[svlug] One hard drive per OS...

Michael C. Robinson plug_1 at robinson-west.com
Tue Nov 17 13:17:11 PST 2015

how do I boot different OSes without switching the primary hard drive
in the BIOS?

I have grub set up on a dedicated hard drive to boot Fedora which is on
a dedicated hard disk and Windows 7 which is on a dedicated SSD.  I
also have my Linux From Scratch system that boots from grub installed
to it's own dedicated hard drive.  How do I boot grub from grub, or is
that even possible?

I moved Windows 7 to a dedicated SSD for a couple of reasons.  The
Windows 7 boot loader won't be overwritten if Grub is on a hard drive
and has an entry pointing at the SSD.  Not sharing the SSD means that
Windows 7 is less likely to be a source of boot problems and less
likely to get screwed up.  SSDs are hopefully faster and more resilient
than hard drives.  There is also the reality that I rarely use Windows

My goal is to be able to back up Windows 7 Pro, Fedora 22, etcetera to
a FreeNAS9 BSD based NAS.  There is the option of focusing solely on
the data that is important and maybe pertinent config files that are
customized.  Trouble is, a reinstall of Windows 7 Pro in the era of
Windows 10 could be problematic because of the multitude of updates
that need to be applied which may disappear soon.  Try to update
Windows 98SE these days.  I don't recommend running Windows 98SE as
an Internet connected system, but there are a lot of games designed
for it and as good as wine is getting, I wonder about IPX support which
seems to have lapsed over the years.  Windows 98SE can be run in a
virtual machine and that virtual machine can be configured for local
network access only one way or another obviating the need to keep old
32 bit computers around.  One thought is configure 98se without TCP/IP.

There has been a lot of discussion about how uncool Grub2 is.  I agree,
getting Grub 2 to work properly is much harder than getting Grub 1 to
work.  The config file with so many extensive sections and module load
statements is getting unwieldly.  It is hard to figure out the
correspondence between Linux's idea of what to call the hard disks/SSDS
and Grubs idea of how to reference them.  Get the wrong identified disk
in Grub2 and run grub-install, watch out.  The only way to save
yourself is to disconnect first the hard drives/SSDS you don't want

Full backups and bare metal recovery may not be the way to go these
days, but what alternatives are there to support OSes after EOL?  Using
a hard disk that matches the one you want to back up and using dd is an
efficient, although brute force approach.  There is the danger of
misorganizing or breaking external media, especially external hard
drives.  Another issue, how do I copy that external hard disk to my NAS
which is raided?

I've used MondoBackup in the past, but Mondo is always behind when it
comes to supporting the current Fedora, Red Hat, Ubuntu, etcetera.  The
Windows support may be good, but I'm dubious about that.

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