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Dual-HD PCs

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July 7, 2010 9:26:16 PM

Is it true that there are no dual-HD PCs on the market? I been told that my only option is to either special order from factory, or go to a custom-build shop. Can any one confirm or refute?

More about : dual pcs

July 7, 2010 9:29:07 PM

What do you mean by dual-HD? Two hard drives? In RAID?
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July 8, 2010 11:25:34 PM

Proximon said:
What do you mean by dual-HD? Two hard drives? In RAID?


Exactly! Two regular internal hard disk drives, or one regular HD and one removable (Frame/Carrier-based) hard drive. Sorry, I've no idea what RAID is
(hardware books I'm studying don't seem current enough to mention it), but I suspect its something I don't need.
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July 8, 2010 11:35:31 PM

You most certainly can have 2 hard drives in a PC, although most pre-built PCs(Dell, HP etc) don't come with them. But you can install one yourself. Or consider an external Hard Drive.
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July 8, 2010 11:49:55 PM

cmcghee358 said:
You most certainly can have 2 hard drives in a PC, although most pre-built PCs(Dell, HP etc) don't come with them. But you can install one yourself. Or consider an external Hard Drive.


When you say "most" don't come with them, does this mean you know of any brands/model numbers of pre-builts that do have dual-HDD ready to go? I know I can get this on special order from factory or from custom-build shop, but the question is....is there a "pre-built" option? Google/Yahoo search only yielded workstations with dual-HD.
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July 9, 2010 12:00:33 AM

Well by saying most, I meant I had never seen one. So most likely you won't be able to find it. But installing a 2nd hard drive isn't too difficult. It's 2 connectors and like 4 screws to hold it in.

But for prebuilt computers like Dell/HP it's harder because they build their own cases. You can go to Dell.com and add a 2nd hard drive to a custom built computer as you've said, if you are uncertain of your ability to install it on your own.
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July 9, 2010 12:26:43 AM

If you tell us exactly what you want to accomplish we'll be able to advise you more clearly.

Are you looking for redundancy? Extra storage? The ability to boot from different drives?

Different needs call for different solutions.

Adding a hard drive to any standard size pre-built is going to be incredibly easy.
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July 9, 2010 12:48:46 AM

Many pre-build shops (Dell, etc.) give the option of configuring your computer with multiple hard drives, but I guess you could technically call that special-order. I have not seen any pre-built/quick-ship models that come with multiple hard drives off the shelf.
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July 14, 2010 1:59:12 AM

Proximon said:
If you tell us exactly what you want to accomplish we'll be able to advise you more clearly.

Are you looking for redundancy? Extra storage? The ability to boot from different drives?

Different needs call for different solutions.

Adding a hard drive to any standard size pre-built is going to be incredibly easy.


Hello!
I'm wanting dual HDD for dual-boot OS (without having to mess with the 'partitioning' junk). I'm going with XP Pro SP2 & Linux (probably either Linux Mint or PCLinuxOS). The removable HDD thing intrigues me, as that would let me also experiment with BeOS Haiku with minimum fuss. For storage (back-up) I'll have a external HD. DIY is not my forte, so being a techno dummie, I'd have to leave anything having to do with opening the case to a tech!
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July 14, 2010 2:51:00 AM

I see.

Yes, you can have an external HD bay so that you can swap out drives easily, and I can see how that might appeal to you.

Using INTERNAL drives for multiple OSes is not so flexible, and I will try to explain why.
What drive is used to boot with is selected in the BIOS. Starting the BIOS and selecting what drive to boot every time you want to change is about as annoying as removing the side of the case and changing the cable to another installed drive. I know this because I have done both in the past... indeed, I have a disconnected XP drive in my case right now.

The drawback of having an external swappable drive is the whole swapping part. Drives need to be handled carefully and the bay and drives both may wear out after many swaps... but a little caution would probably go a long ways and you might get years out of a bay.

You probably won't find a pre-built like that. It would be a simple matter to remove the HD from a pre-built and install it in a simple eSATA cradle such as this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There is also a case or two around that will have something like this built into it:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 27, 2010 9:30:11 PM

Proximon said:
I see.

Yes, you can have an external HD bay so that you can swap out drives easily, and I can see how that might appeal to you.

Using INTERNAL drives for multiple OSes is not so flexible, and I will try to explain why.
What drive is used to boot with is selected in the BIOS. Starting the BIOS and selecting what drive to boot every time you want to change is about as annoying as removing the side of the case and changing the cable to another installed drive. I know this because I have done both in the past... indeed, I have a disconnected XP drive in my case right now.

The drawback of having an external swappable drive is the whole swapping part. Drives need to be handled carefully and the bay and drives both may wear out after many swaps... but a little caution would probably go a long ways and you might get years out of a bay.

