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Two HDDs, Two OSes


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#1
Cold Titanium

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Hello Everyone!,

I haz a question for y'all. And yes, I Googled and looked first.

I have THIS mobo.
I have THIS HDD

Here is my predicament:

Should I purchase the exact same drive again?

I currently have Vista Home Premium 32 bit OEM installed on my original drive. It has filled to capacity.

I am looking at a copy of Win7 Pro that I want to install on the second drive.

Ideally I want them to give me a choice of which OS to boot. However, I'm not quite sure of how to go about this. Some say to unplug the original drive and plug in the new and run the install and others Vise Versa.

One other concern; Would installing a second HDD cause validation issues with Vista?

Thank you for your time.

~Cold
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#2
iammykyl

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Hi.
I have the same motherboard.
and 2x750 GB hard drives. I see know reason why you should not match the your existing HDD.

XP on the 1st, Windows 7 on the 2nd.
I have a copy of Paragon special edition and use it to manage my HDDs.
The partition sizes are not 100% as you must leave some free space at the end of each partition to be able to adjust them in the future if required.
1st HDD. © Primary, 110 GB, OS XP. (D) 600 GB, data store from windows 7. (*)GB, no label, A Linux partition built by Gigabyte recovery.
2nd HDD. (E) Primary, 110 GB, OS Windows 7. (F) logical, 600 GB, Data store from XP. (G) Logical, 40 GB, Multiple image back ups of Windows 7, create with Paragon and includes an emergency CD.There is a duel boot manager in XP but don't know about Vista. I use the Paragon boot manager.I mess about a HUGE amount with my computers so I really believe in back ups.
It sounds a little convoluted but works very well. The sequence for set up is important, otherwise things get missed up.
Don't know much about RAID, but think it it possible to us 3 HDD? Anybody?

Validation is usually a problem with OEM software and major hardware like a new mobo but second HDD would be ok.

Edited by iammykyl, 12 April 2010 - 05:35 PM.

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#3
Ferrari

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Hi Cold Titanium, :)

I've given this some thought and there are several ways you can go about this. Whichever way is best really depends on what you like, so it's hard to make recommendations. It's one of those things that's easy to make a lot more complicated than it needs to be. Here are my recommendations.

Recommendation 1 1 HDD, 2 OS's... and 1 HDD All Data Storage. It would look like this...

Current HDD[------C(Vista)100gb-------] [-------D(7)100gb------] [------E Data Storage 440gb------]
Second New HDD [------------------------1TB Data Storage----------------------]


Recommendation 2 1 HDD, 1 OS... 1 HDD, 1 OS (Each have own storage)

Current HDD [--------C(Vista)640gb---------]
Second New HDD [-----------D(7)640gb-2TB----------]

Recommendation 1 is better because it will automatically let you dual boot and choose between each at startup. 7 will be the default OS. Then, you have the rest of the 640gb HDD for storage on a separate partions, and then another HDD your choice of size for all data storage. The downside to this is if HDD 1 dies on you, you lose both Vista and 7 and you won't have a bootable computer. However, the easy solution to that is to install a small Linux Partition on the large storage drive so if your old HDD dies, you can still boot your computer and access the internet, etc.

Recommendation 2 is only better because it separates the two OS's which I sort of covered int he above explanation of Rec. 1. However, this way you will not have an automatically set dual boot and you would have to boot to the BIOS to tell the computer which hard drive you want it to boot whenever switching OS's. As iammykyl suggested, a 3rd party boot manager can solve this, but I don't know anything about them personally.

Also, in Rec. 1 you will have to resize the Vista partition in which there is a slight chance the MBR can get corrupted where a startup repair would be needed. I know this because it happened to me in a similar situation. Startup Repair easily fixed it.

Should I purchase the exact same drive again?

No, I would purchase the largest drive you can afford. I think 1TB's are going for around $100 right now. Regardless of which option you choose, you can partition it however you want to keep all, half, or specific data on it. You filled up a 640gb drive with 1 OS, I would go bigger if I were you.

One other concern; Would installing a second HDD cause validation issues with Vista?

Add hardware should have no affect. Generally with OEM licenses it's more about replacing the motherboard causing the validation issues. Popping a second hard drive in for additional storage or for another OS won't affect validation at all.

OK, that's enough for now. Sorry for the long post. Let me know what you think or what ideas you have in mind. Just remember, partitioning is the key, and it can be done very easily. You can move all the DATA you have on Vista to the second hard drive if you wish, that's very easy. I don't use 7's default "My Pictures" folders, I make my own. See?

