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gstimson
09-03-2002, 09:34 PM
Does anyone know of a case that'll accept two ATX motherboards? I would like to build a system that has one Linux machine and one Windows machine with a keyboard/mouse/video switch to flick between them. It needs to be semi-portable so I can take it on-site to clients, hence me wondering about dual motherboard cases.

(I know that things like virtual machine programs are alternative options)

Thanks
Gary

zeradul
09-04-2002, 01:06 AM
Neat Idea, but do you want them to share drives and stuff? Because that isn't possible.

The easiest thing I can imagine would be buying Two 'desktop' cases and then attaching them together with some sort of strap.

Would Dual boot work for your situation?

gstimson
09-04-2002, 02:05 AM
Thanks for the reply.
The machines don't need to share any drives, they'll have their own drives and will communicate thru network cards.
Dual booting isn't an option because I need them both running at once. The linux box is for web application development. The windoze box is for testing using Internet Explorer.
Yeah I'd thought of using two cases, it's what I do now, I'm just trying to find a more compact option!

Gary

bigjackusa
09-04-2002, 02:33 AM
I don't know of a case that is designed for 2 mobos, but I would bet that with some modding, 2 of the new mini itx, all-in-one boards from Via would fit in a mini-tower case along with 2 hds, 2cds, 2 mini atx p/s, and a kvm switch. The boards are only 170mm square and have 1 pci slot which you might not even have to allow for in the modding. It comes with an i/o plate that would make the modding easier.

GiMP
09-04-2002, 09:23 AM
Carry 2 laptops ?

swipe
09-06-2002, 12:50 AM
MWP from OCAU built his own dual-mobo case, see here: http://pcdb.overclockers.com.au/view.php?name=MWP&page=pics

Watercooling is a bit extreme for your application but I'm sure you could learn something from his design should you decide to build a similar case yourself.

gstimson
09-06-2002, 02:12 AM
Ah yeh! Nice to see that someone's done it!
I think the outcome is that there are no cases on the market (a nice hole in the market for some manufacturer!) so it's gonna be DIY. Gonna have to think about the most efficient way to cram to mobos power supplies etc in a case. I'm thinking about using one of those plastic storage tubs, not pretty but easier to modify.

[Yes I could use two laptops, but I don't need screens and keyboards; and I would like fast RAID disks, loadsa memory etc]

: party ha

Moctezuma05
09-06-2002, 09:49 AM
Do you have to have 2 mobos to run Linux and Windows? I have seen some cases where u just install linux on a drive then Windows on another. So you would have 2 drives, then you could switch between them with a button. Wouldn't that be a lot simpler? Its a PCI slot card, it can handle up to 3 different drives that you can switch through for each OS. I will make a link to it and see if it helps you any.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?sku=R75-2000%20P
:shoot3: :shoot2:

swipe
09-06-2002, 03:10 PM
Do you have to have 2 mobos to run Linux and Windows? I have seen some cases where u just install linux on a drive then Windows on another. So you would have 2 drives, then you could switch between them with a button. Wouldn't that be a lot simpler? Its a PCI slot card, it can handle up to 3 different drives that you can switch through for each OS. I will make a link to it and see if it helps you any.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?sku=R75-2000%20P
:shoot3: :shoot2:
These cards are essentially a dualboot on steriods, they won't really do the job. gstimson are you sure that software like vmware won't do the job? i've demo'd on win2k boxes running linux in vmware before on hardware as low spec as P2-450/256mb. as long as there's a reasonable amount of ram vmware behaves ok i've found.

gstimson
09-06-2002, 05:57 PM
Yeah VMWare might be the best solution. I first tried it a few years ago on redhat5.2. It was pretty good then so I guess its very good now! I think real machines are preferable to virtual ones, but this is sounding much easier than hacking around with cases.

Demon
09-08-2002, 05:59 AM
u could always look at one of th lo profile machines like th dell gx150 very slim desk top machines designed for horizontal or vertical use.. strap th 2 together
just a suggestion

Matter45
06-23-2006, 03:17 PM
dudes you guys wondering if it is possible to run 2 motherboards in the one computer? well guess what it is and it has been done... BY ME!!! i had to use paint to make the pic smaller so i could put it in the attachment... ive got other pics for inside the computer just email me at secondmatter@swiftdsl.com.au if you want em. the 2 computer are link via cross over cable. one of the hardest things to do in this is to make the two motherboards turn on at the same time. at the back of the pc i only got 1 power cable running into the computer powering 2 power supplys.

trickyt
03-08-2008, 07:15 PM
What you are looking for is two PCs running simultaneously with only one mouse, one screen and one keyboard. However you need two motherboards, two hard drives. (I assume each motherboard has its own graphics and network controllers). You may be able to get away with just one power supply if you can find one with the right connectors.

