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Thread: Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

  1. #1
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    Default Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

    Newbie here!

    I have an Alienware 17r3 laptop that currently has Windows 10 running on a hdd. I recently purchased an ssd that I am going to install on one of the PCIe slots. I would like to install OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 on this ssd.

    I plan on writing the ISO onto an external drive, powering down the system, unplugging the hdd, installing the ssd, powering the system back up, going into my bios and changing the boot order to install OpenSUSE from the external drive, and once everything is installed I plan on plugging the hdd back in.

    My questions are: (1) Am I going to have to change the setup so that Windows can boot from AHCI? And (2) Will I have to change my boot order within my bios each time I want to change my OS or will I get an option to boot from whatever drive I want every time I startup my laptop?

    It has been several years since I have used the knowledge I gained from my IT degree and I am going back to school in order to get back into the field. I am only keeping windows around because I need it for school and possibly for work this summer/fall. My goal is to go full OpenSUSE and eventually create myself a home server with OpenSUSE as well, amongst numerous other projects I have in mind. However, this is my first step into being able to do it the way I want to.

    Any information/help is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance for any information!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by dd2r View Post
    Newbie here!

    I have an Alienware 17r3 laptop that currently has Windows 10 running on a hdd. I recently purchased an ssd that I am going to install on one of the PCIe slots. I would like to install OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 on this ssd.

    I plan on writing the ISO onto an external drive, powering down the system, unplugging the hdd, installing the ssd, powering the system back up, going into my bios and changing the boot order to install OpenSUSE from the external drive, and once everything is installed I plan on plugging the hdd back in.

    My questions are: (1) Am I going to have to change the setup so that Windows can boot from AHCI? And (2) Will I have to change my boot order within my bios each time I want to change my OS or will I get an option to boot from whatever drive I want every time I startup my laptop?

    It has been several years since I have used the knowledge I gained from my IT degree and I am going back to school in order to get back into the field. I am only keeping windows around because I need it for school and possibly for work this summer/fall. My goal is to go full OpenSUSE and eventually create myself a home server with OpenSUSE as well, amongst numerous other projects I have in mind. However, this is my first step into being able to do it the way I want to.

    Any information/help is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance for any information!
    Well here's what I suggest:
    1. Boot with AHCI mode on right now and see if your Windows 10 can handle it. If not, research that online. If it's anything like my AW 15, there shouldn't be a problem.
    2. Check if your W10 is installed EFI or MBR mode. It's most likely EFI but you can check with your "create and format hard disk partitions" on W10 to look for your EFI partition.
    3. If EFI, prepare the installation media and lock it to be EFI ony, I use Rufus and unetbootin.
    4. Also if EFI make sure you install with "expert" method to make sure you know where your OpenSUSE efi partition will be. I personally always keep 1 W10 EFI and 1 OpenSUSE EFI partition separately.
    5. Make sure to install with "nomodeset" and read up on Nvidia/bumblebee/suse-prime and install Nvidia driver as soon as possible.

    Now to answer your direct questions.
    • As long as your W10 has downloaded AHCI driver for your HDD, it'll work.
    • Depending on how you set up the EFI partition, you may use Grub to choose which OS to boot from and tell UEFI/BIOS to boot from "opensuse-secureboot" EFI partition, then you don't have to change boot order every boot.

    Another thing is that you will run into problems here and there especially with Nvidia and sound on your Alienware. To avoid damaging the Windows 10 by any chance, I suggest you remove the HDD until you have a stable OpenSUSE install.

    There are a number of suggestions that I would make but if you are new to Linux, I think above should be enough to get you started.

