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Swapping hard drives

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Hi, guys,

 

Last night I watched an informative video on how to build a PC

 

I've never built a PC by myself before, so I have a question: when I build a PC and install an OS on the hard drive, will installation of the OS make any changes in the BIOS?

 

I am considering the following plan:

 

1. Build a PC

 

2. Install Windows on the HDD (to run photo editing software)

 

3. Take the HDD out and replace it with another blank HDD

 

4. Install Linux on that HDD

 

Linux will be used for daily use, and Windows will be reserved exclusively for photo editing.  Will this work? Part of me says that it should while the other part says that there might be some problems with BIOS or whatever?

 

Maybe someone who has build PCs before can advice?

 

If the answer is that there will be no problem, I will need to find a way to easily swap drives, Are the drives prone to shortcuts with static electricity too? Do I need to ground myself each time when I swap HDDs? Ideally, I would love to have a flip switch to select from which HDD to boot but I am not sure if this solution even exists.

 

Thank you in advance,

 

Val

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WHY NOT JUST INSTALL BOTH HARD DRIVES AND DUAL BOOT?  YOU WILL BE ABLE TO CHOOSE WHICH OS TO BOOT AT START UP.

 

YES IT IS RECOMMENDED TO GROUND YOURSELF WHENEVER YOU WORK INSIDE THE PC CASE.  

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Hi, guys,

 

Last night I watched an informative video on how to build a PC

 

I've never built a PC by myself before, so I have a question: when I build a PC and install an OS on the hard drive, will installation of the OS make any changes in the BIOS?

 

I am considering the following plan:

 

1. Build a PC

 

2. Install Windows on the HDD (to run photo editing software)

 

3. Take the HDD out and replace it with another blank HDD

 

4. Install Linux on that HDD

 

Linux will be used for daily use, and Windows will be reserved exclusively for photo editing.  Will this work? Part of me says that it should while the other part says that there might be some problems with BIOS or whatever?

 

Maybe someone who has build PCs before can advice?

 

If the answer is that there will be no problem, I will need to find a way to easily swap drives, Are the drives prone to shortcuts with static electricity too? Do I need to ground myself each time when I swap HDDs? Ideally, I would love to have a flip switch to select from which HDD to boot but I am not sure if this solution even exists.

 

Thank you in advance,

 

Val

2nd Randy.

 

The solution is called dual boot.

 

Install Windows in Drive-1, AND THEN* install Linux.

 

The switch itself called grub-2. :)

 

*never install Windows after Linux. :)

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will installation of the OS make any changes in the BIOS?

 

I have plenty of reasons from my personal experience, yet if I cut myself short, if you were buying a bunch of spare parts and customising your own rig, how about asking the vendor do the software installation instead of you?

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Hi, guys,

 

Thank you to everyone who replied to my post.

 

Yes, I am aware about dual boot from different partitions on the same HDD option. I've never done it before, so I can only rely on what other people say at the other web sites.

 

AFAIK, if either Windows or Linux is changed on a dual boot computer, it might affect the GRUB and one of the two OSs will have trouble to launch. Some people say that the problem may appear after updating Linux. That would be really discouraging.

 

That was why I was thinking of the physical swapping the boot drives in the computer. Any suggestions?

 

Thank you,

 

Val

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Dual boot is safe to use and updating Windows or Linux causes no issues. The only thing to remember is that Linux respects Windows but Windows ignores Linux. Meaning you must do a Windows install before installing Linux. Doing it the other way your Linux gets ruined because Windows overwrites all. If you dual boot it might be a good idea to assign drive-letters in Windows to the partitions you have in use for Linux because Windows considers the linux partitions as empty space. Having drive-letters assigned makes Windows aware of the fact that those are partitions in use. In some updates Windows wants to make extra copies of bootloader stuff and things like that and therefor it creates small extra partitions, either in unallocated space or by shrinking an existing partition.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Enjoy,

Charles

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Thank you, Charles,

 

Your input helps a lot and makes achieving my goal much easier.

