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Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:39 am
by pendrifter
I want to build a dual-boot machine again, and at this point I'm pretty much stuck with Windows 10, but I don't trust it; I've read too many stories of 10 updates trashing conventional dual-boot schemes. What I have in mind is a system with two drives with completely independent single-boot OSes and a mechanical switch to make one online and visible while making the other, for practical purposes, non-existent. That way, I can switch between the two without any cumbersome bios operations, and 10 can think it rules the roost when in fact it's simply there to play games on occasionally. I've done some searching, but haven't found anything promising so far, and I was hoping some one here would know what I'm talking about and be able to point me to applicable resources. Any assistance would be appreciated, thanks.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:49 am
by Pierre
you should be able to do that in firmware - - that is the PCs BIOS - - via the F12 Boot Function key

ie: use that F12 to select between the two different HDDs at start-up.
& that way, each system is independent, of the other system.
8)

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:06 am
by pendrifter
Pierre wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:49 am
you should be able to do that in firmware - - that is the PCs BIOS - - via the F12 Boot Function key

ie: use that F12 to select between the two different HDDs at start-up.
& that way, each system is independent, of the other system.
8)
I don't trust 10 that much; I want my real OS (i.e: Mint) completely invisible when 10 is running, and the only way to guarantee that is to physically cut it off from the system. Yes, I am that anal and paranoid.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:35 am
by Pierre
sure - - and that is an fair assessment of that win-10 system, as well.
:(
but, that method will work, just fine, and since the LinuxMint is using ext4 formatting,
- - then it can't be seen, natively by that win-10 system 8)
without any extra drivers being installed, that is, within the win-10 system.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:40 am
by pendrifter
Pierre wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:35 am
sure - - and that is an fair assessment of that win-10 system, as well.
:(
but, that method will work, just fine, and since the LinuxMint is using ext4 formatting,
- - then it can't be seen, natively by that win-10 system 8)
without any extra drivers being installed, that is, within the win-10 system.
But the drive itself will still be visible, and what's worse, it will be visible as a potentially "unformatted" drive(!) What happens when Ten gets arrogant enough to see an "unformatted" drive and appropriate it?

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:47 am
by RIH
If you are really that worried then have Windows 10 installed on 1 USB drive & Linux installed on another.
Then only plug in the USB OS you want to run.

For me.. Pierre's advice would be good to go.. but I don't worry about an great deal of 'stuff' that other folks do.. :D

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:54 am
by deepakdeshp
I know a case where Win 10 update destroyed dual boot Windows. The net also has similar cases.
https://askubuntu.com/questions/792692/ ... -partition

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:55 am
by pendrifter
deepakdeshp wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:54 am
I know a case where Win 10 update destroyed dual boot Windows. The net also has similar cases.
https://askubuntu.com/questions/792692/ ... -partition
Exactly, and somehow I don't see Ten getting any less Draconian.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:59 am
by deepakdeshp
The answer is in my dual boot system on a single disk, I hardly connect Win 10 to the net,hardly use win10 and have never updated it in last 4 years.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:10 am
by pendrifter
deepakdeshp wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:59 am
The answer is in my dual boot system on a single disk, I hardly connect Win 10 to the net,hardly use win10 and have never updated it in last 4 years.
Ah, but the next time you do, and let Ten update, even inadvertently, might be the time it pimpslaps your machine.


I appreciate everybody's input, but my question still stands.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:15 am
by RIH
pendrifter wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:10 am
I appreciate everybody's input, but my question still stands.
& I have given you the answer....after all if it is just an electronic switch then, some time in the future, Windows X will, undoubtedly, be able to turn that on..

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:17 am
by pendrifter
RIH wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:47 am
If you are really that worried then have Windows 10 installed on 1 USB drive & Linux installed on another.
Then only plug in the USB OS you want to run.

For me.. Pierre's advice would be good to go.. but I don't worry about an great deal of 'stuff' that other folks do.. :D
Technically that would work, but it strikes me as inelegant. And probably slow.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:19 am
by pendrifter
RIH wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:15 am
pendrifter wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:10 am
I appreciate everybody's input, but my question still stands.
& I have given you the answer....after all if it is just an electronic switch then, some time in the future, Windows X will, undoubtedly, be able to turn that on..
Okay, it looks like this is not the proper venue for my question after all after all. I'll try a more hardware-oriented board.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:42 am
by Pierre
YES - - you can actually use a mechanical switch to make one online and visible while making the other,
for practical purposes - non-existent.
& that will work .. but it's also clumsy, as well.

plus, you may need non-standard, special wiring, in order to do that.
:o

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:14 pm
by SomeDudeInAZ
This is why I use Terabyte Unlimited (https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/)

I've been using this since 2004/2005

Their boot manager is awesome. Every OS I have win and linux thinks it's the only OS on the drive.

I'm NOT a shill it's just an awesome product. It will literally do exactly what you want

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:15 pm
by murray
If your hard drives connect via USB then you can get a USB hub that has switches for each USB port. This will allow you to turn on the USB port for the drive you want to use and leave the other one off.

This is the one I've got and it lets me leave USB devices plugged into the hub and switch them on and off as needed: https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/USBMBE ... individual It even has a light next to each switch so I can see which are on and which are off. Oh, and it's a powered hub, so power isn't an issue.

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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:22 pm
by absque fenestris
On my departed IBM Thinkpad T42, vintage 2005 this would not have been a problem: The hard disk was in an ejection chute on the left side, so that you could easily exchange one hard drive for another...
A good concept that I can't see any more with current devices.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:31 pm
by gittiest personITW
I have an external bay on my desktop with a SATA hard drive that is accessible from the front just by pulling the door and it has an on/off switch. It only gets switched on for backups. In Mint it works fine - it had to have a reboot to be noticed if it was switched on whilst in Win7. Can't say for Win8/10.
So, if you have 2 of those, you could pick which one of those you wanted to switch on at the time of switching on the computer.
It is made by Akasa - if you have trouble finding it let me know and I'll get you a link.
You'll need a case with 2 spare 5.25inch external bays.

edit:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Akasa-AK-IEN-0 ... B00919K2MC

edit edit:
It works - ignore the idiots who can't plug it in and give it a bad review.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:53 pm
by HaveaMint
You could run mint only and with virtual box run win 10.

Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:15 pm
by absque fenestris
gittiest personITW wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:31 pm
I have an external bay on my desktop with a SATA hard drive that is accessible from the front just by pulling the door and it has an on/off switch. It only gets switched on for backups. In Mint it works fine - it had to have a reboot to be noticed if it was switched on whilst in Win7. Can't say for Win8/10.
So, if you have 2 of those, you could pick which one of those you wanted to switch on at the time of switching on the computer.
It is made by Akasa - if you have trouble finding it let me know and I'll get you a link.
You'll need a case with 2 spare 5.25inch external bays.

edit:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Akasa-AK-IEN-0 ... B00919K2MC

edit edit:
It works - ignore the idiots who can't plug it in and give it a bad review.
I have been using a similar part for years: designed for 2.5" hard disks - it has a separate slot for fixed installation with a SATA connector. Excluded from the slot it is a normal external hard disk with USB-2 port. Actually a brilliant idea.
It was a random purchase, the brand is "Chieftain" and I never saw it again, although I would have been very interested in more of them.