Let me know. :)
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#4
iammykyl

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Hi Cold Titanium,
Did a search on Microsoft, duel-boot vista. Vista supports installing another or multiple OSs and gives the boot option at startup.
Ferrari is right, I have stuffed up the MBR before know, thats why I use Paragon Disk Manager as it automatically updates the MBR when needed ie after resize or moving data.

If you use the Gigabyte recovery utility on the first HDD and it becomes unbootable, you can recover the OS.
Same for HDD 2 if you use Paragon back up.

Beginning to sound like and ad page!

I should mention I have a 1TB external drive, partitioned, X & Y, for data back up.
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#5
Cold Titanium

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Thanks for all the replies guys!


However, the easy solution to that is to install a small Linux Partition on the large storage drive so if your old HDD dies, you can still boot your computer and access the internet, etc.

Recommendation 2 is only better because it separates the two OS's which I sort of covered int he above explanation of Rec. 1. However, this way you will not have an automatically set dual boot and you would have to boot to the BIOS to tell the computer which hard drive you want it to boot whenever switching OS's. As iammykyl suggested, a 3rd party boot manager can solve this, but I don't know anything about them personally.

Also, in Rec. 1 you will have to resize the Vista partition in which there is a slight chance the MBR can get corrupted where a startup repair would be needed. I know this because it happened to me in a similar situation. Startup Repair easily fixed it.

Should I purchase the exact same drive again?

No, I would purchase the largest drive you can afford. I think 1TB's are going for around $100 right now. Regardless of which option you choose, you can partition it however you want to keep all, half, or specific data on it. You filled up a 640gb drive with 1 OS, I would go bigger if I were you.

One other concern; Would installing a second HDD cause validation issues with Vista?

Add hardware should have no affect. Generally with OEM licenses it's more about replacing the motherboard causing the validation issues. Popping a second hard drive in for additional storage or for another OS won't affect validation at all.

OK, that's enough for now. Sorry for the long post. Let me know what you think or what ideas you have in mind. Just remember, partitioning is the key, and it can be done very easily. You can move all the DATA you have on Vista to the second hard drive if you wish, that's very easy. I don't use 7's default "My Pictures" folders, I make my own. See?

Let me know. :)


I like option one better. Is there a specific Linux Distro you would recommend?

Why would I need to resize the Vista partition? My Vista partition is about 120 G, and all the rest is divided up in 120-200 G partitions of data storage and where I install games etc...

Like so:

[---Vista(C:)120G---] , [---Data(E:)100+G---] , [---Data and game installs(J:)100+G---] etc

Option one didn't even occur to me. The less work the better.

Now I'm thinking of moving all the data from E: to the new drive and Installing Win7 on E:. I will then make a small partition on the data drive (how big should I make it?) for a Linux install.

What do you think? I really don't want to have to mess with 3'rd party boot loaders. Would installing Win7 on E: jack with my vista install?

This is kinda what it would look like:

Drive One : [---Vista(C:)100G---] , [---Win7(E:)100+G---] , [---Data and Install(J:)---]

Drive Two : [---Linux I'm guessing this will be Ext3? ---] , [---Data in all the rest---]

And thanks for the excellent post, it was just what I was looking for :)

Edit: Clarification

Edited by Cold Titanium, 13 April 2010 - 10:57 AM.

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#6
Ferrari

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Cold Titanium,

The reason I talked about resizing the "Vista" partition is that I assumed you did not already have your data and installs separate. I thought you just had one big C drive, See? How you have it makes things much easier.

The way you suggested looks great...

Drive One : [---Vista(C:)100G---] , [---Win7(E:)100+G---] , [---Data and Install(J:)---]

Drive Two : [---Linux I'm guessing this will be Ext3? ---] , [---Data in all the rest---]


First, you have to get the data off of the partition you plan to install 7 onto. So you would connect your new hard drive and boot the machine. Go into disk management, Windows Orb, Search/Run..., type diskmgmt.msc, press enter and set up your partition on the new Drive #2. Then, boot into Vista C Drive, and just cut and paste the data off of E onto wherever you want it. (actually I would copy and paste first, then once I know the data has successfully transfered, delete the original data on E. See?)

Since you are a GeekU Junior, I'm assuming you have a pretty good clue what to do now so that is why my instructions are basic and not completely step by step. Let me know if you need help with formatting and partitioning the new drive. :)

Would installing Win7 on E: jack with my vista install?

No, everything should go fine. Windows Boot Manager (I'm not 100% sure what it's called) will manage Vista and 7 automatically and should make 7 the default booting OS, but it will give you 30 seconds by default to choose which one you want to boot. All of this is done for you with nothing special or extra needing to be done. Once 30 seconds is up, it will automatically boot 7. (You can change how long the countdown is until automatically booting your default OS via Orb, Search/Run..., msconfig, Click on the Boot Tab) I think there is a way to edit the boot manager and have Vista be your default, but I don't know how to do that. I think in may be in the Recovery Console.

