Quick question about dual booting!

I have a laptop with a 128 GB SSD and a 1tb HDD,I want to dualboot Ubuntu. At this moment windows is installed on the SSD and I install programs and let downloads go to the HDD.

Is it a good (and safe) idea to shrink the HDD so that the HDD has two partitions and to install Ubuntu on the new (empty) HDD partition?

  • 1
    Do you have any specific requirements? Would you be open to installing Ubuntu on the SSD?
    – wjandrea
    Nov 13, 2017 at 20:35
  • I would just use ubuntu for programming and stuff, so not as a main system because I need some software that I only can run on windows. So it's not required that stuff opens quickly or something! Just asking if this is safe to do and how to.
    – user244536
    Nov 13, 2017 at 20:37
  • Dual booting with both OSes in the SSD is possible and Ubuntu will run faster. Tight, but possible, there are factory installed Windows 10 in drives of 32GB only.
    – user692175
    Nov 13, 2017 at 20:38
  • So, you got your answer already. It's safe as long as you know what you're doing. But you might not, othwerwise you wouldn't need to ask. Also, you need to know about UEFI and you probably don't.
    – user692175
    Nov 13, 2017 at 20:40
  • I think what i know what to do, I will explain what i want to do: - split my existing 901 gb partition on my hdd so i have 300gb of free space for ubuntu - boot into ubuntu using a usb - make a 4096 mb swaparea - make the rest the "/" - install
    – user244536
    Nov 13, 2017 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


Shrinking an existing partition to make room for Ubuntu works well. Generally, Ubuntu is very, very tolerant of where it is installed in a multi-drive storage setup -- I have two platter drives and a 250 GB SSD, and currently boot from the SSD, but with a few keystrokes I can temporarily boot from the smaller HDD if I need to make repairs. Windows XP is present on the larger HDD, though it hasn't been bootable for some years.

Generally, any combination of HDD and SSD will work fine as long as GRUB installs on the drive the BIOS expects to start the system from.

  • Thanks! So i just shrink the hdd where data is stored, then go into ubuntu using a live-usb, and create a swap area and a '/" (don't know what it's called) of the free space is just made?
    – user244536
    Nov 13, 2017 at 20:45
  • Well, strongly recommended to back up the partition you'll be shrinking first, but yes. You'll want to choose the manual installation option from the Ubuntu USB, and create (at a minmum) a / (root) and swap partition in the space freed (I prefer to make a separate partition for /home as well), and DOUBLE AND TRIPLE CHECK which partition you're installing to. Make a mistake here, and your entire Windows partition can be lost.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:22

If your SSD currently holds your windows C: drive as well as the UEFI boot partitions, you may want to use the windows disk utility to shrink the drive (D: ?) that is on the HDD before you start your install. Of course the usual caveats of backing up critical data etc apply. Windows puts copies of the NTFS equivalents of FAT tables in the middle of the drive, so don't attempt to shrink smaller than half in your first attempt.

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