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Dual boot Win 7 & openSUSE 11.1, two drives: 1 SSD + 1 storage drive

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August 30, 2009 8:54:53 PM

Wondering if anybody has suggestions on the following setup. I plan to do a dual-boot of Win 7 x64 and openSUSE 11.1 x86-64. I'll use two drives: a 160GB Intel X25-M SSD (G2--I'll buy as soon as availability is restored) and a 750GB SATA2 7200rpm HDD.

I have in mind the following:
- Install Win 7 first. Use 100GB on SSD for Win 7 OS and programs, leaving the rest unallocated. I understand Win 7 will create two primary NTFS partitions (the 2nd one being a ~200GB recovery partition).
- Then install openSUSE in the remaining ~60GB of the SSD, just an extended partition with two logicals for / and (if necessary, see below) /swap. I know 60GB for just root is alot but is required as I'll install many large 3rd party apps.
- Use the 750GB HDD for data, having 2 partitions on there. One NTFS partition ~500GB for Win 7 Documents and the remainder for an ext3-formatted partition mounted as /home in openSUSE. It's fine that Win 7 cannot see what's under /home. In fact, I intend it not to.

A few quick questions:
- Do you see any complications arising from this setup or can I just follow one of the many dual-booting howtos online? ext3 file system for Linux is fine?
- Should I have the 750GB hard drive connected during install of Win 7 and/or openSUSE?
- Will I be able to mount the 500GB NTFS partition on the second drive as Users/Documents in Win 7? How do I do that?
- Is the /swap partition for openSUSE a good idea or not? I run a Core i7 with 6GB RAM.


Thanks for reading, I thought I post it here at THW as Linux-centric forums might not appreciate my ambitions wrt Win 7.
August 30, 2009 10:45:41 PM

- I see no complications. Windows will use NTFS and Linux will use ext3 by default.
- It doesn't matter if it's connected. It will be recognized if you plug it in afterward
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August 30, 2009 11:12:55 PM

Pyroflea said:
- I see no complications. Windows will use NTFS and Linux will use ext3 by default.
- It doesn't matter if it's connected. It will be recognized if you plug it in afterward


Thanks for verifying.

I just figured having subfolders of Users on a separate drive is no problem in Vista/Win 7.

The other thing I'm not sure about is if a standard ext3 for the Linux root partition on the SSD is OK. Suggestions on teh interwebs vary wildly. Of course, the MTBF on the Intel X25-M is pretty high. So are any of the tweaks suggested out there (noatime, no journaling, RAM disks, disabling swapping, etc) still worth following?
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August 30, 2009 11:38:04 PM

I have had problems dual booting, Windows / Linux using the Windows default boot loader. It works seamlessly with Grub or Lilo, as they can access the Windows Partitions.
I might need a little more research to get Windows to recognize something on a ext3 partition.
The easy way is making a USB Drive bootable into your favorite flavor of Linux, then you can leave the windows boot loader on HD0 and boot off the USB for Linux.
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August 31, 2009 8:20:17 AM

Yes I haven't had much luck installing Win 7 on an SSD and Fedora on my 640GB HDD and using the Windows bootloader either. I have GRUB on the first sector of /boot and have the Windows bootloader set up to load menu.lst from here when I select the option in the bootloader screen, but I get a GRUB Geom error when starting it.
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