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I want to install Kubuntu on a computer which already runs Windows 7. For this purpose, I have installed an additional empty hard drive (the drive containing Windows is fully partitioned and should remain unchanged).

I am unsure, if I can select "Automatically install Ubuntu next to Windows" in the installation menu: Will it use the empty hard drive or reformat empty space on the Windows drive? Will the bootloader be installed on the correct drive so that both systems can be booted from their specific hard drives?

Edit: I have successfully installed Ubuntu manually in the past. However, in this case I was not sure, if the bootloader will automatically recognise the second OS. The linked thread does not explain particularities when installing Ubuntu on a second drive next to another OS (just on the same drive or on a new drive by itself), where is the bootloader installed optimally? Will it automatically setup a boot option for the Windows drive without specifying it on installation?

Also, I am trying to understand by which logic the automatic installation will select the drives or partitions.

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  • UEFI or BIOS, most Windows 7 systems were BIOS but a few are UEFI. And best not to use auto install. Your / (root) becomes the size of the drive less swap which generally is way too large. Better to add /home and/or /mnt/data partition(s).
    – oldfred
    Feb 1, 2016 at 22:47

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I would rather choose the manual partitioning, then choose the Ubuntu hard disk.

The bootloader will be installed on the disk where you decide to install Ubuntu, which should be the 1st boot device in the bios (or uefi). Grub will let you choose between linux and windows.

As David pointed out, please have a look at How to use manual partitioning during installation? for more details on manual partitioning.

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  • Okay, thank you. So manually partitioning is the best way to make sure the system is installed correctly? If I understand it correctly, the Windows drive MBR should be left untouched and I should just install everything onto the new drive and then change the boot order to the Ubuntu drive in the BIOS/UEFI? Feb 3, 2016 at 9:18
  • Yes, that's right!
    – Olivier
    Feb 3, 2016 at 9:21
  • I have the same configuration working: Windows bootloader on one drive, Grub on another. BIOS in configured to boot from the drive with Grub. Feb 3, 2016 at 13:46

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