[Techtalk] Prodigal daughter and dual boot woes

jim jim at well.com
Sat Apr 18 01:12:47 UTC 2009

   you might consider starting from scratch (read "raw 
disks, no stuff on them, all erased clean). 
   if so, then boot up a live CD and partition your hard 
drives: two partitions for the Microsoft OS, three 
partitions for the linux OS, and you'll find it'll be 
nice to have at least two extra partitions in addition. 
   the trick will be to put the correct filesystems on 
each of the partitions. i bet it'll be smart to put the 
linux filesystems on all partitions that are not for the 
microsoft OS--that may protect them from the automatic 
we-own-everything policy that guides the microsoft OS 
installation program. 
   put the microsoft OS on one partition. put the linux 
OS on at least two other partitions (you have to have 
a swap partition in addition to a partition for your 
files). current wisdom is put msft on first, then put 
on linux because the linux installer is polite and 
doesn't think it owns everything. it should "just work". 

   as to RAID, i'm still not clear if you're using 
hardware or software RAID. which? 
   in either case, yes: if you screw up a file, your 
screw-up will exist on all RAID copies, but that's not 
the point to RAID. RAID is good because if a hard drive 
dies, the other one is still there for you, you haven't 
lost your data. 
   a backup scheme that is smart and frequent can help 
you defend against file corruption (where all RAID copies 
of a file are screwed up). you retrieve the backups and 
can recover at least some of the goodies that the current 
copies are missing). 

On Fri, 2009-04-17 at 17:39 -0700, Amanda Haynes wrote:
> Wow, thanks so much for everyone's responses and advice, it's already been
> really helpful so far.  I'm excited to try out some of the virtualization
> solutions everyone suggested and backup software as well.
> > You haven't told us what's actually wrong with the RAID, and why you can't
> > boot Ubuntu or dual boot, or even what kind of RAID controller it is.
> > Cheers, Chris.
> Right, I glossed over that because of the scary messages on the Ubuntu
> community about how fake Raid isn't supported and "Trying to install Ubuntu
> on such a partition could easily result in the loss of all your data" -- um
> yeah I don't need that.  Plus the realization of what Conor pointed out ---
> that a mistaken delete happily replicates to the second drive anyway and
> that would apply to both HW and SW raid, so maybe I just wanted to go
> another direction for protecting my data and my sanity.  But anyway, on
> startup when I go into the Raid configuration utility, it says Intel Matrix
> Storage Manager ROM v8.5.2.1002.  I haven't looked that up yet, and it
> didn't come with a manual.
> As for why I can't dual boot, the details are fuzzy now I tried so many
> different things, but it went something like this... When I tried installing
> Kubuntu the first time it just booted straight back up into Vista.  The
> second time I tried something different with installing the boot loader
> (can't remember what exactly, I just put in a different location for where
> it should install).  That time I got a fatal GRUB error at the end of the
> install and GRUB error 21 on reboot, and away went Vista as well.  Another
> time I think I installed Grub in the right place (on the Kubuntu partition),
> but it still booted straight into Vista.  That time I added an entry for
> Kubuntu in the Vista bootloader using Easy BCD, but then when I selected it,
> it took me to a GRUB command line.  I know that in theory from there I need
> to load the kernel and then boot, but I don't know exactly how.... and some
> other command I ran led me to believe that GRUB wasn't seeing the disk
> correctly anyway.  I can't remember now, sorry :(  There were a few other
> things I tried, but the bottom line is nothing seemed to work.  That's when
> I started reading up on Raid and realizing that was probably highly
> suspect.
> During the install/partitioning process, the two drives show up
> individually, and when I create partitions they just show up on one.  The
> live CDs can see the data on the drives, I actually at one point was able to
> burn a DVD of a few things I needed off my Vista partition after I had hosed
> the OS in scenario #2 above :)
> Conor/Chris, good thoughts and cautions on dealing with the Raid...  I'm not
> afraid of reinstalling Vista so that's not a big deal.  And the Intel Matrix
> Storage Manager gives me an option to Reset the disks to non-raid, so I
> shouldn't be afraid of corrupting anything there, should I?  Or should I try
> the alternate CD and fakeraid... sounds kinda risky, especially for someone
> as clueless as I am!
> Thanks,
> Amanda
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