Linux and Win 7 on separate HDD

By Ritwik7 ยท 5 replies
May 31, 2010
  1. Hi all!

    On my current system I have a 1TB Seagate hard disk. The OS installed on it is Windows 7 64 Bit.

    I have another older 160GB Seagate HDD. I want to install Linux on it.

    What I would like to know is how I should go about it. What will happen if both HDDs are connected to the motherboard? Do I have to set any as Master / Slave?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Do a little research on dual boot setups...

    I have not done one with Windows 7 64 bit, but it is fairly easy on all others, so I don't see why it would not be possible.

    You just install the Windows 7 disk first... but you will find plenty of reading on this with a Gurgle search, and you should also find instructions on the site. Or get yourself a copy of Windows 7, Inside Out, or a manual for the version of Linux you wish to run.

    What results is a screen as you boot up that asks you to select Windows 7 or the Linux install and it can give you two screens, or two choices on one screen from which to choose.

    You have to shut down and reboot to run the other operating system, in most dual-boot setups.
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    As above really.

    I've run W7 Ultimate x64 and Ubuntu on my partners laptop now for 6 months without any issues whatsoever.

    Your planned distro should include either grub or lilo, both of which will successfully find your installation of W7 and ensure you can choose between the two during boot up.

    If your doing fresh installs of both, always ensure W7 is installed first, and Linux second. If you plan to keep your linux install long term (e.g. your not just doing it to have a peek) I strongly suggest you create 3 partitions for linux:

    1. partition for /
    2. partition for /home (my documents etc - though bear in mind you can use them from your windows partition if you'd only prefer them on one OS)
    3. partition for swap - virtual memory for when your RAM is full.

    You can just keep it simple if you prefer... Its your choice... Below is the view of my disk utility on one of my laptops to give you a clearer idea...


    As you can see on the far right is a NTFS partition containing music. In your case you'd have a seperate drive for W7, but hopefully this will give you a bit of an idea regarding drives and linux partitions. You really don't need a second drive though, so if it can be used for something else then I would.
  4. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    I have dual booted Windows XP and Ubuntu 8.04 on the same HDD. However I wanted to know if there was anything specific I had to do in order to install Linux on a completely separate HDD.

    I have Windows 7 on my 1TB drive. I want to install Linux on my 160GB HDD. That presently has XP installed which I want to remove. If both HDDs are connected to the mobo will there be an issue trying to install Linux on the 160GB drive? Will Linux automatically give me the option of installing to the second drive?

    Also, when both are connected, will any one particular show up as Master while the other Slave? If so, how?

    Note: My Windows 7 drive runs in AHCI. Will Linux have an option of AHCI for my second drive too?
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Linux will install absolutely fine to install to the 2nd hard drive, and will behave exactly the same as it has in the past installations you have experienced. Just plug it in, then boot the PC from the CD/USB stick and proceed immediately with installation. As long as its a SATA drive, and its connected jobs a good'un. :)

    You should note however, that you have the correct hard drive BEFORE doing any partitioning. The disk utility during installation will show up all drives, and all partitions. Obviously, if the only partition/drive is 160GB that's going to show up in the installer utility and therefore will be obvious to you.

    You do not need to make any changes to the current setup in order to use the new disk. Just connect its two cables and away you go.

    As long as you don't touch any partitions on your 1TB drive you WILL be fine. :D
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    Thanks Leeky. I'll get down to it soon. Will update. :)
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...