Current setup: 256 gb crucial m4 ssd in thinkpad x230 as only drive (single volume, not partitioned if that matters) housing windows 7.
I bought an extra 32gb msata (crucial again) that I intend to only use for linux and here's where I'm stumped. Is it possible to boot from one drive and not have the other visible to each other during operation? What should I do to successfully set it up?
Some major questions:
-Do I take out the current ssd before sticking in the msata?
-Or, do I stick it in without taking out sata ssd? ( do all the tuning/optimization stuff like alignment on windows and then install linux).
-What about the master boot record? Anything I should be concerned about?
-How would I keep these drives from accessing the other?
-Assuming the above has been determined, how would i then optimize once I am in linux?
-What about thinkpad drivers on linux once its up?
-and any other information, tips, warnings?
It will not work to take out your windows drive and install Linux on the new one. Once you try and use both together the best scenario is that one OS or the other would work but definitely not both. Worst case is that your BIOS would not know which to start and wouldn't go on.
Since you already have Windows installed just put in the new SSD and make sure that your BIOS can see it and that windows has not partitioned it.
Install Linux to the new drive and you will have to use something like GRUB to dual boot your machine. (its not hard to do just look up a tutorial online).
I have my laptop dual booting and it is kind of convenient that Linux can see some of my windows files and windows can see some of my Linux files. But if you don't want either seeing anything just make sure to remove any Linux drive maps in windows and any windows drive maps in linux.
About the drivers...
I doubt you will find any manufacture drivers for Linux but you can try. All I did was hook up an ethernet cable (linux will probably have the drivers ready for that) then you will have an internet connection. From there I just let Ubuntu do its thing and find the drivers from its library. It was actually very easy.
Let me know if you have any questions. I cannot say I am a linux expert but I have done the dual boot scenario a couple times and it may take a couple tries but its not that bad. Especially since there are many guides on the internet.