I am also looking for a dual PC option, (not dual boot). I have not found a manufactured problem yet, but I found my own simple solution, which was mentioned earlier in this forum.

I have two PCs held together by a strap. They are connected via a Linksys switch to a single wireless keyboard, a wireless mouse and a single monitor, To flip from one PC to the other I just hit the scroll-lock key twice in rapid succession. Two PCs have the advantage that when one is shutting down, re-booting, crashing, or just plain over-loaded (downloading pod-casts for example), you can use the other one.

Going one step further I can imagine that it would be possible to squeeze all the PC components into just one box. Motherboards are getting smaller, and I can imagine that two power supplies could fit in the box, along with the Linksys switch. For a very simple solution you could remove everything in your box and replace the contents with two laptops (with their chargers), plugged into a multi-plug, and add an external (external to the laptop, internal to the box), hard drive to increase capacity. This would have the advantage that each "PC" would have its own uninterruptable power supply, i.e. its own battery. All laptops allow the use of external monitors, mouse and keyboard, so wiring it up to the PC slots should be easy. The slghtly complicated thing is to figure out how to turn on the lap tops individually or how to keep them running when the lid is closed. Any ideas?

Coming back to my two PCs strapped together, I actually have two PCs, but each of them has several hard drives with various operating systems, such as DOS, Windows 98, XP in French and XP in English (You can have XP twice on the same drive). (But remember that 98 can not see a drive formatted for XP). This gives me maximum flexibility to work with different operating systems, or to work with XP twice on two different PCs. If need be the PC's can see each other's drives, by using networking: (It is not advisable to open up a whole drive as shared (security risk). Much better to just make certain specific folders as shared.

For example, one of the PCs is "Dual Boot" - using two hard drives. Both drives contain Windows XP in English (different serial numbers). One of the drives is the one I work on and is set up with "Do not share files with other users", whilst the other carries a second version of XP. By default the PC will boot into the first drive (the one I never use), unless I manually intervene at boot time to instruct it to boot from the other disk. This has the main advantage that if the kids or wife decide to boot both my PCs and to look around, by default the drive used for booting will not be the one that I normally use. They will not be using the same XP as me, nor even the same drive.

They will see themselves on the C:// drive, apparently with access to my user name and my documents, but nothing much of a personal nature. (Because in practice I don't use that drive). True they could browse to the D:// drive and look for the "My Documents" files there, but my user name on that drive has been set to "private". (Right click the folder, properties, sharing, make this folder private"). This means that my files on that drive are inaccessible unless the user has booted into the right PC (i.e Disk 2), AND has the correct user password. Both are unlikely.

It's not completely uncrackable, but it's certainly more difficult if the "hacker" does not know that (1) there are actually two PCs running, (2) how to switch to the correct PC, (3) That when on the correct PC it has booted by default into Windows on disk one which I never use, and (4) If the hacker finally re-boots to disk two, then he must still guess, crack or remove, my password from my user account. All of these steps are relatively difficult for a novice to get through.

Technogeek
03-09-2008, 05:22 PM
Unless you really need two physical computers I would go with VMWare. It's come a long way, and works very well now. I have Vista x64 as my host, and XP Pro as my VM. Get two monitors and have them both up at the same time. Give your VM enough HDD space for what your wanting to do with it, and it should work fine.

Of course, having a custom built machine like Matter45 is pretty cool.

AngryBob
07-28-2009, 03:44 PM
Wow that blows away most of what I've seen. I really like the "old car radiator fan". I don't think "old car" to him is as old as it its to me. lol. Makes sense that a junked car could spare 12v radiator electric fans, and you can file them down to size. They could really torque though on start up, so be careful.


MWP from OCAU built his own dual-mobo case, see here: Overclockers Australia PC Database (http://pcdb.overclockers.com.au/view.php?name=MWP&page=pics)

Watercooling is a bit extreme for your application but I'm sure you could learn something from his design should you decide to build a similar case yourself.

AngryBob
07-28-2009, 03:46 PM
How about those hard sided travel electronics cases? Some may be very expensive, but they would have LOTS of room inside.

Someone built a computer in a large coleman cooler case with wheels. It only had one system in it, but it was awesome and featured a retractable cable.



What you are looking for is two PCs running simultaneously with only one mouse, one screen and one keyboard. However you need two motherboards, two hard drives. (I assume each motherboard has its own graphics and network controllers). You may be able to get away with just one power supply if you can find one with the right connectors.

