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syntaxerror
01-14-07, 11:50 PM
I just upgraded my computer and am going to be reinstalling everything, but I decided that I'm going to dual boot with Windows XP and Ubuntu 6.10. My only question for you guys is, should I use one hard drive, and just partition it to boot for either one I pick in the Grub loader, or should I use two separate hard drives -- install XP on one, with the other disconnected, then connect the other one and disconnect the first and install Ubuntu on that one and then just go into BIOS and set the priority for whichever one I want to load first to be the default -- and press F8 if I want to boot into the other. I'm leaning towards the latter (two drive) method, because I don't think I'm going to be using Ubuntu extremely often (or at least not as much as XP) and I don't want to have to face that damn Grub loader every time I boot up...I'd rather just be able to turn it on and let it start up on its own into Windows, and if I want to go into Ubuntu, I'll press F8 when I feel like it. But then again, I just got a 500 GB hard drive for this purpose. And then there's the argument that it's safer to have them on separate hard drives in case one goes down, they'll be isolated from each other. I'm leaning towards the two hard drive method, but what do you guys think?

john19055
01-15-07, 03:44 AM
Ever dual boot that I did was to use a single harddrive and partition it to the sizes I wanted

SlieTheSecond
01-15-07, 09:41 AM
If you got the hard drives, I would go for two. Plus if you messed up the partition and didn't give enough space to one os, or have to increase a swap file partition or something, it's gonna save you a hassle. You might think you partitioned the right sizes to begin with. But it doesn't always end up that way :)

I've done that with XP and Slackware. I used a boot loader tho.

Imbroglio
01-15-07, 10:02 AM
I've done that with XP and Slackware. I used a boot loader tho.

i've dual booted slack/xp in the past and found that by using 2 hdds, if you screw up your *nix partition or the bootloader doesn't get put in the MBR correctly then you can just take out a hdd. making it much easier and only losing one os as opposed to both. i would also recommend installing *nix with only one hdd and then add in your win hdd later and go into lilo and add in the option for the xp drive. although using ubuntu you don't have to worry as it pretty much does it for you. i would still recommend 2 hdds though.

syntaxerror
01-15-07, 02:24 PM
i would also recommend installing *nix with only one hdd and then add in your win hdd later and go into lilo and add in the option for the xp drive.

What is *nix? And also, I've heard that it's always better to install windows first and then ubuntu (or any linux), because if you do it the other way around, windows won't recognize the other partition because windows doesn't like to play with other operating systems.

Imbroglio
01-15-07, 03:58 PM
What is *nix? And also, I've heard that it's always better to install windows first and then ubuntu (or any linux), because if you do it the other way around, windows won't recognize the other partition because windows doesn't like to play with other operating systems.

*nix is your flavor of linux/unix, in your case ubuntu. Secondly, there are two ways of dealing with a windows drive. If you leave the windows drive as the master, then you have to worry about the MBR (master boot record) if you decide that you aren't going to be using ubuntu again. Meaning that you would have to re-create the original MBR for windows if you decide to take out your *nix drive. The other option, is that you already have windows installed and you set that drive as the slave and you install ubuntu on the primary drive. Then later (not sure if ubuntu would setup the MBR for windows or not) if windows is not there, then you can setup your boot manager to give you the window option as well. This step usually requires you to remap the windows drive to the master, as windows doesn't like to be on the slave drive either. But that is a simple google search away, there are plenty of examples of how to do that. With this second option, the best part is that if you managed to bork your ubuntu install, you can always just remove the hdd and put the windows hdd back to the master, and windows will still work perfectly fine. :D

grey_1
01-15-07, 05:00 PM
I'm using 2, glad of it. I had nothing but heart ache with edgy eft, which meant alot of wiping and re-installing without ever having to fix my win mbr.

Bman212121
01-15-07, 05:05 PM
*nix is your flavor of linux/unix, in your case ubuntu. Secondly, there are two ways of dealing with a windows drive. If you leave the windows drive as the master, then you have to worry about the MBR (master boot record) if you decide that you aren't going to be using ubuntu again. Meaning that you would have to re-create the original MBR for windows if you decide to take out your *nix drive. The other option, is that you already have windows installed and you set that drive as the slave and you install ubuntu on the primary drive. Then later (not sure if ubuntu would setup the MBR for windows or not) if windows is not there, then you can setup your boot manager to give you the window option as well. This step usually requires you to remap the windows drive to the master, as windows doesn't like to be on the slave drive either. But that is a simple google search away, there are plenty of examples of how to do that. With this second option, the best part is that if you managed to bork your ubuntu install, you can always just remove the hdd and put the windows hdd back to the master, and windows will still work perfectly fine. :D

QFT. That is always how I've done it. You can just use the chainloader to load your windows OS, even if it's on an array. My linux can't see my windows install because it's on a Raid array, but I can still make it boot my array and use linux if I like. The best part is that you can reinstall 4 or 5 different *nix verisons, without having to touch your xp install.

@syntaxerror: If you were putting both onto the same hd, then you would want to install xp, then linux. Like you said, you'll have a bootloader, then windows will kill it and you can't get back to your linux without fixing the bootloader.

syntaxerror
01-16-07, 12:22 AM
Alright, well I've finally decided on going ahead with two hard drives for the dual boot. Thanks for everyone's input.

Now comes part two of my question. I've read up on this topic as much as I can, and I just want to hear how people think I should actually do this. I'll be using Windows XP on my big SATA hdd as the default and then Ubuntu on the little IDE hdd. Here's my plan (tell me if any changes need to be made, etc.):

1) Go into BIOS and make the SATA drive boot first (well, second, after the CD), then the IDE drive. Also have the SATA drive jumper set to master and the IDE one to slave.
2) Install Windows XP as usual on the SATA drive.
3) Go into BIOS and make the IDE drive boot before the SATA drive. Also have the SATA drive jumper set to slave and the IDE one to master.
4) Install Ubuntu on the IDE drive.

Now here's the part that gets a little shaky. People have said a bunch of ambiguous things about it, so I'm not entirely sure. Hopefully, the GRUB loader will automatically see Windows XP, but then how do I make that the default so that it loads into XP without any button presses (timer counts down)? How do I reduce the timer? Also, since I'm going to be using XP 90% of the time, should I set the jumper on the SATA (XP) drive to master and the jumper on the IDE (Ubuntu) drive to slave? And will the IDE drive have to boot first? Ugh, there's so many variables!

grey_1
01-16-07, 03:53 AM
I would recommend loading XP, then unplug that drive and load ubuntu. Hook up XP drive and use bios to switch back and forth.

The reasons are this..Let you make sure you like ubuntu, 6.10 has some bad bugs.

If you change you won't trash your XP install.

Editing grub very easy btw.
http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO/Linux+Win9x+Grub-HOWTO.html

That's a little older, but still works. Good luck.

a12ctic
01-16-07, 02:13 PM
2 HD's is always better, and if you dont need files over 4gb, go with fat32, better read/write compatability in linux (although ntfs read/write is pretty good right now with the noobie friendly distros)

Imbroglio
01-16-07, 03:24 PM
always used just the ntfs read support, as i figured if it messed up the file, the file would only be messed up in *nix, write support (which i believe is still experimental) used to be asking for trouble, don't know if it still is or not.

syntaxerror
01-17-07, 05:07 PM
can anybody post the exact instructions for doing this? I'm gonna do it tonight and I want it to be painless :nanahump:

a12ctic
01-17-07, 05:14 PM
suse, ubuntu, etc. All those distributions should set it all up automatically for you.