Installing Mint with XP, dual drives

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
Forum rules
Before you post please read how to get help

Installing Mint with XP, dual drives

Postby bzaremsky on Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:02 pm

I have my computer, a Dell Dimension E520 that I have added a second hdd to in order to install Linux onto and make it a dual boot. I tried loading Mint onto it by booting from the live cd and going through the install steps. In partitioning I left the drive with XP (230GB) on it alone and told it to partition the entire second drive (500GB). I got to the last step, let it go and after the install process was done told it to reboot and...

GRUB loading, please wait
Error 25

and that was it. I restored my XP install from my backup and was again able to boot into XP only. I see some information for Error 17 (viewtopic.php?f=46&t=23031) and this may apply to my situation as well, but if so, how can I figure out what order the bios see my drives as? There are no IDE hard drives in the system (except in external USB enclosures).

I have also tried doing this with openSUSE and got a similar error (I do not recall the error number, I think it was 2), with the system not booting and me restoring back to XP alone.

If anyone has any clues as to what to do, I would appreciate it. I am leaning towards something like a SATA switch to turn off the unused drive (http://www.thesataswitch.com/) if I cannot figure this out. Either that or just giving up the idea of moving over to Linux as it is hard to have the time to keep experimenting over and over again. If I go back in and try again I want to be armed with as much information as possible and have a reasonable level of assurance that I will be able to get it loaded.

One extra thought. Since I only restored the drive with XP, it seems to me that the second drive should have Mint successfully installed. If so, maybe it is possible to just install GRUB (or another bootloader) and get what I have to work. Not sure, so if there are any hints only that line send them along.

I realize that this type of setup is not as popular as having both OS'es on the same disk, so most (if not all) HOWTOs and tutorials seem to speak a great deal about resizing partitions and such and thus leave out a setup like I have.

Thanks,
bzaremsky
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:44 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Installing Mint with XP, dual drives

Postby AK Dave on Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:24 pm

bzaremsky wrote: most (if not all) HOWTOs and tutorials seem to speak a great deal about resizing partitions and such and thus leave out a setup like I have.


Thats because your setup is more problematic, not less popular. Lots of people have multiple drives. Until you know what you're doing, you should stick with the tutorials. Repartition the #1 drive, put both OS on the same drive, use the #2 drive for data.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: Installing Mint with XP, dual drives

Postby bzaremsky on Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:55 pm

So how would one learn what they are doing? I have loaded and used many different distros of Linux, mostly single installs (mostly servers for work). I have done some installs that are on the same partition as many of the tutorials direct.

It seemed to me the way to learn this was to 1) search on forums like this and on Google, which I did and as I said it seemed like everything I found was about doing this on the same partition, or 2) ask on a forum like this. So after number 1 was not working out, I have went for number 2. Hopefully someone else has the knowledge to help me learn.

I am guessing that maybe learning more about just how the bootloader works might help me to better understand what is going on as well as trial and error. The only thing about that is I am finding it harder and harder to spend weekends just trying to load, then when it fails restore. When one has a family and other commitments it quickly starts to seem like time not well spent.

A second thing I am looking to try is a drive tray, so I can have only one drive in the system at a time. I found this (http://bit.ly/rq9dX) at Fry's tonight. As you can see Newegg does not have it anymore. It seems that this would allow me to install Linux on a fresh drive as the only drive in the computer and when I want to switch, I would have to shut down, open the door and slide in the XP drive. Seems like the dual boot is better, especially since Mint was going to import a great deal of settings from my XP install that I will not get this way. But it was worth a few bucks to try this. Still if anyone can learn me on how to get the dual drive setup to work, I would be grateful.

Thanks again!
bzaremsky
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:44 pm

Re: Installing Mint with XP, dual drives

Postby Nicholas on Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:00 am

Actually, since Mint is installed on the drive you cannot access at this time - with the sata switch, you should be able to boot into the installed OS in that drive without any trouble. When you change drives - only the one being used is on - the other one is turned off. The only drawback I have noticed using the switch is that for some reason - the system clocks on both computers display incorrect time after switching drives, if you only use one drive, it's ok, it only gets screwed up when you work with one - then the other. It's easy to adjust the time - but it's weird that it happens at all. Otherwise, it is fine, since neither drive is aware of the other. I use a USB drive to transfer files from one drive to the other.
Last edited by Nicholas on Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nicholas
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:03 pm

Re: Installing Mint with XP, dual drives

Postby Alpha-Geek on Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:14 am

I've done this before. However, when my computer boots, the BIOS allows me to hit F12 to select the boot drive. As long as you tell Linux to write GRUB to your Linux drive, it worked fine. As far as the time thing goes, if you turn UTC auto set "off" in your Linux install, the time will stay properly set.
Image
User avatar
Alpha-Geek
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 313
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:29 am
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Installing Mint with XP, dual drives

Postby AK Dave on Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:54 pm

Hmm... good point, Alpha-Geek. Its not that grub is the problem, but perhaps he wrote grub to the wrong drive. By default, grub is going to write itself to the first drive. Unless he knew to select the Advanced option on grub install, it would have gone there.

bzaremsky: I didn't mean to insult your technical experience and intelligence, but I did default to "must be a noob" because the typical Windows user mindset is "seperate drive for each OS" with limited understanding of the concept of partitioning. Regardless of your experience with other single-OS linux installs, multiple install configurations are sometimes tricky.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA


Return to Installation & Boot

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: albaniax, dexl, Pointedstick and 16 guests