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Share your feedback on how to optimize my disk?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Garavan, Mar 27, 2008.

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  1. Garavan

    Garavan Thread Starter

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    I'm facing the following problem: I would like to have my Disk space (750GB) subdivided to accomplish the following
    1 - Boot Windows XP Prof SP2 x86
    2 - Boot Windows XP Prof SP2 x64
    3 - Store my Data Folders and Files separately (to do Backups from one place).
    4 - Boot to Ubuntu 7.10 and alternatively
    5 - Boot to Ubuntu Server
    6 - Create System Backups for my Laptop (6.1), old PC (6.2) and for this new PC (6.3).

    Explanation:
    2. Currently I've installed the x64 OS, but it does not supports my Canon LiDE 500F Scanner, my Logitech QuickCam Zoom and many of the 32bit SW, like MSN Live and others.
    1. On an other, networked PC I do have a working x86 OS with tons of programs installed.

    Questions:
    a - The above described Disk layout would mean that I would have more than 4 NTFS partitions. However, how I read about it, NTFS with MBR only allows 4 partitions. The first 2 Windows XP's (Partition 1 - x86, Partition 2- x64 - This sequence is btw. another Windows requirement) have to have MBR to be able boot from it. The Windows Disk Management utility tells me that my Unix (Ubuntu) installation occupies another Partition, in matter of fact Partition 4, showed as an Unknown Partition.
    This approach leaves me only Partition 3 to accomplish all the above described tasks. Can that Partition 3 be configured as a GPT? As I understood, GPT allows up to 128 partitions.

    b - Once partitioning is solved, can I copy with XXCLONE my working 32bit system (from my old PC) to Partition 1 (both NTFS) and my x64 system to Partition 2 instead of reinstalling everything?
    c - How do I accomplish, that all Windows OS use the same Data, i.e. the Documents and Setting all point to the same, shared Partition used for storing Data only?

    I hope someone already went through this ordeal and may provide adequate hints, for which I thank you in advance.http://images.techguy.org/smilies/smile.gif
    :)
     
  2. Wanderer2

    Wanderer2

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    I would advise you check into running all of these as virtual sessions on top of XP pro as the host. MS Virtual PC is free as is the Vmware version last I checked.

    You can not make a GPT disk and still run linux.
    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/storage/GPT_FAQ.mspx

    #a You will want to make an extended partition and assign logical drive letters. This means you will have 3 primary partitions and one extended.

    #b No you can not clone your xp from a old machine to the new unless the new system uses the same chipset and drivers. That is highly unlikely. You can check out sysprep from Microsoft which can make the transfer since it removes registry entries.

    #c easy to accomplish. You install all programs to the shared data partition. For example you do a Office install in the 32bit version and then you do the same install to the same location in the 64bit version overwriting the first install. Its a old 9x/NT trick of reducing space usage for apps in a multiboot setup.

    Advice: You should use two hard drives if you want to have all of these systems and not use virtualization. I recommend you make the first primary partition on the drive about 125meg. This partition will hold all the boot files for all OS's. This way if you screw up xp32 you can still boot your other OS's. Your ubuntu installs will actually require two partitions, one for OS and one for swap which brings your total to 9 partitions if you include the 125meg primary.
     
  3. Garavan

    Garavan Thread Starter

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    Wanderer2, thanks for your reply. I'm neither familiar with MS Virtual PC nor with Vmware. I've to find and read some overviews first. I'll also check into sysprep later. In about 2 weeks later I'll have another disk (300GB) back and use it as a backup. So I rather would avoid virtualization for the moment.

    "I recommend you make the first primary partition on the drive about 125meg. This partition will hold all the boot files for all OS's."
    How do I accomplish that?
    Will I be able to fresh install a Windows XP x86 and somehow keep my x64 XP installation?
     
  4. Wanderer2

    Wanderer2

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    The 125meg recommendation is if you partition your disk from scratch. You can not add a partition in front of the installed OS or your drive letters change and those OS's won't load correctly because what was c: is now d: but in the registry for the OS its still looking for its brains on c:
     
  5. Garavan

    Garavan Thread Starter

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    Please confirm! You're telling me that I need to reinstall all OS's from scratch after partitioning the 750 GB drive as follows: 125 MB for Partition1, then x GB for Partition2, y GB for Partition3 and the rest for Partition4 as extended.
    Is that correct? I'm confused how the 125 MB partition will hold all the boot files for all OS's?
    Where do I install what? (Windows XP x86, XP x64 Ubuntu 7.10, Swap and Ubuntu Server?
     
  6. Wanderer2

    Wanderer2

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    That is a confirmation. I thought you were going to a new disk which would mean new partitioning and installs. If not than ignore.

    "I'm confused how the 125 MB partition will hold all the boot files for all OS's?

    When you install xp where do the boot files ntldr, ntdetect and boot.ini go? C:
    When you install xp64 where do the boot files go? C:
    When you install Linux where does its boot files go? C:

    see a common thread here? Each also modifies the MBR to point to itself. These files are small.

    When you install ANY OS it asks what partition do you want to install to. Xp 32 to the 2nd. Xp64 to the 3rd, Ubuntu to... I don't know if ubuntu supports being on a logical drive. My experiments with Linux always has the OS on a primary.

    Here is a link to xp/vista/ubuntu how to install
    http://howtoforge.com/dual_boot_windows_xp_vista_ubuntu_feisty

    here is a how to using vmware
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=183209

    If you poke around with google you can find even more. Given what you want to accomplish you really need to readup on virtualization. Best of luck
     
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