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I have a few machines I'd want to dual boot different OSs with but also maximise the lifetime of the SSD fitted to them.

I am aware that over-provisioning can help maximise the life of the SSD as it provides space for the SSD to conduct its internal housekeeping.

What is over-provisioning in terms of what space is reserved on the SSD? Is it just creating another (physical type) standard partition? And is it possible to also setup a partitioned dual boot a machine (using the standard procedure) using an over-provisioned SSD?

Example setup: A Lenovo X201S Thinkpad with 256Gb Samsung 840 Pro SSD I fitted myself. This machine is currently single boot Windows 8 Pro 64bit and I intend to dual boot it with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, say W8: 128Gb Ubuntu: 32Gb and a 64Gb shared partition.

Assuming that over-provisioning is creating a partition, or at least, just allocating unreserved space, then presumably I should have at least 3 physical type partitions available to support dual boot. (4 physical partitions is supported by a standard boot-loader, though a partition can contain multiple logical partitions). Thoughts?

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Yes it is. run the overprovisioning first then use a partition manager to divide up the space you need for the 2 OSs, being sure to keep the unpartitioned space intact. I'll post this as answer shortly. –  therobyouknow Mar 28 at 10:26

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