    Cheers
    -SJL

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by SJLPHI View Post
    Well here's what I suggest:
    1. Boot with AHCI mode on right now and see if your Windows 10 can handle it. If not, research that online. If it's anything like my AW 15, there shouldn't be a problem.
    2. Check if your W10 is installed EFI or MBR mode. It's most likely EFI but you can check with your "create and format hard disk partitions" on W10 to look for your EFI partition.
    3. If EFI, prepare the installation media and lock it to be EFI ony, I use Rufus and unetbootin.
    4. Also if EFI make sure you install with "expert" method to make sure you know where your OpenSUSE efi partition will be. I personally always keep 1 W10 EFI and 1 OpenSUSE EFI partition separately.
    5. Make sure to install with "nomodeset" and read up on Nvidia/bumblebee/suse-prime and install Nvidia driver as soon as possible.

    Now to answer your direct questions.
    • As long as your W10 has downloaded AHCI driver for your HDD, it'll work.
    • Depending on how you set up the EFI partition, you may use Grub to choose which OS to boot from and tell UEFI/BIOS to boot from "opensuse-secureboot" EFI partition, then you don't have to change boot order every boot.

    Another thing is that you will run into problems here and there especially with Nvidia and sound on your Alienware. To avoid damaging the Windows 10 by any chance, I suggest you remove the HDD until you have a stable OpenSUSE install.

    There are a number of suggestions that I would make but if you are new to Linux, I think above should be enough to get you started.

    Cheers
    -SJL
    Thank you! This was very helpful! I will have to read up on some of this. I need to relearn some of it for my new job coming up anyways.

    I will figure all of this out. I know I have done it in the past with Ubuntu, but that was nearly ten years ago. Thanks again. I will update you whenever I get things rolling. I am still awaiting the arrival of my SSD.

    Prior to using the forums I did find some information that stated dual booting with OpenSUSE is as easy as installing the OS on a separate hard drive and it will detect that windows is present and do all the work for me, but I wasn't sure I should trust this lol. Thanks again for the information!

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    Default Re: Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by dd2r View Post
    Thank you! This was very helpful! I will have to read up on some of this. I need to relearn some of it for my new job coming up anyways.

    I will figure all of this out. I know I have done it in the past with Ubuntu, but that was nearly ten years ago. Thanks again. I will update you whenever I get things rolling. I am still awaiting the arrival of my SSD.

    Prior to using the forums I did find some information that stated dual booting with OpenSUSE is as easy as installing the OS on a separate hard drive and it will detect that windows is present and do all the work for me, but I wasn't sure I should trust this lol. Thanks again for the information!
    As long as both W10 and OpenSUSE are installed either EFI or Legacy together, you can simply use the built in os-prober by literally typing
    Code:
    os-prober
    as super user and/or specify to "Yast Boot Loader" to probe for foreign OS.

    If you for example have however EFI Windows 10 and Legacy OpenSUSE, there's nothing you can do about it other than re-installing with the right mode.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by SJLPHI View Post
    As long as both W10 and OpenSUSE are installed either EFI or Legacy together, you can simply use the built in os-prober by literally typing
    Code:
    os-prober
    as super user and/or specify to "Yast Boot Loader" to probe for foreign OS.

    If you for example have however EFI Windows 10 and Legacy OpenSUSE, there's nothing you can do about it other than re-installing with the right mode.
    Ahhhhhh that makes sense!

    My windows 10 is EFI, so I have a starting point.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by SJLPHI View Post
    As long as both W10 and OpenSUSE are installed either EFI or Legacy together, you can simply use the built in os-prober by literally typing
    Code:
    os-prober
    as super user and/or specify to "Yast Boot Loader" to probe for foreign OS.

    If you for example have however EFI Windows 10 and Legacy OpenSUSE, there's nothing you can do about it other than re-installing with the right mode.
    I have one more question. My system is currently set up in RAID. If I change it to AHCI it states that I will have to reinstall Windows. If I create a system image as my backup can I use this for the clean install or should I simply backup my files and restore them once the clean install has occurred? My thoughts are doing the file backup because a new partition will be created for AHCI and if I use the system image this will undo everything I did. Am I write in this thinking? I know there is a way to change it without having to do a reinstall, but I do not know the pros and cons of doing it in this manner.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by dd2r View Post
    I have one more question. My system is currently set up in RAID. If I change it to AHCI it states that I will have to reinstall Windows. If I create a system image as my backup can I use this for the clean install or should I simply backup my files and restore them once the clean install has occurred? My thoughts are doing the file backup because a new partition will be created for AHCI and if I use the system image this will undo everything I did. Am I write in this thinking? I know there is a way to change it without having to do a reinstall, but I do not know the pros and cons of doing it in this manner.
    That depends on what version of RAID. If it is the only drive in the laptop right now, I cannot see how it can even consider itself to be RAID. Just try to boot AHCI and see what happens. If it doesn't boot, you can switch back and boot "compatible" or whatever version it was before. My Alienware 15 (2015 version without Revision R~) claimed to be RAID but only in name. I bought it used and some tinkering did happen.

