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Old 06-02-2006, 11:08 PM   #1
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Multi-Booting Mutiple Versions of Windows and Linux Over Two Hard Drives

I've only dual booted on a single hard drive before with PartionMagic and BootMagic (using a linux boot-loader when the linux partition is selected) and am unsure how to install multiple operating systems over two hard drives.

I currently have two hard drives with Windows XP pro on the first drive. I want to install Windows MCE 2005 and Vista Beta on the first hard drive and Suse 10.1 on the second. How would I do this using PartitionMagic and BootMagic.

Old 06-03-2006, 12:54 AM   #2
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I would advice you to try bootpart, it uses window's boot-loader and you can set it as much as you want.
Keep in mind any linux boot-loader will do the job well after installed on the MBR.
Old 06-03-2006, 07:48 AM   #3
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OK this is how to get what you want.

(1) You use Partition Magic to create and make room for at least 2 additional primary partitions in the 1st disk. Make them NTFS type.

(2) Boot to a Linux Live CD, any one will do and use its cfdisk program to make the first newly created additional primary partition "bootable". Click write and exit the program. Your XP will temporarily become unbootable.

(3) Install Win2005 there. Reboot after installation and make sure everything works.

(4) Repeat step (2) and then Step (3) to install your Vista. At this point you can go back to any of the XP, WIn2005 or Vista by booting the LiveCD first, make the relevant partition bootable and the system will be bootable while the other two will not. This switching can be done by a bootable Grub floppy too. Just follow Task A of the last link of my signature. You need to boot up a Live CD that support Grub to make such a floppy. Any one from Knoppix, Kanotix, Mepis... will have the required stage1 and stage2 files. A bootable Grub floppy can boot any of the PC system (any Dos, Windows, XP, Linux...) manually.

(5) You now instruct the Bios to boot the 2nd hard disk ahead of the 1st disk. This will make all of the MS system unbootable temporarily. I suggest you leave this setting permanently. You then proceed to install the first Linux in there. Since it is Suse 10.1 you should opt for Grub to install in the MBR which should be your Linux disk. Finish the installation and make sure Suse works perfectly before playing around it Grub. Just a word of advice - A Linux installation is a lot easier if you use the Live CD to create two partitions for Suse, one 10Gb for its residence and another 1Gb for swap. During installation tell the installer install inside the 10Gb partition.

(6) I now give you the typical instructions for booting manually any of your MS systems in the 1st hard disk. I assume xp, Win2005 and Vista in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd partition of your 1st hard drive. But as the Bios has instructed to boot the 2nd disk first and so to Grub your three MS systems are in (hd1,0), (hd1,1) and (hd1,2). Grub counts from 0 and its disk order is exactly as per that handed down from the Bios. The system in the first partition of the second boot disk is therefore (hd1,0). When you boot the Grub floppy up you get a Grub prompt and the following instructions will fire up the system in (hd1,0)
root (hd1,0)
map (hd1) (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
chainloader +1
The makeactive statement (color red) arranges that partition bootable to satisfy MS's requirement that its booting system must start from an active partition. The two map statements (color blue) re-arrange the disk order on-the-fly so that you 1st disk regains the first bootable disk status and so the MS system will appear hardware wise identical to the condistion it was first installed.

(7) You can try to boot any of the 3 MS systems just by naming the correct partition in the "root" statement. For example "root (hd1,1)" is to boot the system in the seconf partition and "root (hd1,2)" is for booting the system in the 3rd partition of the second bootable disk. You are now a master of booting a MS system manually using a Linux boot loader Grub. Take a bit to sink in but that is nothing difficult in booting with Linux.

(8) To make you system to boot all systems automatically and permanently just make sure the manual instructions are inside the Suse's /boot/grub/menu.lst. Suse will most probably have some of the statements but is not expected to provide the map or makeactive statement because a user can install MS systems in the second bootable disk and has no necessity to reverse the disk order. Also to boot from a hard disk automatically you need a "title" line and have no need for the "boot" command at the end. As an example the commands in Step 6 when transferred to Suse's /boot/ should read like this
title The dude said my XP is here in the 1st partition of the now 2nd disk
root (hd1,0)
map (hd1) (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
chainloader +1
Now you know everything about multi booting in Linux. You will notice that there is nothing to do for Bootmagic. Why would a driver needs a Mini when he/she got a Posche? Grub is 10 times more powerful than any other boot loader in existence.


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