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Old 07-31-2008, 03:54 PM   #1
getmoreatp
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Question Installing Linux on a Serperate Hard Drive from Windows XP


Hi everyone! Total Linux newbie here, heard lotsa good things about Ubuntu and would like to learn it. (Along with the fact that most of the software I run under Windows is free anyway: Firefox, Audacity, OpenOffice, etc.)

So pretty much this is my situation:

I have 2 identical hard drives: Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200 RPM using SATA 3.0 Gbps interface if I remember correctly. The first I have configured as 2 separate (do you call them logical?) drives rcognized under Windows: C drive (97 GB) and D drive (111 GB). The other drive originally had SUSE installed on it, but with both physical drives connected my computer just boots SUSE all the time. So, I have the cable disconnected while just using my first drive.

What I would like to do is to have Windows on my first drive like it is now, and install Ubuntu on the second drive over SUSE. (I have no other data on the drive.) I'd like to dual boot between the two at startup, with Windows XP as the default option. It'd be nice if the two OS's could read each other's files.

I've looked for instructions to my solution before and they either did not apply (as in dual booting from the same drive) or were just too technical to understand (as I mentioned I have absolutely no experience with Linux). Please help! Either giving instructions here or providing a link would be much appreciated

By the way, which GUI (KDU or Gnome) should I use? Internet info is very confusing...
And, is the new version of Ubuntu stable enough for use now? Just wondering.
And, any other tips for newbies learning Linux would be extremely helpful. =)

Thanks so much in advance for your help!!
 
Old 07-31-2008, 04:22 PM   #2
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getmoreatp View Post

The first I have configured as 2 separate (do you call them logical?) drives rcognized under Windows: C drive (97 GB) and D drive (111 GB). The other drive originally had SUSE installed on it, but with both physical drives connected my computer just boots SUSE all the time. So, I have the cable disconnected while just using my first drive.
The disk areas are called partitions. When you do the Ubuntu install you should have all of your equipment plugged in and powered up so the installer can identify all of your hardware.


Quote:
Originally Posted by getmoreatp View Post

What I would like to do is to have Windows on my first drive like it is now, and install Ubuntu on the second drive over SUSE. (I have no other data on the drive.) I'd like to dual boot between the two at startup, with Windows XP as the default option. It'd be nice if the two OS's could read each other's files.
Boot the install CD and tell the installer to install on the partition where SuSE now resides. Let Ubuntu install the grub bootloader on the first drive and tell it to make XP the default. If it doesn't then after the install you can edit /boot/grub/menu.lst to change the default from Ubuntu to XP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by getmoreatp View Post

By the way, which GUI (KDU or Gnome) should I use?
That is a matter of personal choice. I prefer KDE. Gnome would be easier to install since Ubuntu installs Gnome by default.

Quote:
Originally Posted by getmoreatp View Post

And, is the new version of Ubuntu stable enough for use now?
Yes, it always has been.

------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 07-31-2008, 04:30 PM   #3
billymayday
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I have my bios set to boot off the second drive whuch has my linux distros on it, with windos on the first drive. I installed grub on the second drive, but you will need to modify the windows entry to convince windows that it's actually on th primary drive. Here are the relevant sections from my grub.conf (also know as menu.lst on some sysytems, so they are the same thing)

Code:
default 0
timeout 8
gfxmenu (hd0,5)/boot/message

title Windows
    rootnoverify (hd1,0)
    map (hd1) (hd0)
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    makeactive
    chainloader (hd1,0)+1

title Ubuntu
    kernel (hd0,7)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sdb8 ro quiet splash
    initrd (hd0,7)/boot/initrd
    quiet

Since Ubuntu will automatically create a grub.conf with a windows section (but it won't work as is), all you should need to do is change the windows part as shown above, and set your bios to change the boot order to drive 2 then drive1
 
Old 07-31-2008, 05:45 PM   #4
getmoreatp
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Great! Thanks for the replies.
So to make sure I understood everything correctly:

I plug in both drives and let the BIOS boot me into SUSE.
I put in the CD and install Ubuntu over it.
Let the installer put GRUB on the first drive (the one with Windows on it right now).
Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst or /boot/grub/grub.conf to the code above (is that the entire file?.
Change the boot to drive one.

