Can I have 2 Operating Systems on 2 hard drives, one on each, will it be problematic?


Jul 16, 2013
I have 2 hard drives on my PC, 500GB each.
I'm interested,can I have,for example,windows 7 installed on one hard drive,and Ubuntu on another?
Will I encounter any problems?
And if it is possible,can I just switch to other OS without using any dual boot software,but directly selecting my desired hard drive as first priority in BIOS?



Yes you can.
If you want to just select which one at boot time, install each OS with only that specific drive connected.

Drive 1 = Windows
Drive 2 = Linux

Connect only Drive 1, install Windows.
Disconnect, and connect Drive 2
Install Linux.



Jul 16, 2013

Thanks for the answer.
If I do so, will I have full access to the other hard drive from any OS?
Just to add an option to USAFRet's advice that you may want to consider.

Assuming you're working with a desktop PC and your computer case has available at least one (or preferably two) vacant 5 1/4" external drive bays, you may wish to consider purchasing one (or two) "mobile racks" to house removable HDDs (or SSDs).

There's an enormous advantage in doing so and the cost isn't particularly prohibitive.

Here's a detailed description of mobile racks/removable drives that we prepared for members of our local computer club citing the advantages of using removable drives when the user is working with a desktop PC. I hope you will find it useful.

I can virtually guarantee that you will never regret installing one or more mobile racks in your desktop PC to house one or more removable HDDs or SSDs.

Just about every user we're aware of who uses this type of hardware configuration hardly ever returns to the "old way" of installing their HDD(s)/SSD(s) internally in their desktop PC systems.

Consider the advantages...

1. The beauty of installing removable HDD/SSDs in a desktop PC is that the user can easily work with multiple installed drives, each effectively isolated (when desired) from any other installed drive. Thus, multiple operating systems may be installed on different drives installed in the system and no conflicts will arise from this situation since each drive can be completely isolated from another drive. In addition, the use of removable drives facilitates accommodating different storage/backup needs that the user may desire since it's a simple matter to add, remove, modify a HDD/SSD using a removable drive in the system.

2. Through a simple turn of a mobile rack's keylock or pressing its power switch the user can thus boot to this drive or that drive without the need for any "bootloader" or any other multi-booting software, as well as avoiding the need (in most cases) to access the motherboard's BIOS to change the boot priority order in order to boot to this or that particular HDD that contains a different OS.

3. With removable HDD/SSDs desktop PC users have an UNLIMITED number of drives to work with should they choose without the need for opening their computer cases to install (or remove) the drive in the machine. Again, each removable drive is isolated from other drives at the user's option.

So in your situation (assuming you were able to install two mobile racks) the drive containing the Windows OS would be in one removable tray and the other removable tray would contain the Linux OS. Anytime you powered-on the PC you would simple press the desired power button on the rack containing the OS you desired to boot to. No need to install or uninstall any drives; no need to access the BIOS; no need to get inside your PC case to install this or that drive to the motherboard. All from the comfort of your computer chair.

On the other hand, if you could install only a single mobile rack you would still have the ability to easily boot to this or that OS depending which HDD (or SSD) you slipped in the removable tray of the mobile rack. Again, you would have an UNLIMITED number of HDDs or SSDs at your disposal right at your hands.

4. Should a removable HDD/SSD become defective/dysfunctional and need to be removed & replaced in the system, it's a simple & quick process for a user to remove & replace it from the comfort of his or her computer chair.

We've been particularly partial to the Athena Power MR-125PB model.
The mobile rack is a two-piece affair - the removable tray and the rack itself which is affixed to the desktop PC's 5 1/4" bay (identical to affixing an optical drive or some such 5 1/4" device). Its current cost is about $25.

An enormous advantage (for us) of this particular mobile rack is that unlike most HDD/SSD mobile racks that are on the market, the Athena Power model is equipped with an ON-OFF power switch button, a most desirable feature in our opinion. Assuming a user is working with multiple removable hard drives in their mobile racks (or has also installed a fixed internally-connected hard drive), it's a simple matter to press the ON-OFF button and "on-the-fly" temporarily disable one or more of the mobile rack's hard drives without the need of using the rack's lever to remove the rack's tray (caddy) containing the HDD from the rack's internal SATA power/data connectors.

Of course should the user choose to do so it's a relatively simple matter to press the removable tray's lever release button and thus physically disconnect the removable tray containing the tray's HDD/SSD SATA data/power connectors from the mobile rack's connectors. A simple pull of the tray's lever is all that is necessary.

Because of this rack's ON-OFF power button switch there's no need for a keylock mechanism that's found on virtually every other mobile rack. Personally, I've always found those keylocks to be a decided annoyance in my day-to-day operation of a PC.

The rack contains a small fan that is dead silent in operation.

I've never encountered a single problem with the mobile rack's solid plastic construction. It's a sturdy piece of equipment in my experience. As far as I'm concerned its light weight is a decided plus. We've installed (or help install) hundreds of these mobile racks and their removable trays for about 20 years now and they've held up remarkably well.

5. Cons: Unfortunately this mobile rack is designed to house a 3 1/2" hard drive in its removable tray. Four screws are provided to secure the hard drive in the tray (although truth to tell since we frequently switch HDDs we rarely ever use any of these screws and simply slip the HDD in the tray unsecured - connects perfectly to the rack's SATA power/data connectors and it's simple to just slip the drive out of the tray and slip another one in whenever needed).

Since, like many PC users, we're working more & more with 2.5" SSDs, we can easily install these drives in the removable tray using double-sided tape. Works just fine and like the 3.5" HDDs the SSDs are easily removable when necessary.

So consider the above if it holds any appeal for you.

Yes. If you boot Windows you will see the Linux drive and will be able to access the data and vice versa.
Also wanted to mention, you should have a boot menu key that you can press when booting to select the drive you want to boot from rather than having to go into the BIOS each time and setting the boot order. On mine it is F11 (F12 gets me into the BIOS) but could be different on yours.

This is exactly how I have my computer setup at home.