I will then make a small partition on the data drive (how big should I make it?) for a Linux install.

40gigs? It's not something you plan to access much and is just there in case your main hard drive dies or is in the process of being replaced. So go with something just big enough to have basic programs on it. Linux Distro's will let you access your Windows NTFS Partitions DATA, so no worries there.

Hope that helps, let us know what you think and how it goes. :)
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#7
Cold Titanium

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The reason I talked about resizing the "Vista" partition is that I assumed you did not already have your data and installs separate. I thought you just had one big C drive, See? How you have it makes things much easier.


I probably should have mentioned that... :)


First, you have to get the data off of the partition you plan to install 7 onto. So you would connect your new hard drive and boot the machine. Go into disk management, Windows Orb, Search/Run..., type diskmgmt.msc, press enter and set up your partition on the new Drive #2. Then, boot into Vista C Drive, and just cut and paste the data off of E onto wherever you want it. (actually I would copy and paste first, then once I know the data has successfully transfered, delete the original data on E. See?)


I have formatted partitioned and set up raid arrays and logical volumes til I was blue in the face at school, so I shouldn't have any problem with this.

40gigs? It's not something you plan to access much and is just there in case your main hard drive dies or is in the process of being replaced. So go with something just big enough to have basic programs on it. Linux Distro's will let you access your Windows NTFS Partitions DATA, so no worries there.




So this is how I understand the procedure so far :

1. Power-off
2. Install new HDD
3. Power-on
4. Make Partitions and Format new Drive for data (NTFS)
5. Leave one small partition unformatted
6. Copy data from E: to new drive
7. Install Win7 on E:
8. Install Linux on small unformatted partition
9. Profit!


In regards to that Linux partition size. I was thinking about only using 10 Gigs with Puppy Linux. Have you ever used puppy Linux? I'm thinking of either Puppy or Slax.

Questions; In what order should I install Linux? Will the Windows bootloader handle it? Do I even need to install it? I can make a bootable cd or USB drive.

Thanks

Edit: Actually I already have a Linux distro booting from a flash drive and a CD... I just haven't tried viewing my ntfs partitions yet. Off to try.

Edited by Cold Titanium, 13 April 2010 - 09:00 PM.

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#8
Ferrari

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I was thinking about only using 10 Gigs with Puppy Linux


I've used it on a live CD and it installs into RAM so it was REALLY fast. :) It is used by rshaffer to help other members recover files so I'd say it's a good one to pick. I currently just installed Mandriva 2010 because I've seen a few people using it so I thought I'd geek out and install it, force myself to use it a little. It's really up to you, and 10-20gigs is probably fine. Like I said, it's only really there just to have a computer with internet access if your hard drive dies, so just have enough there to do that I guess. :)

Questions; In what order should I install Linux? Will the Windows bootloader handle it? Do I even need to install it? I can make a bootable cd or USB drive.

Two things. 1. Install Linux on the second hard drive with the old/first drive disconnected. This is to just make sure you don't mess up and install over your data or a Windows OS. Linux will not be part of the boot manager. You will have to enter the BIOS and tell the BIOS that you want Hard Drive 2 (i.e. Western Digital 1TB - usually given by model number) to be the main hard drive to boot. Once you do that, you will not have the option to boot Windows 7 or Vista, it will just boot straight to Linux. It can be just as easily reversed once you want to boot back into Windows. This is exactly how I did my Linux install, works great since I won't be accessing it all the time.

2. Or, just don't install Linux and just have a pupply linux live CD ready all the time sitting in your filing cabinet. I have that also. It has the ability to rewrite info to the CD to make booting easier and faster. I believe it remembers your settings like US Keyboard, and Monitor, etc. I think when you shut down puppy for the first time from the Live CD it gives you this option. I think it can write things to a USB drive as well. Maybe that's all you need to do then???

So this is how I understand the procedure so far :

1. Power-off
2. Install new HDD
3. Power-on
4. Make Partitions and Format new Drive for data (NTFS)
5. Leave one small partition unformatted
6. Copy data from E: to new drive
7. Install Win7 on E:
8. Install Linux on small unformatted partition
9. Profit!

Yes. I think leaving the partition for Linux unformatted is best in this case. I think you'll be able to do this easily.

Feel free to ask more questions, but I can tell you are more than capable of handing this.

