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BillyD
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 2:26 am    Post subject: Installing windows onto a separate drive AFTER Gentoo Reply with quote

I've got a need to have a Windows environment available - will explore VM's in future, but I have a spare SSD I can install it on. I've got a feeling if I go ahead with the windows install, it will interfere with Grub and make my Gentoo install un-bootable. I've never done this before...so don't want to mess things up.

Is it just a matter of re-installing Grub after the Windows install is complete, or are there some other tricks/gotchas to getting this to work? I've seen quite a few guides where the assumption is that Windows is already installed, THEN you install Linux, but haven't found any that describe the reverse procedure.

Any pointers/tips would be appreciated.

Happy to provide further info on HW, etc. if needed.
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Tony0945
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you said that you would explore virtual machines some other day.

All I can say is that recently started working with virtualbox and installing XP and Win7 were super easy. So long as you don't need real hardware access you will be fine and can switch must faster than rebooting. Your linux ethernet, hard drives, samba, keyboard and CD/DVD will work fine, just not something like a TV card or other esoteric thing.

I'm sure win10 will install as easy as the older versions and you won't have to worry about it snatching your boot away.

But if you insist on dual boot, I'll let someone else guide you through that thicket.
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steve_v
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Joined: 20 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Installing windows onto a separate drive AFTER Gentoo Reply with quote

BillyD wrote:
I've got a feeling if I go ahead with the windows install, it will interfere with Grub and make my Gentoo install un-bootable.
Bingo. The Windows installer will replace GRUB with it's own bootloader, and it will do so without asking. :twisted:

BillyD wrote:
Is it just a matter of re-installing Grub after the Windows install is complete
Pretty much. Boot a livecd, chroot into your gentoo install, reinstall grub. No big deal, but annoying.

BillyD wrote:
I've seen quite a few guides where the assumption is that Windows is already installed, THEN you install Linux
Yeah, this is the preferred pain-free method.
Most GNU/Linux installers will give you options to rearrange partitions and move/resize existing installs, and they'll automatically add a GRUB entry for Windoze if it's detected. How convenient.
The Windows installer, on the other hand, will nuke everything on the disk or partition you point it to and then screw with the MBR on whatever drive it thinks is the boot device, silently. Exactly zero fucks does it give for any existing OS on the machine, unless it is also produced by Microsoft. :roll:


I find the safest way to install Windoze is with everything but an empty target drive unplugged, that way it can't screw with anything but itself. Then reconnect and set GRUB up to chainload the Windows drive. os-prober/grub-mkconfig automates this nicely.
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Blind_Sniper
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disconnect drive with Gentoo installation.
Install Windows on it's own drive.
Attach Gentoo drive back.
Boot into Gentoo and run grub-mkconfig to add Windows to grub menu
If you will install Windows when Gentoo drive is attached, Windows can re-write Gentoo drive's boot code because you cannot directly instruct Windows installer where to put Windows bootloader, and mostly Windows installer will put it at first drive (which already contains Gentoo bootloader).
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BillyD
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Appreciate the responses. I ended up disconnecting all other drives and doing the Windows install. Was a bit of a PITA getting into the mobo and messing with cables, but all went well.
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