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Hard drive selector

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (Not Computer-Related)' started by Stoner, Jan 7, 2006.

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  1. Stoner

    Stoner Banned Thread Starter

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    I've been thinking of setting up a system, where I have two hard drives configured so that only one can be seen by the processor at any one time. I do not want to dual boot in this situation.
    Here are two web sites with explanations and solutions:
    http://www.dslwebserver.com/main/Romtec-Trios.html
    http://www.dvhardware.net/modules.php?name=Sections&sop=viewarticle&artid=4

    Naturally, I favor the home made switch because of price and the fact that it accomplishes the same task.
    But I'd like to take it further and be able to keep the un-recognized Hard drive off or unpowered.

    I've searched around, but not come up with any good ideas.
    Can an extra switch be added to also divert electrical power at the hard drives, or does that become a bios issue and cause problems?

    I can live with the 'second' drive always on if there is no other way, but I'd prefer not to have to listen to the extra noise.

    My OS is Win 98se if it makes a difference.

    Any suggestions? :)
     
  2. hewee

    hewee

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    Wow that Romtec Trios - Hard Drive Selector looks cool.

    I have a rack in mine so I have to shut down and slide out the rack to change drives.
    But I would need more space inside my case for all of this.
     
  3. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    Set the bios for "auto" and this works. I did it with my old hacked Apex DVD player (running Sampo firmware) before I junked it, and it worked fine.

    I think I should add, you may be able to do what you want without a switch simply by changing the boot order in the bios when you wish to boot from the other drive.

    This is kinda cool as well, I never thought of it.
    http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2003/2003-03-13.htm#5

    You could just set up one boot partition, and have multiple images on a separate partition to write to the boot partition as needed. It's slow, but it would work. Of course, it'd be a good idea to keep your programs and files on a different partition that your OS partition to speed the process.
     
  4. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79

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    Hi Stoner,

    You should check the date of the webpage you posted on the ROMTEC link.

    I don't think that ROMTEC is in business anymore - can you reach their website? I know last year I could not. They were in Santa Fe Spring, CA last I checked. I wonder if hey are still listed in the phone directory in that location.

    -- Tom
     
  5. loserOlimbs

    loserOlimbs

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    Not sure to what end you want it...
    but why not get a HD with a key, that way the drive can only be read when you insert and turn the key?

    Just a thought.
     
  6. hewee

    hewee

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    That is what I have. A mobile rack with lock. Then I have two of the inner rack one so I just unlock the drive and swap it out with another and boot up after I lock it.
     
  7. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79

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    Hi Stoner,

    Since ROMTEC is no longer a choice, and the second weblink describes an affordable DIY way to get what you want, I thought you might like to know (even though you won't be very interested to spend the $) that the following website offers several products somewhat like the ROMTEC one:

    Indus technologies website products:
    http://www.industechnologies.com/prod.html

    -- Tom
     
  8. Stoner

    Stoner Banned Thread Starter

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    Thanks Tom.
    Everything but the price looks good.
    I haven't put anything together yet, busy on other things.
    The ghetto kit looks interesting right now as the price is attractive.
     
  9. Stoner

    Stoner Banned Thread Starter

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    Hi loserOlimbs :)

    My situation really isn't local security.
    I would like to use one comp for both internet and business/tax matters, but completely seperate from each other. I saw this idea of switches for booting and the concept of the processor being only able to recogonize one hard drive at a time interested me. Independant security(and one OS would not be Internet aware) and harddrive integrity then separated. But, I'd like to have a set up that allows the 'ignored' hard drive to be powered down for longevity. The comp is on all day and a drive being on and unused is wasted wear and the extra whine really get to my tenitus.

    I could go with a mobile rack, but I don't like the idea of the possibility of accidential damage from careless handling. I also don't have enough bays to accomodate everything in place.
     
  10. Mulderator

    Mulderator

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    How about the extra whine you add to TSG Civ Debate! ;)
     
  11. Mulderator

    Mulderator

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    I still am not sure what you are trying to accomplish, but maybe what you are looking for is a SATA drive--they are plug and play--you can have the drive external and simply pull the SATA plug. Since it is plug and play, all you need do is plug it back in when you need to use it.
     
  12. Stoner

    Stoner Banned Thread Starter

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    If it irritates you, I'm succeeding :D
     
  13. Stoner

    Stoner Banned Thread Starter

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    No. that's not what I want to accomplish.
    I can and do already run an external drive, but my bios won't boot from one.
    What I'd like to do is have 2 drives set as master, each loaded with their own OS.
    I would like to switch between the two.
    I want complete division so there is no possibility the one I use online could ever corrupt/infect the other used for busines/taxes/family concerns. The 'other' would be configured so it is not internet aware.
    The 'ghetto switch' looks nice, but it won't turn off the hard drive that is ignored.
    And the extra whine is a problem for me.

    Currently I have 2 comps set up for this, but I'd like to merge the two, both for space considerations and I'd like to instal one faster scanner(than I already have) and share between the two operating systems.
     
  14. Mulderator

    Mulderator

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    What I would do is get a system with a tray for slide in and slide out drives--you just slide in the drive you want and slide out the other.

    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/op/formTrays-c.html
     
  15. saikee

    saikee

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    You should be aware of what is on offer by the software method.

    You can use a Grub floppy to hide any partition you want and unhide it when you want to boot it. Grub is a free boot loader used by Dos 7.10, about 50% of the Linux and new Solaris. You can use a free Linux Live CD that to do the hiding and unhiding.

    When hiding a partition its partition ID is flipped at the 5th bit (seems to be standard with PC as every boot loader uses it).

    A Fat32 partition has an ID "b". Hiding it just turns it into "1b" and Windows would treat it as "non"-Dos" and proceed to ignore its presence. Unhiding it brings the ID back to "b".

    I used this method booting 3 Dos and 3 Windows in 4 Disks in a box with over 100 systems (links in signature).

    The work involved in hiding a Windows in the partition 1 of hard disk 1 is to boot up a Grub floppy and type
    Code:
    hide (hd1,1)
    That got to be easier than fitting a hard-wired switch.
     
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