Drive setup

Nissakiorate

New Member
I have four drives.

One of which has windows (this one CANNOT be formatted);
one will get ubuntu put on it;
one will run Debian;
One Which will receive Archlinux.

Is this feasible?

Does GRUB check all drives for OS's?

If it's not feasible, is there any way I can quad-boot and use all four Drives?



I apologize if this was an agonizing read. I'm a PC noob.

Edit:
To simplify, I'm going to name the drives. And list their current OS and the OS they are going to receive.
Windows 10 -> Windows 10, c:
Windows 10 -> Debian, x:
Windows 7 -> Ubuntu, y:
N/A -> Archlinux, z:

Edit 2: I learned RAID does not use master/slave configs.
 
Last edited:


wizardfromoz

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That would be moi, I expect :)



(Wizard appears in a puff of smoke).

G'day @Nissakiorate and welcome.

  1. With Windows 10 you likely have your computer in UEFI mode as opposed to the older BIOS, are you familiar with those terms?
  2. What are the capacities of drives x, y and z?
  3. Are they internal or external, and if external, are they powered with a mains plug or unpowered and draw their power from the USB connection?
  4. Do you have a Windows install disk to safeguard your Windows, or do you know how to make a Recovery Disk or USB for it (could need a 16 GB USB stick)?
We will likely have more questions, but if you can start in answering those, that would be good.

Cheers

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 
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Nissakiorate

New Member
With Windows 10 you likely have your computer in UEFI mode as opposed to the older BIOS, are you familiar with those terms?
I am familiar with these terms.

What are the capacities of drives x, y and z?
d: is 80GB. Brand: WD. Type: HDD.
x: is 80GB. Brand: WD. Type: HDD.
y: is 80GB. Brand: WD. Type: HDD.
z: is 1TB. Brand: Seagate. Type: SSHD.

Are they internal or external, and if external, are they powered with a mains plug or unpowered and draw their power from the USB connection?
All are internal.

Do you have a Windows install disk to safeguard your Windows, or do you know how to make a Recovery Disk or USB for it (could need a 16 GB USB stick)?
I have a windows install USB. I can't make a recovery USB as I don't have any spare 16GB USB sticks.
 
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Nissakiorate

New Member
What is the difference between a boot loader and a chainloader?
Does a boot loader replace an os's? versus a chainloader choosing which boot sequence to use?
If I'm using grub and it's and drive z:
If drive z: dies, will drive x: still be bootable?
 
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wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
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Good morning from Australia :)

I have to take a road trip for about 4 hours and then ... I'll be back (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

I have a lot of input for your observations at #6 and #7 that will explain, but if someone comes along in the meantime with good input by all means consider it :cool:

Cheers

Wizard
 

Nissakiorate

New Member
Good morning from Australia :)

I have to take a road trip for about 4 hours and then ... I'll be back (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

I have a lot of input for your observations at #6 and #7 that will explain, but if someone comes along in the meantime with good input by all means consider it :cool:

Cheers

Wizard
Good dusk from the Americas.

Alright, enjoy your roadtrip.
 

wizardfromoz

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I think this has the information i was looking for.
Nice find, but incomplete and dated 4 years old next week.

First, a little explanation on Grub might be useful.

Grub (GRand Universal Bootloader) was implemented in 1999. 2012 - 2014 it was being supplanted by Grub2, which is particularly focussed towards UEFI over the traditional BIOS computer setup.

Grub 2 is now Grub, and Grub was relegated to Grub Legacy.

When a LInux computer starts, Grub is called into play. It uses the instructions it receives from 3 areas:

/etc/default/grub which is a small executable text file (5 to 20 lines long typically), has no extension but could just as easily be named grub.txt

/boot/grub/grub.cfg - can be anywhere from a small number of lines to hundreds, depending on how many Linux Distros you have appearing on your Menu. This one we don't touch, experts only, but changes made to /etc/default/grub are reflected in updating it.

In RPM-based Distros such as Fedora, it may be housed in /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

Third area is both pre-assigned scripts (if any) or custom-built scripts the user has developed, in /etc/grub.d/

Up until 4 or 5 years ago, even using Root privileges you could not directly change grub.cfg.

The chainloading referred to in your linked article can still be used, but it is unnecessary to do what you wish to achieve. Chainloading basically refers to manipulating your grub.cfg on, say Ubuntu, to then load to the grub.cfg on Debian, and then onto that of Arch.

It also has difficulties with dealing with UEFI. Grub2 and UEFI were basically adopted around the same time.

