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Dual boot on different drives

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November 29, 2011 3:26:34 PM

Hello, has anyone used the indus technoigies IDEX drive switch to run windows in one drive and another OS on another? Are there any motherboard, or other issues that would prevent this? I would love to run windows on one drive, and Linux on another.

More about : dual boot drives

a c 78 B Homebuilt system
November 29, 2011 4:34:48 PM

Why would you like to set your system up this way?

I don't have any experience using the IDEX thing you mentioned, but I do have a lot of experience dual booting.

IMHO, the ideal dual boot setup involves two different drives setup with one drive that contains both OSs and enough room for all of the needed programs and a second drive that contains a file system they can both read that contains nothing but data.

This is probably the easiest way to set up a dual boot environment as well as to maintain it.

All you have to do under my system is to put in the boot drive (and not the data drive) and then install Windows on it, then install whatever the other OS is (not vice versa) and then once both OSs are on that drive then plug in the data drive and format it into, say, Fat32 which can be read by pretty much anything and then you are off to the races.

The drives most likely to experience failures that corrupt the file system are boot drives. My suggested method keeps all OS corruption segregated to one drive. OSs can always be reinstalled as well as programs (keep the disks!).

Losing your file system with data on it is much more tricky to deal with, but at the same time the possibility of this is limited to the greatest extent possible by not having an OS on the drive which can possibly be corrupted.

Using my method, the data drive can also be read by either OS. If you did Windows OS on one drive and Ubuntu Linux OS on a different drive, then the data on the Ubuntu drive couldn't be read by windows (Ubuntu is pro enough to be able to read windows drives, though) this makes data reading available only 3 directions instead of 4:
1) Read windows drive in ubuntu
2) Read windows drive in windows
3) Read ubuntu drive in ubuntu
4) Read ubuntu drive in windows <----- Not this one

This limits data availability unnecessarily.

My suggestion
1) Read Data Drive from windows partition <--- Yes
2) Read Data Drive from ubuntu partition <---- Yes

The windows drive still wouldn't be able to read the linux partition on the same physical drive, but there is pretty much zero need to access linux boot files from within the Windows environment and vice versa so this capability really doesn't matter.

Using my suggested method, there is also not going to be any problems with cabling about which drive is trying to be the master drive and so on. The master drive is set to the one with both OSs on it and the slave is the data drive and the second drive never needs to try to assert boot authority or anything like that.

There is even another advantage of setting it up the way I suggested.

When backing up your files, you don't have to boot to each OS separately or ensure you are within Ubuntu so you can backup both partitions. There is no hassle in my method. You just backup everything that exists on the data drive and you don't have to worry about which folders to backup and which not to or anything like that.

Both OSs will be able to back up the data drive to something else and it won't really matter which one you are in. You just set an event in both OSs that says back the data up and it doesn't matter which one is active the full data will be backed up every time in one shot.

There really is little to no downside configuring things as I have suggested.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
November 29, 2011 5:37:37 PM

just install windows on a drive , and then run the linux install disk and have it create its own partition .

No hardware required , and no cost either since the linux distro will be free
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 29, 2011 5:40:46 PM

What is this drive switch and why would you need one? I used to have a dual boot system on different HDDs and I didn't use any special hardware.
November 30, 2011 1:18:10 AM

I run a system with Linux Ubuntu on a SSD drive and Windows 7 on the original hard drive. There is no need for any extra software to accomplish this. When you install the linux OS from a live CD (DVD), it will analyze your system, find all of your hard drives and give you the option of installing the OS on any of your drives. After the linux OS is installed it will install a master boot-loader (called GRUB Grand unified boot-loader) so you can boot either OS.
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