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Installing Linux to spare M.2 16GB Drive, advice needed.

Apr 20, 2008
Hello everyone. I have a 16GB M.2 SSD to put in my X230 Thinkpad. I already have a 1TB SSHD with Windows 10 that I still want it to automatically boot to without a prompt. I want to put Linux on the 16GB M.2 drive just for coding.

What is the exact process to do this? Do I disconnect the SSHD, install Linux on SSD(thinking mint), put the SSHD back in and set bios to boot from SSHD? Could it be that simple?

For those on mobile: Thinkpad X230 - Core i5-3320m - 8GB DDR3 - 1TB SSHD - 12.5" - Windows 10 Pro x64


Senior member
May 10, 2017
Ideally, the BIOS would allow you to select your first boot device, which would always be your Win 10.

Also, the BIOS should allow you to select your boot device on boot, via F12 or another key.

If those things are true, then:

Use Rufus (or whatever you like) to burn your ISO on a usb key. Lubuntu or another really light distro is ideal for 16GB drive, but your call.

How I would do it:

1. BIOS, change boot drive to that Kingston. Make sure it can boot off USB also.

2. Reboot, use F12, select USB key ISO.

3. Install Linux on the 16gb Kingston. IGNORE the 1TB and don't touch it during the GUI install.

(if you are not comfortable with this, remove the 1tb drive first)

4. Allow Linux flavor to update via wire if possible, select your drivers, Intel microcode, wireless, etc via updates (if it is a 'buntu base, it will be easier to do everything).

5. BIOS, change boot drive back into your 1tb Win 10 drive.

That's what I would do.

Make sure both drives are activated in the BIOS as boot. Make sure the order of the boot drives has the Win 10 drive first. Make sure you know what key to use to select boot device, on boot-up.

On boot, use F12 (or whatever) and select which OS you want to boot, by drive. If you don't use F12, then you will just zing into Win 10.
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Reactions: TurtleCrusher
Apr 20, 2008
I'm an idiot and didn't realize this laptop had mSATA and not M.2. No big deal but I had to purchase an mSATA drive. I have a 32GB Samsung drive on the way for ~$18. Taking apart this laptop is much easier than expected. A lot easier than my T61P was.