How can I build this dual boot setup?

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
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I chatted in the Linux Mint IRC channel a little bit and this may not be as easy as I thought.

First, my current setup:
2 hard drives I'll call 0 and 1. 0 is an SSD with Win 7 on it, 60GB with 25GB free, 1 is data storage with two partitions, 1TB with about 450GB free. First partition is data storage...documents, movies, music, games, etc. Second partition is an encrypted partition.

What I would ideally like to do is make a third partition on that drive, say 50-100GB, and install Linux Mint on that.

What Im thinking though, will grub play nice with Windows if its not installed on the same physical drive as my Windows MBR? Or what would be the best way to set this up?
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
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For dual booting, I prefer keeping the systems ignorant of each other, and using driv selction at startup to pick a O/S. To do that, you'd unhook your Win7 drive, do the install, then hook it back up. If you want a traditional setup, grub won't have any issues with multiple drives.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
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For dual booting, I prefer keeping the systems ignorant of each other, and using driv selction at startup to pick a O/S. To do that, you'd unhook your Win7 drive, do the install, then hook it back up. If you want a traditional setup, grub won't have any issues with multiple drives.

So if I do this, what happens at bootup then? I mean, how do I choose which OS I want to boot into?
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
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So if I do this, what happens at bootup then? I mean, how do I choose which OS I want to boot into?

You either continue to physically remove the drive you're not using or your BIOS lets you select which drive to boot from and it automatically makes that drive number 0 so Windows doesn't get confused.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,398
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So if I do this, what happens at bootup then? I mean, how do I choose which OS I want to boot into?

If you choose the O/S ignorant method, you pick the O/S you use most, and set that drive as default in BIOS. That way, when you want that O/S you don't have to do anything. To pick the other O/S you click your drive selection key(There's a few depending on MB) at startup, and pick the drive the other O/S is on. That way is a little more difficult than doing everything through a single bootloader, but the benefit is you'll always have an independent O/S to rescue the other if something bad happens. Most people spend most of their time in one O/S, so it isn't an egregious hardship to boot that way.

The other way is to keep both drives plugged in during install, and Grub will handle populating the O/Ss. You'll then get a selection screen at startup, and you pick which O/S you want to boot to. That way gives a marginally easier boot process, but if something happens to the bootloader you're blocked from getting in to anything. Not a likely scenario tbh, but for the ease of the ignorant method, that way is worthwhile insurance to me.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
22,914
2,359
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If you choose the O/S ignorant method, you pick the O/S you use most, and set that drive as default in BIOS. That way, when you want that O/S you don't have to do anything. To pick the other O/S you click your drive selection key(There's a few depending on MB) at startup, and pick the drive the other O/S is on. That way is a little more difficult than doing everything through a single bootloader, but the benefit is you'll always have an independent O/S to rescue the other if something bad happens. Most people spend most of their time in one O/S, so it isn't an egregious hardship to boot that way.

The other way is to keep both drives plugged in during install, and Grub will handle populating the O/Ss. You'll then get a selection screen at startup, and you pick which O/S you want to boot to. That way gives a marginally easier boot process, but if something happens to the bootloader you're blocked from getting in to anything. Not a likely scenario tbh, but for the ease of the ignorant method, that way is worthwhile insurance to me.

I like your ideas on the separate OS theory. By doing this I wont have a problem sharing data with either OS on my storage drive right? (I think thats a dub question but gotta ask anyway lol).
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,398
7,578
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I like your ideas on the separate OS theory. By doing this I wont have a problem sharing data with either OS on my storage drive right? (I think thats a dub question but gotta ask anyway lol).

Windows may have trouble reading your EXT4 partition. I don't know if they have a driver for that or not. GNU/Linux won't have any problems reading your Windows stuff, and it'll show up as a drive in your file manager.