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I have tried installing several different distros onto my Vertex2 SSD. Whenever I try the disk does not show up as an installation option (it is not present in the drop down box). My most recent attempt to install Mint is also failing.

The device shows up fine at the live CD's terminal (at /dev/sdb) and shows up fine in the distribution installed on my regular HDD:

enter image description here

A few months back I had Windowss Server 2008 installed on it, and booting fine.

What could the problem be?

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Two thoughts: on the bottom right at "Mount Point" it says 'Not Mounted', perhaps it is not properly mounted when you run the installer? Depending on the linux version you are installing, virtual partitioning might not be supported and might cause problems recognising you partitions and so might potentially overlook your drive or parts of it if you have that set up (but from the screenshot it looks like you have not..) – Pitt Nov 6 '12 at 16:36
You will have to be more specific about what distro, and what options you selected in the installer. A screen shot would help. – psusi Nov 6 '12 at 16:40

Your screenshot shows that the drive already has a filesystem on it. The modern "do everything for me" sort of Linux installer won't overwrite it unless the filesystem contains a previous version of the same Linux distro.

Even a Linux distro like RHEL that gives you more control here will require you to go into the advanced partition setup mode to force installation into an existing non-RHEL filesystem.

So, you have a choice:

  1. Use a partition editor from your other OS boot to remove the partition, taking the filesystem with it.

  2. Use a Linux distro that lets you modify the partition table during installation.

  3. Use a Linux distro that lets you arm-twist it into installing into an existing filesystem without overwriting it.

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