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Possible to dual boot via boot priority swapping?


I recently got back into linux. I have an old laptop that I am using as a dedicated linux box, however, I just upgraded my desktop to a motherboard that has two m.2 slots. So my question is, would I run into any problems if I were to buy a second m.2 sata drive, temporarily remove my windows m.2, install linux onto my second m.2, and then install both m.2 drives back into the computer? I would then go into the bios and select which drive I want to boot into as the first boot option. I was planning on doing this instead of the typical dual boot method, because in the past, that caused problems when I decided to remove linux, and go back to just single booting windows. I also don't want to run linux in a virtual machine.

Not sure what previous method you're referring to, (Grub?), so I'll mention one I've used previously, EasyBCD (community edition).

It lets you add/remove entries to the normal Windows bootloader and then you can select which to boot into at startup.
I've used it to boot WIMs, ISOs, and VHDs but it can also do Linux, BSD, and MacOS.

Since it's using the normal Windows start mechanism, (BCD), and not having to install Grub, to remove Linux you'd just remove the entry from the BCD and remove the drive.

It's just an interface to the bcdedit command within Windows.

You could try it by installing Linux on a flash drive and using EasyBCD to set up an entry to boot into it before going the install to an M.2 option.

Otherwise, what you suggest would also work.

Have used that method in the past, had to do a performance test with Oracle DB software on Windows/Linux and Intel/AMD. Using BIOS/UEFI to boot from different drives made that a lot easier (and the test results lees prone to interpretation).

SpoilerAnd if you were dying to know...Oracle on Windows was only a little bit faster, but the Intel system did not have patches for SPECTRE, while the AMD system did. Speed was the only performance counter that mattered for the companies that wanted this particular test done.

Not sure what previous method you're referring to, (Grub?), so I'll mention one I've used previously, EasyBCD (community edition).
-4wd (January 15, 2021, 04:08 PM)
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I dual booted linux and windows several years ago, and I guess linux installed grub on top of/replacing windows' bootloader? (not a linux expert, just like to tinker with it and learn more about it) So when I went to remove it, I didn't know how to remove grub and go back to just windows' bootloader.

EasyBCD sounds pretty good. I might give it a try. If I don't end up liking it, then atleast I now know I can just use the method I was originally curious about.


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