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2001 Dec 30 17:11

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Re: [vox-tech] To Dual Boot...???
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Re: [vox-tech] To Dual Boot...???

[I think I properly quoted these sections. Please correct me if I made a

> begin: Ryan <ryan@mother.com> quote
> > I don't belive windows like's living on a second HD. You could pull it off 
> > with PowerQuest's BootMagic iirc.

On Fri, 21 Sep 2001, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> why not?   when i installed linux on my girlfriend's computer, windows was on
> hda.  i placed another drive in the machine on hdc and installed linux on it.
> works great!

There is at least one issue with this:
If you set up your primary master (Assuming IDE/ATA) as you Linux disk
with LILO (or another similar boot manager), and look to have Windows
(95,98,ME) running on the primary slave, secondary master, or secondary
slave, you should not create any FAT filesystems on the mail linux boot
disk after-the-fact. (The boot manager from Norton I think allows you to
set drive letter as you wish for each OS, but I am not certain on that.)

If a FAT partition is found during boot that is located on the primary
master, then the copy of windows installed on another non-primary-master
may be assigned a non "C:" named later driver letter. This would break
windows paths and cause problems for a booting windows system that assumed
it was booting from itself and it was drive "C:"

Windows NT/2000 does allow you to specify what drives are what letters,
but I am not sure if it allows you to change "C:" drive assignment.

Third party products offer a system for windows to use different drive
letters on boot, but if you just make sure that no FAT filesystems reside
on the primary master, and only reside on the windows disk, you should be

AFAIK, I *think* windows95/98/ME/DOS assigns drive letters like this.
(Mind is rusty here):
First windows/dos readable partiition on Primary Master: C:
First windows/dos readable partition on secondary Master: D:
first windows/dos readable partition on Primary Slave: E:
First windows/dos readable partition on Secondary Slave: F:
(Drive assignments with letters assume a windows/dos readable partition
was actual found on each of the above drives as listed. drive letters are
assigned alphabetically after "C:" for fixed disks as they are found
unless otherwise altered.)

Then, any other remaining windows/DOS partitions on the above disks are
added by the OS along with CD-ROM, ZIP, (etc) drives.

If using an older MSCDEX.EXE system in aautoexec.conf, then your CD-ROM
will likely get the next drive letter immediately after the above. Same
with IOMEGA and the DOS guest.exe application.

Order seems to change from 95/98 to ME for drive letter assignments on the
local HD when they have windows readable partitions after the first for
each respestive drive. Windows NT/2000 allows you to specify whatever
drive letters you want for the non "C:" drive in the drive manager. (I  am
not sure about it being possible to change "C:" in there because it just
seems like a bad idea, and I have never had a need.)

This can further express itself if you want to boot Windows ME, Windows
2000, and linux from the same machine and HD and still use LILO. For this,
if you install Windows ME first, (it can't read NTFS by default) on the
first partition of the primary master on a FAT32 filesystem, then you try
to install windows 2000, windows 2000 will try to install over the windows
me on the primary master's first partition. If istead, you install windows
2000 onto an NTFS partition and make that first, then when you install
windows ME on the second partition, it cannot read the first partition on
the primary master, and skips it and makes the second partition on the
primary master drive "C:". Then when you go back to Windows 2000, it
should see the windows ME partition as some other drive letter (like Drive
"D:" or drive "E:" or whatever.) The installation of Linux on reamining
partitions and across other HD is trivial, and LILO will allow you to
choose which OS and partition and have all 3 work on the samme box (as
well as windows can be said to "work" at least.)

In summary:
Keeping windows on a disk by itself should be ok so long as you do not
have other windows filesystems on other disks. If you *do* have windows
readable filesystems on other disks, then you will likely want to choose
to use a disk that is lower in "drive letter assignment" according to the
list above.

*** Exceptions:
There are many!
For example, when you add SCSI controllers with multiple drives to a
system with ATTA/IDE, then BIOS loading order has a big impact on the
drive letter assignment as well as the SCSI controller manufacturers
method for reporting these to the OS.
(Many more exceptions exist too, but this is a linux mailing list not a
windows support mailing list. heh. ;-)

If I made a mistake, please point it out! (I make plenty this early in the
morning when I am rushed.)

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