Installing Mint on M.2 SATA 3? Is this possible? Is there any advice you can give?

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James_Smith
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Installing Mint on M.2 SATA 3? Is this possible? Is there any advice you can give?

Post by James_Smith » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:42 am

I hope I'm using the right terminology. I ordered this for my Alienware 15 R3 with the objective of using my SATA SSD (the original SSD) for Windows and this new SATA 3 for Linux.

Then it occurred to me: is this even possible? Can I SATA 3 be used as a boot drive? If it can, that will be terrific since I'd have W10 and Linux on two totally (physically) separate hard drives.

If not, then I'll just make the original SATA SSD into a dual boot and use the SATA 3 as storage.
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catweazel
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Re: Installing Mint on M.2 SATA 3? Is this possible? Is there any advice you can give?

Post by catweazel » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:58 am

James_Smith wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:42 am
Can I SATA 3 be used as a boot drive?
As long as your BIOS allows booting from an M.2 slot, it will be perfectly fine.
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Re: Installing Mint on M.2 SATA 3? Is this possible? Is there any advice you can give?

Post by AlbertP » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:19 am

And even if it weren't possible - Linux is very flexible in this, you can put a /boot partition containing the bootloader & kernel image (doesn't need to be more than 1GB) on any medium which your computer can boot from. Your root partition can then be on any disk recognised by Linux and doesn't need BIOS support. There are many other ways to boot your Linux system by playing with bootloaders. In short, if you are creative then booting Linux is possible on any kind of hardware even if the BIOS does not offer the options you want. I have for instance used a CD with Plop bootloader to get an old laptop to boot from USB, where the BIOS didn't offer any such option. Another creative option to circumvent obstinate laptop BIOSes that I sometimes encounter is putting a bootloader on an SD card (!).

But, I do not think you need to do any such complicated things. Just installing everything on the M.2 disk is fine in almost any computer. Many new laptops nowadays are sold with their OS on an M.2 disk, and those work fine with Linux.
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