How should I dual boot vista and linux with 2 hard drives?

By ¼ of a hotdog
Mar 23, 2009
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  1. I have been curios about Ubuntu and I want to dual boot it with vista but I noticed on their site they say it’s faster to place it on one of the low numbered cylinders. I want to know if it would make a noticeable difference if I placed it on my other hard drive. I have vista on a 160 GB hard drive and I have a 500 GB hard drive with about 170 GB of random junk on it. Is there any way I can put Ubuntu on the part of the 500 GB hard drive that is fastest without messing up the data that’s already on it or having to place all of that data on a separate hard drive? If it matters I have 64 bit vista and I plan to use 64 bit Ubuntu.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,043   +84 Staff Member

    Probably won't notice a dramatic performance difference, if at all, and yes you can put it on the 500GB drive without messing your current data up. Create a new partition at the start of the drive in your desired capacity (50GB-100GB is more than sufficient), and the rest of your data should remain untouched as long as you install Linux on the new partition.
  3. ¼ of a hotdog

    ¼ of a hotdog TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 214

    Is this correct or would it replace all of the data? I did make a new 100gb partition in disk management. Sorry for the bad quality.

    [​IMG]
    Click to Maximize
  4. BorisandBailey

    BorisandBailey TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 206

    That looks correct to me, but you know what I'd do first? Back up the data you presently have on the disk before you do anything else!
  5. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,043   +84 Staff Member

    And to think you were only two weeks late, BorisandBailey.
  6. BorisandBailey

    BorisandBailey TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 206

    Well, you know, Zeno, there's always the chance there are those who may put things on the shelf for awhile and are a little slow to getting around to do things.
  7. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,043   +84 Staff Member

    The screenshot of him showing what's already been done suggests otherwise, but sure.
  8. ¼ of a hotdog

    ¼ of a hotdog TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 214

    Well actually I still have not installed it because I don't have a way to backup 178 GB. I tried compression and it would take at least 17hours to compress it and I'm not even sure if it would get much smaller. I guess I will just wait until I can get a nether hard drive.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,397   +830

    Wing and a Prayer Installs.......

    My personal experience with installing Linux on a HDD with data has been this; you don't need a large partition for the Linux install, 5 to 10 GB should be plenty. The Linux partition manager seems to have enough sense not to overwrite any data.
    With the ratio of free space to used space you have, it probably would be all right to just install Linux on the drive in question.

    If you just want to play with Linux, then try using the WUBI installer. It installs from Windows as a program would. You always can make a hard install from a Linux disc later if you decide you actually want to keep it.

    What worked for me on a HDD of 140GB of capacity with 40GB used was first defragging the drive, then just installing Ubuntu from it's own disc. I created a 40GB partition, which was way too big, but still, no data was lost. I backed everything up, which wound up being a huge waste of time.

    Linux reads NTFS files, and you can always create folders on a drive for any files that are only accessable from Linux. It's actually harder to get rid of Linux, than it is to make the install on a drive with data.

    However, absolutely, positively defrag the drive FIRST!
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