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Re: [vox-tech] dual-boot machine / vmware / SATA drives...
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Re: [vox-tech] dual-boot machine / vmware / SATA drives...

Dylan Beaudette wrote:
Hi everyone,

recently purchased a new machine for the lab, and have plan on using it for the following :

two SATA drives, one with WinXP the other with Debian Linux.
Right now it boots into Linux by default, and will provide remote-login services among other things to our lab members. The Windows XP install was going to be accessed via VMware, with linux as the host operating system of course, for people who actually sit down at the machine. I was planning on accessing the first SATA disk in raw mode as opposed to creating a virtual disk for windows to live in. however, according to the vmware docs, raw access mode will not work with SCSI disks. with kernel 2.6 SATA devices appears as SCSI devices- so it seems that this approach will not work.

one possible work-around would be to dump windows on the first disk, format with ext3, and create a large VMware virtual disk in its place. This option should work fine.

one small problem (?) -- my bootloader (grub) is stored in the MBR of the first SATA disk, will re-partitioning this disk destroy the MBR ? and if so, how can i safely restore it ?
any comments / thoughts -- I am pretty sure that the above is reasonable, but I would sure appreciate any other options!


Keep in mind that an install of XP encodes lots of information about the
"machine" hardware in its registry, so you can't really use an existing
install of XP (that references real hardware) within the VM (which
references virtual hardware) interchangeably anyway.  That is, you
might be able to convert it, but dual booting will probably hose
the install pretty quickly, not to mention giving WGA fits.

The only advantage of raw mode would be speed, and you still have the
VM slowing you down.  I suspect you can get most of the speed benefit
by giving a partition (say, /dev/sda1 instead of
/home/myuser/VMWare/myxp/myxp.vmdk) to VMWare as if it was the file to
build the virtual disk in, but I haven't done that myself.

Re-partitioning the disk shouldn't damage the MBR, but keep in mind that
the bootloader stored there expects to find the "rest of the story"
(the "real bootload code") in some existing ext2/3 partition... in
your case, the second hard disk, so keep that intact and you should
be okay.

Jeff Newmiller                        The     .....       .....  Go Live...
DCN:<jdnewmil@dcn.davis.ca.us>        Basics: ##.#.       ##.#.  Live Go...
                                      Live:   OO#.. Dead: OO#..  Playing
Research Engineer (Solar/Batteries            O.O#.       #.O#.  with
/Software/Embedded Controllers)               .OO#.       .OO#.  rocks...1k
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