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Have a normal install of Windows on the first drive.Then switch the drives so the Windows drive is now not the primary.not the boot drive.Now make the other drive the boot drive,install Linux on it.The Linux boot utility should reconize Windows on the 2nd drive and give you a boot option for Windows.This is the safest way,as Linux won't overwrite the Windows boot record and if you have to,you can switch drives and boot Windows alone again.The most recent Linux's support most SATA but seem to prefer IDE drives.If your Windows is split on both drives.Switch the master and put Linux on the new master.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks DC, my IDE drive was added to the pc after I bought it and is used for storage only. I should be able to do that with no issues or conflicts with my XP drive.

One question though, will I have to switch the master every time I want to boot to the OS or will I have the choice during the boot process? I am looking for quick and easy as this pc is also used by others in the house.
 

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No,the Linux boot record will boot both Linux and the Windows hard drive.Make sure to install it on the same drive that has Linux.Switch the IDE drive to master boot device before installing Linux.This should keep Linux from writing anything to the Windows drive but make sure the Windows drive is hooked up before installing Linux.Linux should reconize it and give you a boot option for Windows when you start the PC.If Windows isn't hooked up when Linux is installed Linux won't be able to see it and won't give you a Windows option at boot.

So have both drives hooked up.Have the IDE drive as the boot drive and install Linux on it.
 

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Originally posted by DeadMansLife
Ok, so another ??? FAT or NTFS?
Go with EXT2 or EXT3 for Linux and NTFS for Win2K or XP.

I have had good luck using G.A.G. bootloader to start my various kernels. It is very configurable and is free to download.
 

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Originally posted by DeadMansLife
Ok, so another ??? FAT or NTFS?
Ext 3 would be the safest.Ext 2 can be a bit faster but doesn't survive shutdowns due to power loss,etc. very well.

I didn't see this post before.You could install Linux of the IDE without the SATA drive hooked up just to do a test install.Your Linux swap partition on the linux drive should be around 512MB-1GB but it's not critical in size.It will be simpler and easier for you to use whatever bootloader is supplied on the Linux install CD for starters.
 

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You can install Linux (at least those w/ grub) on a drive that is NOT the promary master. You then use the windows boot manager to select between the two.

Instructons Here

ARS
 
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