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How To Dual Boot Linux Using 2 Hard Drives


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#1 eckoman

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 04:49 AM

I am wanting to install a linux distro on my computer (still looking into which one I want). However, unlike most people I've read about, I do not want to partition a Hard Drive, install XP on one partition, Linux on the other, and then do the standard choose at boot-up that, for example, Ubuntu describes on their page.

I have 2 Hard Drives. I am wanting to install XP on one hard drive, Linux on the other, and then be able to choose @ boot up which OS I want to boot into. I want XP and Linux on separate hard drives (XP on one, Linux on the other), not just 2 partitions on the same hard drive. Does anyone know of a way to do this, without having to swap cables or hard drives depending on which OS I want to use?

Thanks!

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#2 buddy215

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 01:18 PM

Here is a link to an article describing how to do that using the most popular of linux distros---Ubuntu.

http://www.pcmech.com/article/installing-ubuntu-linux/
Here is a basic rundown of what I will be covering in this article:

* Setting up Ubuntu Linux on a separate hard drive from Windows
* Answering a few post-new installation questions
* Familiarizing you with your Linux environment… using Windows terminology
* Pointing out some stuff you might want to try

It refers to Gutsy Gibbon but the instructions will be the same for Hardy Heron 8.04

You can get a free CD for Ubuntu 8.04 which takes about 3 weeks to deliver stateside or you can download it.
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#3 eckoman

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 11:29 PM

I read the article and have a few questions

The article kind of ended after he finished partitioning the hard drive. I mean, once you get to that point, how do you choose which hard drive to boot of off @ start-up? He never explains how you choose between windows (hard drive 1) and linux (hard drive 2)at boot time? I'm assuming it's different than when you parition the master primary drive into 2 parts, one for each OS.

Also, am I correct to assume this will work without partitioning your hard drive? The author of the article was partitioning the Linux hard drive. I don't really want to partition the hard drive, hence my using 2 hard drives, one for each install. If I partition the Linux one during set-up, it kind of defeats the point of not wanting to partition it. I'd rather do this and not partition anything, hence my using 2 separate drives.

#4 buddy215

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 07:22 AM

The reasons for the partitioning are explained in the article. First partition is the OS, programs and info needed to boot. Second partition is the swap file which is the same as the space in Windows used for "virtual memory" and if you use "hibernate". The third partition is similar Windows "my documents". Having the OS on a separate partition allows the user to reinstall the OS without losing any of the personal settings and files the user has created.
Once you have completed the install of Ubuntu and rebooted, you will see a screen with the options to boot into Ubuntu or Windows. At that point you will use the arrow key to select which OS to boot to. By default, you will only have a few seconds to choose Windows or the machine will begin booting to Ubuntu.

You may want to use the live CD for Ubuntu for a couple of weeks and see if you really want to install it. Many choose to do that and Ubuntu suggests that, too.

I am a newbie to Linux and have Ubuntu installed on the same HDD as Windows. I keep Ubuntu updated and explore it to learn about using Linux. I consider it the best darn "spare tire" for Windows. I will probably catch some flack for that statement.
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#5 Brewster Down Under

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 09:37 AM

You will get a lot of flak from ppl that know nothing but windows.
I was one of those but now Iam a convert :thumbsup:
Blame It On The Dog

#6 eckoman

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 11:07 PM

I've been using a Ubuntu live CD on and off for awhile, first time I used a Ubuntu Live CD was when 7.04 was released. I was thinking of installing Ubuntiu, as I've been using that off the Live CD. The only reason I'm not sure is I was thinking of giving PCLinuxOS and Mandriva a try (Both have a Live CD also). I was thinking of trying the Live CD of Fedora and Freespire just for the heck of it, though I likely would not go with them.

As for partitioning, I realize there are reasons for the partitioning with Linux, the same as there are with reasons to do it with Windows. However, I just don't want to Partition the hard drive. I'm just not a fan of it, hence my question about installing the Dual Boot system with no partitioning, on 2 different hard drives on the same computer (1 HDD per OS). Also, since I usually try to keep my info backed up, and if I re-install the OS, I'll rather completely wipe the HDD using something like DBAN before re-installing it, partitioning a HDD so you keep info when re-installing is kind of pointless to me.

I will not install Linux on the same HDD as windows. I have 2 hard drives, and I want 1 hard drive for Linux, one for Windows, no partitioning. The reason I was asking how to do this is because, obviously, one will be the primary drive and the other won't, and the BIOS will obviously try to boot off the primary drive, not the 2nd hard drive the other OS is on, and I wanted to be able to choose which OS/HDD to boot off of at boot up.

I actually don't know anyone who will give me crap for running Linux on 1 HDD and Windows on the other. I convinced a friend to use his 2nd PC for Linux 2+ years ago, he went with Ubuntu. I have several other friends looking into it. Installing Linux in this manner is something I've been telling them I'm doing for years, I'm just now getting around to it.




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