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Questiosn about intro to Linux

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I know you guys probably hate these topics question, but atleast you're getting more traffic

Anyway, from a bit of chatter with some people earlier it looks like I'm going Ubuntu for my first Distro. I have an 80 GB IDE HDD that I'm using for Windows and gaming right now with 20 GB free to install Linux if I want to, but if possible I want to be able to use my old 20 GB IDE HDD as my Linux HDD. If I format and install the 20 GB HDD as the slave drive, could I use it as a dual boot setup then? I want to be able to choose either Windows or Linux at startup to boot (boot using one HDD or the other). Could I do that?

I'll have more questions to ask after.
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post #2 of 14
I have never tried to do it on 2 hard drives so I cant help there. However, I do have both Ubuntu and XP on my laptop that Im on right now. It loads GRUB loader automatically when I start my computer and gives me an option of which OS to load. If I dont choose one within a certain amount of time then it loads Ubuntu. You may want to check out the forum at the link below... you may find an answer to what your looking for. If not bookmark it because lots of info there you will want access to once running Ubuntu.
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/
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post #3 of 14
I'm not too sure about this either, but I think it is possible to use the grub to boot from multiple HD's
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post #4 of 14
Yes, it is possible to load any Linux distro with Grub from a secondary HDD.

The instruction you are looking for is the chainloader command.

I don't remember from the top of my head how I did it, but as soon as I am home later today I'll post the proper sequence to boot from a secondary HDD.

EDIT: Here it is... (do a forum search chainloader)

Ok, once you have the smaller HD all set to run, you will need to boot into Linux to modify your Grub loading preferences. To do this:

Find the file grub.conf. It is ususally found in /boot/grub directory. This file is also known as menu.conf (this is the way Ubuntu sees it). It is a symbolic link to grub.conf.

Once you open the file with a line editor (emacs or vi, both included in Ubuntu, you may have to install them from the repository) just type under all available boot options:

Commands to type.............................. Explanation of command

title Windows XP (C: hda1) ..................Just a title for the entry
root (hd1,0) ......................................Second HDD, first partition
savedefault .......................................Grub will default to this to boot
makeactive ........................................Activate partition 0 (first) on disk 2 (hd1)
chainloader +1...................................Makes Windows run

Remember, this procedure assumes that you have Windows installed in 1 drive and Ubuntu on a second drive. When Ubuntu is installed, GRUB overwrites Windows bootloader in the MBR. This is why we are making Windows run from GRUB.

This also assumes that the Ubuntu HDD is master and the Windows is slave. If you want to have it the other way around, Windows will be hd0,0 and Ubuntu will be hd1,0.

I know it is confusing, but do not hesitate to ask. If you see Xaimus, he is the forum director for Linux, and he has more experience than I.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks man. Once I figure out *** that means I'll get to it lol
Right now I have Ubuntu on a partition so I'm in atleast. I'm using Windows still for pretty much everything though; I don't know a lot of how the Linux system works, it DOESN'T want to play my MP3 files (still trying to figure that out over on the Ubuntu forums), and Firefox is slower for me. I like MSN Messenger on my Window a lot more too. I'm not giving up though, because there is plenty I want to learn about and in Linux. I may be a total newb now, but with effort I can be just like you guys haha.

Now to launch another newb question: when I hook my smaller hard drive up to the IDE cable with my bigger hard drive it doesn't want to boot properly. The boot loader says it can't find a hard drive when it looks to boot from it (it seems like it only recognizes one hard drive on the system) then goes straight to my DVD drive. Help please? I think it may have something to do with the pins at the back of the HDD determining master/slave status. I have my big hard drive set to master, but I don't know what order to put the pin bridges in the back of the smaller. I think it may be set to master as well. There are two pins bridges.
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post #6 of 14
ahh I've been there lol

Here's how you play mp3's from (k)Ubuntu;
open adept (package manager) in the search field enter " XMMS " (multimedia player which actually can play mp3s ) and click the install button.

Then you can just play your mp3's with XMMS

Other then that, firefox is indeed less comfy as in windows..

Also, there's a program called "amsn" which works very nice and resembles Msn
- but there's no package for it so you'll have to search it on the internet and install it manually.


About the HD.. I think there's supposed to be only 1 bridge when you set it to slave.. but I don't know which though.
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well that's odd because there is one bridge pointing up and down on the farthest left pins, and beside it on the top there is another bridge pointing side to side.

Would the hard drive even work if I took them both out? I'm hoping for an answer something like "if you take both pins out it will automatically be set to slave". lol, guess I'm wishing.

Anyway, I installed a bunch of codec and media files, then Amarok, and right now I'm listening to all my music fine. Not sure if it's because of the xine engine for Amarok or the codecs, but I'm happy in that area. Still would like all the hard drive help I can get though.
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
PS - If someone gives me an answer that helps in anyway I will usually give them shiny rep points. I <3 nice people lol
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post #9 of 14
lol I cant help out on the HD I'm afraid, but then again.. there's a whole forum dedicated to HD's
I'm sure they'll help you with a simple question like this over there
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post #10 of 14
Sounds like a maxtor, but don't hold me to it.

Go to the manufacturer's (of the little hard drive) and find the model...there should be a little jumper diagram there somewhere, find it.

Once you install ubuntu on the little drive, it *should* have a preset option of booting to windows. I'm not too sharp on ubuntu so don't quote me. Get the jumpers on the little drive straight and let's get it going...
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