Installing second drive with different OS

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Old 11-02-17, 12:30 PM
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Installing second drive with different OS

I have a desktop PC with a one year old Gigabyte motherboard. It currently has a 500 GB hard drive. I am going to add a second Samsung 960 EVO M.2 solid state drive.

The original HDD has Linux Mint 18. And I'm going to install Fedora 19 on the new solid state drive. I've never added a second drive before. I've already checked specs and compatibility.

So after I install the new SDD, I'll power on the PC with the Fedora installation CD already inserted.

Will it initiate the Fedora setup process automatically on the new drive? Or do I have to open the BIOS on startup when the logo appears? What BIOS setup screens am I likely to encounter during this process?

From then on, I assume I will always have to power on or restart PC and go to BIOS to select the hard drive I want to use?

It's not like I can 'toggle' between hard drives once the PC is up and running?
 
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Old 11-02-17, 01:39 PM
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No specific experience with Fedora or Linux Mint but my research says that both Fedora and Linux Mint will install a boot loader (I think it is called called GRUB). Your system bios may need to be set to boot from the SSD as the primary drive instead of the existing HDD depending if you choose to use the loader from Mint or Fedora. Either boot loader can be configured to present a menu with options to boot from your choice of drives or partitions.
 
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Old 11-02-17, 08:07 PM
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Yeah, you're right about GRUB. I was reading a book on Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It says if you install onto a brand new empty drive with the graphical interactive default option, the process is easy. Fedora uses the Anaconda installer. Similar to what you say, I believe I have to restart the PC and go into the UEFI BIOS during boot up anytime I want to use a different drive/OS. Does this all make sense? I'll report back
 
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Old 11-03-17, 06:14 PM
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I do a lot of dual-booting but I've never done it with UEFI, or with mixing HDDs and SSDs (in fact I don't have any SSDs), so they could throw you a curve ball I'm not expecting for lack of experience with those two factors.

When you install Fedora, it should ask which drive you want it installed to. It might pre-select the empty SSD but it won't start the install until you confirm. Unless you have a particular preference, you might as well go with the default partitioning scheme it offers. In time you will develop preferences, like some people want /var/log always to have its own partition so it minimizes the harm that can come from the log files filling up that partition. Usually it depends on what's bit you in the past.

While Fedora's install routine is analyzing the available drives, it will recognize there's already a *NIX installed on one of the drives, so when you select the other (empty) drive for the install, it will configure Fedora's boot manager so that it will pause the loading of the OS and offer you a list of the available OSes and ask you which one you want to boot.

Never having used UEFI I can't say how this is going to work but all my pre-UEFI BIOSes have a line that comes up in the pre-boot (all the streaming lines of code before the OS starts loading) that reads something like, "Press F12 now for BBS." BBS stands for "BIOS boot select." BBS will presents a list of all the attached storage drives, including optical drives and thumb drives, even ones with no OS on them, and wait for you to select the one you want to boot from. But that's a one-shot deal, it doesn't change the settings in the BIOS and you have select the BBS during boot-up every time you want to manually select the drive to boot from.

I actually prefer to dual boot that way. I don't have a boot manager configured on any of the Linuxes I'm dual-booting, and don't need it because I always use BBS. But that's just a choice. YMMV.

If you're using BBS instead, you can manually edit the configuration of the OS that's hosting the boot manager so its boot manager doesn't load. Or you can do what I do, which is prevent it from ever being configured in the first place.

When I'm installing the second OS of a dual boot, I physically unplug the SATA and power cables from the drive that the first OS is on. That prevents the second OS recognizing that there already is another OS installed, so it will have no reason to set up the boot manager. It's not much more trouble because you had to open the case to install the second drive anyway, and I'm superstitious. I never close up a computer until I've managed to boot it and confirm that the changes/repairs I made are performing as expected. Buttoning up a PC before testing is baaaaad ju-ju. So I boot it, check the new OS, shut it down, re-connect the original HDD, close the case and boot again. I also like never to give either of the OSes cause to recognize that there's a second OS installed because that can lead to turf wars, a blood feud between the two OSes, and disconnecting the original HDD while installing the second OS tends to support that goal.

It also prevents you accidentally installing the new OS on top of the old one, which I have been known to do because I like to partake of adult beverages when I'm working on my PCs at home (because they frown on me drinking on the job ). And it's easier to make that mistake than it might sound with Leenuks because the device names are so arcane. The install routine won't present them as 500GB Hitachi and 120GB Sandisk, it will present them as /dev/sda and /dev/sdb, which is much easier to confuse. Especially if you're CWI (computing while intoxicated).

