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I did a lot a research to check if my question was already answered or not, but so far I've only seen two related questions in Can I install Ubuntu on a separate SSD, AFTER having encrypted my Windows 8 drive using Truecrypt, without messing up the bootloader? and Dual Boot Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 13.10 on 2 Separate SSDs.

In the first case I have no encryption issue, and in the second case, the RAID configuration is not relevant in my case. So I'd like to check if the solution are correct un my case.

Anyway : I recently bought a new desktop (no manufacturer, just built from parts) for working purpose, I already have 1 SSD + 1 HDD with windows 8.1 on SSD and data on HDD. I would like to install a fresh ubuntu on a brand new SSD (MX100 256G). I want to use the full SSD for linux system + data and if possible be occasionally be able to access data on the data HDD.

I already tried to do this a while ago with an HDD instead of the SSD, so I connected the HDD, launched ubuntu installer from live usb, an even though I asked the installer not to mess with the current UEFI, I actually did, and moreover the ubuntu install was extremely slow for some reason I don't understand. So I removed the hdd, and restored my windows system.

How can I achieve this properly ? Last time I installed linux distribution (long time ago), there were no UEFI, so I have no clue about how this works. From what I read, I think the most "quick and dirty" way would be to unplug the current drives, plug the new SSD, install ubuntu, then plug the other 2 and change the boot order. But after that, can I install a boot loader to choose the system I want to boot without entering the bios, or will this mess up my windows installation ?

I'm aware that a lot of these questions have been already answered, but since I can't find an exact match, I'd just like to check if the different parts I read fit together correctly or not. Thanks

EDIT : According to the comments, I'm not completely clear about what I want. I'm not looking for a tutorial on how to install ubuntu, but rather an answer about how to manage UEFI partitions and bootloader in order to get 2 SSD with 2 different operating systems to work properly. As I said, my first try failed.

  • You want to install it within Windows! That is a very bad idea since you have Windows 8 and Wubi doesn't work well with Windows 8. Also, the Ubuntu installer doesn't change your UEFI. What do you mean by "pick up" data? – John Scott Dec 29 '14 at 2:41
  • You understood me wrong, by "within another windows system", I meant that I already have a working windows installation with SSD + HDD, and I want to add another SSD and install ubuntu on it without messing with the current system. I change the text about data to make it clear. – Bertrand R Dec 29 '14 at 9:55
  • @karel : no this is not a duplicate since this is not a pre-installed windows (I said I built my computer from parts myself). Besides, I'm trying to figure out what's specific to the case of 2 SSD with 2 different operating system. Please see the edited post/title which should be hopefully clearer. – Bertrand R Dec 29 '14 at 11:52
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Try to install the Ubuntu from a virtual machine or others machine into the new SSD,then boot it from your Computer. Your machine will have two diffrent bootloader on a single machine.When you want to boot to an OS, do it from BIOS. i've tried it once on a machine with installed Windows 8.1 UEFI on it, but with HDD.

And since you use Windows 8. Don't forget to completely shutdown the Windows using shutdown -s -t 0 or disable the Fast Startup to release the Windows handle from the Drive

  • Didn't think about the virtual machine thing, but to make sure : the point is to avoid messing with the current system right ? Will that be as efficient as disconnecting the others DD ? About your last point about fast startup could you give a reference to something that could help me understand why ? – Bertrand R Dec 29 '14 at 23:46
  • Yes, the point is to avoid messing with the current system. About the fast startup, when it is enabled, Shutdown will be equal to Hibernate, so Windows wouldn't release its handle from the drives partition. And if the handle isn't released, your Ubuntu couldn't access it. But usually it is only C: that been locked. – Tommy Aria Pradana Dec 30 '14 at 5:12
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From what I understand, you want to have an SSD with both Ubuntu and Windows 8 on it and have an HDD for data. UEFI partitions and boot loaders are not very different from the traditional BIOS; infact, for UEFI booting, you still use the same bootloader you've probably been using: GRUB 2. First, you need to boot into Windows. Open Disk Management and use that to shrink your Windows partition. Don't let the Ubuntu installer do it for you (it could mess some stuff up). Then change your UEFI settings (it's technincally not a BIOS) and look for an option called SecureBoot. You want to disable that to work around a bug in GRUB 2 (it won't affect your Windows stuff, but if you get a message about having SecureBoot disabled you need some Windows updates). Then boot from your DVD or flash drive or whatever you're installing Ubuntu from and open the installer. Choose Something Else for partitioning. Now, whatever you do, do not make swap! Swap is very bad for SSDs. Create an ext4 filesystem in the free space and continue. Ignore warnings about swap (if you want you can create some swap on that hard drive of yours) and let it install. After it finishes installation, shutdown, put back in all of your drives. Change your UEFI settings after putting the drives back in and make sure Ubuntu is set to boot before Windows. Sometimes Windows updates will put Windows back at the top so if you ever boot straight into Windows just put Ubuntu at the top again. Boot into Ubuntu. I realize that it did not give you a choice to boot into Windows but this is normal (for now). Open a Terminal and run sudo update-grub. Hopefully it will say it found Windows Boot Manager. Also, if you're using Ubuntu 14.10 (bad idea for servers!) skip this next part. If your SSD is made by a company other than Intel, SAMSUNG, OCZ, Patriot, or SanDisk, you need to run sed -i 's/exec fstrim-all/exec fstrim-all --no-model-check/g' /etc/cron.weekly/fstrim to enable TRIM. If you want to make a swap partition on your data drive install and load GParted and it will do it easy. Reboot and check that everything works. If it does then good for you. Here is some more information on optimizing Ubuntu for SSDs (14.04 is not as SSD-friendly as 14.10 but maybe an update will come out soon that will take care of that): How do I optimize the OS for SSDs?

  • I'm sorry, I guess something in my question is unclear (english ?), but as I said in the edit of my post I have 2 different SSD + 1 HDD, and so I want to install ubuntu on the new SSD. Nevertheless, your answer is still usefull. – Bertrand R Dec 29 '14 at 23:41
  • @BertrandR That's right. I forgot. You can skip shrinking the Windows partition then, but still have only the drive you want Ubuntu to be installed on in the computer. Also, when I said to make an ext4 filesystem in the free space, you can make it fill the entire SSD you want Ubuntu to be on (no swap on the SSD!). – John Scott Dec 30 '14 at 3:55

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