Is it possible to dual boot Ubuntu and Windows7 off of separate hard drives. I have a Dell Latitude E6410 with an SSD in the main hard drive slot and the original HDD in the optical bay slot. I am currently running Windows7 off the SSD and I have already made the bootable live Ubuntu CD. My specific questions are:

1) Do I need to mess around with partitioning disk space if they are on separate disks? 2) Do I need to alter my BIOS since I might be booting from a disk that is located in the optical bay drive?"

Samsung 840 series SSD (Located in main hard drive slot) Running Windows7 120GB Serial ATA-150 Random Read Speed-86k IOPS Sequential Read/Write Speed- 530MB/s/130MB/s

Original HDD (Located in optical bay drive) Currently just storing large programs like MatLab and ProE 232GB


You will not have to alter any BIOS settings.

The Ubuntu installer should install it's boot loader GNU GRUB onto the SSD that will allow you to chose which OS to boot. Since the Windows installation is on the SSD and it's the first drive set to boot in BIOS there shouldn't be any problems with booting Windows from GRUB.

Be warned that something can go wrong and make your computer unbootable. In that case please read about how to fix the default Windows boot loader using the Windows installation DVD as described in this article.

  • IIRC its more likely that grub will be installed to the other drive by default – Journeyman Geek Dec 26 '12 at 23:59
  • If the second HDD's (first) partition is marked active then it might be possible, but we don't really know that. I assumed it isn't ;) – mprill Dec 27 '12 at 0:04

You can, on most systems select which drive to boot off without going into the bios proper. Installing ubuntu and its bootloader onto the other drive, and using the boot device selection option is probably the safer option. This will not involve changing persistant bios settings.

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