Post Subject: Multibooting with SATA drives using a switch.
Posted on: Sep 2, 2008
You can use a 3-position, 4 pole rotary switch to boot 3 different OS's independently if your motherboard has at least 3 SATA connectors. Or, you can dual-boot if you only have 2 ports. All you have to do is switch the power between the drives. You connect the data connectors directly to the drives unswitched. The BIOS recognizes only the powered drive when you boot. I am currently dual-booting Microsoft Server 2008 and Centos 5.1 using this method. The schematic and other information is quite lengthy and can be seen at my web site www.thesataswitch.com.
could you explain the mechanics a bit behind this? I think I read it clearly but i've never heard of anything like this before. Essentially you'd have two different hard drives that've booted, independantly of each other?
This is interesting, but I've never really heard of anything like it before.
If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
I think you've got the wrong idea. You can still only boot 1 OS at a time. Im just saying that instead of using a bootloader like GRUB or boot.ini, you can use a physical switch to switch power between the drives to boot an OS. This is better than a software bootloader because only one drive is powered at a time.
Also, you can format any of the drives; you dont have to worry about deleting the bootloader. This does't work with IDE drives because of the master/slave jumpers. But with SATA drives, where every drive is a master, you can just switch the power to dual boot or multiboot. Again see my website at www.thesataswitch.com for the schematic and detailed instructions.