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Dual booting the WHS machine? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I reviewed the threads and found only one relating to dual booting the server. (LOTS on dual booting clients.) I read it to imply you couldn't do what I'm about to ask about.

     

    I still do limited offline LAMP development of my web site and its scripts and what not. For this, I've kept a machine around with multiple disks that I have setup to boot Win2k from one or Suse from the other using the BIOS and LILO to control what boots. The first disk is Win2k only. The second disk has a Linux partition and LILO and an NTFS partition that's D: in Win2k. I use LILO to boot Win2k or Suse or just change the BIOS back to booting from the first disk in which case LILO never even comes into play and up comes Win2k with the D: data partition available. It spends 95% of its time in Win2k. That's the old and tired machine--Celeron 300--I'm considering replacing with a homebrew WHS machine.

     

    This brings me to some admittedly ignorant questions:

     

    Can I partition the primary disk and install Fedora then install WHS in the balance of the disk and have GRUB/LILO boot the WHS partition by default? Will WHS insist on taking over the original partition?

     

    Can I do the same thing I did before of using the BIOS to control which disk I boot from and just put Fedora in a partition of one of the WHS data disks? Or will WHS insist on swallowing that partition?

     

    I've read several threads about the primary disk as biggest/fastest disk for WHS. Say I use 3x 750GB drives and carve out, say, 50GB of the first drive for Fedora. Is the 700GB still sufficiently above the sweet spot for the system drive that it won't matter practically that the data drives are (slightly) larger?

     

    I've also read some postings about hosting a VM session inside WHS. Is that a better way to accomplish this? Where can I get some How To on that?

     

    I know that's a lot of questions. Thanks for any help!

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007 7:15 PM

Answers

  • No, you can't dual boot WHS with another operating system by partitioning a disk. When you install WHS, it will format all disks in the system at that time, so you will lose your Linux install if you install WHS second. And if you install Linux second, you may break WHS in the process of resizing and partitioning the disk.

    You may be able to have access to both by either installing an additional disk and putting Linux on that, or by running Linux in a virtual machine. If WHS isn't running, your client PCs won't have any access to the file shares, and won't have any ability to run backups, so I think you would prefer a virtual machine scenario. But I expect you'll need quite a beefy system to do this successfully, and you should really put the Linux VHD on a disk that's not in the WHS storage pool in my opinion.

    As far as actually installing a Linux distro in a VM, there are some tutorials on how to get particular distros working. The one that seems easiest is Ubuntu. Sorry, but I don't have any specific pointers. Do a Google search on "ubuntu Virtual PC" and you should find something.


    Wednesday, October 3, 2007 11:04 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • No, you can't dual boot WHS with another operating system by partitioning a disk. When you install WHS, it will format all disks in the system at that time, so you will lose your Linux install if you install WHS second. And if you install Linux second, you may break WHS in the process of resizing and partitioning the disk.

    You may be able to have access to both by either installing an additional disk and putting Linux on that, or by running Linux in a virtual machine. If WHS isn't running, your client PCs won't have any access to the file shares, and won't have any ability to run backups, so I think you would prefer a virtual machine scenario. But I expect you'll need quite a beefy system to do this successfully, and you should really put the Linux VHD on a disk that's not in the WHS storage pool in my opinion.

    As far as actually installing a Linux distro in a VM, there are some tutorials on how to get particular distros working. The one that seems easiest is Ubuntu. Sorry, but I don't have any specific pointers. Do a Google search on "ubuntu Virtual PC" and you should find something.


    Wednesday, October 3, 2007 11:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the insightful answer. I'm not sure where I go with it, though, but it has given me some more ideas.

     

    Since the Linux system is only run when I'm working on it, I can pretty well live with the WHS being off line when I'm doing *x. The VM sounds like an interesting science project but surely a science project as I've never even messed with any of the VM technologies much less tried to boot a *x system in one. As to resources, I was thinking of building a fairly fat system for WHS--because a minimum requirements system isn't much cheaper in total--not when buying terabytes of disk, that is--and would not be usable for Vista if for some reason it got reincarnated from being a WHS machine. (I'm thinking of 1 or 2GB RAM and a BE-2350 2GHz Brisbane dual core.) I'm guessing that wouldn't be worse in a VM than my current Celeron300 / 256MB RAM.

