I want to dip my toes into the Ubuntu world. I have a 1TB drive in a NextStar external HD housing

Been reading a lot of different guides online for Dual-booting and I'm getting more and more confused :/

I want to skip/bypass all the dual boot installation problems by putting it on a secondary HDD that I can swap when the computer is shutdown.

My plan to keep my computer intact and still install Ubuntu.

1 - Have iso on bootable usbkey to install from (done)

2- Connect external HD

3- Go into bios on boot and set boot order to USB key then external USB drive (putting my Win 10 in last order)

4- Boot up to the install usb key

5- Go through install on external HD

6- Remove usb key and reboot into Ubuntu.

My questions :

Would this affect my WIN10 partition un the least?

I could simply plug in my external drive before booting to go into Ubuntu and remove it to go to windows?

What partitions would you reccomend on doing on the external HDD?


  • Read Wikipedia on "Power On Self Test", "BIOS", "MBR", "GPT". – waltinator Apr 13 '16 at 13:50
  • Thanks for the reading material, I get the gist of all of it but have no way of applying it to my situation with any shred of expertise :/ – MetaDex Apr 13 '16 at 15:23

I cannot see any reason for your proposed plan not to work. Ubuntu will not touch the HDD with Win10 on it if it is installing to a different HDD.

Let Ubuntu sort out the size of the partitions on the external HDD.

When Ubuntu is working you will be able to mount, read and write to the disk with Windows on it.

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  • Thanks! I went through the install making sure to select the right drive for root, swap and bootloader. It still messed around on my C: drive UEFI boot partition but I still have the windows boot loader prioritised in the boot up sequence. So when I want to boot to linux I plug the drive and have to go manually choose it in the BIOS. Am now reserching how to make that automated through GRUB (i.e. when drive not connected go directly to windows when connected go directly to Lunix) – MetaDex Apr 14 '16 at 12:35
  • I did something similar, but I used an internal SSD rather than an external disk. The speed improvement is amazing. – Steve Roome Apr 14 '16 at 15:44

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