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Multiple Hard Drives, OSes, and Storage?

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November 19, 2010 2:49:40 AM

Not totally sure what category/sub-category this fits into, but I think this was the best fit.

My question: is it possible to have 3 or more hard drives? If I hypothetically had the money (I don't) to build a simple homebrew system, would I be able to put 3 or more hard drives in it? Theoretically, I was thinking one for a Windows OS (I'm most comfortable and at home in one), a Linux OS (interested in using it, used it briefly and my interest was piqued), and these two would be relatively small drives, maybe 75 GB at max, just for the OS and programs, and the third would be larger, maybe 250-320 GB for storage.

Would that kind of setup work?

I think it could work, like in a dual boot way. The option to boot from the Windows drive or the Linux drive, but both have access to the storage drive, everytime I turn it on. Using one of all input/output devices (keyboard, mouse, monitor)?

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a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2010 3:13:21 AM
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It would be easier to do a standard multi-boot setup. Put Windows & Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, CentOS, whatever) on the same drive. Install Windows first, then install Linux and let grub do its magic to figure out multi-boot. If you have another drive, or even another partition of the same hard drive, either OS should be able to access it, assuming you define everything properly.

Or, if you just want to play around with Linux in a no-risk environment, I highly recommend downloading VBox for free, create a virtual machine on your Windows box, and install the Linux distro of your choice. Super easy. You can still share data between the host OS and the VM by exporting the data partition to the VM.

I'm not even sure you can buy 70-80 GB drives easily anymore, except for 15k rpm enterprise-class drives.
November 20, 2010 10:50:59 PM

Sounds good to me.

I was wondering about the virtual machine possibility, actually. I've heard that my computer should be faster to be able to handle it, but I don't know if that's true no not.

I was able to use VMware and Damn Small Linux (or maybe it was off a flash drive.. it's been so long), but I'm not sure that my computer could handle a larger distro that I want to use, mainly Mint or Ubuntu (CentOS? Never heard of it, but I'm gonna go look it up!)

By the way, my computer is a couple years old Compaq Presario F700, Windows Vista Home Premium (x84), 120GB HD, 2GB of RAM, and an AMD Athlon dual-core processor at 1.9 GHz.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2010 1:46:42 AM

I run Ubuntu as the host and a Windows XP virtual machine (with VBox) on a dual core Intel mobile processor that's a couple of years old, I'm pretty sure your computer could handle it too, though 4 GB RAM wouldn't hurt.
November 21, 2010 3:46:37 AM

Sounds great! Thank you, coldsleep, you're awesome. Gonna go get started on making my virtual machine now! :) 

Edit: Also, would it be possible to save files (and have the OS be persistent) in the virtual machine onto my actual hard drive without creating a partition?
a b B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2010 4:22:46 AM

It's been a while since I set up my VM, and I actually save everything that needs to go back and forth on a network drive, so I don't entirely recall.

It might be possible to export a single directory or something, the VBox documentation should have more info on that (if it's possible).
November 21, 2010 4:31:22 AM

Alright, thanks!
November 30, 2010 11:42:29 PM

Best answer selected by liamx07.
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