In my computer, I have a 1TB HDD and a 32GB SSD. Windows 10 is installed onto the 1TB HDD and I nothing is stored on the SSD.

I want to dual-boot with Ubuntu 16.04 and install it onto the 32GB SSD but I am concerned about the storage size of the drive. Will I be able to access both drives from within Ubuntu in order to store files on the HDD? Do I have to partition the HDD before I will be able to access memory on it to store files while using Ubuntu?


32GB SSD is enough for Ubuntu if you don't install lot of large applications in Ubuntu that consume a lot of disk space.

Ubuntu will be able to access the 1TB HDD having Windows 10(Windows 10 will not be able to access the 32GB SSD which will have Ubuntu). I recommend you to shrink the Windows 10 partition on the 1TB HDD and create another partition(of NTFS file system) so that you can use it for data/stuff which can be accessed by both Windows 10 and Ubuntu. Due to this setup, if you later on encounter problems in either Windows 10 or Ubuntu, your data will be safe and you can access it from the operating system which is working properly. Even removing any operating system will not remove your data as it is in a different partition.

Since Windows 10 doesn't shut down completely(by default), therefore you won't be able to mount Windows 10 in Ubuntu 16.04. In order to do so, you have to disable Fast Boot in Windows 10. You can do this by going to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Power Options -> Choose what the power buttons do -> Change settings that are currently unavailable. Then scroll to the bottom of the window and uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended) box. After that, shut down Windows 10 and then boot into Ubuntu 16.04. You will find that Windows 10 partition(which is NTFS type) gets mounted easily !

  • This is almost exactly the answer I gave. Why did you write another? – rtclark Nov 18 '16 at 15:36

This is close to the setup I have.

I have windows 10 on one ssd and Ubuntu on a separate ssd.

Ubuntu will be able to access the windows drive so you don't need to partition the 1TB HDD. However, you might want to shrink the windows partition on the 1TB and create another partition that you can use for "data" which can be accessed by both OS's. That way if there is a problem writing data to the disk in ubuntu it will not affect your windows partition. (I have never had any problems)

Note: in order to mount the windows partition under ubuntu you have have to disable quick boot in the windows 10 power settings.

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