Dual boot with 2 separate hard drives

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Balthazar, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Balthazar

    Balthazar Registered Member

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    Here's another idea (nothing new) for anyone interested in experimenting with Linux without dual-, triple-...booting on a single drive. It could be interesting for those people being extra careful or just afraid of destroying something (you should back-up your data so you shouldn't be afraid but anyhow...)

    Use a 2nd HDD/SDD in your laptop. If you don't have a new laptop with 2 HDD bays or fancy miniSSD, get rid of your CD/DVD drive and buy a HDD caddy. Be careful to choose the right type and don't overpay. It shouldn't be more than 10-20$.

    I noticed that I hardly use my dvd drive anymore. I use an external blu-ray burner instead of the ancient dvd-rom in my ancient laptop. I've been using a 750GB hybrid hard drive with about 7 or 8 systems in multi-boot (octa-boot) until I wanted to try out a SSD and get rid of Windows. I didn't want to spend a lot of money (euphemism for "couldn't afford much") so I decided to go for a 128 GB SSD. I liked openSUSE 13.1 a lot because it had everything I needed. Also, I wanted to try out full disk encryption which I hadn't on the other disk.

    I didn't miss Windows but I did miss switching between a few systems like Parabola and Crunchbang. That's why I decided to buy a universal HDD caddy and try to use both my hard drives.

    My 2nd HDD had been recognized in openSUSE but I couldn't boot at first. After updating the bootmanager the other systems were showing up at the boot screen and besides Gentoo and Parabola everything else worked. There I got a message saying "Unable to find root device". But it wasn't a big thing getting these two working again. I had to use a recovery stick, chroot and run mkinitcpio -p linux to regenerate the initramfs (I had to look that up). Mint, Chrunchbang, openSUSE and Windows did work fine after just updating Grub.

    Most of the time I am using openSUSE 13.2 on my primary drive and I can still use all the other systems. I don't use Windows for anything else but the occasional game. I got rid of all antivirus and security software because I don't go online when using Windows and I don't work with it anymore.

    Getting dual or multi boot to work is not that hard (e.g. Mrk and others have written about a lot of different setups) but maybe some people would rather keep their main setup and add a fresh hard drive. Of course you wouldn't necessarily need a 2nd hdd drive bay in order to try out two hdds. You could just use a fresh one and start trying and use the old one if you're not satisfied with the result. Adding a 2nd hard drive means additional disk space. I can use it in openSUSE with my root password. I like to store bigger files on my 2nd hard drive in order to avoid performance trouble with the SSD.
     
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