Installing OpenSuse in dual boot in a PC with both IDE and SATA hard drives

Hello,
I’d like to install OpenSuse in dual boot with Windows 98 SE. My PC has two hard drives: the 1st one is an IDE one (80 GB and Windows 98 SE) and the 2nd one is a SATA one (500 GB and OpenSuse). It has a CD/DVD ROM and a CD Writer (both IDE). It has an Asrock 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0 MBO (it supports Win 98 SE with the suitable drivers obtainable from VIA site), Intel dual core 2.8 GB CPU and 2 GB DDR II RAM (there is a workaround that permits you to install Win 98 SE with more than 1 GB of RAM).
I’d like to know if there are any problems for the boot manager (grub, lilo?) in launching either the OSs and if the two hard drives will be visible from OpenSuse. In addition: is there need of BIOS particular settings? Best Regards

Well there are a few possible problems but it all depends. Sometimes mixed drives have problem knowing which is the first and which is the second. I believe that is mostly up to the particular BIOS and not really a problem in the OS. But if that problem does not manifest the ther is no problem booting into any Windows. You Win98 SE problem will hae to be worked out with Windows. If You have OpenSUSE installed (version???) try placing that drive as the boot disk in the BIOS and see if it works. Note if this OS was not installed with the Windows disk available then Windows will not show up for sure and you will have to modify a file to see it in the boot menu. So…Please give the following info here Inside code tags from a running instance of Linux. Open a console window (command line) type

sudo fdisk -l
note that is a lower case L not a one

I believe there are issues with win98 that could prove troublesome. If you Google the subject, that should be clear to you.
win98 was probably a flagship OS for Microsoft at some point back in 1998, but I guess they would be quite happy if they could re-write the history books on that now. As it has to be one of the worst OS’s they ever spewed out.
That aside. All I can advise is, have some fun and experiment.
My gut feeling is, you may end up toggling the HD boot order in BIOS each time you want to boot a different OS

You won’t have problem with Windows ME, 98 (SE or not), or Windows 95 or MS (or another) DOS. Of course any Linux will see your partition and be able to mount it read/write as any vfat file system. Windows 98 is just a 32bit DOS with a fancy graphical user interface. AFAIK, it is DOS 7… something.

You will have problems however if you mix IDE and SATA drives, not just because of BIOS order (which is easy to set up), but because of the order in which Linux loads the IDE and SATA kernel modules during and after the installation. Thus, what appears to be sda as you installed might (or not) become sdb when you reboot . It might also randomly change. It is extremely confusing for the user.

My advice:

  • Don’t mix IDE and SATA if you can avoid it.
  • Never ever trust device names (sda, sdb) and never use them anywhere in Linux (/etc/fstab /boot/grub/menu.lst). You should never use devices names anyway, but it becomes particularly true when you mix IDE ans SATA hard disks.

Couple years ago, I had a lot of multi-boot machines (not even involving Windows) with IDE and SATA disks. I ended up replacing the IDE hard disks one by one, because it is unnecessarily confusing and annoying. And people here will tell you that I normally enjoy complicated setups. But this really is no fun. You might be lucky (depending on your BIOS and mainboard design)… but if you’re unlucky, then it really sucks.

Don’t understand me wrong! It works. But it’s not worth the stress. Just my opinion.

Thanks a lot for the suggestions. And what do you think about the SATA -> IDE adapters? I could connect the IDE hard drive to a SATA connector and the problems are eliminated (is that correct? or problems still remain due to the IDE CD/DVD ROM and CD Writer?)

I have just another question: What about connecting the 500 GB SATA hard drive to the IDE connector by means of a SATA -> IDE adapter? Everything will be IDE and so no problems at all (is that correct?)

Yes, everything will be IDE, but you will have two IDE controllers, the one on board and the extension card. I doesn’t make things much easier, especially if the external controller needs a specific kernel module. Further, the external controller should have boot priority and it will change device numbers. If you want to ease your life, just get another SATA disk. In the meantime go for IDE + SATA, but don’t trust device names under Linux (sda, sdb). It’s working but confusing. And everything what’s confusing can become dangerous if you don’t pay attention and can not tell which disk is what.

On Wed, 20 Jun 2012 03:56:03 GMT, caf4926
<caf4926@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:

>
>I believe there are issues with win98 that could prove troublesome. If
>you Google the subject, that should be clear to you.
>win98 was probably a flagship OS for Microsoft at some point back in
>1998, but I guess they would be quite happy if they could re-write the
>history books on that now. As it has to be one of the worst OS’s they
>ever spewed out.

Not in my experience. Windows95, WindowsME and Vista are the top three
megafailure MS OSs. Not necessarily in that order.

>That aside. All I can advise is, have some fun and experiment.
>My gut feeling is, you may end up toggling the HD boot order in BIOS
>each time you want to boot a different OS