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Linux on 2nd hard drive, storage questions

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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July 16, 2012 7:18:28 AM

Hey guys,

I currently have Windows 7 running on a SSD, and I would like to buy a second SSD to install Linux on it. I have two main questions regarding this setup:

1. Is it possible to boot Windows 7 or Linux at will without anything going wrong?

2. I have a 750 GB hard drive as storage currently. Would it be possible to access that drive from the Linux side to store files on?

Thanks in advance!
a b $ Windows 7
a b 5 Linux
July 16, 2012 4:50:54 PM

1. Yes. Ubuntu has a script that will automatically update the grub bootloader with the windows partition information. 'update-grub'
more info here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WindowsDualBoot#Insta...
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2
and here if you want to know how to do things manually:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Windows_and_Arch_D...

2. Yes. it has been possible to mount windows NTFS partitions (stable with both read/write support) for many years via the ntfs-3g driver.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MountingWindowsPartit...
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a b 5 Linux
July 16, 2012 6:28:34 PM

Even easier if you don't want to touch your windows install at all and are using 2 SSD's - simply select the boot device at startup. F8 and I can choose to boot from my Windows or Linux disc.
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a b $ Windows 7
a b 5 Linux
July 16, 2012 6:46:57 PM

audiovoodoo said:
Even easier if you don't want to touch your windows install at all and are using 2 SSD's - simply select the boot device at startup. F8 and I can choose to boot from my Windows or Linux disc.


How is this any different than just adding the windows partition information into the grub.cfg? You don't need to 'touch' the windows install at all. its an unnecessary step when you can just select it from the boot menu...
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a b 5 Linux
July 16, 2012 6:58:45 PM

Sorry, you mean GRUB on drive 2? I read it GRUB update on existing boot device, hence change to primary OS installation.

If GRUB on drive 2 then you're changing boot order in BIOS anyway, anything older than VISTA and that can cause you problems.
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July 16, 2012 7:09:53 PM

Gotcha.

So I install Linux on SSD #2, include the Windows partition info on GRUB, install the NTFS-3g driver on the Linux drive, and I'm good to go?
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a b $ Windows 7
a b 5 Linux
July 16, 2012 7:32:05 PM

audiovoodoo said:
...anything older than VISTA and that can cause you problems...

what? people have been dual booting all sorts of windows long before vista. changing boot order does not harm anything.

vergil777 said:
Gotcha.

So I install Linux on SSD #2, include the Windows partition info on GRUB, install the NTFS-3g driver on the Linux drive, and I'm good to go?


Yes using the 'update-grub' script if included in your distrobution, it takes all of the work out of it. Then just move ssd#2 to the first boot device in your bios.

Also depending on your distrobution, ntfs-3g may already be included.
Write support may not be enabled by default for NTFS partitions. Please read the links i provided for more details.
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