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Re: OK to install across 2 HDs?

On Sat, 4 Jan 1997, Joseph L. Hartmann, Jr. wrote:
> On Sat, 4 Jan 1997, Pete Templin wrote:
> > On Sat, 4 Jan 1997 TandMark@aol.com wrote:
> > > I'd like to install Debian Linux into various partitions on 2 harddisks.
> > > hdb holds 400 MB, and hdc around 1.1 GB.
> I have two HD's.  Right now only one is hooked up -- it is my
> hda, a 1.6G Western Digital, running Redhat.  I wish to hook up
> in addition a 340 Meg Connor.  I would like that to be the
> slave so that I can keep my WD stuff where it is. I want to
> install Debian on the 340 Meg drive until I convince myself if
> I want Debian on the 1.6G drive.  I would like to boot up on
> either one.  How do I arrange that?  The second one would be
> hdb, would it not? . Each drive will be partitioned by using
> linux fdisk, and each drive has a small DOS partition on hda1
> and hdb1.  I do not wish to use both disks for one distribution
> just yet (I understand the merit of doing that, however). I
> want to get Debian running on my "test" 340 meg drive, without
> disturbing my "running system".  Can I get lilo to boot from
> either drive? How?

I'd suggest following the Debian default of placing LILO/MBR on hdb, boot
from your floppy, then build another lilo.conf to put on hda.  See the
howto's on LILO for more info (I'm not doing this sort of fancy stuff with
> > You bet.  If possible, stick to hda and hdc.
> I don't understand this statement. What exactly is the relation
> between hda, hdb, and hdc?  Do you have one controller
> that runs two HD's?  What is your hardware configuration?

P133/32M, one flop + one floppy port tape drive, 2S, 1PP.  This (as well
as many other Pentium mb's) has two IDE ports, each capable of handling
two drives.  

hda	primary IDE port, master
hdb	primary IDE port, slave
hdc	secondary IDE port, master
hdd	secondary IDE port, slave

Slave drives use controller circuitry embedded in the master drive on an
Integrated Drive and Electronics drive.  Also, IDE can only do one thing
at a time.  If you can make both hard drives masters (primary and
secondary), you'll get better performance.
> These are good ideas.  I like this, and when I get past my
> "experimental" phase I will do this also.  Thank you.

Be careful that you don't get too many partitions.  I strongly suggest
that you at least separate /home from /, so if you have to reinstall you
haven't lost your files.  After that, the next goal is to get / small.
The smaller / is (more a case of less files than actual size of partition)
the less disk writing that will go on, and less chance of corruption that
way.  Shouldn't have (I know I break my own rules here) more than one or
at most two active partitions on a disk.  If both are in use, the disk arm
is going to have to go back and forth a lot.  Unfortunately, I don't want
to lump everything on one partition, and there's a limit to how many
small-size (250-300), good-performing, IDE drives (I know those last two
things are an oxymoron, but...) you can buy and cram in a system.

As always, refer to http://www.pathname.com/fhs for a real good discussion
of what files go where in Linux.

> > > Finally, as far as I know, / doesn't have to be a primary partition.
> But are there any advantages to designating it as primary? 

IMHO, a little less risk that the partition won't ever disappear.  No real
evidence to back it up, though.

Peter J. Templin, Jr.                   Client Services Analyst
Computer & Communication Services       tel: (717) 524-1590
Bucknell University			templin@bucknell.edu

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