I have read a few posts on this forum but I wanted to get a opinion close to my setup. I am running a ASUS M3N78A PRO MoBo. 4 GB Ram, GTS 250 graph card.
What I want to do is go back and forth from windows to linux on oocasion... not at the same time..What is the the easiest way? Swappable carriers? or another method? If you have a method please tell me in average joe terms.
I bring up the carrier method because I have seen the swapable hard drive/carrier method, but on a system running Linux & Windows back and forth is this a problem on the MoBo or any other hardware???
The easiest way to set it up is simply to create two partitions on your hard drive and install Linux into one and Windows into the other one. No extra hardware is needed. At boot time you'll get a choice of which OS to load, and it will default if you don't reply within a certain timeout period. You can control the timeout period and which OS will boot by default.
If you partition a hard drive and install Linux on the first partition, and then install Windows XP on the second partition, Windows will not recognize Linux as an operating system, it will rewirte the master boot record, and you will not be able to boot to Linux from the hard drive. You can boot from a floppy and if you know how to do it, you can boot to Linux from that. I have done it in the past, but I don't remember how to do it now. You can look it up with google.
If you have two partitions and install XP into the first partition, and Linux into the second partition, Linux will also overwrite the master partition, and point it to the GRUB boot loader. Linux however will see the XP installation and the GRUB boot loader will allow you to select the XP operating system. It will however default to the Linus system.
You can have two hard drives and use the BIOS to switch which one is the primary and which one is the secondary. This is safe and effective, but kind of a pain unless you are going to remove Linux and have XP as your only operating system. You can use the XP install disk to restore the XP Master Boot Record.
You can also have two hard drives and physically switch them so that you only have one drive in the computer at a time. That is what I did when I was testing the Vista Beta. In spite of what they said, you can load and run Vista on a 13GB hard drive.
i would suggest virtual machine software like virtual box or vmware (i like vbox, it's free and awesome). It's, easy to set up, you don't have to worry about anything inside the computer, and yea, it's just really easy. And as a bonus, you can run both os at the same time.
I have windows xp on my laptop and installing ubuntu was easy. you just install vbox, and then say you want to add an os. it asks you some easy questions about it, and then creates a big file that represents the linux hard disk. it's like 8 gb big, and then you don't have to partition anything, or even reboot windows to run linux (and you could run windows from linux instead if you wanted).
i've never found it slow, and i only have 2 gb of ram. and pretty much every feature of the guest os is available to you (i only had problems if i tried to use old versions of linux, like fedora 9. and then it was just not as easy to resize the display). and if you install the vbox guest additions (takes like 10 mins), you can do some cool stuff like share a folder between the 2 os'es and share a clipboard.
unless you do some really intensive stuff on both os'es (and i mean REALLY instensive), i'd say vbox is the easiest and most conveniient solution.
Well it kind of sounds like 2 partitions on 1 drive may be troublesome or run into issues..
Whats the easiest way for me to do it on separate hard drives?
I have a standard case so I would like to not open the case and disconnect cables everytime I want to swap.
Install Windows or Linux on the first drive. After completing the installation of that OS, reboot go to BIOS then select the 2nd hard drive as a higher priority boot device (higher than the 1st hard drive). Install the OS you didn't install on the 2nd hard drive. In that setup when you want to transfer to Linux or Windows you need to go through the BIOS everytime and prioritize the proper hard drive. (Not really the easiest setup).
For me, the 2 partitions on one drive is easier. On that setup install Windows first, then Linux just to be sure that the GRUB loader would be setup correctly. (Then just configure the GRUB loader to auto-select your primary OS and keep the delay to 5 or 7 seconds so it wouldn't be too long. Just make sure to keep pressing down or up key when you want to see the GRUB loader or switch to linux).