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2 hard drives

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:37 pm
by allan

After all my problems, I now have two seperate hard drives, one running 7 and the other Vista.

Is there a system/programme that allows me to switch between the two hard drives and OS directly from my monitor (apart from re-start and boot manager)

A split screen maybe, one showing windows 7 the other Vista would be nice or a toggle to allow me to change instantly from one Hd to the other.

Is this possible??

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:53 pm
by paulh

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:32 pm
by paulh
you just might be able to run one operating system as a virtual machine environment within the other operating system's not usual and can't think of a logical reason in your scenario to do it.... I've not used virtual environments so can't say much more than the broad outline/concept is feasible in some scenarios, maybe yours too.

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:33 pm
by allan

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:33 pm
by allan

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:34 pm
by allan

(sorry couldn't resist that edit...paul)

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:42 pm
by paulh
In answer to your query

..One motherboard...has a boot sequence....when it hits one that boots it doesn't go on to boot a second as well

.. Motherboard + drivers control the differing aspects and are loaded at boot up..... if you want to switch OS then the drivers for that OS will be needed......which means reboot to load them which you can do anyway.

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:44 pm
by Kilkis
Because, apart from the BIOS, the operating system is the lowest level software running on your machine. All other software sits inside the operating system. To change between operating systems you need to go out of one operating system into the other. The only place to go to when you leave the running operating system is the BIOS.

In the case of the virtual machine method, one operating system is sat inside the other so you can go out of the higher level one back into the lower level one and vice-versa without going back down into BIOS.


Two Operating Systems

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:30 am
by mikedunn
I run Linux on my machine, but there are a couple of Windows programs that I need: Finale Print Music, and Roxio. These do not work well under Wine (Which is a program for running Windows software under Linux), so I have a Windows XP virtual machine in which I can run these two programs.

With Linux using Compiz, I can have any one of a number of desktops on my monitor at one time, so I can bring up the Wndows XP machine on one desktop, and work in Windows or move to any of the other desktops and carry out work in Linux - all simultaneously (Yes, I know I've got Von Neuman architecture, so it's not really simultaneous!.)

The virtualisation I use is Virtual Box, now at version 4. I've been using it since version 1, when it was put out by a German company, but then it was taken over by Sun Microsystems, and thus is now carried by Oracle.

It can be downloaded and used free (as in beer) for personal use - just Google Virtualbox and you'll get to its website. There are versions for use on Windows hosts.

At the same time, you can convert, with a free program from Microsoft, one of your Windows instances into a virtual machine, which will appear as a single file with a .vdi extension and contains the entire Windows environment with programs and data, which you can then place in a directory on your other Windows instance, run Virtual Box in that instance using the converted instance as a guest system. You can then have the virtual machine sharing the screen with the host system, and flit from one to the other as you wish. Ain't technology wonderful!

Virtual Machines

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:37 am
by mikedunn
Re my last post: What I'd really like to do is run a Windows virtual machine under Linux, use a virtualisation program in the Windows machine and run a further instance of Linux in that! You can't do it with the current version of Virtualbox, but I've not looked at other virtualisation programs yet.

One of my memories from my early teens was seeing, in a Burlington Arcade shop, a set of Chinese chessmen. The bases of these consisted of a foot surmounted by a sphere, cut in a filigree pattern, with a second, third and fourth sphere, each cut in the same way, inside. They _were_ ivory, but we didn't know any better then!

Shades of Ezekiel!

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:19 am
by paulh
the question is in Allan's scenario why would you want to run a virtual machine? W7 is basically the smartened up version of Vista and just about all progs that run on Vista will run on W7. Most times Virtual machines are run on significantly differing operating systems and usually it is done to allow stuff that cannot run on the main system to run on a virtual system as in Mikes case. Windows 7 has it's own Virtual Machine either in it (not the Home Versions) or downloadable for free. All the documentation points to running XP or older within it.

Question for Mike. How easy is the switchover between systems given of course that that Windows doesn't naturally have the multiple desktop facility


Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:37 am
by mikedunn
Paul: Since my main system is the Linux box, which has the multiple desktops, I am able to run the Windows VM continuously on one of the desktops, and it is just a matter of dragging with the mouse to move between desktops. I can set a recording to run in Windows, move to another desktop and surf the net with Firefox until the Windows program needs my attaention again, drag into the Windows screen and deal with the matter, and then either do something else in Windows, play a game on another Linux desktop, continue surfing, or whatever.

As I'm a little aged, and not very quick witted, I should mention that my main game playing is limited to Freecell! I sometimes try Forty Thieves, but very seldom get near the end. Also Shisen Sho, though I don't break any records there.

The feel of the system is just as though Windows is another running program under Linux, and I can multi task, just as I could with any other programs.

The Windows VM can read files from the Linux file system and vice versa as long as a shared file folder is set up when setting up the VM. The Windows VM can access the USB, the Printer, the serial ports, the internet, other machines on the network, just as though it were a separate box.

I know VMWare are supposed to be the bees' knees for virtualisation, but I'm perfectly happy with Virtualbox. The Windows VM is sufficiently sandboxed so that I'm fairly clear of nasties - I use Linux for most of my surfing - and if a program crashes the Windows, or it freezes, or any of the other BSOD events occur, I still have a running machine, and merely have to call up Virtualbox again, and restart Windows. The best of both worlds:)