Dual Boot Separate Drives

Situation:

  • Windows 10 Home installed in 512GB SSD.
  • A spare 512GB SSD within a caddy.
  • Laptop uses UEFI (I disabled quick boot and secure boot already)

Problem: How to install Manjaro into that separate spare drive? Most of the tutorials I found from Youtube are for partitions in the same drive. Any suggestions or ideas on how to install Manjaro without messing up the bootloaders?

Doesn’t differ from single disk installation. Upon disk partitioning, all disks should be presented, you can choose to create or select partition on any disk and mount it as root. That’s where the OS will be installed. With regard to bootloaders, I find rEFInd to be the most reliable. Mark it as the boot manager, it will lists all possible to boot OSes it can find in all disks. Then you can choose whichever you want to boot. It can even do direct kernel boot without chainloading to additional bootloader.

Have a look into this tutorial:

I have two HDs like you

One with Manjaro and the other with Windows, , to make life simple and avoid any errors, I unplugged the Windows HD, installed Manjaro on my ‘only’ HD,

When all was well, I replugged in my Windows HD

In the Bios setting I made the Manjaro HD my boot disk, and when I need Windows I change the boot order at startup, F12 lets me change it just one time

Maybe a little long winded, but insures no errors between both systems, and as I rarely use Windows now, it’s perfect for me

Hope this helps
Trevor

1 Like

This is exactly the way I do…

1 Like

Hi!
I have your same configuration with dual boot. Although unplugging the windows HDD and go through UEFI every time you want to switch system works, I find that a “classic” dual boot it’s more convenient.
If you do a youtube search you will find tutorials that guide you through the process: even if you don’t find a Windows/Manjaro specific tutorial (if I remember correctly I couldn’t find it when I first installed Manjaro) the main process and partition scheme it’s very much the same for most distros: you will have to set a / partition, a swap partition and direct your boot partition to the windows EFI partition, so you can follow basically any other tutorial (the only thing that will change is the graphical interface of the installer, but it’ll be close enough).
I’m still a noob so I’ll let more experienced fellow users help you more specifically, I just wanted to say that I did the same thing several times when I was distro hopping and if it’s your first approach to Linux it might seem complicated, but it’s not! Just be careful and enjoy this amazing OS.
And this forum it’s full of really kind people who will help you, so don’t worry. Good luck!

Hi

“Although unplugging the windows HDD” for me this was only when I installed Manjaro for the first time, as I have several HDD, it was just to make sure I didn’t choose the wrong disk when installing…(been there done that … )

You can do (I have already done that) a dual boot Windows / Linux on the same disk, BUT windows does have the bad habit of f**king up the Linux grub, when updating itself, and that’s a real pain, repairing the grub, or the MBR, so I prefer two seperate disks

And just doing a F12 to choose the Windows disk at startup, if need be is easy and quick

Yeah on the desktop it’s obviously simpler and cleaner, I’d probably do the same!
Upon installing manjaro on my laptop I couldn’t unplug the ssd where windows is installed (I mean, I could, I just didn’t want to open it up again xD) so I tried to be extra careful when choosing the install disk and it all went smooth. OP is on laptop so I wanted to be sure he knew he doesn’t have to open up his pc to install manjaro, it could be a drawback to some users!
Having the OSs on separate drives it’s a huge relief though: Manjaro is my work OS and I would be very mad if windows decided on it’s own that I can’t use it XD.

I have two HDs like you

One with Manjaro and the other with Windows, , to make life simple and avoid any errors, I unplugged the Windows HD, installed Manjaro on my ‘only’ HD,

When all was well, I replugged in my Windows HD

In the Bios setting I made the Manjaro HD my boot disk, and when I need Windows I change the boot order at startup, F12 lets me change it just one time

Maybe a little long winded, but insures no errors between both systems, and as I rarely use Windows now, it’s perfect for me

Hi Minty95. I am planning on doing it this way. However, I am wondering if there are any consequences from accidentally choosing the wrong device when pressing F12 (In my case F11)? For example, if I choose a device that is not bootable, will it break anything?

Hi

No it won’t break anything, it will only show bootable disks (I have 4 in all, two with no system just data backups ) and the CD Roms

Mine is a SDD Samsung 860 with Linux and a SDD Samsung 840 with Windows, so it’s easy to choose which disk to boot from, photo to help you.
I just choose the 860, don’t think I ever tried the line with Manjaro :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks alot for the help!

AFAIK: NO

  • only: error “no bootable device” or similar.
1 Like