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Old 12-26-2003, 09:35 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Easley, SC, US
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10, Mandrake 9.2
Posts: 91

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Dual Boot on Dual Drives-- need clarification

Hello, all. I must have been very good this year-- Santa left me Mandrake 9.2 PowerPack edition and a bright, shiny, brand-new 80GB hard drive. Loads of fun in the works, I'm sure.

I would like to do a fresh install of Mdk 9.2 on the new 80GB drive, wipe out the current installation of Mdk 9.1 on my existing 15GB drive (I know just enough Linux to have seriously screwed up a few things, so it's no great loss to not do any kind of backup), and expand the Win ME partition to the old drive's full available space and then leave it to rot in benign neglect (though it might be nice to have the space again to play some games).

I'm no stranger to dual-booting, but dual drives is another matter entirely. I'll be wanting to use GRUB as my bootloader; LILO ate my partition table once, and I hold a grudge. In this thread, satchfoot sugests the following windows entry in /boot/grub/menu.lst to make a dual-boot/dual-drive setup work:

map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
chainloader +1

My own, existing entry looks like this:

title windows
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

The 80GB drive (Mdk 9.2) will be the primary drive; the 15GB (Win ME) will be the secondary. Will satchfoot's suggestion work for me as written (obviously after I've slapped "title windows" at the top of it), or is there something I should incorporate from my existing entry? And (please, please pardon my ignorance), would anybody be willing to explain what the parameters of the entry are actually doing as GRUB acts on them? Lastly (thanks for your patience), are there any other potential tricks or traps I ought to be aware of before attempting this?

Any guidance will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Old 12-27-2003, 06:42 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Debian 12
Posts: 8,349

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This answer has very little relation to the question that you asked.

You should consider speeding up your system by using the two hard drives in parallel. As long as the two hard drives are on separate cables then Linux can access both at the same time. You would set up Linux partitions on both drives and try to balance the I/O load between them. Are the two hard drives the same speed?

Also set up your partitions so that the busiest files are in the middle of the hard drives and the dormant files are near the ends. This arrangement speeds up the disk access by minimizing arm movement.

Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.

Steve Stites
Old 12-27-2003, 07:30 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Easley, SC, US
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10, Mandrake 9.2
Posts: 91

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I have little doubt that the two drives are not, in fact, the same speed. I cannot quote the speed of the old 15GB drive, but it's the stock drive that came with my 3 or 4-year-old machine. The new drive runs at 7200 rpm.

What you're suggesting sounds great, but is probably well beyond my present skills. What I'm shooting for is to have Windows on one drive, Mandrake on the other; to be be able to boot from either, and for Mandrake to be able to "see" the Windows drive and access the files there. Can this be done with both drives on the same cable?

Any further guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Old 12-28-2003, 10:38 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Arkansas
Distribution: Slackware 12.2
Posts: 104

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Dual boot on Dual Drives

Yes, you can set yours up that way. My Santa gave me a 120Gb hd for Christmas. Originally I had an 80 GB that was partitioned to 40, 36 and 4 (Win2k, Slack and swap).

I now have Win 2K on the 120GB drive, and Slack on the 80 GB Drive. All I had to do was go into my fstab and modify some entries (what was hda is now hdb) and a few other things (so it knows where to look at for the new 120 GB drive).

I use lilo (has not let me down yet) though so I don't know anything about grub. But for lilo I simply made the changes (much like for the fstab) to my lilo.conf to ensure that everything that was identified previously was (newly) identified where it is now.

I may have cheated a bit though. The first thing I did was reformat my 120 as 40 and 80. (I found out that Win2k will not format a drive larger than 32GB). I then reinstalled windows on 40GB partition and copied all my files from the old 40 gb partition to the new 40 GB partition. A machine at work running W2k dumped a few months ago and it made me realize that the "my documents" in W2k gets wiped if you have to reinstall (if it is on the same drive as the system) so I decided to hedge my bets.

At the end though I booted with a live slackware cd, and made the modifications listed above, reran lilo, rebooted, and it worked like magic.

Last edited by Slacker_Rex; 12-28-2003 at 10:40 AM.


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