BCD in the article is Boot Configuration Data - there is a BCD in Windows, and EasyBCD can be used to structure the booting and menu for dualbooting with Linux, but once again, it is MBR-focused (Master Boot Record) which goes hand in hand with the older BIOS.

So the thing to do for now is to establish that you definitely have UEFI on your computer, and that can be achieved in a couple of ways, I suggest reading this article and following it.

https://itsfoss.com/check-uefi-or-bios/

Once we confirm that, then I can advise on how best to prepare x, y, and z drives and proceed with installing.

I would suggest Ubuntu first and then the rest will fall into place more easily from there.

As for

If drive z: dies, will drive x: still be bootable?
Yes, with provisions.

The easiest way around this is to install on each Linux Distribution, Timeshift.

You can read my article on Timeshift here

https://www.linux.org/threads/timeshift-similar-solutions-safeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/

Once you install a Distro and get it set up as you like it, you take a Timeshift snapshot of it. This can be done for each of the Distros on x, y and z. Storage place would logically be z as it has the 1 TB. Then if anything heads south for the winter, you would have a USB stick on hand with a Live Ubuntu, or Live Debian, install Timeshift on it and reboot and restore your broken Distro.

More tomorrow, maybe you can just confirm that UEFI status?

Friday here in Oz, so

Avagudweegend

Wizard
 

Nissakiorate

New Member
Alright, a few changes.
Firstly, My motherboard came in, and I completely forgot I only have 4 Sata ports in my excitement that I had extra drives. So as a result, I have to drop drive y:
So this leaves me with d:, x:, z:.

Secondly, I realized that the reason I wanted Ubuntu was so I could emulate windows. I already have windows on the other drive. So that's kind of redundant.

So, this leaves me with two/three OS's. Windows 10, and Arch Linux. Maybe Solaris if that's not dead yet?

I'm going to read up on timeshift, and I'll figure out if my device is UEFI.

It's Friday here too.
Have a good weekend!
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
That's fine, take your time and get things the way you want them.

This Thread will be here when you are ready. If you have any questions on Timeshift, ask them over at my Thread.

Cheers

Wizard
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Some Linux may handle it easily. Some Linux still can't boot a UEFI based computer. There is a lot of room for trouble. A hybrid drive is two drives in one, part SSD and part HDD, connected to just one port. This is not like two partitions on one drive. It's not quite that simple.

You are suggesting a very complex multi-multi boot configuration, and you have one of the best people I've ever known (@wizardfromoz) ready to help you. Wiz is a genius with multi-multi booting! But this is not a typical, nor trivial, process. You should expect problems along the way!

I read above that you have a Windows install USB... if you built your own system, that's all you need. If you have a factory-built system (Dell, HP, etc)... then a Recovery USB will preserve all the software that they would have bundled with Windows. And in any case... you should BACKUP IMPORTANT DATA from Windows before you begin.

Good luck!
 

wizardfromoz

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Staff member
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Stan is hyping me up a bit here, but I do run around 70 - 90 Linux at a time spread over two rigs. They come from 4 of the 5 main Linux Families - Debian and Debian-based, Arch and Arch-based, RPM-based and Gentoo-based, with Slackware being an area I have been a bit slack with but am preparing to remedy.

However, it is only since July last year that I began using an SSD. My Dell laptop is a hybrid setup, having a 256 GB SSD, and a 2 TB HDD. But hybrids such as yours I am guessing are something like a 1 TB HDD incorporating perhaps an 8 GB SSD acting as a cache element, is that so?

I am not aware of any problems, but it is your choice to find out if so.

A brief Google search yielded these links

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux4noobs/comments/6zneu5
and

https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=227187

So one about a year old, the other, three.

Just a note on Arch - be prepared to get your hands dirty with the Terminal (Command Line Interface) right from the start - Arch is very much a BIY/DIY Distro.

I'll leave you for my Monday evening with a screenshot of my current setup on my 256 GB SSD, which we refer to as /dev/sdb - it is the drive Windows 10 is housed on.




SCREENSHOT 1 - WIZARD'S SSD CURRENT

Cheers

Wiz

BTW

... you should BACKUP IMPORTANT DATA from Windows before you begin.
Essential. :)
 

Nissakiorate

New Member
1.) The UEFI install is harder on Arch, but it doesn't look troublesome. I'm gonna keep watching tutorials though.

2.) My SSHD doesn't have that SSD portion listed. However, I've read it is Flash accelerated. Meaning the flash saves the locations of files. So that when I load a file, the flash says "hey that's over there." I think it's something like CMOS? With how it stores the flash section without power.

3. The only reason I don't want my windows HDD wiped is because it has DND campaign stuff. We were only three sessions in, so it's not that much to lose.
 

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