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I want to install Ubuntu side by side on my Windows XP.But instead of placing it on HDD C: drive, i want to place it on a slave HDD (which would be drive F:).I already tested on a virtual machine in placing on a second HDD but it doesn't appear to work. How should i proceed?

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What do you mean by "it doesn't seem to work"? What happens and when? –  Tanel Mae May 5 '13 at 10:42
    
I mean "trial and failure" could not get it on the secondary HDD –  Lucas May 5 '13 at 10:44
    
It says "no root file, correct it on the partition menu" –  Lucas May 5 '13 at 10:54
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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Edit: As we discovered my answer is not that relevant if you use Wubi as it will do all the complicated work for you. But if somebody reading this plans to do it with grub instead then keep reading.


The problem with such setup is that it makes bootloader setup bit more difficult. Namely when you want to boot to XP then Windows requires to be on the first boot device. The problem is that grub (Linux bootloader that usually would provide the menu at boot where you can chose which OS you want to start) is installed on the second HD where Ubuntu is and if you boot to grub (that is, use the HD where Ubuntu is as the first boot drive) and chose Windows then it won't start.


Remember that /dev/sda, /dev/sdb... are just names that the drives have in Linux. Windows knows nothing about it and neither does bios. Windows uses names such as C:, D: ..but neither does know Linux or bios about them. What matters here is boot order set in bios. For changing the boot order in bios there are lot of guides available and it is dependent on your hardware model.


What you need to do is to set up XP bootloader to let you chose between Ubuntu and Windows. There is a good guide for it here. I have not tested it myself but you should get general idea and what keywords to search for. In your case Ubuntu would be installed on a separate HD and in theory you should not be worried about overwriting Windows MBR. Of course it doesn't hurt to unplug Windows HD before you install Ubuntu just to make sure nothing funny happens during the installation.

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What if i let the bootloader on /dev/sdb ?Will it work? –  Lucas May 5 '13 at 11:25
    
Hello?You still online? –  Lucas May 5 '13 at 11:42
    
Don't be needy. –  Tanel Mae May 5 '13 at 11:49
    
At least answer me? –  Lucas May 5 '13 at 11:56
    
I edited my answer and all the new information is there. Or do you have new questions? –  Tanel Mae May 5 '13 at 12:00
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Keep in mind that Ubuntu will not list your drives as C: D: etc. but will refer to them as /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, etc.

Please make a backup of your important data to be able to restore them if anything fails by accident

Boot the CD, and start the installation. Once you get to the installation screen, choose Something else

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Choose the second Drive

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After you choose it, click on Create new partition table, and just follow the rest of the steps, as shown in the images.

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Shoudn't "Device for boot loader" be /dev/sdb ? –  Lucas May 5 '13 at 10:59
    
The reason its sda and not sdb is because of where and how Grub 2 writes the information. –  Mitch May 5 '13 at 11:03
    
Also, when i try in a larger scale (Slave is 20 GB and Master 300 GB) what should be the proportion on the slave file for ext4 partition and swap area? –  Lucas May 5 '13 at 11:08
    
Normally swap is recommended to be equal to the amount of RAM. –  Mitch May 5 '13 at 11:12
    
is there any pattern for ext4 partition? –  Lucas May 5 '13 at 11:14
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