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I'm an absolute beginner at Linux and I have a PC with the following configuration:
- Opteron 250 dual CPU's
- Tyan K8W 2885 MBD
- Two SCSI HDD put in RAID 0 on Adaptec 39320-A-R controller
- One SATA HDD intended to be used for files backup
- 2 GB memory
Realizing the potential for trouble in case the SATA drive is given priority by BIOS detection, I plugged it out then installed Windows 2000 on one partition of the RAID, then added another installation along with it (WinXP). Both OS's are booting like a dream even after I added the SATA drive.
Problems started when I wanted to install RHEL3 as a third OS in the multi-boot:
I started by installing an i386 version of RHEL3 AS but it couldn't find any SCSI RAID. After scurrying on the internet, I found some drivers intended for AMD64 systems and identified one a320 RAID host driver then continued with the installation. I found one partition on a SCSI disk but I had no idea whether it was a single separated SCSI HDD or a partition on the RAID. And if it were the latter, then why wasn't the other partitions identified, was it because they might have been NTFS? The SATA drive was also identified but I tried to avoid it in order to keep it for backup purposes. At any rate, the installation completed but when rebooting I received a GRUB prompt with a blinking cursor. Nothing more.
I realized the Windows installations were totalled as I couldn't reach them so I wiped out the whole system clean and reinstalled the two Windows OS's and started reading some literature.
The few points I could grasp, but wouldn't take for certain since I felt confused, were:
- GRUB can't work on SCSI RAID so the boot record has to be installed on the SATA drive then later I would make a rescue disk just in case and edit the grub.conf file to unite the MBR
- I have another x86_64 edition of RHEL3 so I'm going to stick to it instead of the i386 so to be able to properly use the RAID drivers from Adaptec
The points that puzzle me the most are:
- How can I boot these three OS's without trouble assuming I'm not on a wild goose chase
- What OS to install first and should I keep an empty partition for RHEL3 on the RAID after installing Windows instead of formatting that partition as FAT
- Was it that I messed up the Disk Druid step of RHEL3 installation
I'm very hesitant and underinformed but RHEL3 seems like a nice chance to exploit my new system. Could anyone kindly help me out?