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Thread: Dual booting separate hard drives




  1. #1
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    I'm a newbie at Linux but trying to learn .... anyway I'm not really sure if what I want to do is possible but thought I'd ask. Here is the plan ... and the problem: I have downloaded the latest version of Mandrake and am in the process of buring the ISOs. What I want to do is remove my primary hard drive and replace it with a different one then copy Mandrake to it then put my XP hard drive back in the system. (thereby removing any chance of accidentaly formatting the XP disk or affecting it in any way). What is the best way to configure my system to dual boot after doing this? I have been told that if I put each hard drive on separate IDE channels and then manually switch access in bios that I should be able to switch my OS startup. (Sounds like a bit of an annoyance). My idea is to find a boot disk (floppy?) solution that will give me the option as to which drive to boot from (or direct boot to drive "D" when used) ... is this possible or feasible? Suggestions???
    Antec 900 case (4 120mm and 1 200mm lighted fans + UFO flashing light set + 2 12" and 1 6" Mutant Mods meteor lights) - Aerogate ll thermal controller - Asus M2N-e SLI - AMD 64 X2 AM2 6400+ - Corsair TX650 PSU - MSI 450GTS Cyclone OC - 2 X 2GB Patriot Extreme Performance PC2 6400 RAM - SATA 320 GB Seagate HD, SATA 300GB Maxtor HD and IDE 80 GB Samsung HD - Floppy Drive/Card Reader Combo - LG SuperMulti Lightscribe 18x DVD RW - Plextor PX-716A DVD r/rw - Windows 7 Home Premium 64

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  2. #2
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    You could just remove the IDE connector from the drive you aren't wanting to boot from, change the boot sequence in bios, or just disable the hard drive you don't want to boot from in the Bios.

  3. #3
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    why do you want to remove the XP HD at the time of install?
    Mandrake install is so simple that there is 0.1% chance of you screwing anything up and that too if you are an extreme n00b.
    i would say let the XP HD be in the master position and put your new HD in slave position. now install Mandrake on the slave hard disk and when it comes to the point where it wants you to install bootloader, switch to expert option. from here install the bootloader on a floppy rather than installing it on root or MBR.
    now you will be able to access a bootloader from this floppy to boot into Linux otherwise your PC will boot directly to XP (Master HD).
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies! As for the odds of me screwing up ..... well lets just say that a certain Mr. Murphy seems to live in my world wayyyy too often. (You know .... Mr. Murphy of Murphys law).

    Anyway ... the deed is done. I neglected to wait long enough for your responces .... (the disks were burned and looking at them on the 'puter desk was not as fun as using them). What I did was disconnect my XP HD and connect the drive that I wanted to install Mandrake on (a 6.4 GB HD ) ... format and install went well. .....But when I moved the primary IDE cable and reset my Mandrake drive to slave and the XP drive to master position .... my Mandrake would no longer boot .... (missing kernel or something).

    Ultimatly what I did was just what I should have done in the first place ... just as asklepios said ... I reinstalled Mandrake with both drives in position. LILO now does it's job in a normal fashion when booting up ... only problem is that it boots to Mandrake if unattended. Is there an easy way to reset the boot order???

    Oh! If there are any Linux noobies reading this ... it really is as easy as it sounds. Just follow instructions as you go and read carefully. The new OS looks pretty cool and I'm sure it will bring a lot of new challenges.
    Antec 900 case (4 120mm and 1 200mm lighted fans + UFO flashing light set + 2 12" and 1 6" Mutant Mods meteor lights) - Aerogate ll thermal controller - Asus M2N-e SLI - AMD 64 X2 AM2 6400+ - Corsair TX650 PSU - MSI 450GTS Cyclone OC - 2 X 2GB Patriot Extreme Performance PC2 6400 RAM - SATA 320 GB Seagate HD, SATA 300GB Maxtor HD and IDE 80 GB Samsung HD - Floppy Drive/Card Reader Combo - LG SuperMulti Lightscribe 18x DVD RW - Plextor PX-716A DVD r/rw - Windows 7 Home Premium 64

    Crude but Effective ... it is a way of life.

  5. #5
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    open /etc/lilo.conf with any text editor like kedit, gedit (GUI) or vi, nano (CLI) and edit it.
    you will see various stanza like
    # Linux bootable partition config begins
    image = /boot/vmlinuz
    root = /dev/hdb1
    label = Linux
    read-only # Non-UMSDOS filesystems should be mounted read-only for checking
    # Linux bootable partition config ends
    # DOS bootable partition config begins
    other = /dev/hda1
    label = Windows
    table = /dev/hda
    # DOS bootable partition config ends
    you just have to edit it the way you want it. which ever part comes first will be booted first (understandable). so here just put the Windows part above Linux one and save the file.
    once you have done that run [code:1:cd6fc6ef21]/sbin/lilo[/code:1:cd6fc6ef21] and you will be done.
    you need to be root to do all that
    Latest Microsoft Security Updates.
    Last Updated:
    10th MARCH


    If you are a security freak: Use Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (NT/2000/XP/2003)
    ======================
    icq : 203189004
    jabber : asklepios20@jabber.org
    =======================
    Linux user since: April 24, 2003 312478
    yabaa dabaa doo...
    Customized for 1024x768

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