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I’d like to try some things with a new computer I've never done before. I'd like to dual boot with Windows 7 and Ubuntu Mate 18.04. And I'd like to encrypt my drives. I plan to use Ubuntu as my new main OS and use Windows mostly for games that won't run on Ubuntu and maybe software if I can't find user friendly equivalents. Apart from gaming I mostly use MS Office but would like to image and video edit aswell. The other option to dual booting is running Win7 and whatever games or software through a virtual machine within Ubuntu. Another option is to partition some space off my games drive for a Windows install rather than partition and dual boot off my 250GB OS drive. The thing is I've never used Ubuntu or Linux before, dual booted, used a virtual machine, or encrypted before, but I've been using computers and Windows for over 20 years and can follow clear instructions, though linux language and tools might confuse me a little until I start using them.

I have a 250GB SSD as the OS drive, currently with 80gb partitioned off with Win7 installed and the rest free and waiting for Ubuntu and dual boot and encryption. I also have two other drives, a 1TB SSD for games and a 1TB HDD for storage, preferably to be encrypted (at least the storage drive) but not necessary, and I’d like both OS’s to be able to save to and read from both other drives (the gaming drive and storage drive where I plan to save my documents, downloads, pictures, etc for both OS’s). I'd like minimal passwords to boot up (preferably only 2 or 3; 1 to unencrypt the whole system and 1 to login to the OS). My motherboard is an AsRock H81M with an Intel i7-4790 CPU and 16GB DDR3 RAM and GTX 1060 and I don’t have a TPM if that helps.

I've read up on several posts and guides though most use different versions of an OS to what I want or only mention some things I want to do (like dual boot) but not others (encrypt).

Since I’ll be doing several things I’ve never done before I’d mostly like some suggestions and advice on any difficulties or limitations, and possibly links for stuff to read or watch on the best or easiest methods to do what I want to do, which is dual boot (or able to use both Win7 and Ubuntu Mate with Ubuntu being the main OS) and encrypt the OS drive, be able to access two other possibly encrypted drives (games and storage), and have the whole system unlockable with minimal passwords (2-3).

  • Would the manual full system encryption be the best guide to follow or is there any other or simpler methods or guides for encrypted dual boot?

  • I likely missed it, but how can I also encrypt my games and storage drives to be unlocked on bootup/login and accessible from both OS's?

  • Would it be better/safer/easier to install each OS on a separate drive rather than try to encrypt and dual boot off the same drive?

  • Would giving the whole 250GB OS drive to an encrypted Ubuntu Mate and running Windows on a virtual machine be a better/easier option than dual booting, and would that be a good choice for someone that’s never used Ubuntu or a VM before and wants Windows for gaming?

  • Can I take a clone or snapshot of my current Win7 install to put the whole thing on a VM or a new partition on another drive, or would I need to install everything again from scratch, and will my software licenses still work?

  • After much research and no response it seems what I wanted to do is far too complicated. So I've revised my idea. I'm thinking I'll just install an encrypted Ubuntu and run Win7 off a VM. As for the other drives I'll do the SSD games drive as ext4 and was thinking I'd do most of the storage hdd as ext4 too but partition off 2-300 odd gig for an NTFS drive for games or whatever else for Windows. Any advice on my revised plan? What's an easy way to partition off my storage drive for 200 gb for NTFS with the rest as ext4? I'd really like to get into linux but I need a little help. – user922822 Feb 15 at 6:02

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