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Thread: second hard drive to run linux

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    second hard drive to run linux


    I would like to have windows and linux on my computer, but i don't want to partition my hard drive incase i damage it (and it's not that big anyway). So i was thinking i could get a second hard drive and put linux on that.

    Is this possible? It should be just like partitioning a hard drive? (I think it would be dual booting?)

    Will any hard drive fit my computer? If not, what information do i need to find out from my computer? (I have EVEREST if that helps.)

    Will installing and configuring this be complicated? If so, is there somewhere i can get instructions, or should i get someone more experienced to do it / help me?

    Will it automatically give me an option to load windows or linux?

    That's all the questions i can think of at the moment.


    PS. I'm only thinking about doing this, my parents might say no.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Manchester, UK
    There are two types of HDD, SATA and ATA. All motherboards will support ATA and only the newer motherboards will support SATA, so the safe option would be to find a nice ATA HDD. Any ATA HDD will work with your computer so there's no problem there.

    If you install Linux on this second HDD then you will be asked when the computer loads up which operating system you want to use.

    It's not complicated to install another HDD and it's not complicated to install Linux on the new drive, but if you have no prior knowledge of the inner workings of a PC then it might be wise to get a techie to recommend an HDD for you and getting him to fit it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    I used to have a dual booting system. Windows on one HDD and Linux on the other. It was very easy to set up. I just downloaded the OS, slapped another hard drive in my box, told it to boot from DC and the installer for the OS handled pretty much everything for me (which HDD to stick it on and so on).

    You can find a range of Linux distributions from http://linuxiso.org/

    The one I use is SuSE. Very easy to install and just as easy to use (provided you make at least some attempt at learning the basics). It also has a feature called "YaST" which can find and install software for you., which is extremely handy.
    I'm thuper, thanks for asking.

    It lives! http://www.stephenphilbin.com/ (Well it kinda' does anyway).
    My portable colour selection tool

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Thank you both. I am going to do this so could anyone point me in the direction of a good, well priced, 80GB hard drive?

    Thank you for your time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Manchester, UK
    Personally I only buy Seagate Barracuda HDD's, however Maxtor DiomandMax Plus 9/10's are also quite good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    So is this HDD ok?

    One thing i did notice was that it said there are no cables included
    Cables Included - None (OEM product)
    does this mean i need to buy seperate cables too, and if so what are they called/where (preferably on that site) can i buy them?

    And thank you again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    The cables you need should be dangling about inside your box, ready to be attatched.
    I'm thuper, thanks for asking.

    It lives! http://www.stephenphilbin.com/ (Well it kinda' does anyway).
    My portable colour selection tool

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Even though i'm adding it in with my current HDD not replacing it?
    (Sorry for so many questions, but i'd like to learn.)

    Thank you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Yeah. Most computers will have 'em there ready. Just unplug yer machine from the mains and whip off the panel so you can see inside yer PC. You don't need to do anything, just have a look. There'll be a HDD already there with two types of wire plugged into it. On the same wire it'll have extra connectors for plugging into a HDD you can sit next to your original.

    Oh and don't worry about asking lots of questions. That's what this place is for. Questions and answers.
    I'm thuper, thanks for asking.

    It lives! http://www.stephenphilbin.com/ (Well it kinda' does anyway).
    My portable colour selection tool

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Thank you again. I took the side of my box and found the wires, i had expected the second HDD to plug into the main board with seperate wires...

    I bought the HDD i linked to above.

    Thanks for all your help. I'll probably be back when i mess up trying to fit it...
    Last edited by Scleppel; 04-15-2005 at 01:43 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    This could be very bad , what's the difference between IDE and ATA hard drives. Will an IDE hard drive work in my computer (how can i find out?)?


    Edit: Are they sort of the same, because it says
    Interface - ATA 133 (IDE)
    It'll work, right?
    Last edited by Scleppel; 04-19-2005 at 12:02 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    When i boot my computer it says:
    Primary Master None
    Primary Slave Maxtor... [My current HDD]
    does that mean my new HDD should be set to Master?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Manchester, UK
    Give this a read, IDE = ATA.

    You should have an ATA cable that your current HDD is plugged into, there should be another plug on that same cable. Connect that up to your new HDD along with a 4pin molex power connector than you should be all set.

    Generally HDD's are set to cable select mode by default, so when you plug them in they sort themselves out as to whether they're master or slave.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    After a bit of trying i got the HDD sorted. And then i got myself a copy of SuSE. The install went well but it doesn't give me an option whether i want to boot windows or SuSE, it boots windows automaticaly and only boots SuSE if i put in the CD. Is this because it is the mini-install version, because my HDDs are set to boot in the wrong order, because i've set it up wrong or something different?

    And another problem, it doesn't find my cable modem. It's a webstar DPX100 if that helps.

    Many thanks for all your help so far.

    Edit, I know Knoppix finds my modem, and i know you can install knoppix on a HDD, so how would i go about deleting SuSE so i can install knoppix? If i do this, i can always install SuSE again...
    Last edited by Scleppel; 04-23-2005 at 06:52 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    I've had a similar idea to Scleppel and was looking at this hard drive. It says that the interface is Ultra ATA, what does that mean and is my computer likely to support it?
    Disclaimer. (1) Whilst I will help you sometimes, if I feel like it, and my advice in relation to your actual question will be of good quality: my posts are to be taken with a pinch of salt. I will be sarcastic, deploy irony and include obscure cultural references for my own amusement without warning.
    (2) You will gain nothing from complaining, and if you try to argue with me then you will not win. No matter how noble your battle seems, I am still better than you, don't be an hero.

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