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What will happen if I install Fedora in dual boot on another disk ?

asked 2018-04-24 12:31:33 -0500

Nicryc gravatar image


I have a SSD with Windows 10 on it which take all the space on it. I want to know what will happen if I install Fedora on a second HDD or SSD. How my computer will handle it ?

Will it load the grub automatically ? If not will I have to change the boot order in the BIOS each time I want to load an other OS ? If I boot on the Fedora disk it will start grub, will it detect Windows on the other disk ? Will the Windows boot loader (MBR) will be impacted ? For example if I want to remove Fedora, will I have to reinstall the MBR as on a normal dual boot system on the same computer ?

Thank you.

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it might not see the Windows from the get go, however to add Windows SSD to the grub menu is a trivial task. Just mount the disk and run os-prober.

You will have to set second disk as a first boot option in the BIOS, and no, it will not impact Windows boot loader on the first disk, even if you uninstall/remove the disk with Fedora. You just boot the disk with Windows, and that's it - it will boot Windows.

enenou gravatar imageenenou ( 2018-04-24 15:22:41 -0500 )edit

legacy or (U)EFI boot here?

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2018-04-24 15:32:07 -0500 )edit

UEFI boot.

Nicryc gravatar imageNicryc ( 2018-04-25 04:05:00 -0500 )edit

Secure Boot?

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2018-04-25 10:18:01 -0500 )edit

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answered 2018-04-25 10:12:43 -0500

florian gravatar image

updated 2018-04-25 10:23:09 -0500

In your case, bootloaders (both your existing Windows as well as your future Fedora) are not installed into the MBR of your hard drive(s). Your hard drive (GPT formatted) has one EFI boot partition (typically 100 MB), where each operating system places its bootloader. You already have that for Windows, Fedora will put grub2 into the same efi partition (and automatically mounts it to /boot/efi).

You need to make sure that during install you tell Fedora's installer to use the existing efi partition (select it and define Mount Point /boot/efi), and not to format it (or you loose your Windows bootloader).

That being said, if you decide to remove Fedora you still have the Windows bootloader on the efi partition. Typically, the BIOS lets you define the order in which the bootloaders are loaded. So after installation of Fedora, you want to select GRUB. In case you remove Fedora, you can go back to the Windows loader.

Grub will recognize the windows bootloader automatically. If that fails, you can use os-prober to add it (as described in one comment above), but that's a different story you can take care of later.

For now, just install Fedora, and make sure you use the efi partition without formatting it. (Your Fedora system, incl /, /home, /boot, and swap can go on a second drive, but your efi partition will be the one from the "first" drive.

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Asked: 2018-04-24 12:31:33 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 25 '18