     

    OTOH, having the WHS machine would potentially free up a 200GB external USB drive that's on another machine today. If I could setup the WHS box's BIOS to boot off that, then I could move the USB drive to the WHS machine, not add it to the pool, and use it and the BIOS to dual boot as you hint. That would surely be Good Enough. So many possibilities...

     

    Now if only the MS Co Store would get WHS in stock so I can quit planning and start doing! I haven't been this jazzed about an MS software product in quite a while.

    Thursday, October 4, 2007 2:05 AM
  • This statement has me concerned: "When you install WHS, it will format all disks in the system at that time, so you will lose your Linux install if you install WHS second. "

     

    I currently has XP installed on the C: partition and data stored on a second physical drive D:

     

    1) If I install WHS will it format my D: drive?

     

    2) Is there a way to dual boot XP and WHS?

     

     

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 1:22 PM
  •  dmako wrote:
    This statement has me concerned: "When you install WHS, it will format all disks in the system at that time, so you will lose your Linux install if you install WHS second. "

     

    I currently has XP installed on the C: partition and data stored on a second physical drive D:

     

    1) If I install WHS will it format my D: drive?

     

    Yes, it will format ALL drives that are attached at the time of installation.

     

     dmako wrote:
    2) Is there a way to dual boot XP and WHS?

     

    As Ken said, If you install XP first (or any OS for that matter), WHS installation will wipe it out.  If you install WHS first, you could very easily break WHS after installing XP (if it would even let you).  If you were going to try it (not that I would suggest it), I would go with Ken's suggestion and install XP on a separate hard drive (after you have WHS set up, then disconnect all related WHS drives before installing XP).  Keep in mind, what you are asking is not a supported scenario so you're pretty much on your own if anything goes wrong....

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 1:44 PM
    Moderator
  • If, prior to installing WHS, you unplug your D: drive, you can add the D: drive back again afterwards and just don't add it to the data pool. Your data can then be transferred to WHS at your convenience and the empty drive then added to the WHS pool.

     

    Colin

     

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 3:45 PM
  • So to make sure I have this straight, I unplug my data drive (DSmile, install WHS. Now I can plug the D: drive back in boot up.  I still will have access to the data as long as I do NOT add the D: drive to the WHS data pool.

    Right?

    I am trying to keep all data on D: but still access it after installing WHS.
    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 6:37 PM
  • Yes,

    When you plug it back in, WHS will ask you if you want to add the drive to the pool. Just answer 'No' and the drive will be just a drive with data on it. It won't get backed up and can't be duplicated , so you will have no security for that data.

    The best option would be to do the above, but then copy the data off this drive to your shared folders and then add the now surplus drive to you data pool, so as to give you the extra space.

     

    Colin

     

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 6:44 PM
  • This is from my last Springs testing of a earlier version, I haven't tried it again as i was told that its not a good idea to dual boot w/ WHS.

     

    Success!!!  Dual Booting w/ Vista Starter Edition (VSE) & Windows Home Server (WHS) on the (weak) P3 PC.

    I wanted to attack this starting w/ what I had already & go the easiest route from there.

    SOoo I examined what I had in WHS in My
    Computer & Disk Management.
    1) Slipped the Vista DVD in the slot & let the install run from within WHS.
    2) The install took 35 minutes & 10 photos later I was in Vista Starter.
    3) I let it Dl & installed 7 updates.
    4) Restarted & took the below photo of the Boot menu, Vista booted perfectly.
    5) Let VSE run 10 minutes the restarted the PC & booted into WHS, it booted perfectly too.
    6) From VSE I see all the drives but from WHS it only shows me the 2- it is working with (SYS & Data). I’m a tad gun-shy about giving the Vista Drive a drive letter yet in WHS.

     

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 8:51 PM
  • Hi haole! Could you explain better what you wrote? I am Italian and I have not understood well.

    Do you think the same thing can be done with Windows XP?
    Tuesday, January 8, 2008 3:46 PM