I've got three HDDs in my setup, with Win7-64bit running on my main one. Now I'd like to install Ubuntu on a secondary HDD and be able to choose between it and Windows at the boot screen (while maintaining Windows as the automatically booted OS).

I don't believe what I mean to do is "partitioning", but then again I'm not totally sure what it should be called. Could anyone instruct me as to how to begin (and proceed, for that matter)?

I plan on dedicating all 320GB of this secondary drive to Ubuntu, but don't want to partition either of my other HDDs or potentially lose data.

Note: this 320GB HDD has been used before, so I will need to format it, but in Windows it only gives me the option to format it in NTFS.

Thanks in advance.

  • Format the partition using the "ubuntu installer" or G-part editor from the ubuntu live CD
    – Ahmed Daif
    Mar 16 '14 at 14:07

Format the partition using the "ubuntu installer" or G-part editor from the ubuntu live CD


Be careful with the following instructions. Working with partitions and stuff like that can result in losing your data. To be sure, save your personal data before fiddling around with the Live System.

I would recommend the following solution: boot your PC from the Ubuntu Live CD and start the installation routine. There you can choose the destination for your system, in your case the 320GB HDD and install it. Installing Ubuntu will automatically format the HDD. After the installation procedure you enter the BIOS and set the HDD with Windows at the first position of the boot order. That causes that Windows will boot automatically. If you want to boot Ubuntu instead, press the key for entering multi boot selection (mostly F12) while starting the PC and then choose the HDD with Ubuntu.


Install each OS on separate HDD, say Windows on HDD1 and Ubuntu on HDD2. It would be best to remove all HDDs except the one you're installing OS on so that boot-loader doesn't get messed up.

When PC is powered on enter the BIOS (usually by pressing one of F1 through F12, Esc and Del keys). On the BIOS window look for Boot options or Boot priority (usually under Settings or System Configuration tab) and select HDD1 as the first boot device. Save and exit BIOS by pressing F10. Windows will be the default OS.

For booting Ubuntu enter Boot menu or boot device. This will not change boot priority.

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