So during the boot-up you can use the boot manager that Fedora will configure, or you can use the Bios Boot Select to choose which OS you want to load. It's strictly a matter of choice; there is no right or wrong answer. Both methods have a 'default,' a selection that will load (after a time-out) even if you don't intervene.

But you are correct, to switch between OSes, you will have to reboot the PC.

If you don't already know how the HDD in use is designated, and you want to know just for peace of mind before you begin the installation, you can find that out with GNU's Partition Editor, AKA "gparted."

IIRC, Mint does not install gparted by default. You can find out whether it's installed by running:

which gparted

If 'which' can't find it, that means it's not installed. To install it, run:

sudo apt-get install -y gparted

Once it's installed, to inspect your installed drives and learn their designations, run:

gksu gparted &

That will load the gparted applet. The pull-down curtain on the upper-right corner will offer a list of the drives in use. And when you have selected a drive (/dev/sda, /dev/sdb, etc), it will display the configuration information. If you only have the one drive installed, it almost certainly will be /dev/sda.
 
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Old 11-03-17, 09:23 PM
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I installed the solid state drive. I tried installing Fedora 19. But it didn't work. It gave me these messages:

gi-glib GError Could not connect: connection refused.

Pane is Dead


Fred, I read every word of your post. Thanks

Someone said don't bother with Fedora 19. It might be a bug and it's outdated. Use a current version. But it might be something I missed instead of Fedora 19.

I had a lot of trouble getting into the BIOS tonight. Finally accessed it. It's the damn wireless keyboard! Sometimes the RF signal doesn't reach the receiver. I've seen the signal blocked by a book on my work table. Anyway, I held the keyboard close to the receiver, hit DELETE and BIOS menu finally opened up.

So you completely disconnect the original hard drive when you install an OS on a new drive.............interesting. Then If I do it that way, the new drive shows as hard drive BBS priority 1 under BIOS.

I don't think I am going to bother with Fedora 19 at all. I'll look for a new version of Fedora or maybe RHEL. Then I'll disconnect the original hard drive like you say when I install the new one, and see how that goes.

By the way, BIOS will allow me to disable the Gigabyte logo. If I do that, will it show scripting that prompts me to enter the BIOS or make other choices? It would make it easier to open the BIOS menu in the future.
 

Last edited by bluesbreaker; 11-03-17 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 11-04-17, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bluesbreaker View Post
So you completely disconnect the original hard drive when you install an OS on a new drive.............interesting. Then If I do it that way, the new drive shows as hard drive BBS priority 1 under BIOS.

By the way, BIOS will allow me to disable the Gigabyte logo. If I do that, will it show scripting that prompts me to enter the BIOS or make other choices? It would make it easier to open the BIOS menu in the future.
Fred's advice about disconnecting your current boot drive is good advice. As he mentioned, the new install then won't try to install a boot loader, but more importantly, you can't accidentally overwrite your existing OS drive (I've seen people do that).

If you turn off the Gigabyte logo, you'll still get a prompt if you want to enter the BIOS, or select the boot device. Usually, it's the Delete key to enter the BIOS and F12 for the boot selection menu.
 
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Old 11-04-17, 10:50 AM
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I hear ya about the wireless keyboard. They can be a pain if you're trying to interrupt the boot. I'm running a wireless keyboard on a KVM switch (which lets me control two PCs with just one monitor and keyboard). Sometimes that really makes it interesting, especially trying to do installs.

If you're only wanting to take a test-drive on Fedora, rather than committing your best storage device to it, you could run it under Mint on Virtualbox. Vbox is a freeware application you can install on Mint (and a great many other OSes) that 'tricks' the second OS into thinking it's not running inside of a "host" OS but actually is installed directly on the hardware. I'm running Vbox on Mint 18.1 and I've created virtual images that allow me to run MS-DOS, Windows XP, Windows (7) Thin PC and Android KitKat 4.4. I could run OSX on it as well except the CPU that particular PC is using doesn't support virtualization. Curiously, you can run a virtual 32-bit OS on a 64-bit CPU that lacks virtualization support, but not 64 bit.

I mention this because dollar-for-dollar, running the OS on an SSD is the most cost-effective performance upgrade you can make. It seems a shame to run your primary OS on an HDD and the "hobby" OS on an SSD.

This is a screenshot of (32-bit) Win7 Thin PC running under Vbox on my current Mint 18.1:



I'm sure you'll recognize both the Windows logo/desktop on the left/foreground and the Mint logo/desktop on the right/background.

This one shows some error messages because it isn't fleshed out but it could be configured to run exactly like a real OS because it is a real OS, it's just running in a virtual environment. It can use the network and can run any application that 'real' Windows could.

