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Dual Booting Linux and Windows on Seperate SSD's

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Posted · Original PosterOP

As the title suggests, I plan to dual boot mx linux and windows by installing them on two different ssd's. I don't want to mess around with bootloaders or anything like that as I don't plan to switch between os' very frequently (only when I need to run a windows program).


I already have windows installed. Can I simply disconnect the windows ssd and connect a blank ssd to install mx linux before reconnecting the windows ssd and changing the boot order in the bios so the mx linux one is first?


Many thanks

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yes,u need to remove windows ssd.after while u installing Linux os you can manage partition as 8gb for swap area(option for Linux SSD and windows SSD) and install remaining space for Linux.


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I've been dual booting Windows and Linux for several years now.  You do not want to remove the Windows drive before installing Linux.


My laptop only has one SATA bay, so I've always used one physical drive so I partition it pretty much in half.  The typical procedure is to install Windows first, use the Windows disk utility to shrink the partition to free up room for Linux, and then install Linux into the freed space, usually making partitions for /, /home and swap.  With two physical drives, you won't have to shrink the partition in Windows, just format and use the second drive.


The Linux install process (at least the one used by every Debian-based system I've ever used) is designed to recognize and work with Windows; it will often give you an automatic dual boot option.


On 12/28/2018 at 6:22 AM, Jetfighter808 said:

I don't want to mess around with bootloaders...
...and changing the boot order in the bios so the mx linux one is first?

1.  Tough cookies.  If you install Windows and Linux, you'll end up with a total of two bootloaders, the Windows Boot Manager, and GRUB.  Otherwise, one or the other won't boot.

2.  Using the GRUB menu is easier than what you're planning to do.  From what I read, it sounds like you're planning to enter the BIOS and change the boot order every time you want to launch Windows.  That's like saying "turning the key in my car is too much of a fuss, can't I just open the hood and spin the radiator fan by hand to start it?"  You will set the BIOS to boot from Linux first, and you'll leave it there.  When you boot the machine, after POST it will give a menu allowing you to select MX Linux, MX Linux with an older kernel, or Windows.  It will default to the first option and will automatically select it after a few seconds if you don't press any keys.  On the offchance you want to boot into windows, arrow down arrow down enter, and it runs the Windows Boot Manager as usual.  You might be able to go out of your way to disable them from seeing each other, but I can't imagine why you would want to.

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Using two drives will avoid the possibility of windows overwritting grub.  if you disconnect your windows drive during Linux installation (I've done it too), update grub after reconnecting it.  Linux & windows keep time differently by default, so Dwight windows to UTC/GMT  or Linux to localtime

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1 hour ago, captain_aggravated said:

I've never had Windows try to overwrite GRUB, is that a thing that happens?

I run on separate disks, but I have read that Win10 does with most updates

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I am currently doing exactly this, except I disabled (via BIOS) the SATA port of the SSD with Windows 10 Pro already installed on it before installing Debian on another SSD. After installing Debian, I went back into BIOS and enabled the SATA port. Now at boot I can hit an F-key to load the BIOS boot menu and select which OS to boot.


For what it's worth, neither OS have messed with each other, nor have I had Windows mess with GRUB on the Debian SSD after an update.


Something to keep in mind: Make sure that when you disable a SATA port in BIOS that it is actually disabled such that an OS cannot see it. I know it sounds funny but I have seen strange behavior in the past where even after disabling a SATA port in BIOS I had a Windows install wipe out the MBR of the drive connected to the disabled SATA port. You can test this by disabling the SATA port in BIOS and then running a live OS from USB to check if that disabled drive is visible.


... Assuming your BIOS allows disabling SATA ports. If not, physically disconnect and you're good to go!

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