Do I have everything correct? I've heard an install with a mistake is very difficult to fix.

Also, if Ubuntu comes with Gnome, then it's probably more user-friendly for the Windows user?

And regarding drive 1 in two separate partitions, I asked around and found that most computer pros recommend it as such. Is that generally recommended with Linux too? (I found it hard to keep track of my files when spread over two separate partitions.

Thanks again!
 
Old 07-31-2008, 05:46 PM   #5
getmoreatp
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Great! Thanks for the replies.
So to make sure I understood everything correctly:

I plug in both drives and let the BIOS boot me into SUSE.
I put in the CD and install Ubuntu over it.
Let the installer put GRUB on the first drive (the one with Windows on it right now).
Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst or /boot/grub/grub.conf to the code above (is that the entire file?.
Change the boot to drive one.

Do I have everything correct? I've heard an install with a mistake is very difficult to fix.

Also, if Ubuntu comes with Gnome, then it's probably more user-friendly for the Windows user?

And regarding drive 1 in two separate partitions, I asked around and found that most computer pros recommend it as such. Is that generally recommended with Linux too? (I found it hard to keep track of my files when spread over two separate partitions.

And, when I install Ubuntu, should I unplug my printers and other assorted hardware to avoid problems? Or will they install automatically?

Thanks again!
 
Old 07-31-2008, 05:55 PM   #6
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getmoreatp View Post

So to make sure I understood everything correctly:

I plug in both drives and let the BIOS boot me into SUSE.
No, you boot into your Ubuntu install CD.



Quote:
Originally Posted by getmoreatp View Post


And, when I install Ubuntu, should I unplug my printers and other assorted hardware to avoid problems? Or will they install automatically?
You should leave them plugged in and powered on.

--------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 07-31-2008, 06:00 PM   #7
billymayday
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I wouldn't change the Windows setup. I have two partitions on my windows disc, and try and keep all my data (files) on the second one for when I need to reinstall the system which is on the first partition. The painful part is windows doesn't (at least not obviously) allow you to put al lthe user space (the My Documents, etc) on different partition from it's install.

Don't know if Ubuntu will find your printers by default, but I'd leave them on and see. It won't hurt. If they aren't detected, we can get them set up. First thing to do will be to go to www.openprining.org and see how well they work with linux
 
Old 07-31-2008, 06:04 PM   #8
yancek
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You don't boot into Suse, what jailbait suggests is that you install Ubuntu to that same partition. You will need to be familiar with Linux and Grub naming conventions which are not the same as windows. The first drive will be 'sda' or 'hda', the first partition on the first drive will be 'sda1' or 'hda'. Grub starts counting at zero so sda= (hd0), sda1= (hd0,0) in Grub. I would suggest going into Suse before you start this process and running the command 'fdisk -l' as root (that's a Lower case letter L) so you know your partition structure as Linux sees it.

250GB is a pretty big partition and you may want to make it smaller in case you decide to install something else later but, that's your choice.

The reason your computer only boots Suse with both drives connected is that you installed Grub to the mbr of that drive and have no entry for windows in your /boot/grub/menu.lst file.

So set your BIOS to boot first from CD, have the CD in the drive and boot. The Ubuntu CD will load and you will be given options as to the installation. Once the installation completes and re-boots to Ubuntu you can edit your menu.lst file as billymayday indicates. This is assuming you have the hardrive Ubuntu is on as first boot devices.

Any questions or problems, post again.
 
Old 07-31-2008, 06:06 PM   #9
yancek
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You don't boot into Suse, what jailbait suggests is that you install Ubuntu to that same partition. You will need to be familiar with Linux and Grub naming conventions which are not the same as windows. The first drive will be 'sda' or 'hda', the first partition on the first drive will be 'sda1' or 'hda1'. Grub starts counting at zero so sda= (hd0), sda1= (hd0,0) in Grub. I would suggest going into Suse before you start this process and running the command 'fdisk -l' as root (that's a Lower case letter L) so you know your partition structure as Linux sees it. You might want to post this and get more specific instructions from someone on the forums.

