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I just built my first Linux machine (Fedora distribution) and love it. For my professional work, having access to Windows would help tremendously, and I'd like to be install Windows and have a choice of OS upon boot: Fedora or Windows. I've also read a lot on how to do this and a common warning I see is, "Be careful, Windows will overwite the Master Boot Record with its own instruction set." My (seemingly) simple question is - can I physically install another hard drive, install Windows on that disk, and, if I want to use Windows, change the boot order in BIOS to make this disk the first?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

To be specific to your question: Yes you can.

Some Explanation:

  • This warning is apply just if you install windows after you have installed Fedora (and Fedora installed with the Grub being at the MBR).
  • If you install Windows First and Fedora afterwards, and you don't change anything related to the Grub at the installation time, you will be able to boot into Windows from the Grub menu without any problem.
  • If you want to install Windows on a second HD, i would suggest you to remove the HD with the Fedora and install Windows on the remain HD, then plug in the Fedora HD, and on the Grub's of the Fedora HD add a chainloader to the Windows HD. (this suggestion is based on this forum post, and you can see there that windows will change the MBR on the first HD on the system even if you install it on the second HD).
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Thanks for the quick, informative answer. Just to be clear, when you write "This warning is apply just if you install windows after you have installed Fedora" do you mean "This warning is apply just if you install windows after you have installed Fedora on the same hard drive"? –  Jubbles Dec 19 '11 at 18:08
    
@Jubbles: i have updated the answer to include the point you mention. –  Hanan N. Dec 19 '11 at 18:45
    
@Jubbles: if you need to know how to config chainload in your Grub, ask it as a separate question, since it needs some more details on what version of Grub you have. –  Hanan N. Dec 19 '11 at 18:46
    
You stated that "windows will change the MBR on the first HD on the system even if you install it on the second HD)." Could this be due to that fact that the original poster (OP) in the forum post that you linked to had a laptop and did not attempt to disconnect that first hard drive before proceeding with the Windows OS installation? For example, see the comment in the forum post that you linked to which begins, "I would have probably removed the XP drive [first hard drive] and installed Win 7 as an independent OS ..." (BTW-I appreciate your help. I think the OP's situation is diff than mine) –  Jubbles Dec 20 '11 at 19:46
    
@Jubbles: it is different, i am just want you to take the note that windows 7 could write to the current bootable HD , although it being installed on a different HD. –  Hanan N. Dec 20 '11 at 19:51

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