Provided you have enough RAM (at least 4gb is minimally enough but 8 or more would make it sing), you can run the two OSes simultaneously, one real and the other "virtual." With enough RAM you could run 10 "guest" OSes at once (although they might have to queue up to get to use the CPU). You can switch back-and-forth between them without having to reboot.

One of the chief reasons people like running virtual OSes is that you can be as destructive as you want without really damaging anything. It's a "sandbox." Whatever changes you make are held in memory and Vbox doesn't write back to the virtual image you loaded the OS from unless you tell it to.

You can learn whether your current CPU supports virtualization by running this command:

lscpu

Look for the line that starts "Virtualization:" If it doesn't exist then that CPU doesn't support it. If it's an Intel slug and it supports virtualization, it should read "vmx" (which is Intel Xv-t). But if it's AMD it should be "svm" (which is AMD Secure Virtual Machine)

If you want to install Vbox, it's in the standard Mint repository. Menu> Administration> Software Manager.
 
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Old 11-04-17, 12:45 PM
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Some great info you guys posted here. I need to learn virtualization anyway if I want to work in IT. I have 16GB of DDR4 RAM. I especially like the idea of toggling between the OS's without having to reboot.

I tried command lscpu. It returned VT-x. My CPU is Intel Core i3 6100. Not the best for virtual machines since it is only dual core. I regret not spending the extra money for Core i7 quad core

I'm going to order a CentOS installation CD. Doesn't hardly cost anything. By the way, the new SSD is showing in the BIOS.
 

Last edited by bluesbreaker; 11-04-17 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 11-06-17, 08:18 AM
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We use virtual machines of many different types here in the office and the learning curve is not steep or long compared to a lot of other stuff I've done so I wouldn't hesitate to jump in if that appears to be a good option for you.
 
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Old 11-06-17, 10:57 AM
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That's good. Thanks, Stick
 
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Old 11-06-17, 02:23 PM
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Virtual Machines more or less replaced dual boot for the simple reason that you can use both at the same time. Since Mint is your host OS, you don't have to be annoyed with the forced updates/reboots of Windows 10.


If you still want to use dual boot, remove the first drive as suggested before, install the OS on the SSD & set UEFI, if it lets you. I'm surprised that UEFI didn't block a non Windows OS in the first place.
 
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Old 11-06-17, 03:29 PM
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I'll never install Windows on my home desktop PC again anyway. I was unable to install Fedora 19. But Fedora updates every year or so because of flaws or bugs. I bought that expensive SSD. So I'll probably use it use it for virtual machines.
 
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Old 11-06-17, 03:42 PM
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If you are only going to use the SSD for VMs, you probably have to set it as a slave drive & not a secondary master. That would be better than dual boot. The secondary master is probably your DVD drive.
 
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Old 11-06-17, 09:33 PM
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My two hard drives are SATA and M.2 PCIe 3.0 X 4 solid state. I think slave and master comes into play with the older IDE interface. I believe setting boot order priority in BIOS would accomplish the same...........am I correct?
 
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Old 11-07-17, 04:40 AM
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I did a quick google search. Since the SSD doesn't have any jumpers, you don't set it to slave. So you are right about that. However, an IDE slave drive was always positioned on the second connecter on the ribbon cable. In other words, not at the end of the cable. From what I'm reading, you need a special cable & possibly a caddy to install the SSD where it will be accessible at all times. What brand PC is it?
 
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Old 11-07-17, 08:26 AM
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My M.2 SSD can be either SATA or PCIe X 4 lanes. I got the PCIe one. It's just plug and play right on the motherboard M.2 slot with a fastening screw. It's already done and showing in the BIOS. My board is less than a year old and has recent technology. The M.2 setup can be a little confusing. I had to read up on it myself. I built my own PC. But I have a lot to learn still.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 07:16 PM
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I forgot to update you guys earlier this month to close out this discussion. I installed CentOS on the new solid state drive. And just like we discussed, I go into the BIOS at start up to select the hard drive I want to boot up. No problems with that. Now I am learning topics related to Linux administration through hands-on.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 07:36 PM
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That's good news. Can I have a shell account?
 
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Old 11-26-17, 08:06 PM
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Hey D. Thanks for reminding me about these shell accounts. I was just reading about it. I am just a beginner and I have a great deal to learn. You can find free shell accounts. They seem to be important for people who want to take their learning to the next level.
 
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Old 11-27-17, 04:35 AM
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I'm glad that you're opened to the idea. Have fun.
 
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Old 11-27-17, 09:47 AM
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Easier to click F12 when dual booting instead of going into BIOS
 
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