I want to install Ubuntu with the intention of slowly transitioning from Windows to Ubuntu. I currently have an SSD with Windows (and Windows Boot Manager) which I don't want to touch.

I have another SSD in my PC which is completely blank. I would like to install Ubuntu on this drive without affecting Windows or Windows Boot Manager, so that GRUB is installed on it for Ubuntu. This way, if I choose not to use Ubuntu, it being installed on the second SSD will have no impact on Windows. I will not see GRUB when booting to Windows.

My thinking is to remove the current SSD (just to make sure I don't overwrite it accidentally), install Ubuntu normally, then plug the other SSD back in. Then, in my UEFI, set the boot priority to:

  1. Windows Boot Manager (1st SSD)
  2. GRUB, Ubuntu or whatever label it appears as

Will this work? I really don't want to get rid of Windows Boot Manager for my Windows install.

(I have seen other questions similar to this, but none quite seem to answer my question)

  • 1
    Yes you can do this with the downside being that you'll have to change boot priority from the BIOS/UEFI. (An annoyance IMHO) – Elder Geek Feb 3 '18 at 14:32
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    I also recommend turning off Legacy support in the firmware settings to insure that the ubuntu installer boots in UEFI mode. – ravery Feb 3 '18 at 14:39
  • You could select the boot device via the EFI menu, some function key at power-on to allow selection of boot device/OS -- no need to actually change the boot order. @ravery you don't really know how Windows is installed, legacy or UEFI, but Ubuntu should be installed the same way. (I have a UEFI machine, with legacy Windows on disk1 (Win 7 upgrade), and UEFI Ubuntu on disk2 -- Lenovo boots both without needing any modechanges.) – ubfan1 Feb 3 '18 at 16:12
  • @ubfan -- I am speaking in regards to the installer boot mode which is both. OP states he is using EFI... thus to insure the installer boots in EFI mode Legacy support should be turned off. Many systems will default to legacy mode if it is available in the boot mdium – ravery Feb 3 '18 at 16:20
  • Since GRUB (the usual method) is perfectly capable of handing dual-boot for you, the question should clearly explain why you want this custom setup. Remember, future new users will read this question, and we don't want to confuse them. – user535733 Feb 3 '18 at 16:29

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