 

As I probably mentioned before, my Windows use will be limited to photo editing, and I will use the following apps:

 

1. Capture One

2. Autopano Giga 4

3. Affinity Photo

4. Aurora HDR

5. Panotour

 

I will need to decide if I want to proceed with Intel or AMD. Most websites say that Photoshop (which is not on my list) cannot use more than 2 cores so Intel with a higher clock speed is preferred to AMD with multicore. I will need to check how this applies to the other software on my list.

 

Also, everyone recommends an advanced graphic card to improve image editing performance. Are there specific graphic cards that are known to have issues with Linux?

 

The computer that I am going to build will be used about 1% of the time for photo editing in Windows environment  (still this 1% is very important for me), and 99% for all other computer needs in Bodhi Linux, and I do not want to get the hardware that does not work well with Linux.

 

I would appreciate the hardware recommendations to meet my needs: CPU, motherboard, GPU. I am most likely end up with 64 GB of RAM (I wanted 128 GB of RAM but it looks like not too many motherboards support it, and those that do have issues). For motherboard I will go with Nvidia Quadro Pro because it supports 10-bit processing.

 

Anyway, thank you for helping me to find the answer to the dual boot question. Now I need to decide on the specs for my ultimate PC.

 

I appreciate being on this forum - everyone is very helpful and supportive.

 

Thank you all,

 

Val

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I have plenty of reasons from my personal experience, yet if I cut myself short, if you were buying a bunch of spare parts and customising your own rig, how about asking the vendor do the software installation instead of you?

 Hi, Rongxiang Lin,

 

Thank you for the reply. I would love to install the software by myself. In that case, if something stops working and I need to re-install everything, I would be able to do it. Knowledge is power and piece of mind!

 

Have a good day!

 

Val

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You may want to consider having a partition that you can share from Windows to Linux and back like a NTFS partition, if you do dual boot on one or more drives. Said partition will be helpful to your sanity if you decide you want to share large files from one OS to the other. A flash drive could work, but, do you really want to stick a flash drive in your computer everytime you want to share files across OSes on the same computer? :)

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@ Birdmun

 

Thank you, shared partition sounds like a good idea.

 

Speaking about numbers of cores, Capture One can use all of them. That means that AMD will be a good choice, so Threadripper goes to my list.

 

Next step is to find a good motherboard for the Threadripper.

 

Thank you for the advice again,

 

Val

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I have plenty of reasons from my personal experience, yet if I cut myself short, if you were buying a bunch of spare parts and customising your own rig, how about asking the vendor do the software installation instead of you?

I am sorry Tashi / Lin, 

 

Will not work here in Indonesia. 

 

They shall ask Me, "Bodhi Linux? Whats That?"  :wacko:

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If you have 2 hard drives that are the same size, I would clone the Windows hard drive to the other.

 

Next, when you're sure that your cloned Windows hard drive works, you now have an 'engineering' hard drive that you can play around with. (Because if things go horribly wrong, you always have that other hard drive as your safe backup.) Install Linux to it and give dual booting a try, or whatever you like. Having that backup will give you the confidence and peace of mind to experiment where otherwise your stomach would be turning over.

 

Then, when you get that 'engineering' drive where you like it, that can become your new baseline hard drive and you can create a clone of that as a backup. It's like climbing a ladder, one hard drive clone step at a time. Eventually your hard drive will be right where you like it and you'll have backups all the way. (Trust me it's good to have backups)

 

EDIT

 

As far as an easy way to swap a hard drive, you can get a hard drive bay that mounts into your CPU chassis like where a DVD burner would go.

 

There are basically 2 types.

