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Old 12-12-2005, 04:19 PM   #1
Strykaas
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XP / Linux installation on two different Hard disks


Hello all !

I'm totally new to Linux and I've just downloaded the 2006 Mandriva ISO collection.
I have a dual hard drive setup:
1- NTFS XP installed as a master
2- a FAT32 slave helping me perform backups (13 GB big)

I want to install Linux on the second one WITHOUT interfering with the 1st disk (MBR and so on). Basically, what I need is :
1- Mandriva let me choose where to install Linux (I mean the second HD)
2- a startup menu that will make it possible to choose between these two OSes

I've searched the net for information, but dual boot was always related to a single drive configuration, so I'm helpless now.

The ideal would be that this second drive be bootable, but is it possible as a slave ?

Thanks for your help.

Strykaas.
 
Old 12-12-2005, 04:32 PM   #2
pixellany
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The 2nd drive is 13Gb TOTAL?? That wont give you much room for Linux AND backup....

I have win2k on one drive, Linux on another, and 2 more with FAT32 for data.

No problem with your approach--just dont let the Linux installer put the bootloader on the Hard drive---put it on a floppy. This way, your Windows installation wont be touched.

Total size of both drives would be helpful
 
Old 12-12-2005, 05:32 PM   #3
sundialsvcs
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What you need, in your case, is a third drive.

Most motherboards have two IDE chains, and of course, each chain supports up to two drives. It's common to find a CD-ROM in one chain and "the" hard-disk in the other. So, that means you have one more slot in which to put something. Or, you can get a separate controller-card for a song...
 
Old 12-12-2005, 10:20 PM   #4
tjc3
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I installed suse on a second drive and used the bootloader in linux to give me an option when the system starts. I had to change the order in linux to make windows the first option though. The bootloader acts like partition magic or something like that when the system starts.
 
Old 12-12-2005, 10:35 PM   #5
liamoboyle
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You've got the wrong idea a little; you do want the linux boot loader (go with grub rather than lilo) to interfere with the primary disk's MBR. If your BIOS is already set up to boot from that disk, then the linux boot loader will load and you will be able to choose to boot the windows disk or the linux one. There really isn't a lot of practical difference in setting up a dual boot from one disk and between two - you're just booting to /dev/hda1 or /dev/hdb1 rather than /dev/hda1 or /dev/hda2.
 
Old 12-13-2005, 02:25 PM   #6
Strykaas
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Mhh first drive is 160 GB, second is 13 GB. There wil be enough backup space on the big one. The second drive will be dedicated to linux.
Apparently, the only way to go if I do not want to interfere with the MBR on the big one is to use a floppy boot disk. Is that tricky to setup during mandriva installation ?
thx !
 
Old 12-13-2005, 02:37 PM   #7
lostn1slinux
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you can select where you install grub or lilo during installation
 
Old 12-13-2005, 03:11 PM   #8
sundialsvcs
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No, liamoboyle, I respectfully dissent: I advise that you do not want to have to change anything about the Windows drive, including its MBR.

The BIOS can select any drive as "the startup volume." It does not have to be "the master drive of chain #1." This means that you can build an entirely separate system-environment on another drive, without laying the slightest finger upon Windows.

Obviously, you may choose to include Windows as one of the options in your (grub) boot-loader menu. You're free to do that: when the system starts, referencing the MBR of the selected startup-volume, grub starts. Then it transfers control to Windows' boot-loader if you so choose.

But this way, you have another choice. You can switch the BIOS boot-drive setting to point to Windows' drive, restart the machine, and in a few seconds the BIOS will load (Windows') MBR from what is now "the boot volume," and soon you're once again in your original Windows environment, exactly in every way identical to what it once was.

You didn't have to "fiddle" anything. You always have a known fallback position, which you know that you can get to even if Grub is totally and completely hosed... or if you're just tired of ing with it for the night and want to get lost in a game of Solitaire.
 
Old 12-13-2005, 03:48 PM   #9
liamoboyle
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Depends on the BIOS, older ones don't allow you to select which drive to boot from. I would still recommend installing grub into the windows MBR, that way you'll always have the option of choosing to boot whichever OS you want, regardless of which disk BIOS is booting.

However, as sundialsvcs has pointed out, you don't have to; if you really don't want to touch the windows MBR (not that it isn't something you can't fix with a windows bootdisk and "fdisk /mbr" anyway) sundialsvcs will work and you can be pretty sure you won't damage anything
 
Old 12-13-2005, 03:58 PM   #10
pixellany
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Much ado about nothing, folks.......

1. Putting grub on a floppy is easy and avoids messing with the Windows setup

2. Restoring the mbr for Windows is easy

After reading a lot about this, I think that having a boot cd is good insurance. I found some references to images you can download, and the Grub manual has notes on how to make one.

Adventures in the forest are infinitely more rewarding if you leave at least on trail of bread crumbs back to civilization----I'm old--I always leave several.....
 
Old 12-14-2005, 05:08 PM   #11
Strykaas
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Pixellany,

Could you please explain me or (tell me where to get the info) as to how to create a bootable CD rom for Mandriva ? I don't know if I still have floppies at hand... Anyway, does the Mandriva installer make it possible for you to create that boot floppy / cd rom instead of chosing a hard drive ? I'm a bit afraid that the installer does something that is hidden to me, I want to be 100% sure before giving it a try.

And why on should choose grub rather over lilo ? Btw, my understanding is that these are OS loaders, and therefore not only related to multi boot management ? nothing more ? Please correct me if required.
 
Old 12-14-2005, 05:18 PM   #12
liamoboyle
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Grub is more configurable. You need to install a boot manager to boot any OS, but you don't need much configuration to only boot one OS The reason you want to avoid messing with the windows MBR is 'cause the windows boot manager is already installed there. Unfortunately you can't configure the windows boot manager to boot Linux; but you can configure both Linux boot managers to boot windows.
 
Old 12-14-2005, 05:40 PM   #13
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strykaas
Pixellany,

Could you please explain me or (tell me where to get the info) as to how to create a bootable CD rom for Mandriva ? I don't know if I still have floppies at hand... Anyway, does the Mandriva installer make it possible for you to create that boot floppy / cd rom instead of chosing a hard drive ? I'm a bit afraid that the installer does something that is hidden to me, I want to be 100% sure before giving it a try.

And why on should choose grub rather over lilo ? Btw, my understanding is that these are OS loaders, and therefore not only related to multi boot management ? nothing more ? Please correct me if required.
Bootable CD---I'm not the expert on this

I think almost all distros let you choose where the bootloader goes--dont know specifically about Mandriva.

Grub over lilo? More common, therefor many think its better? (Kinda like Microsoft..)

Yes, you need a bootloader to load any OS--In windows it all happens automatically, so most users don't know that there is such a thing
 
Old 12-14-2005, 05:51 PM   #14
urka58
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May be this helps you
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Linux+NT-Loader.html
Ciao
PS I'go toward the simplest choice, install lilo/grub on a floppy if the drive is available, or to the MBR of the drive hosting Win XP. Restoring XP MBR is a very easy task....

Last edited by urka58; 12-14-2005 at 05:56 PM.
 
Old 12-24-2005, 05:56 PM   #15
Strykaas
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thx
A last question, a certainly well know issue : how to share data between xp and linux ? any suggestion ? shall I create a dedicated fat32 common partition ? what is possible to do : xp sees linux ? linux sees xp ?
 
  


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