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Ubuntu and WinXP, each on own HDD - Dual Boot?

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March 5, 2008 12:22:08 PM

Hi,
Please forgive the duplicate post (which I entered on the WinXP forum), but thought someone on the Linux forum might have experience with the post.
Recently installed Seagate 500Gb SATA HDD on Gateway 500S, originally configured with Maxtor 80Gb IDE HDD. During install and Win XP Pro build on Seagate drive, I simply disconnected the power to the Maxtor HDD to avoid any potential conflicts. The Maxtor HDD has UBuntu Linux installed on it -- it's not configured for dual-boot.

My question is: Is is possible to enable dual-boot for 2 separate HDD's. The only dual-boot work I've ever done was for Win 98 and Win XP and I seem to recall it required that both OS's be installed on 2 separate partitions of the main HDD or, maybe that's all I had available at the time...
The only alternative I can see is to do if not directly possible via dual-boot capability, is to 'disconnect' power on one drive or the other depending on which OS you want to boot to -- might work but is really clunky.

Some details on the process if possible or links to information would also be just as appreciated.
Thanks,
Greynold
March 5, 2008 2:14:31 PM

All you need is GRUB ( the Linux boot loader ).

Boot ubuntu, make a backup copy and then edit /boot/grub/menu.lst


I think you need to add these lines to the bottom and change "rootnoverify (hd1,0)" to match your hard drive with xp on it

title xp
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
chainloader +1
boot



GRUB starts counting at 0

hd0 is the 1st HDD
hd1 is the 2nd HDD
hd2 the 3rd HDD and so on

The second number is the partition so if xp is on the 1st partition it would be 0 and so on.

If xp is on the 3rd hard drive and 4th partition you'd use hd(2,3)

GL :) 
March 5, 2008 2:44:35 PM

Thanks GL,
Sounds & looks simple enough. Afraid I'm not the Ubuntu guru in the family - my son's desktop, he's at college.
So, I guess what you're also saying is that by having both HDD's power connected - (remember I disconnected the older Maxtor drive to avoid any potential conflicts and just left it off for now) I won't have any BIOS issues with which HDD boots (only based on BIOS Boot Order setting)?

With this new HDD and 2Gb memory (upgraded from 512Mb), this thing's almost like a new desktop.

Anyway, I had come across a forum post about enabling dual boot on same HDD and went ahead and partitioned the new HDD to about 300Gb/200GB. I figured he could run the unused partition through the Ubuntu disk format program if he still wants to have dual boot capability. Though, I didn't see how to enable a FAT32 on 2nd partition as post indicated would be necessary using the WinXP Fdisk once I opted to format primary partition in NTFS, probably a setting I need to look in the Fdisk doc.
Greynold
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March 5, 2008 9:59:51 PM

I run the same setup, but I just switch the boot priorities in the bios when I want to switch over.
March 8, 2008 1:25:38 PM

GRUB is so much easier :) 

Instead of having to go into the BIOS and change the boot order every time all you have to do is install grub on your 1st HDD and edit the configuration file either by hand or with a graphical app.

Once that's done GRUB will ask you which operating system you want to boot any time you reboot your PC.

You can set the timeout to anything you want and you can also set the default operating system you want to boot automatically.

GL :) 
January 21, 2009 6:40:16 AM

its not working dude
i made changes to the menu.lst file but when i save the file it is making copies of the menu.lst.save.1,... so how do i change my menu.lst?

should i login as root, if so tell me how to login as root??
January 21, 2009 8:51:22 AM

sudo su -

cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst.backup

gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
!