250GB is a pretty big partition and you may want to make it smaller in case you decide to install something else later but, that's your choice.

The reason your computer only boots Suse with both drives connected is that you installed Grub to the mbr of that drive and have no entry for windows in your /boot/grub/menu.lst file.

So set your BIOS to boot first from CD, have the CD in the drive and boot. The Ubuntu CD will load and you will be given options as to the installation. Once the installation completes and re-boots to Ubuntu you can edit your menu.lst file as billymayday indicates. This is assuming you have the hardrive Ubuntu is on as first boot device in the BIOS.

If this isn't clear or you have other questions or problems, post again.
 
Old 07-31-2008, 06:16 PM   #10
billymayday
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Actually yancek makes a really good point about partition sizes. I make my / partitions (they're the ones that hold the operating system, etc) around 8GB, so of you made yours 10-15 and the rest (or some of the rest) /home, that would work well. You could split it up more too, but that may be a bit advanced for now
 
Old 07-31-2008, 06:16 PM   #11
getmoreatp
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Should I then partition the 2nd hard drive into 2 partitions like my first one? Half and half?

And, will each OS be able to read each others' files?

Thanks!
 
Old 07-31-2008, 06:34 PM   #12
billymayday
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If you only want to run one linux OS, then I'd split the second drive something like 15GB and the rest (so 15/235 or therabouts). You should be able to do this during the install stage. Tell ubuntu to use the smaller partition as / and the larger as /home. Linux uses partition differently from windows. These won't appear as separate drives under linux, but when you navigate anywhere in /home (this is where all your user data is stored - files, pictures, etc), you'll actually be using the second partition.

The advantage of this is if you need to reinstall Ubuntu, or you decide to try another distro, you can just install it on the existing smalle rparition and you won't lose data.

If you think you may want to try other distros in the future, leave yourself 20-30GB unallocated, and you can partition it up later if you'd like to try the new version of Susu or something as well as Ubuntu
 
Old 07-31-2008, 06:46 PM   #13
yancek
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In order to read/write ntfs partitions from Linux you need to have ntfs-3g installed and it should be installed on Ubuntu 8.04. I believe there are programs that allow reading ext2/ext3 partitions on Linux from windows but am not familiar with them. Something to google for.
 
Old 08-01-2008, 03:28 AM   #14
getmoreatp
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If I dual boot between 2 hard drives with the info above, what would be the % chance that I do something wrong?
And how severe would a mistake be? Will it render my computer unbootable or current my Windows installation?
If something does go wrong do I have the option of unplugging the Linux drive and have BIOS auto-boot into Windows?

(Heard some advice about using an old computer first, but I don't really have space under my desk =P)
 
Old 08-01-2008, 03:48 AM   #15
jschiwal
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You might want to google for "nt dual boot grub". There are several articles on how to use the Windows boot loader to chainload linux.

The process involves saving the grub boot loader to the MBR of your second drive instead of the 1st drive. Now on most machines, you have a quick boot select key you can hit to select the boot drive to use. Then you use the "dd" command to cut out the Grub bootstrap loader and save it to a file. Then edit C:\BOOT.INI on the XP machine adding a boot entry for Linux.


1) cut out the Grub mbr:
sudo dd if=/dev/sdb of=linux.mbr bs=1 count=440

2) Mount the windows drive (or copy to a pendrive or floppy) and copy the file
sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt
sudo cp linux.mbr /mnt

3) Edit boot.ini
Add the line at the end of the file.
c:\linux.mbr="Ubuntu Linux"

You will need to change the attributes of C:\BOOT.INI before being able to edit it in notepad (or edit). The file will be system and hidden. Change the attributes back after editing. You might want to do this first. When you boot, you will be presented with a menu of which OS to boot up.
 
  


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