Linux Mint and Windows 10 Dual Boot \ Separate Drives

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
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WENDIGO4LIFE
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Linux Mint and Windows 10 Dual Boot \ Separate Drives

Post by WENDIGO4LIFE » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:33 pm

I'm installing the newest Linux Mint on a separate SSD. Should I leave the boot loader on the main drive also an SSD with windows 10 on it? This will help GRUB load correctly , right?

Thanks for your time,
Brian

Capella
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Re: Linux Mint and Windows 10 Dual Boot \ Separate Drives

Post by Capella » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:21 pm

I have always put grub on the second drive-the drive that Linux Mint is installed on. Then change the boot order in the bios to boot the Linux drive first. If you put grub on the windows drive-when windows does its twice a year upgrade it wipes out the grub bootloader. When I do the Windows 10 upgrade say version 1803 to 1809--I change back the boot order in the bios to the windows drive so I don't have to sit in front of my computer waiting for the many restarts..then when windows is upgraded change the boot order back to the Linux drive.

pgmer6809
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Re: Linux Mint and Windows 10 Dual Boot \ Separate Drives

Post by pgmer6809 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:21 am

If you are using Windows 10, I think that means that you MUST be using UEFI. ( I am not current with the latest Windows shenanigans.)
If you are using UEFI then you have an ESP (System partition in Windows parlance) that typically has the name EFI.
If you look in gparted you will see that it is a FAT32 partition with special flags set.
This ESP partition is mounted by Linux at /boot/efi whether or not you have a separate boot partition.
UEFI looks in the ESP to see if there are any bootable programs there or in the sub-directories.
So that is where the install process puts the grub binaries. It puts them in the ESP.
Windows upgrades should not damage the other files in the ESP; its not like overwriting an MBR.

Now it may be that your MOBO allows you to boot in either UEFI or Legacy BIOS mode; If so then you can indeed put grub on the second SSD MBR and Legacy BIOS boot into that when running LInux. But that does not seem ideal or perhaps likely.

I have heard that some distros (Fedora?) will allow you to put a separate ESP on a second disk, and use the second ESP for Linux and the ESP on the first disk for Windows.
As I understand it there is nothing in the UEFI spec that prevents that. But Ubuntu (and hence MINT) seems to just install grub etc. to the ESP on the first disk, regardless of what you specify in the install process.
pgmer6809

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