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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have an older Windows XP machine that I would like to dual boot with Linux Ubuntu.

I have one drive and Windows XP running on the comp right now. I have some experience working with comps (added RAM, switched motherboards, video card, etc.) but have never done any HD stuff.

From my small amount of experience I can tell that I need to hook the second drive up to an IDE cable.

Would I use primary or secondary? Currently I have a CD-RW drive and DVD-ROM drive hooked up to secondary IDE. The HD with Windows is the only one on primary.

Also, would this drive be set as master or slave or what?

What exactly would be the best way to install the other drive?

Thanks a lot!
 

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Keep your optical drives on you secondary IDE cable. I'd recommend removing your XP drive, hooking up the second drive and installing Ubuntu. Then hook the XP drive back on your primary IDE cable. Be sure to set one drive as primary and the other as secondary using the jumpers on the disks. It doesn't matter which is primary and which is secondary.
Alternatively, you can create a virtual machine. Although the software is not free (at least none that I know of), it's easier to work with. Keep your one XP drive and create a simulated hardware environment with the virtual machine software. It is exactly like having 2 (or more if you want more) OS's on separate physical hardware, but it's the same hardware. You don't have to worry about configuring BIOS and restarting your comp to load the other OS. XP would be your main OS (loads it during booting), and through XP you can load a fully functional Ubuntu.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Ok, I followed malonn's advice and unplugged the XP drive. I then put the other HD in and installed Ubuntu on it. I got Ubuntu all up and running perfectly. Next, I plugged the XP drive back into IDE1 as primary and the Ubuntu drive into IDE1 as slave. I turned the comp on and it booted to XP.

Is there any way I can get a menu to select which OS to boot to? Either XP on the one drive or Ubuntu that is on the other? Do I need to set both drives to cable select?

Thanks!
 

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It's recommended if you are dual-booting XP and an Linux distro, you keep the XP drive in during installation - the installation procedure will detect the current installation of XP and add a selection for it in the GRUB Boot Loader. Once Ubuntu has finished installing and you next reboot, you can choose between Ubuntu and XP in GRUB.

If you remove the XP drive before the install, it will not detect the XP installation and therefore not add the entry. Once you put back the XP drive as the primary, the BIOS will boot NTLoader and you won't see Ubuntu.

By the way, in regards to a free virtual machine, Microsoft has made Virtual PC free to the public.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
So in other words, it's too late to do anything about it but reinstall Ubuntu on the other drive with the XP drive in?

Or is there a simpler way to add XP to GRUB?

Thanks.
 
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