old 02-22-2009, 07:13 PM   #4
onebuck
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Hi,

You could run 'XP' in a VM. I suggest 'VirtualBox'. That way you can have both worlds.

This link and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just Slackware® links!
 
Old 02-22-2009, 08:02 PM   #5
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
Ubuntu won't boot from inside a RAID volume anyway - and onboard RAID is often Windows Only.
There are actually a number of webpages out there showing how to boot Ubuntu from fakeraid (aka motherboard RAID). It turns out that RAID1 is a special case that is very easy to do. One of my fakeraid disk controllers will not allow you to setup a non-RAID device, even with a single disk installed.

That being said, I'm not a big fan of motherboard RAID, except as a fun thing for someone who enjoys messing with it. If anything goes wrong you have to fix it from the BIOS, and if the BIOS can't fix it, you're out of luck. I will note, though, that RAID1 doesn't have the inherent hazards that RAID0 (which I used to use) has, so it is a bit more doable as a boot device.
 
Old 02-22-2009, 08:31 PM   #6
Simon Bridge
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@wlaxdad: How did you get on?

Quakeboy02: you mean like this? Good point - the problem has always been that you need the raid divers to get at the raid volume, but the kernel is in the volume ... so you have to unlock the box with a key that is inside said box.

This method seems to leverage the fact that BIOS knows about the fake RAID, and gives the initial "keys" to grub - though this bit is unclear in the link. (There is a bit that says "now install grub according to above instructions" but the "above instructions" say "do not install grub"!) Mirrored RAID1 is still hard, other RAID levels unsupported or dodgy, and there are the usual problems with variations in HW.

It's still A Neat Trick.
 
Old 02-22-2009, 08:49 PM   #7
Quakeboy02
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Yes, the BIOS knows about the array, so grub will know about it. The "trick" with a RAID1 is that drive 1 of the array is really "in the clear". IOW, you don't need either mdadm or dmraid to access the data on drive 1 in a RAID1 array, although updates clearly won't be propagated to the mirror. So, just point grub at /boot in drive 1 and it can boot; given that the early stages of booting do not update the disk.

The next part of the proper solution is to install the dmraid package and use an initrd. If you do that (as in your link), then the boot into any RAID level that your BIOS supports is essentially seamless once you have it working.
 
  


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