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Linux HDD for n00b


Quick background on my situation:

1 laptop (Win8), 1 desktop (Win7)

Windows 7's been good to me, but 8 is so painful on so many levels. After the hundredth problem in a couple months, I wanted to look into putting Ubuntu or some other Linux on here instead. I managed to get passed Secureboot (despite this being an Acer) and get Ubuntu running via usb. Could I just install and run it off of an external hard drive (I already have a USB 3.0 one)? I found a bunch of tutorials for running it off of a usb flash drive, but would a external HDD be better than that? I don't think I would want to totally get rid of Windows yet.

I also tried running Zorin 7 and Fedora via both usb and livedvd, and neither would boot up. No Secureboot error, just skipped straight to Windows.

As for the desktop, Windows 7 has been stable for my purposes. Upon trying Zorin and Fedora, those worked. I may try Mint later as many people say it's an easy starting point. I was wanting to look into buying a separate internal hard drive, as the one in there is full and I wouldn't want to dual boot anyway. Would any hard drive work, and how should it be formatted? I'm looking at this page on Amazon:


I probably don't need more than 1 TB. Any suggestions/help is appreciated!


  • sea
    sea Posts: 4
    edited August 2013
    Generaly say, every harddisk should work.
    Just as in Windows, if you want a Raid, it gets more complex.

    For Fedora specificly, i just started to write a little overview/crash course about partitions for newcomers to linux:
    (However, the general information is valid for all {to me} known linux distributions)

    Be aware that Fedora has a fast release cycle of just 6 months, so around the time Fedora 20 gets released, Fedora 18 becomes EOL. (end of life - no more updates if it runs stable, its up to you to decide to keep or 'Upgrade')
    Because of this, you most likley will be encouraged to do a fresh installation of the OS aproximetly at least every 18 months, rewarding you with a generaly stable release with the newestest software versions available in the wild.

    The straight skip to windows might be caused by the boot order set in BIOS.
    Move USB to a higher priority than the harddisk, so when you boot up with a pluged in USB device, it'll try to boot off that.

    To boot a LiveOS off an USB device, it doesnt matter if its an external HDD or just a simple 1GB stick.
    If you want to install the OS onto the USB device, i highly recomend a 16+GB stick or an external HDD.

    Hope this helps


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