Multiboot System Questions

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doomlord289

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*First off, I don't know whether this is the right forum for this topic, but if it isn't could a mod please move it to the appropriate forum?*

The scenario:
In the fall I will be going off to college, so my parents are getting me a laptop. This particular laptop has 160GB HD space, so I thought I'd try a few new OSs besides MS's products. The laptop will have Vista Ultimate on it and I have copies of Ubuntu 7, Solaris 10 and am getting a copy of OpenSolaris. I may also purchase a copy of XP Pro (it's only $70 through the college). All data will most likely be stored on a separate partition. Installed programs will also have their own partition. I believe this ends up being 7 partitions. I also plan on buying a 500GB NAS for my dorm for backups and off-system storage, so storage space is not an important factor.

The questions:
1. Is there a difference between OpenSolaris and Solaris 10? If so, what?
2. How much HD space should I allocate to each OS?
3. How should I go about partitioning the HD? (The scheme mentioned above or something different)
4. Is this even a good idea? If not, what should I change (and don't say drop all MS products...just wanna have em there in case)?

Thank you to all who help me configure my first multiboot system. :)
 
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Though multibooting is certainly an option, it is likely to become nightmarish in finding a boot loader that will be compatible with all those OS choices.

This is the 21st century and vitualization is a reality. The horrendous, often intractable problems of multibooting, as well as the sheer impracticality of getting anything done when required to keep switching operating systems, is completely obviated by the use of software like VMWare for Workstations.

Why not have one, two, three, or more operating systems running simultaneously on the same machine? Switch between apps, test software on multiple Windows versions quickly and easily, try out new operating systems wihout repartitioning and endangering your entire setup? All without a single reboot.

Microsoft's Virtual PC is now freeware. It doesn't support as many operating systems, but the price is right.
 

doomlord289

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If I'm reading the MS Virtual PC page correctly, it won't let me use Linux, just all MS products and OS/2. I really want to start using Linux, but can't afford a program like VMWare. I am looking to spend as little as possible on this project, so any freeware you can offer will be great.
As virtualization software seems to cost too much for my tastes, so I think I will go with the multiboot system, unless I can find a good freeware product.
I found this page a while back, so the Vista, XP, Ubuntu set-up shouldn't be to tough. The only problem with the methods they describe is that it requires a full installation disk of Vista, but I won't have that since it is preloaded on my new computer. I would like to include Solaris and/or OpenSolaris, if possible, but if I can't get either working, oh well. If anyone has any good (free) bootloaders that would suit my needs, please post a link here or PM me or email me or whatever you like to do to contact people.
As for the questions, I still need questions #1-3 answered. I'll post them below just for convenience.
The questions:
1. Is there a difference between OpenSolaris and Solaris 10? If so, what?
2. How much HD space should I allocate to each OS?
3. How should I go about partitioning the HD? (The scheme mentioned above or something different)
[EDIT]
I found this program (EasyBCD), which claims to tweak the Vista bootloader to make adding new OSs easier. Just wondering if anyone has used this before and if so what was your experiance like.
 
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You should try to get a DVD for Vista. How can you recover without it? What recovery options do you have? The OS may be in a hidden partition. If so, altering the partitions will make your Vista recovery probably impossible. The manufacturers' recovery process often includes repartitioning to the original configuration.

Better check this out and come up with a recovery plan before altering partitions. A DVD would make all this academic.
 
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Elvandil said:
You should try to get a DVD for Vista. How can you recover without it? What recovery options do you have? The OS may be in a hidden partition. If so, altering the partitions will make your Vista recovery probably impossible. The manufacturers' recovery process often includes repartitioning to the original configuration.

Better check this out and come up with a recovery plan before altering partitions. A DVD would make all this academic.

EasyBCD is a great program. But if you are going to use Linux, you may prefer GRUB. In some cases, you may have no choice since some Linux installers use GRUB by default.
 

doomlord289

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I will ask Alienware for a full Vista Ultimate DVD when I purchace my laptop this fall. I am going to purchace their "Alienware Respawn Recovery Kit" which recovers the HD to exactly how they shipped it to me. I will also check to see if they have the OS on a hidden partition when I get my system.
As for EasyBCD, thank you for the review. I believe Ubuntu uses GRUB, so if that will work, great. If not, I'll use EasyBCD.
I still need those questions answered. Thank you Elvandil for your advice so far.

