Multidisk and multiboot

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Multidisk and multiboot

Postby tweetiepooh » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:38 pm

Here is how I set up my PC with 2 hard disks.

Disk1 = software and O/S
Disk2 = data

1)Set BIOS to boot from disk 1 and install Windows. Leave room for Linux.
2)Create partitions on disk 2 for data. I use NTFS for some so I can share easily with Linux
3)Set BIOS to boot from disk 2
4)Install Linux to partitions on disk 1 but install boot loader to MBR on disk 2 (with OpenSuse this is the default)
5)Mount shared data areas in Linux. I create groups for say music and photos, group own the data areas and make group writeable. (e.g. members of photo group can write to the /Photos mount)

Now on booting the system will boot from disk 2 and I get multiboot menu booting to Linux or Windows. If something should go wrong I can switch BIOS to boot from disk 1 and go straight to Windows. I do this if I need to apply patches to Windows with lots of reboots.
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Re: Multidisk and multiboot

Postby Nuke » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:49 pm

tweetiepooh wrote:If something should go wrong I can switch BIOS to boot from disk 1 and go straight to Windows.

I'm not sure if I see why you have the BIOS point to Disk 2 (which presumably has GRUB in the MBR) which then points to the boot sector of the Windows or Linux partition on Disk 1. You could just as well put GRUB in the MBR of Disk 1.

I guess you do not want to interfere with the Windows MBR set-up on Disk 1. From what I understand however, a Windows MBR, other than containing a partition table (which your Disk 2 MBR will also have) is a simple re-direct to the Windows partition boot sector (aka "Volume boot record"). That is what GRUB does when booting Windows. Not much to "go wrong", and my set up, like yours but with GRUB on the Disk 1 MBR, never has.

Even so, if things should "go wrong" there are a number of ways to restore the Disk 1 MBR to the Windows default configuration.
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Postby Rhakios » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:24 pm

I'd hope the OP would have fixed this sometime in the last year and a half. Otherwise, they've been very patient.
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Postby Ram » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:28 pm

But did he have a problem or just saying how he'd setup his system.

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Postby Rhakios » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:32 pm

Ram wrote:But did he have a problem or just saying how he'd setup his system.


If I had a dual boot and had to change settings in the BIOS to choose which OS to boot, then I'd say I had a problem.
Having said which, with the peculiar partition systems that many modern Windows based PCs seem to come with, GRUB isn't always able to boot Windows properly. However, I've only seen that problem on single disk laptops.
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Postby Nuke » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:57 pm

Rhakios wrote:I'd hope the OP would have fixed this sometime in the last year and a half.

LoL - I've just noticed the date. Still, useful to other readers perhaps.

Rhakios wrote:If I had a dual boot and had to change settings in the BIOS to choose which OS to boot, then I'd say I had a problem.

I read it that he would normally choose by means of the boot manager (assume GRUB for the sake of argument) he has on Disk 2. He would only change the BIOS settings to boot Windows by means of its own MBR in Disk 1 if GRUB went wrong for some reason.
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Postby Ram » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:51 pm

My PC

2 Disks.

Primary for Win7
Secondary For Linux.

Though both SATA so above just legacy terminology

Bios order Secondary / Primary.

BIOS menu (f8, others f keys are available) used if I need to pop into Win7.

I initially didn't have Win7 in grub, was intentional. However, one distro upgrade added it, so now have the option of both BIOS or GRUB, in either case it is a 3 or 4 key press (f8 > Down Arrow > Enter) or (Down Arrow * 3 > Enter )

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