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Is it possible to install Linux on a separate drive without rebooting to the live DVD? My setup is I have a 500GB internal HDD with windows and a bland 480GB internal SSD on which I would like to install Mint. I'd prefer to install Mint to the SSD while continuing to work in Windows rather than having to reboot to the live DVD.

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Your best bet is to use Virtual Box to install it. I boot the VM from an iso file, then connect the drive (mine is usb) to the guest OS via VirtualBox's Devices menu and proceed to install.

If you need to boot from a usb disk you can do that as well, although it is more complicated.

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