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I've been searching online and cannot find an answer to this question. I have an Asus G75VW with dual hard drives. I have windows 7 installed on the c drive. I want a dual boot setup that will prompt me to choose an OS upon boot. Does Ubuntu have to loaded to a partition on the c drive to permit this setup or can I save it to the d drive and still be prompted upon boot?

Thanks, Joe

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2 Answers 2

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There are many ways to do this.

  1. Use your BIOS one-time boot selection menu.

    In this case, you install Ubuntu on the secondary drive, and leave Windows 7 on the primary drive. You can press F12 during start-up (that's the typical key combination for Asus laptops, but yours might be different) to choose which hard disk to boot from.

  2. Install Ubuntu on the secondary drive

    In this case, you install Ubuntu on the secondary drive, then choose to install the bootloader on the primary drive. This uses Ubuntu's GRUB boot loader to manage the entries available for booting. More information on how to achieve this can be found here: Install on Second Hard Drive with startup boot option?

  3. Install Ubuntu on the primary drive

    In this case, you install Ubuntu alongside Windows on the primary drive. This requires you to partition your hard disk, and is the only choice for laptops with 1 hard disk. This also uses Ubuntu's GRUB boot loader to manage the entries available for booting.

In all three cases, you have the choice of selecting an OS on startup.

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Just install Ubuntu as you normally would on the 2nd HDD but make sure you install Grub Bootloader, this is the Linux version of Windows Boot Manager. Once installed, go into BIOS and make sure the boot order points to the 2nd HDD as the first boot option. If grub does not read your Windows 7, then try running run:

update-grub
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And, if you create a FAT32 partition on the second drive, 2-3x the size of your RAM and put the Windows swapfile there, and put the Linux swap partition in a second partition on the first drive, then when your machine swaps, it uses the drive not used by the OS in use, and reduces your seek time. –  K7AAY Nov 14 '13 at 20:28
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