The way I dual boot using a desktop

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The way I dual boot using a desktop

Post by mikeurig »

I use 2 hard drives in my desktop, whenever I install a Linux version of whatever distro I unplug my windows drive first. Then I install Lunix on the hard drive and reboot, shut down and plug in the Windows drive. This way if a family member wanted to use Windows it would boot into Windows without a boot menu, since I use Linux 99% of the time I just hit the Escape key and select Linux. This was easy on my old HP computer but on my new Dell I had to cancel the secure boot, at the Dell screen I hit the escape key then F12 to select Linux or Windows. I was so tired of screwing up the Windows boot sector and most tutorials to fix it didn't apply. Hard drives are cheap these days and did you know that you can swap out a hard drive in a usb external case ? Check youtube, I removed my 500g and replaced it with a 1tb that was in my HP pc. Couldn't install it and run Windows 7 in the Dell cause it was not registered to the Dell pc.
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Re: The way I dual boot using a desktop

Post by Ginsu543 »

Yup, this is how I've been dual-booting (triple-booting, actually, as I usually run two different Linux versions and OS X) for years. The only difference is that I got tired of switching the boot order in the BIOS (my desktop doesn't offer the F12 boot select option), so I put my Linux disk as the boot drive and use GRUB to select between the different OSes.

But I like your solution of having Windows as the first boot disk so that your family can go directly to Windows (and you can still use Linux).
Main: Intel Core i7 920 D0 @ 4.0 GHz | Asus P6X58D Premium | 12 GB Mushkin Redline PC3-12800 7-8-7-24 | EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti | Mint 17.2 Cinnamon 64 / OS X 10.7.3
Portables: Toshiba Portege R200 | Mint 17.2 Cinnamon 32 / Dell Mini 9 | OS X 10.6.7
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Re: The way I dual boot using a desktop

Post by Biker »

Been using this method for years (only I don't remove sda whenever I monkey with new linux installations on sdb).

Pressing ESC gives me my boot menu and I'm able to select between the two hard drives. sda contains Winderz and sdb has the 4 distro's I have installed.

The only time I have issues is when a distro doesn't give you advanced options on where the boot loader is to be installed. Some default to sda which causes two things. 1) I have to go in and fix the MBR on sda, and 2) That distro gets ripped out by the roots never to be used again.

Assuming I want the boot loader on sda with no option to change the location guarantees I'll never use or recommend it. :D
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