[EDIT]
This is the system I plan to get
Area-51® m5550

Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7600 2.33GHz 4MB Cache 667MHz FSB
Operating System (Office software not included): Genuine Windows® Vista Ultimate - With USB Mini Media Center Remote Control
Display: 15.4" WideUXGA 1920 x 1200 LCD - Saucer Silver
Motherboard: Alienware® Intel® 945PM + ICH7 Chipset
Memory: 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz - 2 x 1024MB
System Drive: 200GB Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ NCQ & 8MB Cache
Primary CD ROM/DVD ROM: 8x Dual Layer CD-RW/DVD±RW w/ Nero Software
Video/Graphics Card: 256MB NVidia® GeForce™ Go 7600
Sound Card: Intel® 7.1 High-Definition Audio
Wireless Network Card: Internal Intel® PRO Wireless 3945 a/b/g Mini-Card
Communications: Integrated 10/1000Mb Gigabit Ethernet & 56K V.92 Modem
Warranty: 1-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support w/ Onsite Service
AlienRespawn: Alienware® Respawn Recovery Kit
Security: APC Personal Biometric USB Pod - Fingerprint Reader
Alienware Extras: Alienware® Mousepad
Alienware Extras: AlienInspection - Exclusive Integration and Inspection - $100 Value - FREE!
Free Alienware® T-Shirt: Free Alienware® T-Shirt - Black

Price w/o tax and shipping: $3038
The 200GB HD is new...well sorta...they had a 200GB HD before, but it was only 4200RPM, so I went with a 160GB HD @ 7200 RPM. Now I'm getting the best of both worlds. :)
Any comments on the system would be appreciated :)

Link to system config page: http://www.alienware.com/configurator_pages/area-51_m5550.aspx
 
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Half your questions are unanswerable. No one but you knows what you will do with each installation and how much you will install (and probably you don't know, either). You should invest in a good partitioner so things can be changed later.

And exactly how many bootable, primary partitions do you plan to have, think a hard drive can have, and how will you implement this?

If I were you, I would consider multiple drives. You are risking losing a half-dozen installations at once with the setup you are proposing if even the slightest thing goes wrong, and it will.

OpenSolaris and Solaris are different operating systems, though closely related. Solaris is from Sun and OpenSolaris is from OpenSolaris.org. Much code from Solaris has been imported into OpenSolaris since Sun went open-source with Solaris.
 

doomlord289

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Elvandil said:
No one but you knows what you will do with each installation and how much you will install.
I plan to include most of the included features. I was just looking for about how much space each OS needs to run comfortably and allow for updates (yes I'm looking at you, MS). All programs and data will either be on a separate partition (yes another 1-2 partitions) or on my .5TB NAS I'm buying.

Elvandil said:
You should invest in a good partitioner so things can be changed later.
Any recommendations? I plan on using GParted. Is that a "good partitioner"?

Elvandil said:
I would consider multiple drives.
I'd love to use multiple drives, but this is a pre-built laptop, so I can't exactly throw extras in at will. I will also be on the go most of the time, as this system is for college, so an external drive wouldn't work, I don't believe...unless my current 80GB 2.5" portable HD could be used.

Elvandil said:
OpenSolaris and Solaris are different operating systems, though closely related. Solaris is from Sun and OpenSolaris is from OpenSolaris.org. Much code from Solaris has been imported into OpenSolaris since Sun went open-source with Solaris.
Thank you for clearing that up. Do you have any recommendations as to which I should use, or both, or neither?
 

doomlord289

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
192
BUMP

As above:
doomlord289 said:
Elvandil said:
You should invest in a good partitioner so things can be changed later.
Any recommendations? I plan on using GParted. Is that a "good partitioner"?
and
doomlord289 said:
Elvandil said:
OpenSolaris and Solaris are different operating systems, though closely related. Solaris is from Sun and OpenSolaris is from OpenSolaris.org. Much code from Solaris has been imported into OpenSolaris since Sun went open-source with Solaris.
hank you for clearing that up. Do you have any recommendations as to which I should use, or both, or neither?
Also is my USB portable hard drive a viable boot option, because I was thinking that I could use that to store and boot Solaris/OpenSolaris and possibly XP Pro. I would have Vista Ultimate and Ubuntu 7 on the system HD.

Thank you Elvandil for your help thus far.
 
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