Is it possible to dual boot both Ubuntu 14.04 and Windows 8.1 without conflict? I have Windows 8.1 installed on a 120 GB SSD with a 2TB HDD for mass storage. I also have a 1TB HDD with Ubuntu 14.04 installed. When I want to boot into Ubuntu I disconnect both my Windows drives and connect my Ubuntu drive. I would like to have all of them connected all the time so I can switch boot drives in BIOS without having to physically connect/reconnect my drives. Will doing so cause any issues?

Thanks :)

  • ...and why would it cause issues or conflicts? – mikewhatever Jul 16 '15 at 21:31
  • This guide is extremely useful in pursuit of your goal. askubuntu.com/questions/221835/… – Organic Marble Jul 17 '15 at 1:22
  • If Windows is installed in UEFI as all pre-installed systems are, then be sure to install Ubuntu in UEFI boot mode to avoid issues. UEFI & BIOS are not compatible, and you have to totally reboot to change boot modes. – oldfred Jul 17 '15 at 4:03

Yes, it is possible. Since you've Windows 8.1 already installed, just start the installer of Ubuntu and proceed. It should detect Windows 8.1 and offer an option to install Ubuntu too.


One of the function keys F8, F10, F11, or F12 should give you the boot menu options when the machine is booting up. Just pick the right disk and it should boot the OS on that disk. You might have to set the bios to allow for on-the-fly boot disk selection, it can be disabled sometimes.

Since you have the OSs installed on two separate disks, then the BIOS boot menu is probably your best bet. You might have to memorize some identification information for the hard drives in order to pick the right one on boot.

If you pick the wrong disk (the one with no OS) it will just error something like 'no bootable disk selected', and you just reboot and pick another.

I'm pretty sure that the grub (either windows or linux grubs) will not be functional because of the separate disks. However, I cannot confirm this.

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