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Old 06-21-2005, 09:16 AM   #1
Fritz_Monroe
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Multi booting


I'm looking to boot Win98 and more than 1 distro of linux and would like opinions on what I'm doing. I will be using Slackware, but the other distro will change often since I want to play around with different distros.

I've got a hard drive that went bad. Since I have used a total of about 10 gig of that 80 gig drive, I decided to put in a couple smaller drives instead of one big one. So I'm putting in 2 8 gig drives.

I think I'll partition drive 1 with 3 gig windows, 4 gig for /home and 1 gig swap. Drive 2 will be 2 partitions, 4 gig each. Does this sound like the best partitioning? Will the /home be accessible from windows and linux? Does linux have to be on the primary drive? Any problems with putting swap on a different physical drive?

Thanks for any suggestions and opinions. If there's a better way to do this, please let me know.

F_M
 
Old 06-21-2005, 09:35 AM   #2
JimBass
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Actual drive failure is not all that common, but the size of the disk probably has nothing to do with its chances for failure. Two 8 gig drives are no more or less likely to fail than two 80 gig drives.

That being said, having swap on a seperate drive from the root partition (/) is actually a good idea. That way if you need to write to swap, it is a different set of heads from the main drive. It should allow faster reading and writing, but I am not sure if that will be noticed on a human timescale. I can't see 5 milliseconds of difference, and I doubt anyone can.

/home will not be visible in window$ under default conditions. You do have a few ways to make it visible however - you can get drivers that allow window$ to see linux partitions, and/or you can also format /home as fat32 instead of ext2/ext3/reiserfs etc. It has been a long while since I've touched Win98, I'm not sure what steps you would have to go through to get a linux controlled fat32 partition seen by windows. Another good way to do that is to create the partition as fat32 in windows, then to get that partition mounted as /home under linux. You'll have permisions isses that way, but it can be done.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 06-21-2005, 10:03 AM   #3
Fritz_Monroe
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll take a look when I'm installing.

I'm not going to 2 smaller drives for the possibility of failure. This is an old system that does not recognize large drives. I have to use the drive software to trick the system into seeing the big drive. So, I'm not able to get it dual booting. So, I decided since the drive died, now's the time to put in 2 drives that the BIOS does see.

My biggest concern about the swap partition is that it's on the first drive and / is on the second drive. Sounds like that's not an issue. I also decided to do /home separately because I do install new distros so often. Hate having to copy over the same source files all the time.

F_M
 
Old 06-21-2005, 10:11 AM   #4
titanium_geek
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install windows first (yes! it WILL kill everything else... I know.) It will want to put at least something (if not all of it) on the first part of the first disk. so, my suggestion would be to put windows on the front of the first drive, then swap then /home. put linux / on the second drive. (leaving space, of course, for a / of some other distro)

good luck- wish me some too- I go through the same process today! (again. sigh)

titanium_geek
 
Old 06-21-2005, 10:18 AM   #5
shishimo
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Hi! having a lot of partitions can keep things separated from each othe, but will also cause problems if you start filling one up, becuase its a pain to resize partitions after there's stuf on it (which you may already know). one setup that i have that keeps my data from dying less is as follows:

first drive: 2 partitions -> windows and linux operating systems
second drive: all the data (i use /data.. but you can put /home in there if youd like, or create a symlink, etc)

I made the windows and linux parts ~30 G each.. so I wouldn't need to worry about running out of space after installing programs and such. this keeps my data safely separated from my OSes
 
Old 06-21-2005, 10:19 AM   #6
JimBass
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Yes, it won't be any problem to put swap on the first, and root on the second. Just be certain that when you install your bootloader (grub or lilo), that you install it to both the /boot directory (on the second drive) and the MBR (master boot record) of the first drive. In general, it is always better to put window$ on the beginning of the first drive, and then create a window$ boot disk. Then install linux on the 2nd and remainder of the first. The window$ boot disk is just in case the lilo/grub installation doesn't pick up window$. You'll have to watch the installation an make sure everything goes where you want it, but once that is set and the bootloader is configured, it should be fine for quite some time.

Peace,
JimBass

Last edited by JimBass; 06-21-2005 at 10:20 AM.
 
Old 06-21-2005, 10:26 AM   #7
Fritz_Monroe
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Good luck and let us know how it goes. I won't be doing mine until I get the drives, delivery date is Friday, so you know what I'm doing this weekend.

After reading thru some of the dual boot threads, I had the idea that Windoze would try to take over the entire drive. So that was my plan. It also makes sense to me to do it that way since I know I can get everything working under M$. Don't want an entirely dead computer on my hands.

My home network server is doing DHCP. Any idea if there would be any issues with the same computer requesting the same IP? I wouldn't think there would be, but you never know.

F_M
 
Old 06-21-2005, 10:30 AM   #8
Fritz_Monroe
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimBass
Just be certain that when you install your bootloader (grub or lilo), that you install it to both the /boot directory (on the second drive) and the MBR (master boot record) of the first drive.
Uh oh, how would I do this? Each installation I've done has installed LILO automatically and given the option of installing it manually. Would I tell it to install in the MBR, then after rebooting install it to the /boot of the second drive?

F_M
 
Old 06-21-2005, 11:02 AM   #9
JimBass
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It will probably be fine, Its just something to pay attention to. I am much more familiar with grub than I am with lilo, so I'm not a great person to respond. The bigest thing to watch is that lilo sees that the root partition is not on the master drive. I would expect it will see that and deal with no problem, but if it doesn't boot, it could be something to check out. Make a boot disk for both window$ and linux during the installs, that way you can get to the /boot or /etc partition and edit files with bad info.

If lilo is installed to the MBR, it should be fine. I think lilo resides in /etc instead of /boot, /boot is where grub goes. It isn't something to lose sleep over, just something to check out and make sure all is good.

Peace,
JimBass
 
  


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