Hope to install with Win 11 and use SSD which contains "home" from previous Zorin 15

Hello, title is possibly confusing so here's the detail.
Please read thru to end, I don't want to waste your time.

We have a new Lenovo laptop, cheap end with soldered on everything model: E5 ABA.
Comes with Win 11 which is a pain but to preempt questions, I need to keep it as several vendors only work with MS products.

I had Zorin 15 running on my mainframe in Beijing with OS on one SSD and home on other. I am now in UK, took my SSD's which are now in USB cases with me so I can - hopefully - still use my mainframe here. (It's a bit bulky to pack in "Checked Luggage.")

Clearly I can't just "plug and play" as WIn recognises the disks - beebs when USB inserted - but of course won't read them as it is a "foreign" O/S.

So my plan is to install a new Zorin alongside Win 11 and use my existing home disk as ..... errr home!

I've gone through the INSTALL procedure a few times but am confused when it comes to partitioning - I can see and know how to shrink the Samsung disk installed and set it as Linux partition, but for the life of me I can't seem to be able to set home SSD as home - which is usually easy enough in Linux.

To add to frustration, the BIOS page is extremely limited, seems not a lot of user input or modification possible.
I CAN see the 1.5 TB disk (home) but it seems the only choice I have is to set it as main drive O/S which will delete all content and defeat the purpose.

I've (quickly) read this post, but not sure it helps me.

Is there quick and dirty SUDO in terminal which can teach Win to use the Linux drives sans a new install?

In short:
Ideally I would like to turn on the machine, use F12 to select the Linux USB drive as a boot choice.
Right now, F12 gives me either built in Samsung or Network.

Thanks to anyone who can shed some light, but please, not to complex, I still get lost around Linux!


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From this paragraph, it looks like you are trying to do this from Windows Partition Manager. I recommend against this.
Instead, boot your Live USB of Zorin OS.
Instead of selecting "Install Alongside Windows", choose the option for "Something else"
This will take you to the Gparted partition manager. Set your Partitioning for the drive with Windows allocating your space for Zorin OS. Ensure that you set the Mount Point for Root (/)
Once done, now click on the drive and partition that is your /home drive. For this one, set your Mount Point as /home

No no no, sorry, my lack of clarity.
I was using the Zorin live, installing using the tool the same as I have many times before.

I've also tried 90% of the steps yu outlined, but seem unable to get the installer of offer the 1.5 TB drive as an option for home.
It seems to be either ignore it and do a standard AIO install or, chose the 1.5 and install the OS on that.

I guess thee is no way to have Win 11 recognise the SSD with Linux on it from the start up choices and circumvent an install?

I'm packed and waiting for a taxi to a train now, so maybe a day or do before I am able to replicate exactly what you suggested and report back. But thanks for the fast reply mate.

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From this - you mean that the Gparted Window will only show one drive at a time?

If all you want is accessing your files of the Linux SSD from within Windows, I think this may help

Scroll down to the section where it says " Access Linux Files from Windows Using WSL", since that seems to be the most effective method from what I understood reading the article

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Thx @Sorro, that would probably do it.
I'll give it a whirl when I am back with a stable WIFI.
Still hopeful of being able to have Win recognise the Linux partitions on my second USB SSD which contains the Linux O/S with the F12 boot options command.

I need to keep Win, but would much rather work with Linux as my daily driver as, all due respect, Win 11 is no way near as intuitive or powerful as Linux. What I can do in 1 Linux click takes at least 2, sometimes more in Win 11.


P/s- thinking about it, I'm not sure but I can probably achieve a very similar result by booting from LIVE DISK.
That should show my Linux partitions on the other 2 SSD's?

Problem is I still have to use sodding Win 11!

Hang on @Aravisian, I can't recall.
You mention Gparted window so I will take a screen shot - soon-ish - so you can see what I see.

ok, I THINK the answer to your question is: yes.
Seems I can not take scree shot of Linux set up whilst running Live Disk under Win 11.
So this is from my old phone can - hope it makes it clearer.

In text, I can format the Samsung drive ( the one installed in the Lenovo) so I have Linux playing in all the drive.

But the 1.4 SSD is still shown as a bootloader option, if I select it, then I set Linux to be installed there.

From where I sit, I can not find an option to select the 1.5 from the main partition table, then rename it home, thus saving all the original data from every past Linus install.

Do you see toward the bottom, "Device for Bootloader installation". There is a drop down arrow. What options are shown on that drop down arrow menu?

Yes, sorry, I knew you would ask that but forgot to take image.

It also shows the Toshiba disk with MX but ignore that, I grabbed it in a hurry. (both cases are identical!)

The Glowway 1.5 is the long time home SSD.

You will know better than I, because you know your devices and I do not.
What I am seeing in this image is two devices. The NVMe SSD and an SDB drive. (Ignoring SDD).

Are the NVMe and SDB not the two different drives?

The NVME is the Samsung whatever that is soldered to the MOBO of the Lenovo holding Win 11.

The SDB is the 1.4 which contains previous Linus install "homes."

Given the time lag between us now, I am trying to pre-empt your train of thought .

So, yep, I can nd have selected the SDD from the drop down the same way as I have in the past.

However, unless I am missing something, doing so brings me back to a fresh install - there does not seem to be an option to add "use the SDB as HOME only" leaving Linux install to play with the previously partitioned NVME.

Plan A (Ideal) was to "mod" Win11 so it read and showed the Linux partitioned drives in BOOT OPTIONS - F12.

Plan B - to install Zorin with a separate home on the assumption that ALL boot options will be offered at start up. I can then chose Zorin, MX or (unlikely) Win 11.

Wed, Sept 13
Are we moving this to the too hard basket?