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Old 02-26-2004, 09:18 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
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Dual Boot on Separate Hard Drives?

I just built a new computer and it has 2 - Western Digital 120gB hard drives. I have configured it so that each drive is independent (no Raid array) and installed Window$ XP Pro on Drive C:
I'd like to install Red Hat 8.0 (I use a 3D software application package and they only support RH 7.3 or 8.0) on the other hard drive and have a dual boot system.
What I'm curious to know is how I would configure to have the option to then boot to Linux when I want? If it's on drive "F:" say, would I need a boot image floppy, then boot that way? Or would the GRUB loader jump in and give me the option to boot to drive C: [Window$ XP] or drive F: [Linux]
My intention is to learn Linux well enough to make a transition over to the free world, but I can't afford to invest all my time learning a new o/s right now, so I want to ease into it.
Also, this is all set up as NTFS files. I do want to create a shareable space for work files. Any suggestions/direction in this will be duely appreciated.
Thanx for your timely assistance in this matter.

Last edited by theonlylivinggo; 02-26-2004 at 09:19 AM.
Old 02-26-2004, 10:24 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Distribution: Slackware, LFS, Ubuntu, RedHat, Slamd64
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Grub will ask you to choose between MS-Win or RH each time you boot. Switching from one to the other will require a reboot.

I think NTFS is supported as read-only (but maybe not even that) under linux. So make a vfat partition on your C drive and keep all the files you might want to access from linux there.

Have fun!

Old 02-26-2004, 11:16 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Posts: 48

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Just to clarify...
So all I need to do is a "normal" install of RH 8.0 to my second drive? I'm curious how GRUB get initated and/or knows to look on F: if I'm installing to the 2nd disk and "normal" boot processes go to the C: drive. Do I need to do anything with regards to putting anything at all on the C: drive that is Linux-related (with the exception of the V-FAT partition you that the same as a FAT32?...and can I create that partion during Red Hat install or must I get a 3d party piece of s/w to create it?)
Thank you from a wannabe newbie.
Old 02-26-2004, 12:03 PM   #4
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All you have to do is pop the Linux CD's in and reboot. During the innstallation you will be asked to parition the harddrive and configure wich partidion (and drive) to install Linux on. Linux will place the boot loader (grub) on the mbr on the first drive but this will not interfere with Windows in nay way. When you boot your machine you will be promted with a graphical screen where you choose wich OS to boot.
Grub may require that you boot from a Master device (wich I dont think your second hd is if it is named F in windows) but Im not sure.

NTFS is supported in Read only mode and wery limited or wery dangerous write mode. My recomentation is to just use read mode and wait for absolute safe write mode to be released (if that ever happens).
Old 02-26-2004, 12:38 PM   #5
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Ok, I have a XP pro install on my C drive. I have a Suse install on G: which used to be my old C until problems came in. I believe because of MBR problems XP didn't like SUSE. How can I get a choice when I boot to either boot XP as first choice or to SUSE as second choice? Appreciate any help.

Mike Hughes
Old 02-26-2004, 01:19 PM   #6
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To change the order of OS choice with SuSE simply use YaST:

1. Open YaST (Main menu -> System -> YaST)
2. On the YaST Control Center select "System" on the left hand side.
3. Now select "Boot Loader Configuration" on the right hand side.
4. A Boot Loader Configuration Tool will appear and do some initialization.
5. Highlight the "Default Section" option (it's about 5 rows down).
6. Click "Edit".
7. Now simply move the OS's up and down and use the "Set As Default" button to make Windows the default.


Old 02-26-2004, 05:15 PM   #7
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: London
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There is another way of doing it this is what i did.......

1) disconect the drive running windows..
2) Put the drive you want linux on as priamy master
3) put the xp drive as priamy slave
4) Install linux on your pri master drive
5) HAY PRESTO! linux boot loader finds the xp installation on the second drive and now gives you a choice

this worked without a hitch for me!


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