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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 09-30-2004, 12:43 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Northern California
Distribution: Slackware 10, Debian 3.0
Posts: 18

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Two Hard drives - Linux and Windows

I do work both on Linux and Windows. All my other boxes are preoccupied right now so every time I want to switch OSs I bust open the case and change the IDE cable. I don't want to resize my partition on either hard drive but rather be able to do a LILO type boot choice by connecting them both at the same time to the motherboard. I am at a loss for words of what I would call this or I would Google it and search on these forums myself. Can someone assist me here? How would I go about doing this?

Thanks to anyone who can help.
Old 09-30-2004, 01:44 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 695

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1) download and put GAG bootloader on a floppy:

2) plug in both hdd's.

3) boot to the floppy and install GAG.

4) that's it! there's a way of doing it in LILO but i prefer the simplicity of GAG.
Old 09-30-2004, 02:03 AM   #3
Bruce Hill
HCL Maintainer
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: McCalla, AL, USA
Distribution: Arch, Gentoo
Posts: 6,939

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Search for "dual boot"

You need to install a bootloader to choose your operating system on boot.

Since you're running Slackware, you have LILO installed by default. Before
you start you need to know what your drive letters are, and where your
root partition on Slack is located. The IDE devices are determined like this:

/dev/hda - primary controller, master drive - IDE0 master
/dev/hdb - primary controller, slave drive - IDE 0 slave
/dev/hdc - secondary controller, master drive - IDE1 master
/dev/hdd - secondary controller, slave drive - IDE1 slave

And you'll also need to know which is your / (root) partition in Slack.
Before starting just issue "fdisk -l" (lower case L) as root and it will
tell you your drive(s) partitions.

Now here's a little LILO tutorial for Slack.

If you're just moving the IDE cable from drive to drive, and leaving
it on IDE0 on the motherboard, then set the Windoze drive jumper to
master, and the Linux one to slave. Then put the cable on IDE0, and
put both drives on the cable. For your particular situation, put both
IDE cables on the drives. Next boot and go into your BIOS and tell it
to boot the drive with Slackware first. Then when Slack boots, login
as root and don't issue startx. Just setup LILO and then you can
reboot and set the BIOS again, this time to boot the Windoze drive.
You will have installed LILO to the MBR and this will allow you to boot
either OS because your computer will give you the LILO boot screen.

NB: At any time during the liloconfig process, tabbing to Cancel
and pressing Enter will cancel and not make any changes to your system.
So, should you "hit a brick wall," don't panic, just cancel and get the info
you need and then start over.

Login as root and issue
# liloconfig
And it's a simple little gui app...
Choose expert - Use expert lilo.conf setup menu
Choose Begin - Start LILO configuration with a new LILO header
Optional LILO append="<kernel parameters>" line
(If you have a CD-RW or DVD+/-RW you add it here.
/dev/hda = master drive on primary controller
/dev/hdb = slave drive on primary controller
/dev/hdc = master drive on secondary controller
/dev/hdd = slave drive on secondary controller
If you don't have one, just enter)
Configure LILO to use frame buffer console
(usually best to kept default - I use 1024x768x256)
Select LILO target location - MBR
Confirm location to install LILO - /dev/hda
(almost always with a dual boot and Windoze installed first,
if not, you'll know where and why you put Windoze elsewhere)
Choose LILO timeout - 5 seconds
(personal preference - easily changed later via lilo.conf timeout)
Back at the Expert LILO Installation screen
Linux - Add a Linux partition to the LILO config
(below that is DOS - the first one you add will be the default -
if you want Windoze to default first, choose it first here)
Select Linux partition
(this is your Linux / partition - if you don't know issue
# /sbin/fdisk -l
from a console - lower case L)
Select Partition Name
(this is what you will call each one you boot - mine are
named for the different kernels, i.e.
and this first one will be your default choice,
which helps if you just want to boot while you're
fixing coffee and return to the machine)
Back at the Expert LILO Installation screen
DOS - Add a DOS/Windoze FAT partition to the LILO config
(NB: this doc is very old - FAT32 and NTFS probably weren't
out when it was written, but they will boot also)
Select DOS/Windoze Partition
(the bootable Windoze part will have an * under boot,
just in case you don't know which one to choose)
Select Partition Name
(I'm partial to Windoze, WinDOHs, or anything else
that helps me remember what it actually is - even WinXP)
Back at the Expert LILO Installation screen
Install - Install LILO
Installing the Linux Loader...
and before you realize it, against the blue background
you should notice your shell prompt show up, so type
# /sbin/lilo
and you will see something like
bash-2.05b# /sbin/lilo
Added Slackware *
Added Windoze
Then reboot your computer and you're "good to go!" No
more taking the side off the case just to move a ribbon cable.
Old 09-30-2004, 02:08 AM   #4
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: New Zealand
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 900

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If your Linux system was installed on the second drive when it was set to master, your /etc/fstab will refer to all your linux partitions as "/dev/hdax" (where x is a number). Before you get both hard drives plugged in together, you might want to edit this file and change them to /dev/hdbx (for primary slave) or /dev/hdcx (for secondary master). Don't change the location of your windows drive, because this can be a headache to change in the system.
Old 09-30-2004, 02:26 AM   #5
Bruce Hill
HCL Maintainer
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: McCalla, AL, USA
Distribution: Arch, Gentoo
Posts: 6,939

Rep: Reputation: 129Reputation: 129

You are totally right! I forgot all about /etc/fstab.

So Cyb3rKnyght, if you need help with that, post back
with the output of your current /etc/fstab file and we
will help you.



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