Maintaining storage drive with parallel boot

Hello All!

I've poked around for my particular question but can't seem to find an answer. I'm not computer savvy per se, but I know more than the average person, so my skills are limited :slightly_smiling_face:

PC Specs:
MSI B350 Tomahawk
AMD Ryzen 5 1600
16gb RAM
Radeon RX 580
Crucial MX300 275GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5
Western Digital 1TB

I currently have Windows 10 on the ssd (C:), my secondary drive (D:) is where I store games and digital content is a 1tb hdd. I'm going to buy another ssd to install/run Manjaro separately. Unfortunately because of my line of work (graphic design) I HAVE to keep windows so I can run a range of Adobe software, I don’t really care to run Wine to compensate. SO! My question is this: can I keep the secondary drive intact to share between both operating systems?

Also, what’s the best way to choose which OS to boot? From the bios? Or just unplug the drive I don’t want? Should I get an external drive enclosure (like this: Rosewill RX-358 U3C BLK) so it’s easier to have access to them?

Thank you!

As long as your Windows is installed in UEFI/GPT I would recommend to follow this guide:

This will allow to boot both OS from the grub menue when you start the PC, no need to switch from BIOS.

You can mount the NTFS drive D: with an entry in /etc/fstab.
You need NTFS-3g as filesystem.

Awesome! Thank you.

Hello and welcome! :grinning:

Be aware that this post is just to provide a general idea of the process without having to read through pages and pages of installation guides - for detailed and reviewed information, still read those guides.

I'll start off by briefly answering your questions to provide a general overview:

  • Yes you can keep everything intact
  • Yes you will easily be able to access all your window data from within linux
  • No you won't have to unplug the drive in order to choose which operating system to boot :grin:

How?

  • Basically: Just go ahead and install Manjaro on your new SSD, the rest will simply just work™ :wink:

Let's elaborate:

The fact that you've decided to install Manjaro on a completely separate drive makes everything much easier and safer for beginners, but fyi it wouldn't have even been necessary (in case you didn't know that). However, as we all know, more disk space is more better :upside_down_face:

The installation process will be as easy as booting the installation ISO and telling the installer to through the whole system onto your newly bought SSD, the rest of the system should remain untouched.

One important point to note while the setup is where to install the bootloader (GRUB). Because you have a separate drive for Manjaro, I would highly suggest installing the bootloader onto that one and leaving everything Windows related completely alone, just to be safe.
(Again, there are ways to make them two work together nicely if you have to, but from my experiences it's easier and safer for a beginner to not do that. Don't wanna risk accidentally trashing your Windows installation as restoring that one is much harder than restoring any unbootable linux system.)

Once the installation is done, you can set the new SSD as the default boot drive in your BIOS settings and it should already present you with a nice and convenient selection menu to choose whether to boot into Windows or Manjaro.
That way you still have the option to simply choose to boot Window by bringing up the BIOS's boot device selection if things go backwards and Manjaro is unbootable.

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Please keep in mind that in order for the NTFS formatted drive to be accessible from Manjaro in write mode, you would need to disable Fast Startup and hibernation in Windows. Failing to do so will in most cases leave a hiberfil.sys file on the drive which prevents Manjaro form mounting the drive in write mode. It will then only be mounted in read mode.

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:slight_smile: thank you!

Great! That makes sense. Thank you.

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