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I want to install Ubuntu alongside Windows 8.1 but instead of installing it on the same hard drive, I want it to be installed on my spare hard drive (160GB). So Windows 8.1 will be on my 500Gb Hard Disk and Ubuntu will be on my 160Gb hard disk. Will this work and how?

marked as duplicate by Alvar, karel, Eric Carvalho, αғsнιη, BuZZ-dEE Jan 13 '15 at 6:48

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    Of course it will work. It doesn't matter where you install Ubuntu as long as you have the correct the boot parameters. The Ubuntu setup will automatically set it for you. – Sachin Kamath Jan 10 '15 at 13:01

First, make sure to properly shut down Windows.

Yes, this will work fine. I would suggest disconnecting the 500Gb HD for the Ubuntu installation. Then, after you install Ubuntu power off the computer. Next, connect both drives and select the Ubuntu drive (160Gb) from your boot menu or make the 160Gb drive the first in the order for Bootloader devices. Boot up Ubuntu.

Then, open a terminal and type the following command:

sudo update-grub

when you run this command (hopefully if all goes well), the Grub bootloader should detect Windows. Next time you reboot to the 160Gb drive, you will be given the option to select either Ubuntu or Windows from your Grub menu.

  • Thank you very much. Very detailed and helpful answer! I'm still downloading Ubuntu and should be ready to install it in a few minutes! – Noel Francisco Jan 10 '15 at 13:09
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    It is not necessary to plug out the 500GB hard disk. Giving the 160GB HDD first boot preference is enough. – Sachin Kamath Jan 10 '15 at 13:10
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    @SachinKamath This is to ensure grub gets written to the 160Gb drive and not to the 500Gb one where it's not needed and may even cause problems. I could go through a complicated answer on how to do that without unplugging the device but imo that is what is not necessary here :) – mchid Jan 10 '15 at 13:35
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    @SachinKamath even with the boot order set, the computer often still has a preference over which drive is listed as /dev/sda and /dev/sda is the one that grub typically gets written to even when installing ubuntu to /dev/sdb. it's a whole bunch of ifs and maybees – mchid Jan 10 '15 at 13:39
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    got it! :) You go up +1 – Sachin Kamath Jan 10 '15 at 13:40

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