So got a new PC (Dell 3847) and swaped the 400w power supply from old system to replace 300 W one and picked up a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphix card. I would like to use the 1 TB HDD in my old PC (had Windows XP) to dual boot Ubuntu.

I'm looking for infos. I seem to see alot of tutorials with people having issues, which make me a little nervous. Now I got a lot more questions then answers.

  • Do I Format the old drive first?
  • Does it need a new BIOS installed after formatting?
  • Is there a boot program that would bring up a screen to chose which OS/HDD (Win 8.1/Ubuntu 14.4) to boot?
  • Or do I have to go change the boot sequence every time I turn on the PC?

Windows XP with Ubuntu was on old PC with a partition and I was unable to use the PC for a week because Ubuntu wasn't working with my wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse and I had no time to get a plug and use keyboard to go back to Windows.

My system specifications:

  • OS: Windows
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-4460 CPU @ 3.20GHz
  • CPU speed: 3.22 GHz
  • RAM: 8.54 GB
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
  • Video card RAM: 4.21 GB
  • Video card Driver: nvd3dum.dll
  • Desktop resolution: 1920x1200
  • HDD Size: 1 TB

I'm open for any responses to have the most problem free process.

  • You want to set up second drive drive as if Windows does not exist and in UEFI boot mode with gpt partitioning. You have to use Something else and include an efi partition at the beginning of the 1TB drive. Only if both systems are UEFI can you use Grub menu to boot. help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI and: askubuntu.com/questions/221835/… You still need to have fast boot or always on hibernation off in Windows and better to have secure boot off. You may have to use nomodeset until you get nVidia driver installed.
    – oldfred
    Oct 17, 2014 at 0:46
  • 1
    AskUbuntu is good with narrow specific issues and questions. Jugging from your question I'd say you should ask someone in person. Maybe there is a Linux User Group where you live or a Hackerspace? Both will be able and willing to help you.
    – MadMike
    Oct 17, 2014 at 6:58

2 Answers 2


So what I would do is this:

  1. Install both harddrives into your computer.
  2. Format the second harddrive for your ubuntu install while still in windows. It should just show up normally under your drives.
  3. Restart your computer and enter the bios. Disable fastboot and secure boot in the bios.
  4. Boot into ubuntu from a usb or disc.
  5. Install ubuntu under "something else" using this guide. And make sure to install the bootloader to your primary harddrive (the one with windows on it).
  6. Boot from the primary harddrive and it should open GRUB and from there you should be able to choose between your different drives.

Hope this helps!

Side note: I would personally stick with xp or maybe try to get your hands on 7 because 8 is terrible and locks up your computer to make it difficult to install other operating systems.


I read a lot, watched some videos and was ready to give it a go. I put in a disk with Ubuntu 14.04, chose "Something else" to install and noticed the second choice of Replace existing OS was my second drive with Windows XP. Thinking well, Ubuntu software is probably better then me at installing and it's reading my second hard drive. What is the chance that it would have any effect on a completely separate OS/hard drive? Well, after overwriting Windows 8.1 to which I had just moved all my pictures and videos (omg) and recovering them (thank God), I finally have Ubuntu on my second drive. Now I just have to get Dell to send me Windows 8.1 again for the other drive, lol. Then I can figure out how to dual boot in the other direction, or I'll probably have to reinstall Ubuntu. Thank you all for your answers.

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