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I have 3 drives, a 32 GB SSD running Windows 7, a 500 GB HDD with an NTFS Filesystem in use by Windows, and a blank 60 GB SSD. What I want to do is clone my Windows install (using Clonezilla) and move it to my new 60 GB SSD so that it will have a bit more room to breath, and the install Linux (most likely Mint, but that's probably irrelevant) on the 32 GB.

My question is 3 fold:

  1. I want to make sure the new Hard drive will not screw up my Windows Drive letters. I have several programs installed into the HDD, and windows will rely on this continuing to be the D: drive and the 60GB SSD becoming the C: drive after the clone
  2. I want to make Windows the default boot drive, but I want to use Grub (or, more specifically, burg) as the bootloader.
  3. I would like, if possible, to mount my home folder for Linux as a subdirectory of the D: drive.

I would like to know if these things are possible, and if so, how to do them.

Thanks!

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2 Answers 2

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I want to make sure the new Hard drive will not screw up my Windows Drive letters. I have several programs installed into the HDD, and windows will rely on this continuing to be the D: drive and the 60GB SSD becoming the C: drive after the clone 

The first thing you should is clone the drive. After you do take the old drive out, and replace it with the new drive, using a NEW SATA port plug the old drive into it.

This will make your "new" drive use the same port, to windows it will look exactly that, be sure you make the additional space visible to Windows BEFORE you do this part.

I want to make Windows the default boot drive, but I want to use Grub (or, more specifically, burg) as the bootloader. 

Install Linux as you normally would on the old smaller SSD the installation procedure should handle this. I would make a image of the main drive on your larger 500GB hdd as protection against silly mistakes. It is very easy to choose the wrong device when installing linux.

I would like, if possible, to mount my home folder for Linux as a subdirectory of the D: drive.

Handle the first two steps first, they are not trivial, so get the hard part done first.

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With respect to the first suggestion, my intention was to clone the drive with a Clonezilla liveCD and store the image on an external (1TB), then insert the blank 60GB and reload the image onto it. Will this work as expected? –  ewok Apr 24 '12 at 17:23
    
@ewok - I don't see any reason it wouldn't. –  Ramhound Apr 25 '12 at 14:51
    
I have installed Mint on the 32 GB as usual (though granted I simply allowed the installer to handle everything, rather than configuring it manually), but the machine still boots directly into windows. –  ewok Apr 25 '12 at 22:54
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I would like, if possible, to mount my home folder for Linux as a subdirectory of the D: drive.

Regarding this -- the biggest problem you'll encounter is that Windows does not natively support Linux file systems. If you want to view your Linux home folder, you have three primary options:

  1. Store your Linux home folder on a network drive. I don't think you're looking for anything with this level of complexity.
  2. Use a Windows program to enable support for the appropriate Linux file system. I've tried one called ext2IFS (which supports the most common Linux file system, ext2), and I wasn't satisfied.
  3. Use a Windows-compatible file system for your Linux home partition. Linux support for NTFS has improved greatly in the last couple of years, so you can probably make this happen in the Mint installer. That said, I've never personally tried it.
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