Two local HDD one dedicated to OSs' or one each? (in brief)

By circadian ยท 4 replies
May 30, 2006
  1. Can linux be installed to a HDD on one pc then the drive located to another as mastr?

    Ok i'm here hoping to gain some advice and maybe a couple of pointers. I've just installed a 40GB HDD next to my 160GB existing one, thing is I also want to install linux.

    Do you think i should put both windows and linux onto the 40gb hdd in order to dedicate the other to file storage? If so should i partition it for each OS (not sure if required as is). Any links to resources related to the matter would be appreciated.

    As stated in the title, just another thought as the cd-rom in the original pc isn't working, am considering use as a server or something along those lines using linux.

    Thanks for any consideration.
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Yes, you can move Linux installations between computers. If the CPU architecture is slightly different (say, a HT P4 and a measly Duron), then you'd have to replace the kernel. Can't move between 64-bit and 32-bit of course. If the hard drive location changes (from slave to master), then you have to fix the bootloader.

    You can install Linux no problem even without a CD-ROM. Just boot using a floppy and load the installation files from a hard drive, over the LAN or even across the internet.

    In the same computer..

    Since you won't be running the OS in parallel, then speed wise it would make sense to have both OS on the 40GB.

    You don't have to partition the second drive with dedicated partitionss for Linux and Windows. You have a choice between several filesystems readable by both OS:
    - Both Linux and Windows can handle the FAT32 filesystem just fine. You may run into problems with very long pathnames and data integrity in case of crashes though.
    - If you install Captive-NTFS, then Linux can write to NTFS no problem. Depending on your distro, it may take some effort to make this work
    - You can install a special driver in Windows that lets it use Ext2 and Ext3 filesystems.
  3. circadian

    circadian TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What i'm thinking is in terms of the 2nd pc(a) is thats a pentium 1000 whereas the main(b) is an AMD64 so maybe a relevant install to the hdd of (a) while its slave to (b) then switching it back and making necessary changes without need for a floppy.

    As you mention, this will require changes to bootloader?

    Definately food for thought. Thanks.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    Separate OS volumes vs separate datastore is a systems management issue.
    If each HD where dedicated to an OS and its resident data, you can still access
    files on one from the other. You can then focus your maintenance and backup
    to the 'booted volume' and use the tools germane to that environment.
    The separation allows isolation when/if required and creates a defacto
    redundancy; ie each is still intact if the other gets toasted!

    this is one of those questions to which there is no single answer --
    it all depends upon you.

    btw: just be aware, a FAT32 partition/volume has a 137gb limit, so your 160gb
    drive needs some planning. Me; I would partition it into (2) 80gb chucks
    and then format each according to its usage.

    ps: FS format ext3 is a journaling FS and is the FS of choice for most Linux users.
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    The CPU architectures are different.. When you install on the AMD, make sure you install a vanilla i586 or i686 version of your Linux. I know that SuSE even complains when you try to put a i586 version on a 64-bit machine, so you may have some problems even with that.

    Yes, you have to muck around with GRUB configuration quite a bit.

    It'd still make more sense to install directly on the older machine either using floppies or borrowing a CD/DVD drive from somewhere.
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