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masterspud777 07-25-2003 06:30 PM

Multiple physical hard drives w/Red Hat 9
Hello All! Thanks for your time!

The Situation:

I have a pc running Win2k. It has one physical hard drive - 120GB partitioned such that Win2k is on c:\ with 20GB and random storage space is on d:\ with 100GB (both are formatted using NTFS). A couple of days ago I decided to give Red Hat 9 Linux a whirl on my system, and so obtained a blank 13GB hard drive to install into my machine and try Red Hat 9 out. I downloaded Red Hat 9, burned the three installation cds from the images, UNHOOKED (IDE cable and power) my 120GB hard drive, HOOKED up my blank 13GB drive, and proceeded to boot from the first installation CD and install Red Hat 9.

The install went beautifully. I browsed around the GNOME desktop for a while, and then decided to REHOOK my 120GB drive housing my install of Win2k and my Data.

The Problem:

When I boot from my 13GB drive into Red Hat 9, I cannot figure out how to access my data off of my 100GB partition on my 120GB drive. My friend just mentioned to me that I need to open a terminal and type

mount /dev/hdb2

or something along those lines. I would greatly appreciate any guidance that anyone can offer in this area.



Skyline 07-25-2003 06:56 PM

Hi Masterspud

My advice would be to:

Install your Win2k drive on your Primary Master channel - think of it as your 1st hard drive - Linux will see this drive as /dev/hda

Then install your Red Hat 9 drive on your Primary Slave channel - think of it as your 2nd hard drive - Linux will see this drive as /dev/hdb

Then - Re-install Red hat on /dev/hdb - (your 2nd hard drive) - (the idea is that you want it to configure as best as possible - so you'd want to re-install)

Choose between LILO or GRUB as the bootloader - I would install LILO, others would advise GRUB. (just click on "change bootloader" if you want to use LILO - I would)

Install the bootloader to the MBR

Make a boot disk from Red Hat.

On re-boot you should have the option of going into either OS but if not we can help with any configuration for your Lilo.conf or Grub.conf files

You'll need to download a RPM for Red Hat to Read NTFS (or you could just create a FAT32 shared data partition)

Supposing your NTFS data partiton is /dev/hda2 and you want to mount it in Red Hat's /mnt directory

Create a mount point in /mnt

root password

mkdir /mnt/win2k

Then temporarily mount it to test

mount -t ntfs -o ro /dev/hda2 /mnt/win2k

Then once your happy with it put an entry in /etc/fstab

/dev/hda2 /mnt/win2k ntfs ro

Re-post if there are any problems on the way - I've assumed you dont want to keep on swaping your hard drives around so a 2 drive dual boot would be appropriate.

geoff_f 07-25-2003 10:46 PM

Skyline has given you the best way of having your Win2k and RH9 installations available when you want them. For now, if you're not interested in being able to boot into Win2k but just want to access your data on the 100GB partition, read on.

Open a console as root and enter the commands:

mkdir /mnt/win_d
chmod 777 /mnt/win_d
mount -t ntfs /dev/hdb2 mnt/win_d

You should then be able to access the data just like any other disk on your system. You can use any name you like for your Windows data partition, not just 'win_d' in this example. For instance, you could name it 'WinData', 'MyData', 'mydata', etc.

Keep in mind that because your Windows partition is NTFS, you will only be able to read from, not write to, the partition. This is because writing to NTFS is experimental at the moment and is not guaranteed to not trash your data.

danny_kurniawan 07-26-2003 06:41 PM

I have another solution to this, but you have to install GRUB as the boot loader... in fact Red Hat uses GRUB as default.

Make your Linux drive as Primary Master, as you install Linux, and make your Win2k drive another, edit your /boot/grub/grub.conf, add the following lines...

title Win 2000
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
map (hd1) (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
chainloader +1

If you want to see NTFS partition in Linux, you can recompile the kernel with NTFS support checked, but since NTFS support is experimental, it strongly recomended that you leave it as read-only (no write support)...

masterspud777 07-28-2003 11:41 AM


I read what Skyline posted and began to follow his suggestions. I got to the point where he says:

You'll need to download a RPM for Red Hat to Read NTFS (or you could just create a FAT32 shared data partition)

and I had to stop and think about which I'd rather do... I would like to not have to download any mods for my kernel, so at this point I'm leaning towards transferring my data off of the 100GB partition, reformatting into FAT32 and putting my data back on. This seems like the most hassle-free and sure way of getting my data to be recognized by both Win2k and Red Hat 9. All I would then have to do is mount the drive in Red Hat 9. Would you all agree or am I overlooking something...?

Thanks again guys! You've all been a HUGE help!


geoff_f 07-29-2003 05:44 AM

I agree. You would be able to write to FAT32 from Linux to save data for use later in Windows, and vice versa; ie, transfer data both ways. With an NTFS partition, you would not have that flexibility; ie, transfer data only one way.

Skyline 07-29-2003 08:07 AM

Hi Masterspud

Your right - use a FAT32 shared data partition.

The idea would be to have a NTFS and FAT32 partition on your 1st hard drive ( primary master ) - the NTFS would be for your main Win2k install - the FAT32 would be for your shared data partition.

Then - on your 2nd hard drive, have your Red Hat install

masterspud777 07-29-2003 04:10 PM

Awesome! Sounds good. I will be back if I have any more questions :)


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