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Does anyone out there know where to find a listing of dual-bootable SATA drives? I recently tried to set up a dual boot system on my "better half's" 'puter, but the drive she bought doesn't dual boot. Running the setup program, this was one of the first statements I noticed. And though I tried every trick I could think of, I couldn't get it to dual boot, so I guess that statement in the setup software means what it says. I don't want to buy her a drive to replace that one and then find out that it also won't dual boot. Although I've tried (unsuccessfully), I haven't found anyplace that list such a thing. It's worse than it used to be trying to find Linux drivers for hardware. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
What do you mean the hard drive "doesn't dual boot"? A hard drive is a hard drive pretty much and nothing in the drive's hardware knows or cares how many operating systems you have loaded. Reading over your past post in the Slackware forum, it looks like you have a Western Digital and the software CD says it won't work for dual booting. This probably just means whatever drive backup/recovery/partition editing software they provide is Windows only. It does not mean you can't use the drive in a dual boot system. You should never need to use the manufacturer's hardware CD to get a hard drive working with Linux --- the operating system natively knows how to speak to various types of hard drives (a hard drive is a very standardized piece of hardware with well documented command sets [ATA or SCSI]). If you need a partitioning or cloning tool there's the GParted-Clonezilla LiveCD (I've used GParted and highly recommend it -- never used CloneZilla, though).
I suggest you go out and buy yourself a Western Digital Model WD5000KSRTL, pay close attention when you run the setup program (Caldera DOS like everyone else uses), then come back and tell me what I've done wrong. I never heard of such a thing either, but that IS what the setup told me!!!!!
I'd like to send you a snapshot of the screen with that info on it, but unfortunately, at that stage there just aren't any screen capture programs available. Need to get the drive set up, and the OS and capture software installed first. Then you're no longer running the setup program, so no snapshots of that particular screen!
What do you even need to run the setup program for? I did a quick Google for that drive model and the software I see included with it is "Lifeguard Tools" which is basically just some diagnostic software for drive health monitoring via S.M.A.R.T. As far as I can tell its presence is in no way necessary for the drive to work (as I said above, hard drives are dumb devices, really). The drive itself has no clue how many OSes you install -- all it knows how to do is read or write a particular sector. The only thing I could think of is that the Lifeguard software is carving out some little hidden partition to store health info and for some reason this would mess up a dual boot, but like I say, you can pretty safely ignore the included software.
If you think you'll miss the S.M.A.R.T. health monitoring tools then just install the Linux smartmontools package -- it provides all of the functionality. There's probably a freeware equivalent for Windows.
So basically, it boils down to:
1. Use the CD as a drink coaster.
2. Slap the disk into your machine, install Windows.
3. Use Gparted to shrink the Windows partition if you let Windows take the whole disk (I think you can partition from the Windows install so it doesn't take the whole disk, but I'm not 100%).
4. Install Linux on the free space.
5. Be happy.
I always thought the drive didn't know the difference, and didn't believe what I read in the setup software. That's why I kept trying till I had used up every trick I could think of. Maybe it is something in they way Dell's BIOS is written, but I doubt that. However I did go through all those steps - turn off the RAID, set the detection to Auto, etc., etc., etc. In the end it just doesn't work. I'll try the drive in my "Home made apple pie" and see what happens. Whether it works or not I'll post it here, but that still doesn't help Marilyn's 'puter.
What sort of error do you get in the Dell machine? Is the SATA the only drive in that machine or are you adding it as a second drive. Sometimes there are complications with the BIOS device ordering when you mix IDE and SATA drives, but they're generally solvable.
I thought about what you said about a drive just being a drive, and tonight when I got home from work I tried the software from an old Hitachi drive. It worked like a charm. Must be something in the Western Digital installation software that isn't written into any of the others. The drives on my machine are either Maxtor or Seagate. Mostly I like to use Seagate, and like you said, I've never had this problem before. Live 'n learn, eh?
The end result is that I don't have to test it in my 'puter, but I might anyway just to see if it is only a software difference. that causes the problem.
Oh, bye the way! You asked why I needed to format the drive anyway? Well It has taken me about five years to even get Marilyn to think about Linux, and then it was only because she thought Linspire might be enough like Windoze that she wouldn't have too much problem converting. Linspire, for some reason not known to me, needs a FAT32 drive or partition to install to, even though it reformats the thing to reiserFS. Go figure!