1. Clone original Win7 hard drive using Clonezilla.
2. Swap in just-purchased alternative Dell hard drive made for that laptop, purchased from Dell so I know it's compatible for that model.
3. Clone back to the new drive. Disable UEFI (leave 'Legacy' on instead).
4. Create four partitions, goal being to have Win7 32-bit, Win8 64-bit (eventually), Linux 32-bit or 64-bit on the drive.
5. Third and fourth partition will be for Linux, since it seems to want multiple partitions to run well.
6. Repeat Steps 1-5 for each additional new internal drive, MAYBE not put Win8 in the 'middle', but rather alternative Linux distros (I have 15 to try). Or, use XP in lieu of Win8.
The fourth partition is of course extended, but if for LINUX I can format it as NTFS rather than ext, then I can store my personal Windows files on it. But some of the Linux (logical) partitions are for system things like the swap file and /home, so I wonder if I must format the extended partition as ext1, 2, or 3. I don't want GPT.
So do any of you who care to opine, see any problems with this strategy? If it matters, the machine in question is a Dell Latitude 6510 i7 Sandy Bridge quad with 8 GB of RAM. 32-bit Windows 7 Pro. I just got it at Dell Direct sales for $600, and it arrives next week. The other, for about the same price, is Dell Latitude 6530 Ivy Bridge i5 dual 4 GB RAM, 32-bit Win7 Pro bought from Dell Outlet. There were a ton of these for sale there, and I've been trying to buy that model since July, but Dell wouldn't let me have 8 GB of RAM. So I'll just add the RAM if the machine's RAID ON default can be easily changed to AHCI (which Win8 needs). If it cannot be easily changed, then I'll return the latter machine. Dell insists that the RAID ON default problem has been fixed. FYI both machines come with DVD reinstallation media, hence the concern about the RAID ON default.
Thank you for your time!
This post has been edited by brainout: 19 January 2013 - 10:44 AM