I am also looking for a dual PC option, (not dual boot). I have not found a manufactured problem yet, but I found my own simple solution, which was mentioned earlier in this forum.

I have two PCs held together by a strap. They are connected via a Linksys switch to a single wireless keyboard, a wireless mouse and a single monitor, To flip from one PC to the other I just hit the scroll-lock key twice in rapid succession. Two PCs have the advantage that when one is shutting down, re-booting, crashing, or just plain over-loaded (downloading pod-casts for example), you can use the other one.

Going one step further I can imagine that it would be possible to squeeze all the PC components into just one box. Motherboards are getting smaller, and I can imagine that two power supplies could fit in the box, along with the Linksys switch. For a very simple solution you could remove everything in your box and replace the contents with two laptops (with their chargers), plugged into a multi-plug, and add an external (external to the laptop, internal to the box), hard drive to increase capacity. This would have the advantage that each "PC" would have its own uninterruptable power supply, i.e. its own battery. All laptops allow the use of external monitors, mouse and keyboard, so wiring it up to the PC slots should be easy. The slghtly complicated thing is to figure out how to turn on the lap tops individually or how to keep them running when the lid is closed. Any ideas?

Coming back to my two PCs strapped together, I actually have two PCs, but each of them has several hard drives with various operating systems, such as DOS, Windows 98, XP in French and XP in English (You can have XP twice on the same drive). (But remember that 98 can not see a drive formatted for XP). This gives me maximum flexibility to work with different operating systems, or to work with XP twice on two different PCs. If need be the PC's can see each other's drives, by using networking: (It is not advisable to open up a whole drive as shared (security risk). Much better to just make certain specific folders as shared.

For example, one of the PCs is "Dual Boot" - using two hard drives. Both drives contain Windows XP in English (different serial numbers). One of the drives is the one I work on and is set up with "Do not share files with other users", whilst the other carries a second version of XP. By default the PC will boot into the first drive (the one I never use), unless I manually intervene at boot time to instruct it to boot from the other disk. This has the main advantage that if the kids or wife decide to boot both my PCs and to look around, by default the drive used for booting will not be the one that I normally use. They will not be using the same XP as me, nor even the same drive.

They will see themselves on the C:// drive, apparently with access to my user name and my documents, but nothing much of a personal nature. (Because in practice I don't use that drive). True they could browse to the D:// drive and look for the "My Documents" files there, but my user name on that drive has been set to "private". (Right click the folder, properties, sharing, make this folder private"). This means that my files on that drive are inaccessible unless the user has booted into the right PC (i.e Disk 2), AND has the correct user password. Both are unlikely.

It's not completely uncrackable, but it's certainly more difficult if the "hacker" does not know that (1) there are actually two PCs running, (2) how to switch to the correct PC, (3) That when on the correct PC it has booted by default into Windows on disk one which I never use, and (4) If the hacker finally re-boots to disk two, then he must still guess, crack or remove, my password from my user account. All of these steps are relatively difficult for a novice to get through.

Fireblade77
10-12-2009, 06:52 PM
Running into the same question, I found this:
Thermaltake Mozart TX
http://www.tt-germany.com/product_overview.aspx?PARENT_CID=C_00000054 (http://www.tt-germany.com/product_overview.aspx?PARENT_CID=C_00000054)

You can build in one miniITX-Mainboard and one ATX- or BTX-Mainboard, completely independent of each other.

PrairieDawg
10-13-2009, 04:49 AM
You do realize that the original post was from 2002? "Gary" (the original poster) may have built the Frankenstein system, used it for 4 years, stored it for 2 more years and taken it out and used it for target practice this year. If he is still trying to figure out how to build it then he is probably also looking for a new job.

Fireblade77
10-13-2009, 08:24 PM
You do realize that this thread was refreshed? I admit that this is also some time ago but the reason I posted it after all was, that I ran into the same issue yesterday, checked google and found this thread. I assume that there are more people like me out there who check google, find the same problem addressed in a board like this, read it, leave it and find the answer somewhere else... or even not.

Most people register to ask their question. Most people never register here only to post an answer to an issue. I did. If this is helpful to anybody... so what? If it is not it won't do any harm to hang on to this stuff.

