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I currently have two Samsung EVO ~500GB NVMe drives running Windows 10 in RAID-0. I would like to remove the RAID-0 configuration and use one of the disks for Ubuntu 18.04 while the other disk remains on Windows 10. I have backed up my files, so the Windows 10 will be a clean install. I still need the same license key, however.

Is the following procedure correct?

  1. Download Windows 10 and Ubuntu ISO files
  2. Create two installation media drives, each with the appropriate ISO.
  3. Restart the PC and boot into the BIOS to the delete RAID configuration.
  4. Shutdown and unplug one of the SSDs
  5. Boot from Windows 10 USB and do a clean installation.
  6. After Windows has been installed; shutdown and reconnect the other SSD
  7. boot from the Ubuntu USB
  8. Install onto the now-connected SSD

From the list above, I have a few questions:

  • From step 1, I know where to get an ISO for Ubuntu, but I’ve only seen cracked versions of Windows. Is there a specific place to get a legitimate Windows 10 ISO?
  • From step 3; How do I delete the RAID configuration? Will there be an option to delete it, and do I then also have to switch to another disk configuration, e.g., IDE or SATA?

Your license key will automatically be detected, once installed, Windows will already be activated. – Ramhound Mar 6 '17 at 21:15

  • From step 5 and the quote above; How do I ensure that my Windows 10 license is retained? How does it determine what my license key is with one of the original disks being ‘missing’?

ALSO, if this is an NVMe drive, make sure to get the correct RST drivers from intel. Otherwise, Windows will not recognize the drives. - BillyBob Mar 9 '17 at 6:20

  • From the quote above, I’m not sure I understand this yet. When do I install these RST drivers, since my drives are both NVMes? Does this happen before, after, or during the Windows installation?
  • From step 8, how will I now identify which of my two drives is the correct one to install onto? Do I have to disconnect the other drive with Windows 10 on before trying to install Ubuntu?

Any further advice would be appreciated. It’s my first time dealing with RAID configurations, and I want it to go smoothly.

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Is the following procedure correct?

It is unnecessary to disconnect one of your drives once you delete the RAID. The option to switch from RAID to AHCI exists within your firmware configuration.

Is there a specific place to get a legitimate Windows 10 ISO?

You can get a Windows 10 ISO directly from Microsoft. There are other methods, to get different versions of the Windows 10 ISO directly from Microsoft, documented by the following question.

How do I actually delete the RAID configuration? Will, there be an option to delete it, and do I then also have to switch to another disk configuration, eg IDE or SATA?

There is an option to delete the RAID. You should refer to your motherboard's manual for more specific information on the process. You will also likely have to switch your SATA mode from RAID/Optane to ACHI.

How do I ensure that my Windows 10 license is retained?

Once you have installed Windows 10 on your device it will automatically activate. When prompted to provide a license key during the installation process you can skip that particular step. Windows 10 activation status is normally handled by a digital entitlement linked to your hardware.

How does it determine what my license key is with one of the original disks being ‘missing’?

Windows 10 activation status is unaffected by which storage device you install it on provided it's the same system hardware.

I’m not sure I understand this yet. When do I install these RST drivers, since my drives are both names?

NVMe devices are supported within the Windows 10 WinPE.

how will I now identify which of my two drives is the correct one to install onto?

Once you delete the RAID all data on both drives will be lost. It does not matter which drive you decide to install an operating system on. You will want to install the second operating system on the drive that doesn't have any partitions.

Do I have to disconnect the other drive with Windows 10 on before trying to install Ubuntu?

No

  • @user1686 - I deleted the statement; I don't feel like looking at my own hardware to determine what the proper option should be. There are only going to be 3 choices, (IDE, AHCI, RAID) and I have never seen any other options, other than those 3 in all my years of working with computers. – Ramhound Mar 26 at 0:11

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