Booting dual hard drives

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Booting dual hard drives

Postby worden » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:47 am

I have two hard drives installed. Both are functional. One is a Sata and the other an IDE. I can access each one individually but not together. I have to depower one to boot the other. The Sata drive is on chanel 2 master and the Ide is on channel 1 slave. They are all on auto or enabled. How can I get both Hard Drives to boot showing the OS in both drives please.
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Postby nelz » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:40 am

Which distros are you using and, more importantly, which versions of GRUB. You need to put all your bootloader information on the primary drive, probably the SATA one, and let it load OSes from either drive.

If you tell us what is on the drives, you will get a more specific answer.
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Postby towy71 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:32 am

My computer has both ide and sata and I chose the ide as the master drive in the bios, I could choose to boot either drive by pressing a function key (F12) at power up
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Postby worden » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:51 pm

Thank you for your replies. On the Sata drive I have Ubuntu 10.10 and win xp professional and on the IDE I have fedora 13 and Mandriva. The grub version is 1.98. Hope this will help solve my problem. How do I change the MBR?
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What is your menu.lst

Postby Nuke » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:04 pm

Some motherboards which have both IDE and SATA controllers, and of certin vintage, cannot boot from the SATA drive. My own PC is like that. I put my OS stuff in different partitions on the on the IDE and use the new and bigger SATA drive for my data.

Generally, during booting the BIOS (after it has done its stuff) will try to pass control to code in the first sector of the HD it has been told to.

I wonder why your IDE HD is set up as slave? Some IDE drives have a jumper option fo something like auto or "Cable select" - don't use it, select "Primary" or "Slave" positively.

This first sector of a HD is its Master Boot Record (MBR), or the start of it. In a Windows box the MBR contains the Windows boot manager. Older Windows boot managers could give a menu choice of DOS or Windows, but I don't know about modern Windows. In a Linux box the MBR contains GRUB or Smart Boot Manager (Lilo if older). Any of these boot managers will point to the start of a disk partition (the Boot Sector of that partition) where there is a boot loader to start an operating system, except that the Windows boot manager will refuse to point to a Linux partition, and GRUB and Lilo also act as the Linux loader.

I recommend Smart Boot Manager (http://sourceforge.net/projects/btmgr/). Installing it will place itself (reversibly) in the MBR and it will then search for any bootable OS's (actually their loaders) in the partitions and place them in its menu. You will still need the Linux and Windows loaders (GRUB for Linux) in their partions' boot sectors though.

It sounds in your case as if a boot menu has never been set up in Grub. What does your /boot/grub/menu.lst look like, from the uncommented line starting "title ..."?
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Postby ajgreeny » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:57 am

It sounds in your case as if a boot menu has never been set up in Grub. What does your /boot/grub/menu.lst look like, from the uncommented line starting "title ..."?
No point looking for that! You are using grub2 (v1.98 in fact) which uses a grub.cfg file instead, so boot to whichever OS runs grub on your machine, then look for /boot/grub/grub.cfg, and if you see it run the command in terminal
Code: Select all
grep menuentry /boot/grub/grub.cfg
which will at least tell us what OSs the grub menu contains, though I am not sure how, or if that will help.
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