I currently have a desktop PC with one SSD which I may want/need to expand later this year. The basic question I have is what the benefits and drawbacks are to having two Windows partitions, each on their own SSD, versus one large partition on the larger SSD.

In more detail: The current drive is a 500 GB PCIe 3x4, the new one would probably be a ≥1 TB PCIe 4x4. I use Linux for pretty much everything that is not entertainment and the current 500 GB drive just doesn't have enough space left on it for Linux (thank the >30 GB maps of a certain flight simulator for that), however with 1.5 TB total I would probably like to dedicate 500 GB to Linux. The question there is, if I do add a second SSD:

  • Should I leave the Windows installation on the current drive, split the 1 TB drive into a 500 GB NTFS partition and 500 GB Linux-related partitions, and then just move some files to the new NTFS partition,
  • or should I try to move the existing Windows partition to the new drive and dedicate the smaller drive to Linux, thereby creating a clean split between the two OS'es? I considered simply using Gparted (or the command line) on a live session to move Windows to the other drive, but I've heard that Windows doesn't like being moved around, probably even more so if it's onto a different physical storage. Sure, I could do a clean install of Windows, but that's why I'm asking this question: Is it worth it?

I don't care about improving the boot times for Windows, they're already fine, so the possible 4x4 over 3x4 benefit there is irrelevant. I hope this question is not too unclear for this site, as the answer may be somewhat subjective, but the basic idea is clear: How do two partitions on separate drives compare to one partition on one drive?

There are some related questions on this site, but they are from the Vista/Win7 era, when, I assume, SSD technology and their OS integration were very much not that of today.


1 Answer 1


Since you are never going to use the two partitions in parallel, for performance it is immaterial whether they are located on one or two disks.

Leaving the current Windows and Linux installations as they are currently and using the second disk for data, may save you time and worry in case something goes wrong and everything needs to be reinstalled.

Last remark: Don't use a Linux-based utility such as Gparted for migrating a Windows partition, as this is asking for trouble (many posts on our site deal with this problem). Use instead a third-party Windows tool such as AOMEI Backupper Freeware, but there are others.

  • Thanks! However: 1. As of now there is no Linux partition on this machine – you're advocating putting both OSes on the smaller drive? 2. I've read the directory Program Files should not and cannot be moved to another drive, but individual "games" may be. When is moving an installed program safe and when not? 3. Personal gripe: I dislike using third-party software to fiddle around with an OS on such a low-level (if the OS can't do it itself, why should someone/something else be able to do it?), especially with Windows, which doesn't welcome "fiddling"... but I'll have a look at it, thanks! Sep 2, 2019 at 16:15
  • I thought both OS were already installed. In that case, you can put Linux on a partition on the other disk and have no problem with dual-boot. Do you know that Ubuntu over Windows exists as a Microsoft Store application inside Windows?
    – harrymc
    Sep 2, 2019 at 16:18
  • I'm used to dual-booting, even from one physical device, so sure, that should work. I've heard of Ubuntu over Windows, however I assumed the performance would suffer? I might still give it a shot, though. Sep 2, 2019 at 16:22
  • The performance is quite good, as Microsoft did a real port of Ubuntu. Some small features are missing, but almost everything is there. This will avoid the need to partition the disk, as Ubuntu will share with Windows.
    – harrymc
    Sep 2, 2019 at 16:28

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