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Lets just say I have 3 hard drives:

c: 500 gig windows 7 with win7 boot loader
d: 1tb nothing on it (but I want a Linux os on it... Ubuntu, debian, fedora ect)
g: 3tb random stuff

I want Ubuntu and grub on drive D but I want to boot my computer normally and only boot into grub and Ubuntu when I do an advanced startup and select an alternative boot device (the 1tb hard drive). Is this possible with Ubuntu and other Linux distributions? Also do all distributions require you to make a Linux swap partition?

Oh and lastly could I multiboot different distributions such as slackware and archlinux on the D drive and have grub come up with all the os's on the D drive when I boot from it? Even multiboot stuff like older versions of windows and DOS or even hackintosh?

I love OS variety... that's why I made my OSFirstTimer youtube channel ;)

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What's wrong with using grub? You can configure grub, that it boots windows as default automagically, and does only show up when you hit a key on the bootscreen. Yes, you can multiboot various distros together, even older windows stuff but this is very annoying to configure. Btw: I really enjoyed your "Ubuntu replace Windows"-Video ;) –  a2r Apr 30 '13 at 14:42
    
Possible duplicate: Installing Ubuntu on one of two hard drives. –  user68186 Apr 30 '13 at 18:33
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3 Answers

1. Of course you can install Ubuntu on Hard Disk Drive D (I am not talking about 
logical disk drive). While installing Ubuntu, it would
offer a page, in which you select the Hard Drive on which the OS
should be installed. This option is there in pretty much all the
operating system installers.

2. You can even install multiple operating systems on the same drive (D), the 
bootloader corresponding to the last operating system which you install on that 
drive will show up and list all the operating systems available on that drive.

3. You can read about sharing the swap space

http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/5656/are-there-any-side-effects-when-two-distros-share-a-swap-partition

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Thanks for the help. So you would recommend installing another windows on that partition first and then Linux because I've heard the windows boot loader doesn't play well with grub and overwrites it/doesn't let you boot Linux. –  12padams Apr 30 '13 at 21:44
    
The HDD design you mentioned in the question, looks good. You can use 500G HDD for Windows, 1 TB HDD for Linux flavors and the 3TB for Random stuff. As you correctly mentioned in the above comment, windows overwrites any other bootloader and it doesnt detect any other operating system apart from its own family of OS. So, if at all, you want windows also in D, the only way to do it is to install Windows first, and then install all the linux flavors. –  thefourtheye May 1 '13 at 2:37
    
Would you recommend unplugging my other internal hard drives every time I install an OS on the D drive or should they be safe? Can constantly unplugging them cause problems with the computer immediately or down the track? –  12padams May 1 '13 at 14:12
    
You dont need to unplug the hard drives. The installation wizard will let you select the hard disk drive on which the Operating System should be installed. I am not very sure about the problems because of constantly unplugging :( –  thefourtheye May 1 '13 at 14:16
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If the Advanced Boot option is in BIOS, then yes, you could use your D: drive to install GRUB and multiple Linux distros. I have a dual-boot system with Debian on the primary drive and Ubuntu on a secondary drive and GRUB comes up on boot and I can boot to either system.

The swap partition is standard in Linux. The link in the other answer weighs the pros and cons of sharing a swap partition.

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What you want to do is install ubuntu on your 'd:' drive, and put grub on it. not c:, but d:. Then you can use something easy like EasyBCD to add an ubuntu entry to your Windows 7 Bootloader. This way, your windows is untouched and grub+ubuntu is on it's own drive.

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