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Old 06-11-2011, 05:43 PM   #1
Michael639
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Linux and USB External Hard Drives and MORE hopefully...


It is recommended I post my first post to get full access to the site so here goes!

I'm Mike, a complete newbie to linux.

This is my question.. Which I have researched and found ways to do it, but nothing specific to my needs here (if even possible).

I just bought a 750 gig external USB Hard Drive today. I bought it because my (Windows Vista PC) is completely full. So I was about to format it and stick a bunch of files on there to free of some hard drive space when I though. Wait a minute... Could I use this for linux? Something I've been wanting to try, I have a USB thumb drive with a copy of unbutu on it and I like it.. But its not fully functional.

Can I... somehow... partition the hard drive 4 separate ways and run 3 separate versions of linux (to find which I like the best), and still be able to back up my windows files on the 4th partition?

I would like the hard drive to BOOT on start up and give me a selection of which linux to run or to back up windows files. I would also like to dedicate a certain amount of hard drive space to each version of linux or can they all go to one central source?

If anyone can point me in the right direction (links, etc.) that would be great. If someone can tell me EXACTLY what to do to accomplish this, that would be much appreciated!

Anyhow, nice to be on the boards, hello, and thanks everyone...

Mike
 
Old 06-11-2011, 06:18 PM   #2
yancek
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There should be no problem in doing what you want. Each Linux distribution should be on a separate partition. You can use one partition for swap space for all three (or more) Linux distributions. You can also create a separate partition for windows data. If you have nothing on the drive, you could just boot the installation CD and create partitions for the installation.

You are only allowed four primary partitions so you would need to use one of them to create an Extended partition on which you could put numerous logical partitions. Some Linux distributions use Grub Legacy and some use Grub2 so it would probably be a good idea to post which distributions you are interested in installing so you could get some advice on bootloader installation.
 
Old 06-11-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
jefro
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Hi Mike.

I tend to suggest that newer users with OK systems try using a virtual machine. There are few great working free ones that let you get the best of both worlds. No need to dual boot just run what you want at the same time. In most newer systems they run near or above native speeds.

I use them at home for a few reason. I like to keep multiple OS's and test OS's up and need to back up or replace a lot. It is just too simple with vm's. I just copy a folder and double click.

At some point you may feel a need or still wish to dual boot. I'd say that most installers now are pretty good at installs. Yet, you have to read and understand some of the questions asked.

By the way, see pendrivelinux.com for usb tips. 3 ways exist to install to a usb. One is just like a live cd. No saving data. Next is a persistent file to keep some of the changes between boots. Last is a native install. Many live cd's even have a simple app to make it for you by one way or the other.
 
Old 06-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
Michael639
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Jefro

Pendrivelinux.com is a great site, this is where I learned how to install the live cd to the flash drive and it worked great, they also show how to use a USB external hard drive as well. However it's just 1 copy and not specific to what I would like to do. Thanks for the VM pointer I am in the process of downloading the Ubuntu installer for windows and will try it out.

yancek

There is nothing on the drive as of right now except the pre loaded backup software that comes with it, which I don't need since I will just copy and paste the files I want backed up to the hard drive. The three versions I would like to try now are:

Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE
 
Old 06-12-2011, 04:02 PM   #5
jefro
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Wubi is not a virtual machine. I know many people like it but it does fail. Consider a virtual machine.
 
  


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