Jsu my 2 cents...

artdrivers
10-13-2009, 10:32 PM
Does anyone know of a case that'll accept two ATX motherboards?
No :ponder: and how about 1 motherboard in 2 cases? :cackle: Anyone? :laughing:

ReelFiles
11-05-2009, 07:16 AM
I have the Tt MozartTX VE1000SWA (http://www.thermaltake.com/product/Chassis/fulltower/mozarttx/ve1000swa.asp), it holds a standard ATX board on the left and a miniITX on the right. You can add a 3x 5.5 to 4x 3.5 drive cage and use that for your secondary drives. I have also mounted a secondary miniITX PSU in that case before, didn't work perfectly but it's not impossible. I know it's pricey, but you can never outgrow that case.
(http://www.thermaltake.com/product/Chassis/fulltower/mozarttx/ve1000swa.asp)

DarthBeavis
11-09-2009, 01:45 AM
Mountain Mod Duality. Here is my setup:
Clinic Duality Server OutoftheBoxMods Blog (http://outoftheboxmods.com/my-mods-and-builds/clinic-duality-server/)

ReelFiles
11-09-2009, 06:59 AM
Very nice man, how much was that case?

DarthBeavis
11-09-2009, 07:50 AM
My Version: MountainMods.com-Computer Cases-U2-UFO Duality (http://www.mountainmods.com/computer-cases-u2ufo-duality-c-21_71.html)
Larger Version: MountainMods.com-Computer Cases-Ascension Duality (http://www.mountainmods.com/computer-cases-ascension-duality-c-21_86.html)

ReelFiles
11-09-2009, 08:16 AM
Damn man that's pricey. I thought mine was expensive at $250, at least you'll never outgrow it.

DarthBeavis
11-09-2009, 08:28 AM
at least you'll never outgrow it. Go check my blog. Look at Daywalker. I do agree the cases are expensive though. My custom cube (Nvidia SLI rig of the month APril 2007 - built in phase change unit) probably cost about 2000k including fabrication and paint.

Daywalker OutoftheBoxMods Blog (http://outoftheboxmods.com/my-mods-and-builds/daywalker/)
http://darthbeavis.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/bigcpucasemods9yl31.jpg
http://darthbeavis.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/tall-blue-and-modder1.jpg
http://darthbeavis.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/dsc00792gj11.jpg

ReelFiles
11-09-2009, 08:36 AM
Dude, you are INSANE! That's just crazy man, must have a lot of spare time and money on your hands.

DarthBeavis
11-09-2009, 08:45 AM
Dude, you are INSANE! That's just crazy man, must have a lot of spare time and money on your hands.
I have a lot of sponsors and pretty much just do builds for them (Intel, Nvidia, Crucial, AMD/ATI, etc). I also work as staff at events for Nvidia (such as PAX - did go with them to QuakeCon and did bring a build for the booth but did not have to work shifts that event). CES I was with the Crucial folks for the event with another build. I am a stay-at-home Dad (although back in graduate school now) so free time has not been a large issue.

As for money, all that hardware you see including case and paint was sponsored. For this build I kept three of the 280s and sent three back to Palit. Nvidia does take good care of my hardware wise (several 295s here, still have 9800 GX2s coming out my ears as well as the 280s).

The economy is much tighter so I am picking my projects more carefully now.

ReelFiles
11-09-2009, 09:16 AM
That's cool man. I used to be a lot more into modding back when I was a moderator over at DFI-Street, but after that ended I really haven't had a chance to do much. I am also a stay at home dad now, since I got laid off from my construction job. I fix PCs on the side, but it's not really lucrative at this time. When my business does eventually take off I definitely want to get back into modding.

DarthBeavis
11-09-2009, 09:23 AM
That's cool man. I used to be a lot more into modding back when I was a moderator over at DFI-Street, but after that ended I really haven't had a chance to do much. I am also a stay at home dad now, since I got laid off from my construction job. I fix PCs on the side, but it's not really lucrative at this time. When my business does eventually take off I definitely want to get back into modding.I used to post there years and years ago. This economy is a pain. Our sales (we own a vet clinic) are WAY down. We have had to lay off folks and really watch our budget. The only really big discretionary expenditure I will not stop is my personal trainer but then that reduces eventual health costs.

Less gut = better heart (compare to the above pic)
http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/1420/dsc016973189592.jpg

SCSIraidGURU
11-11-2009, 10:49 AM
Cool design. I have seen server towers that can hold two servers in one tower. I rather have one per tower.

Blue_Screen
12-28-2009, 02:00 PM
this could easily be done with 2 half-height desktop cases that are hinged together so they open up like a briefcase...

Hinged along the back, 2 low-profile backplanes side-by-side, a bit like those double-width cases, but squeezed into a single width

Use those horrid NLX style riser boards with a suitable mobo so your expansion cards lay parallell to the mobo, low profile CPU coolers, sideways PSU's, yeah, it can be done...