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Old 03-27-2011, 01:37 PM   #1
bwh13
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Registered: Aug 2009
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System architecture for dual boot 64 bit


Hi all,

My first post: not quite a noob, as I've been running Fedora 10 since it came out (I'm doing some numerical modeling for my thesis), but I've got some questions about a new box I'm going to build.

I am going to build a new 64bit machine, dual boot with Win7 and Poseidon Linux (waiting for the 64bit version to come out later this year). So my questions are these:

-is there an advantage to having each OS reside on a different physical HDD? meaning - 1 hard drive for Win and 1 hard drive for Linux and just decide which HDD to boot when I turn the machine on.

-or is it better to have them reside on the same HDD and just have a separate HDD for data / storage?

-is there a good resource to describe some optimal architecture's? I've searched through the forums and haven't found anything that concise / on-target / similar.

As additional info: this box will be my livelihood, so right now, money is not really an object in terms of HDDs, etc.

Thanks in advance for any ideas or advice!

bwh13
 
Old 03-27-2011, 01:59 PM   #2
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwh13 View Post
-is there an advantage to having each OS reside on a different physical HDD? meaning - 1 hard drive for Win and 1 hard drive for Linux and just decide which HDD to boot when I turn the machine on.
I can think of a few minor advantages to having the OS's on different drives.

But most BIOS's I've seen have a less convenient boot menu for which drive to boot compared to always booting the Linux drive and then having a Grub or Grub2 menu to decide whether to continue into Linux or chain boot to Windows.

Quote:
-or is it better to have them reside on the same HDD and just have a separate HDD for data / storage?
I can also think of a few minor advantages to that plan.

It all depends on what you plan to do with the system and in most cases (of what you might plan to do) this isn't an important decision. Whether the OS's are on the same of different drives will likely have no noticeable impact on the use of the system.

Quote:
-is there a good resource to describe some optimal architecture's? I've searched through the forums and haven't found anything that concise / on-target / similar.
By context, "architecture" there probably means partitioning of the hard drives. It's better to say what you mean than to have us guess your meaning for a word like "architecture".

Quite a lot is said about "good" drive partitioning in various threads here at LQ. Very little of it is backed by evidence or logical reasoning. The right answer to that question also would depend on how you want to use the computer and then in most cases, the best answer would be keep it simple.

Quote:
As additional info: this box will be my livelihood, so right now, money is not really an object in terms of HDDs, etc.
That kind of statement invites the suggestion to use some kind of RAID1, so almost everything is on both drives. But the importance and budget data you just revealed still doesn't say anything about what the computer is to be used for. So saying RAID is appropriate is also just an uninformed guess.

Last edited by johnsfine; 03-27-2011 at 02:03 PM.
 
Old 03-27-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
bwh13
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Registered: Aug 2009
Location: california
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Thanks johnsfine; I appreciate the quick response.

system architecture: to clarify, I am using this phrase to describe the conceptual connections/design of the computer (HDDs to the MoBo), rather than processors, kernals, and the technical bits.

to reiterate the 3rd question: is there a good source of info that describes the conceptual ways to go about building and designing a computer system with multiple OSs? Specifically, whether or not the 'multiple HDDs' is a viable method or advantageous.

budget and uses: I'm a GIS analyst as much as I am a numerical modeler. I'll be using this computer to process, analyze, store, and manipulate imagery (satellite, aerial, LiDAR) so we're generally talking files in excess of a 1GB. The modeling aspect is more processor / RAM heavy than storage heavy. Our start-up company doesn't have a localized server yet (i.e. no intra-net), so a lot of storage will take place (and be replicated) on local machines.

Thanks again for any insight
bwh13
 
Old 03-27-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwh13 View Post
to reiterate the 3rd question: is there a good source of info that describes the conceptual ways to go about building and designing a computer system with multiple OSs? Specifically, whether or not the 'multiple HDDs' is a viable method or advantageous.
Maybe someone else will jump in with a different opinion. But in my opinion, there is generally nothing complicated about dual boot, nor significant about the question of same drive vs. different.

For that "good source of info" you want to exist, there need to exist issues that are difficult enough to deserve being addressed, with answers that are general enough to apply to a decent size audience. I don't think any of that exists.

Quote:
I'm a GIS analyst as much as I am a numerical modeler. I'll be using this computer to process, analyze, store, and manipulate imagery (satellite, aerial, LiDAR) so we're generally talking files in excess of a 1GB. The modeling aspect is more processor / RAM heavy than storage heavy. Our start-up company doesn't have a localized server yet (i.e. no intra-net), so a lot of storage will take place (and be replicated) on local machines.
That provides some context, but still gives no input I can detect to a decision of different disks for OS's vs. second drive data only vs. no apparent need to even have a second drive. It also doesn't give any input to whether RAID is appropriate.

I also would tend to question the whole idea of dual boot for professional use. Dual boot is a real nice idea for a home system in many situations. It's harder to imagine such situations in the kind of work you describe.

Think through your work flow. When will you use Windows? When will you use Linux? How often will you switch between them? Will you access email and web from each or from just one of them? What other applications need to be coordinated so they are available from both.

Many people use virtual machines to have both Windows and Linux with fewer of the above issues. I don't have significant virtual machine experience to comment constructively.

I use both Windows and Linux heavily at work. The Windows system is on my desk. The Linux systems are in another room accessed by various X, or putty or VNC tools. That is far more effective than dual boot. I don't need to work differently based on which OS is booted. Both are always there.

Quote:
Our start-up company doesn't have a localized server yet (i.e. no intra-net)
Meaning not even a LAN? I don't know your intended work flow (nor the geographic distribution of your coworkers, etc.) but for most situations, I think you would be better off thinking about a LAN rather than a dual boot.

Not sure actually what you mean by "intra-net". The meaning I'm used to is connecting all of the company's LAN's together into a virtual LAN that works despite the geographic distances. That represents a significant investment in IT effort and infrastructure. I can see why you might delay that. Having a LAN for any location with two people and even a location with one person, is more basic.

Last edited by johnsfine; 03-27-2011 at 03:09 PM.
 
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