Hard Drive off Switch

Posted on 2008-11-04
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a very similar situation, I would like to turn off hard drive A. with Windows installed &at the same time.  Turn on hard drive B with   Linux installed.Could this be accomplished with a double pole double throw switch?  I know it would be absolutely critical to power down the system before making the switch.  I am using a specially customized version of Linux & and making the one drive  master and the other the slave is not an option in this particular case.  If anybody has any good ideas that would be happy to hear them.
Question by:trekermzs
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    by:Alan Henderson
    I get around the problem this way:

    1. install Windows on disk 1.
    2. Unplug cables from disk 1.
    3. Install Linux on disk 2.
    4. Plug disk 1 back in.

    I use Linux normally so I set disk 2 to be the startup disk in BIOS.
    If I wish to boot into Windows I go to the boot menu at startup and select disk 1.

    On my last two motherboards and on my Dell laptop the key for the boot menu is F12, so I presume that's a common hot key for that menu.

    This saves a lot of trouble with boot sector problems which I've had with normal dual-booting. Windows doesn't play nice with Grub.

    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

    Other options. USE a removable drive tray to swap drives.

    Use the BIOS to disable drives/ controllers

    I hope this helps !

    Author Comment

    I think vallis solution will work however i can't find the correct shortcut key to bring up boot menu. MY MB is Biostar p4m890-m7 TE. Control tab brings up a network boot options (bios / or / PXE)? any thougts?

    I Can't use a removable drive want to know why ? go to
     Don't Laugh
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    Unless otherwise your looking to switch of the other HDD, you can use system commander, I've been using it for years, and even I'm using one drive to boot all windows versions, Linux, and other...

    Author Comment

    Mc7400 Will Sys Commander work with current linux install on 2nd disk if Sys commander is installed on 1st disk with winxp? in other words would i need to reinstall linux?
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    No, in your case with 2 HDD you don't need to reinstall anything, system commander has the ability to hide any HDD or any partition.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    So far as your actual question,,
    A switch isn't a good idea.
    You don't want switch contacts in the data path and they would be.

    Author Comment

    Mc7400: at this point has the best solution for me.  However I still can't boot
    I get a window that says POSSIBLE DEFECTIVE BOOT RECORD is the title of the window
    Operating System Description Lunux.
    The partition appears to have a defective boot record or an operating system has not been installed yet, and it has been marked as a choice to boot.  The normal boot signature is missing.

    The hard drive boots just fine when I installed directly.  When I tried to boot, as it is through System Commander.  I get a blank screen.  My problem is this I do not have enough experience with the Linux operating system, and most of the files boot records etc.  Are locked out any other options with system Commander?
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    >My problem is this I do not have enough experience with the Linux ....
    Maybe the best solution for you to reinstall it, or if I ware you and had large HDD then I'd reinstall everything on one HDD, and leave the other for data for both OS.

    The errors you encounter due to automated detection of syscom, you have to do the rest of the job manually, read the manual for details.


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