    Honestly, I would even suggest if you want, move Windows C drive partition and Linux root (/) on the SSD and put Windows "%User%" and Linux /home on the HDD. That's how I have it set up in many computers. Unless if you have some crucial on the HDD, fresh install isn't always bad, it gives us opportunity to fix the mess we create.

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    Default Re: Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by SJLPHI View Post
    That depends on what version of RAID. If it is the only drive in the laptop right now, I cannot see how it can even consider itself to be RAID. Just try to boot AHCI and see what happens. If it doesn't boot, you can switch back and boot "compatible" or whatever version it was before. My Alienware 15 (2015 version without Revision R~) claimed to be RAID but only in name. I bought it used and some tinkering did happen.

    Honestly, I would even suggest if you want, move Windows C drive partition and Linux root (/) on the SSD and put Windows "%User%" and Linux /home on the HDD. That's how I have it set up in many computers. Unless if you have some crucial on the HDD, fresh install isn't always bad, it gives us opportunity to fix the mess we create.
    It is currently the only drive in my laptop. The SATA operation in my BIOS says it is set to RAID.

    I will give it a try and see what happens. You brought up a good point about a clean install. I have so much **** on here that I don't use it is ridiculous lol. I might just save my school files and do a clean install if it requires that after I change to AHCI. I just want to be ready for when my new ssd arrives so I can continue my tinkering.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by dd2r View Post
    It is currently the only drive in my laptop. The SATA operation in my BIOS says it is set to RAID.

    I will give it a try and see what happens. You brought up a good point about a clean install. I have so much **** on here that I don't use it is ridiculous lol. I might just save my school files and do a clean install if it requires that after I change to AHCI. I just want to be ready for when my new ssd arrives so I can continue my tinkering.
    Yeah, unless if that hard drive has 2 identical partitions and doing something funny, it's only RAID in name... Or not... RAID = Redundant Array of Independent/Inexpensive Disks. Array = more than 1.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Dual Booting with Windows 10 on a HDD and OpenSUSE on an SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by SJLPHI View Post
    Yeah, unless if that hard drive has 2 identical partitions and doing something funny, it's only RAID in name... Or not... RAID = Redundant Array of Independent/Inexpensive Disks. Array = more than 1.
    I think you were right on the hard drive. I also figured out how to get my laptop to boot with AHCI. Initially, I just tried to change the SATA operation to AHCI, but that did not work. It would not load windows and sent me to a repair or reinstall screen, so I restarted and changed it back to a RAID configuration. I learned that if I boot up my computer in safe mode, go into my bios, change the SATA operation to AHCI, save and exit, and login. That allowed me to get into Windows 10 in safe mode and it changed the SATA operation to AHCI. Then I just turned safe mode off and restarted and now I am completely AHCI ready for when my SSD arrives.

    I thought about what you said as far as the separate partitions and what not, but I think I am just going to make it so Windows stays on the old HDD and OpenSUSE is on the new SSD. I am really only keeping Windows around for school at the moment and eventually I will most likely be reformatting that disk as another backup drive. I am also planning on making a little raspberry pi NAS with the OpenSUSE Server install option at some point. I know little about that, but I definitely want to learn how to make my own command line server for storage of all my media.

    I will post another update once I get my SSD and go through my install. I am beyond excited to be doing this lol.

    Thanks again for all the help thus far!

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