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Windows and boot partition on separate drives

Mel0n.
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Is there a way to put a Windows install and the boot partition on two separate drives? Issue is, my workstation does not recognize NVMe drives as bootable, just AHCI SATA. So is there a way to install just the Windows bootloader onto a SATA HDD on an AHCI port, then install the actual OS onto the NVMe? The NVMe isn't recognized in Windows setup, only after the OS initializes drivers. 

I'm not a professional, just an enthusiast. I don't know everything.

HGST Ultrastar: The last HDD you'll ever need to buy (and the one I always recommend).

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9 minutes ago, Mel0nMan said:

Is there a way to put a Windows install and the boot partition on two separate drives?

I remember Windows 7 having this as an issue when installing the OS. It'd do it on it's own without telling the user. You basically want it as a feature?

 

Instead of doing something rather convoluted like this I would opt to run the OS from a SATA SSD and just install your applications on the NVMe. The OS responsiveness will feel more or less the same either way and your applications with large files will still load faster.

 

Less jank. Less to go wrong. Shouldn't cost you much more or might be free if you have a SATA SSD kicking around.

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1 minute ago, Windows7ge said:

I remember Windows 7 having this as an issue when installing the OS. You basically want it as a feature?

 

Instead of doing something rather convoluted like this I would opt to run the OS from a SATA SSD and just install your applications on the NVMe. The OS responsiveness will feel more or less the same either way and your applications with large files will still load faster.

 

Less jank. Less to go wrong. Shouldn't cost you much more or might be free if you have a SATA SSD kicking around.

That is sorta what I am doing now. Booting from a 240gb Kingston SATA drive and I have my applications on another (faster) SATA drive, I have 2 NVMEs but they're just 128gb and used for raw video/TIF frames. But, I find this Kingston drive to be incredibly unreliable (down 12% health after 4 mos. of use, it literally just has Windows, no applications) so I'll need to reinstall to a new drive soon anyway (so was thinking might as well try from the NVMe, since I've written over 1TB to one of them and it's still at 100%.)

I'm not a professional, just an enthusiast. I don't know everything.

HGST Ultrastar: The last HDD you'll ever need to buy (and the one I always recommend).

Schrödinger's CPU: The Q9650. Is it irrelevant? Is it not? 

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Lol most times this happens it's by accident and unwanted. I haven't considered someone might actual want this behavior.

 

If you can't get the NVMe to show up in the Windows setup then I don't think you'll be able to do this.

 

But, to reverse engineer how it happens accidentally, I'd say you want to install a fresh copy of Windows onto the SATA HDD. It should be the only drive in the system while you do this so it get's the bootloader and everything. Then, install the NVMe drive with the SATA HDD still installed and install Windows onto it (deliberately ignoring best practices).

 

If you can boot into the NVMe's Windows install then you can format the Windows install on the SATA HDD (but leave the bootloader partition obviously).

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6 minutes ago, Mel0nMan said:

That is sorta what I am doing now. Booting from a 240gb Kingston SATA drive and I have my applications on another (faster) SATA drive, I have 2 NVMEs but they're just 128gb and used for raw video/TIF frames. But, I find this Kingston drive to be incredibly unreliable (down 12% health after 4 mos. of use, it literally just has Windows, no applications) so I'll need to reinstall to a new drive soon anyway (so was thinking might as well try from the NVMe, since I've written over 1TB to one of them and it's still at 100%.)

If this is the circumstance I'd save up for a platform that natively supports NVMe boot. Now Hairless Monkey Boy brings up an interesting prospect that could possibly do what you're looking to do the only issue I see being the NVMe drive would need to have Windows pre-installed otherwise you're still going to end up at the installer screen and not see the NVMe drive.

 

Now I don't know much about bootloaders besides GRUB for Linux but it's hard to say if a Windows menu will appear from the SATA drive giving you the option to boot sideways to the NVMe or if you'll just get an error saying there's no available bootable devices.

 

You can test it if you're willing to wipe your existing drives or have spares. I want to say you aught to be able to have something simpler like a USB stick play the role of the bootloader over a HDD though. I know GRUB supports booting to Windows partitions so I wonder if you could use Linux on USB for your bootloader. What will happen when you try to select the NVMe after though I don't know. Might be fun to find out.

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