You probably won't find a pre-built like that. It would be a simple matter to remove the HD from a pre-built and install it in a simple eSATA cradle such as this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There is also a case or two around that will have something like this built into it:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Well, not sure what you mean by "many swaps", but unless its really delicate, can't see it happening. The internal HDD I'd use for XP pro, which I won't be changing ever (unless I really go fanatic with the Linux). The removable drive would be used to test out Linux & BeOS...figure six months test each for the three OS is 3 swaps in year and a half...I assume it can't be that fragile? And it doesn't look like I'll be finding any pre-built at all (closest so far is the RAID stuff). So you all think I can get this as special-order from a factory, or do I have to find a 'custom build' shop?
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July 27, 2010 9:55:35 PM

Just get a normal single drive system ad add the other drive yourself.
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July 28, 2010 12:55:54 AM

Skygee said:
Well, not sure what you mean by "many swaps", but unless its really delicate, can't see it happening. The internal HDD I'd use for XP pro, which I won't be changing ever (unless I really go fanatic with the Linux). The removable drive would be used to test out Linux & BeOS...figure six months test each for the three OS is 3 swaps in year and a half...I assume it can't be that fragile? And it doesn't look like I'll be finding any pre-built at all (closest so far is the RAID stuff). So you all think I can get this as special-order from a factory, or do I have to find a 'custom build' shop?


I think you are still missing the point just a bit.

You want to have an internal HDD that you never remove, but XP doesn't want to just live side-by-side with whatever else you want to have for an OS. How are you going to choose which OS to boot from when you start? A third party software solution is possible but when you change an OS you will need to tell the boot manager what you are doing.

XP will let you install Linux and give you a boot menu at start, but I don't think it will allow anything else.

If you use a removable drive to test out various systems, you are going to need to disconnect the XP drive so that:

A. Whatever experiment you perform does not impact/corrupt the XP installation
B. XP stays happy and does not freak out when it detects a strange OS on another drive

So the solution is to NOT have an internal drive at all. Swap out your drives according to what OS you are booting to.

Buy a computer and buy a cradle as I linked.

Take the drive OUT and connect the cradle to the motherboard where the drive was connected, running the cable out the back of the PC.

Put the drive you removed into the cradle. It will still boot the same.

When you want to switch to a different OS, completely shut down the computer, remove the current drive and replace it with the new one.
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July 28, 2010 1:04:42 AM

The simple way is to install XP, on the first drive, then install your favorite Linux distro on the second drive, then set the boot sequence to HDD2-HDD1.

But I don't understand the whole point, partitining isnt hard. Just get a large single drive, install XP, use Gparted to carve out a ext4 partition, install Linux there, then use neoGRUB.
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February 17, 2011 9:58:19 PM

Proximon said:
I think you are still missing the point just a bit.

You want to have an internal HDD that you never remove, but XP doesn't want to just live side-by-side with whatever else you want to have for an OS. How are you going to choose which OS to boot from when you start? A third party software solution is possible but when you change an OS you will need to tell the boot manager what you are doing.

XP will let you install Linux and give you a boot menu at start, but I don't think it will allow anything else.

If you use a removable drive to test out various systems, you are going to need to disconnect the XP drive so that:

A. Whatever experiment you perform does not impact/corrupt the XP installation
B. XP stays happy and does not freak out when it detects a strange OS on another drive

So the solution is to NOT have an internal drive at all. Swap out your drives according to what OS you are booting to.

Buy a computer and buy a cradle as I linked.

Take the drive OUT and connect the cradle to the motherboard where the drive was connected, running the cable out the back of the PC.

Put the drive you removed into the cradle. It will still boot the same.

When you want to switch to a different OS, completely shut down the computer, remove the current drive and replace it with the new one.


Regret I lost track of this thread, so sorry for delay, and thanks for your advice. Many changes since 2010! I've decided to get PC via local custom-build shop, and now planning for three hard disk drives (SATA or SATA2), each with its own boot manager.

HDD#1 will be 750GB, slated for Linux Mint 7 with partition for SuperOS 10.10. I'm still undecided whether to have it regular/internal type, or go mobile-rack. If possible, I'd like ti have one internal HDD. I've been told on another forum that having separate boot managers for each HDD will solve "which OS to boot from", although I'm keen to hear about your "third party software solution".

HDD#2 will be 750GB mobile-rack, for XP Pro, As per your advice, I decided to switch XP Pro to removable HDD, but hope there is another option to removing the XP Pro drive everytime I switch to Linux, or test drive an obscure OS. I need another means to insure "XP stays happy and does not freak out"!

HDD#3 will be 500GB, and exclusively for trial of the obscure operating systems I've discovered: PC-BSD 8.1, Syllable, ReactOS, eComStation 2.0, MenuetOS, & Haiku.

Regarding "Whatever experiment you perform does not impact/corrupt XP", I'm unsure what to think. Been told that downside of using partition to have two operating systems on one HDD is that if one OS goes into catastrophic failure, it takes the other OS down with it; but by having separate OS on each HDD, each OS is isolated (so if one bites the dust, the other is unaffected). Sounds like you're saying the opposite?

Anyway, my biggest concern is having to pull the XP Pro drive every day, as this would definitely increase wear & tear on any mobile rack, by requiring the "many swaps" you previously warned about!
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February 20, 2011 4:15:00 PM

An OS cannot affect another OS if the partitions are properly created. XP does not "freak out" if you properly partition it. A HD failure will wipe out everything on the HD. Not sure what you're trying to do though. If you're just playing around with OSes use VMware. If you're worried about losing data, you need to make backups not get more hard drives.
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