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2 hard drives win7/kubuntu

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January 14, 2010 4:36:00 PM

Well, i had no luck in the storage section of Toms. So i want to have win7 and kubuntu on two different hard drives on my desktop. i currently have windows on my 500gb HD. and i wanted to buy a second hd to put kubuntu on, is there any way that i would be able to easily choose which one i want to boot into when i start my comp without going into the boot options?

ps- this is after many failed attempts at dual-booting.
January 14, 2010 4:49:52 PM

YES!! :)  You can:

a. Install Ubnutu on the new drive and then add an entry in Grub so that it appears as a boot option.

b. Use you BIOS to select the boot device, some BIOS allow you to do this from a hot key at boot time, others need you to edit the setting.

Option a. is a lot like dual booting but you could in theory totally disconnect the Win7 drive when you install Linux, add the disk back and then make the Grub entry (We can help with that!) but you would have no chance of blasting you Win7 install in the process.
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a b G Storage
January 14, 2010 4:50:11 PM

Install EasyBCD.
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January 14, 2010 4:53:29 PM

How do i add an entry to grub?
and that was incredibly fast.
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January 14, 2010 4:57:54 PM

It's just a case of editing a text file. The link ijack just posted is the other way to do it, create a boot option from the Windows boot loader to point to the Linux install on the other disk.

As for fast I just got in and caught it by chance - might also have something to do with the high coffee concentration following a day in the office - Booze now required to slow back down :) 
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a b G Storage
January 14, 2010 5:06:14 PM

The latest Kubuntu uses Grub2 as the boot loader, unfortunately it isn't as easy as Grub1 to add a second OS; However if Kubuntu is installed after Windows7 it should auto-detect and create the Multi-Boot menu for you.
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January 14, 2010 5:08:57 PM

Even if its on a different HD?
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a b G Storage
January 14, 2010 6:52:14 PM

One reason that I would recommend EasyBCD over Grub. If your boot disk isn't the one with Windows 7 on some things, in my experience, don't work properly. In particular you may have problems with System Images and Sleeping.

I don't have links for this, just empirical evidence. Until I made Windows 7 my boot disk I had problems with these features. System Images gave an error and the PC would wake immediately on going into Sleep mode.

I would have preferred to have used Grub, particularly as one of my partitions was a Solaris install, which requires it's own special version of Grub. I ended up with EasyBCD as the boot menu, one of the options being NeoGrub, which then pointed to the Solaris Grub. Roundabout, but the only way I could get things to work properly.
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January 14, 2010 6:56:43 PM

Well thats the thing, i dont want to set one boot disk, i want to choose which one i want to boot into everytime i start up, just like it is when dual booting.
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a b G Storage
January 14, 2010 7:02:24 PM

That's what EasyBCD (or Grub, whichever you choose) will do for you. When you boot you will get a menu that lets you choose Windows or some other OS - Linux in your case. The other way to do it is to change the boot priority in the BIOS, or use the boot menu that most BIOSes provide with a particular key press - I can never remember which it is on mine, F10 I think.

The menu option is a little bit more work to set up in the first place, but it's the most natural solution when set up.
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January 14, 2010 7:19:50 PM

Yes, i have dealt with grub before, but i wasnt sure if it would detect the OSs on two diff HDs.
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a b G Storage
January 14, 2010 7:25:50 PM

I don't honestly know whether Grub automatically detects OSes on more than one disk (off the top of my head I would say it does but it's a long time since I tried that particular scenario). But it's really not difficult to construct a Grub menu item to chainload another boot manager. Have a look at the Grub documentation. The only caveat is the potential problems that I mentioned in my previous post when using Grub to boot Windows 7 on another disk.
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January 14, 2010 7:34:04 PM

GRUB doesn't automatically detect OSes but it's fairly easy to edit grub.conf if your distros installer doesn't already build one for you with all your OSes in it.
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January 14, 2010 8:55:43 PM

well i would install grub using my win7 harddrive. then in a few days i would buy that new hard drive and put kubuntu on it.
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January 16, 2010 10:31:01 PM

Ijack said:
That's what EasyBCD (or Grub, whichever you choose) will do for you. When you boot you will get a menu that lets you choose Windows or some other OS - Linux in your case. The other way to do it is to change the boot priority in the BIOS, or use the boot menu that most BIOSes provide with a particular key press - I can never remember which it is on mine, F10 I think.

The menu option is a little bit more work to set up in the first place, but it's the most natural solution when set up.


The more you talk about this the more I think I'll have to have a play. I like to leave my OS as vanilla as possible and this raises the chance of using a pendrive as my boot disk to flick between multiple drives, each of which is bootable in its own right.
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