I have formatted partitioned and set up raid arrays and logical volumes til I was blue in the face at school, so I shouldn't have any problem with this

More than I've done. :) You'll do just fine I'm sure. My only advice to you is to be very very careful and pay close attention to the sizes of the partition C and partition E we have talked about. When you get into installing Windows 7, you don't want to accidentally install it over Vista. I made the mistake of making my two partitions for XP and 7 the exact same size, and I practically had to guess. :) I can't remember exactly how I got it done, but it made things confusing. Also note, that when I'm in 7, my C Drive is actually the second partition I installed because I installed XP first. However, when I'm in XP, my C drive shows up at the first partition. I guess it changes???? depending on what OS you are in. :) So be aware of that, as well. In other words, 7 becomes the C Drive when in 7, at least, that's what it did for me.

Let me know how it goes, ask questions if need be!

Edited by Ferrari, 13 April 2010 - 09:19 PM.

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#9
Cold Titanium

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I'm posting this from a slax bootable cd. I can see all my ntfs files fine and I can copy them between partitions, but I can't copy it to my external USB drive. It gives me a permissions error.
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#10
Ferrari

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but I can't copy it to my external USB drive. It gives me a permissions error.


If it were me, I would just deal with that. Because you should be installing a new hard drive and new OS within a few days or next pay check if your old drive dies anyway. Ya know? For me, I would just want internet access and a working computer with maybe a document writer to get my by until I purchase the new hard drive.

I don't know anything about permission errors from within Linux. I'm a noob in that regard.
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#11
Cold Titanium

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Your right. I should already have that backed up anyway. :)

Yessss we all back up our stuff don't we?

Thank you very much for all the help. I'll post back once I get everything working or if I have a question. Now I need to find the right HDD and wait for my paycheck (yayy, payday is friday!)

Thanks again~

P.S. I remember reading something about you wanting to get A+ certified. I currently have the latest A+ cert, and reading what you have posted, I think you could probably pass the test cold-turkey. If you have any questions about it let me know.
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#12
Ferrari

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P.S. I remember reading something about you wanting to get A+ certified. I currently have the latest A+ cert, and reading what you have posted, I think you could probably pass the test cold-turkey. If you have any questions about it let me know.

Yes, thank you very much. The time of that posting I took practice tests and scored about a 70%, but I continue to learn more and more everyday. I've only been working with computers for about a year and half, but don't let that make me seem tooo inexperienced... I've learned a ton, and continue to learn.

Since I've become even more knowledgeable the last couple months I've seriously considered just paying to take the test and see how it goes. My other option is to pay $3000 for the courses that prepare me for the tests. Of which, at least 70% or more I know that I already know. :) I think it may be worth the gamble.

You think I should pass easy huh? I'm really good with a computer's internal hardware, but the printer questions kill me, I know nothing in that regard.
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#13
Cold Titanium

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What practice tests did you take?

Word of advice: Don't spend the $3000 on the classes. Seriously. Don't. Send it to me instead. :)

Google is your friend.http://www.proprofs....lus/index.shtml Proprofs is a bit outdated, but it may help to take a spin through there just for kicks.

When I walked out of the exam, I was thinking "I spent $180 for this?" It was just a filter test to see if you have ever touched a computer before. Although it did have maybe 10 questions that were a tad difficult.

Hey, I need to head off to bed. The ISP I work for just did some major revamping within and they need all hands on deck early in the morning. I have a list of topics that were covered in the exam and a bunch of other helpful testing programs on A+. I'll make up a compilation and PM them to you tommorow or the day after. Is that ok?

Thanks

Edit: Another quickie, I think I might add 2 Gigs of the same type of RAM to my order. That shouldn't mess with anything should it?

Edited by Cold Titanium, 13 April 2010 - 09:52 PM.

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#14
Ferrari

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I'll make up a compilation and PM them to you tommorow or the day after. Is that ok?

Yes! I look very forward to it. Thank you.

Edit: Another quickie, I think I might add 2 Gigs of the same type of RAM to my order. That shouldn't mess with anything should it?

No, again that is more of an upgrade. It's really all about the motherboard. If validation was upset due to something like adding a hard drive or upgrading RAM just call Microsoft on the Phone (number is usually given in the activation window). Explain what you've done and they should be able to fix it. I seriously doubt it will be an issue though.

EDIT: CompTIA's website has practice tests you can take. They don't calculate the score for you, I just did that myself... haha. They do give you the answers though once your done. It was made up of like 4 sections involving the two A+ tests. 10 questions each. 40 total.

Edited by Ferrari, 13 April 2010 - 10:46 PM.

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#15
Cold Titanium

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Ok. I seem to have narrowed it down to two HDD's

THIS

and

THIS

Obviously the first one is a TB vs the 640GB. That's a significant size difference.

However, the samsung drive seems to have some stability issues. Does anyone here have any experience with that model HDD?

I'm kinda partial to WD's. They have always been rock solid for me.

Edit: Grammur

Edited by Cold Titanium, 25 April 2010 - 07:59 PM.

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