One is a 'garage' that requires a hard drive enclosure, kind of like this:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817998010&cm_re=removable_hard_drive_bay-_-17-998-010-_-Product

The other is a 'garage' that opens up and the bare hard drive can slide into it, kind of like this:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817986001&cm_re=removable_hard_drive_bay-_-17-986-001-_-Product

 

They both have their pro's and con's, it just depends on what you prefer. I would say the safer option for your hard drive is option 1. (less prone to static discharge and less likely to mess up the contacts on the hard drive) But, if you have multiple hard drives you'll probably want to buy multiple enclosures, which can get a little expensive.

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Hi, sef,

 

Thank you very much. This is the info that I was looking for. This is great information. Amazon is full of different racks. I just need to find which one is right for me. I like the second option in which I can insert the bare hard drive.

 

Will these garages/racks take the M.2 SSD? I would like a fast hard drive.

 

Also, will it work if I do not dual boot the drives but rather have one with Windows and another one with Linux? 

 

I cannot experiment with these things right now because I have an iMac that is slowly marching toward end of life.

 

I appreciate your help Your info is really great!

 

Thank you,

 

Val

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Hi, guys,

 

I found this video on YouTube 

 

As far as I understood from the video, I can have two M.2 drives installed. The first one is with Linux, and the second one with Windows.

 

In BIOS, I will set the boot sequence as

Boot from Drive 1 (Linux)

if Drive 1 = unavailable then

Boot from Drive 2 (Windows)

end

In BIOS this is not a code but I just wanted to show the logic of the decision making (thinking in OOP terms).

 

If this worked that would be really, really, really cool. I would just keep both drives in for my daily use with Linux. Then, when I needed to switch to Windows, I would power the computer down, pull the Linux HDD out, and boot into Windows.

 

This rack might do the trick. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0093C4AIY/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=IVX0O5759GZJ0&colid=35HCO1BJ4I9QM&psc=1

 

What do you think? Will this work?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Val

 

PS

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You shouldn't need to pull the linux drive to boot windows. Your computer should give a boot menu when you press a key such as f12 as soon as you see the computers splash screen. Then you should be able to choose what drive to boot from. The key you type depends on your computer. 

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You shouldn't need to pull the linux drive to boot windows. Your computer should give a boot menu when you press a key such as f12 as soon as you see the computers splash screen. Then you should be able to choose what drive to boot from. The key you type depends on your computer. 

 

Makes sense. Thank you.

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This rack might do the trick. https://www.amazon.c...O1BJ4I9QM&psc=1

 

What do you think? Will this work?

 

 

Just so you're aware, this enclosure is for the smaller 2.5 inch laptop drives, not the regular sized 3.5 inch desktop hard drives.

 

And as far as Solid state drives go, I only have experience with one 2.5 inch SSD. I used 'dd' to clone my Samsung HDD to my new Samsung SSD and it worked seamlessly when I put the SSD into my laptop. And I can assure you, it made a HUGE difference in the speed of my laptop. Love, love, love the SSD vs the HDD, and recommend it to anyone if you can make logical sense of spending the extra money on it.

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(I know, late post, but..) To answer the original question more fully:

 

It may not be the most efficient or smartest way to make a PC work, but yes, you can swap out the HDD in a PC as a method of booting multiple OS's.  You can even take a HDD with an OS already installed and swap it into a new PC with relatively little worry.  It is normally very simple and surprisingly reliable.

 

I do this on a regular basis when toying with my spare boxes or when recovering data from laptops with dead screens, and many of my current toy PC's are running on HDD's with versions of Bodhi that were installed while the HDD was in a totally different machine from its current host, yet the installs all work just fine as long as the hardware isn't broken.  Swapping out drives at random is almost always OK, though it can get confusing if you have many of them.  The OS will normally detect most of the hardware changes and set itself up during boot-time to work just fine with whatever PC you've thrown the HDD into.  There are exceptions, however.  It doesn't /always/ work.

 

I only use this trick when a system dies and I slap the HDD into a new box or when I'm using very small old HDD's in the

 

Anyway, good luck with your PC build and I hope Bodhi works for you!

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