I have a computer with 3 hard drives:

  • 120 GB SSD, which Arch identifies as sdb
  • 1 TB spinny drive, which Arch identifies as sdc
  • 160 GB spinny drive, which Arch identifies as sda

Currently, Windows 7 is installed on sdb. Some of the Windows related stuff is also on sdc, through symlinks and programs installed on that path, but that drive is mostly storage.

On sda, I had installed a Xubuntu 12.04. As part of that, GRUB was also installed, so now when the computer boots I get a GRUB menu, giving the options of booting into Windows 7 on sdb or Xubuntu on sda.

I have now decided that I don't care for Xubuntu, and would like to install Arch instead (by deleting all the sda partitions and creating new ones for Arch). On top of that, I would like to encrypt the whole sda with LUKS. I want to keep Windows 7 as dual boot, and I want a GRUB menu to pop up and ask whether to boot into Windows or Arch. If I choose Arch, it should then ask me for the LUKS encryption key.

How can I accomplish this? I'm not very experienced with Linux and a bit worried about messing up my Windows install too much. While the Arch wiki is very detailed and informative, the instructions for what I want seem split between different articles and I'm not sure how to combine them correctly. For instance, the Beginner's Guide has very nice instructions for creating a partition table, but doesn't mention encryption. The encryption page explains encryption, but does not explain how to get GRUB to work with it.

Specifically, I am confused about:

  • I understand that with LUKS and full disk encryption, /boot must be unencrypted so that it can boot and give me the decryption key prompt, while everything else can be in the LVM/LUKS. Can this /boot be on sda?
  • Do I have to install and configure GRUB from scratch (ie. run fixmbr from Windows to revert to a Windows-only boot state, then add GRUB from there)? How do I this? Is there a way to just point my existing GRUB to the unencrypted /boot and have Arch take care of things from there?
  • How big should /boot be?
  • Is there an easy, standard way of accomplishing what I want?

Or to summarize my question: How do I install Arch so that it is on an encrypted drive and dual boots alongside Windows 7, when the computer already contains another (unencrypted) Linux installation, which I want to delete?

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