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I want to create a dual boot PC with Windows 8.1 and CentOS 7, but I don't want to install both OS on the same drive. I have two SSD's. I want to install Windows on the first SSD and CentOS 7 on the second SSD. Here are my questions:

  1. Which OS should I install first?
  2. Can I install both Windows and CentOS 7 in UEFI mode with GPT or should I use a normal MBR install?
  3. Which OS should contain the bootloader?
  4. I want the system to ask me if I want to boot to Windows or CentOS. How is this possible?

There are lots of guides about dual booting, but they are all creating separate partitions on the same drive. In my scenario, this doesn't work -- I always ended up by corrupting booting stuff.

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My answers: 1. Which OS should I install first?

I think Windows installation first is still the best option (and probably win8.1 is already there...), if not the only.

  1. Can I install both Windows and CentOS 7 in UEFI mode with GPT ?

Yes I have this configuration currently running. (win 8.1 OEM install and Centos added).

  1. Which OS should contain the bootloader?

None if UEFI is used the UEFI partition is separated.

  1. I want the system to ask me if I want to boot to Windows or CentOS. How is this possible?

Centos7 will install GRUB2 as boot loader which will give you the choose booting to one or other system (or even more ones) on boot screen. GRUB2 also can remember the last booted one and save it as default for next time.

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