Today, Bob asks:

Matt, Just read your answer to the question about which distribution of Linux to run, and your warning about dual booting. I agree with you 100%. But my question is, how come, with hard drive prices so low, and modern computers, now will boot from almost any drive, doesn’t anyone advocate just installing to a new drive. Choose the drive from which to boot, and be done with it? Thanks, keep up the good advice.

Well, I see a couple of possible reasons that keep people from doing this:

1) The user has a drive that is 160GBs or more, they likely rationalize; “why do I need more”?

2) Wubi handles this problem for the user, as the boot record is left alone and it is very easy to remove if needed.

But in the end, you are right, it is simple enough to use two hard drives, once the user understands how to do this with a switch or hot-swappable bays.

If it was me, I would use something ‘like’ this product, which makes switching hard drives as simple as pushing a button. In most cases, the hard drive drive selector will need to support SATA as IDE is so yesterday…

Short of the IDE vs SATA concern, it does provide a fantastic, bullet proof method for dual-booting without relying on GRUB/MBR issues of any sort. I highly recommend it.

Do you have an Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Simply Mepis, Linspire/Freespire, or PCLinuxOS related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line, and you too can “Just Ask Matt” – Linux Edition!