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Old December 11, 2010, 10:11 PM
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Default Dual Boot modification

I want to dual boot but I do not want to do it with partitions. I have a Win 7 SATA drive (320 GB) and an Ubuntu 10.10 drive (500 GB).

How can I do this? One way might be to just hook up two SATA data cables assuming that the motherboard ports are logically identical. Then build a SATA power switch to select the drive. This is a desktop so it's a 15 pin power cable with 9 powered lines and 5 grounds. I guess I would make a 9 line A B switch. I'm sure it would be a disaster if the switch is moved when an operating system is running but I'll be careful.

So my question is whether the SATA ports are identical and so do not need switching.

Has anybody any experience with this?
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Old December 11, 2010, 10:15 PM
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You can do it with software. You just have to choose one or the other on bootup.
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Old December 11, 2010, 10:18 PM
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Default I said I "do not want to do it with partitions"

ZZLEE: Please see the title of this reply.
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Old December 11, 2010, 10:29 PM
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You use a bootloader to select what drive/partition/os you want. Windows and every other OS come with a bootloader, actually.
Your BIOS also has a 'boot selector' so you can chose what physical drive you want.

I personally like to get an old 512MB or smaller aaancient flash drive that used to be all big and so cool and put a bootloader on it. Set the BIOS to select the flash drive by default then the bootloader lets me select what I want. (You are actually selecting the partition, since every single drive technically has multiple partitions, you just generally only see one)
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Old December 11, 2010, 10:34 PM
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Your post seems to be a little confusing. It sounds like you want the two separate drives to be the same partition, which doesn't make much sense from a practical use perspective. I only know of two ways to run 2 different operating systems on the same partition. Either do a VM or install Ubuntu as a "program" in Windows. (theres an option on the live CD if you run it inside Windows) But to have the two drives labeled as the same partition, you'd need to run them as JBOD or RAID.

I'm thinking I may have misunderstood your post, if you could elaborate on what exactly you're trying to do here that would help.
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Old December 12, 2010, 01:08 AM
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Default elaboration

What I want is to alternate between Windows (320 GB) and linux (500 GB) by shutting down, powering off, then booting the other hard drive. The way I do it now is to unplug two cables (SATA power, SATA data), move both cables to the other drive, then power-up.

I'm just trying to find an easier way with minimal compromises.
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Old December 12, 2010, 01:45 AM
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Just use a hot swap hard drive bay...

Kingwin KF-1000 Internal SATA II Hot-Swap Rack | Overclockers
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Old December 12, 2010, 02:06 AM
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The swapping rack creates the risk they get bumped when not installed.
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Old December 12, 2010, 02:28 AM
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K wait what? You have TWO hard drives in the computer with an OS installed on each? It should ask you on startup which OS you want to use, no? If not tap F10 while it's booting to get into the boot menu and select hard drive. I would definitely NOT make a switch like you have suggested.

If you installed linux first, you should have installed Windows first as sometimes the windows boot loader can be picky.
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Old December 12, 2010, 02:32 AM
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I still vote for a flash drive based bootloader. then you leave your HDDs completely untouched, you do not have to swap HDDs and if you ever(unlikely) mess the bootloader up you just unplug it and no harm done. You can also edit it on other computers in unexpected situations. :P
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