Install Zorin in SSD while keeping my files in my HDD

Hello, I'm thinking of trying Zorin for my work and daily use PC, and I would like to ask you for guidance on if it is the right move.

I'm a Graphic and Web Designer/Developer, and the software I use is mainly Adobe Software: Photoshop, Illustrator, XD, Dimension. I also like to play video games in my spare time, in addition, I will be studying web development to a full-stack level.

But I'm thinking to move from Adobe because of their heavy and pricy software, I will use Figma to replace Adobe XD, Gimp to replace Photoshop, Inkspace to replace Adobe Illustrator, LibreOffice/OnlyOffice to replace Microsoft, and some other alternatives I'm researching.

I use BIM, CAD, and rendering software as well but couldn't find any alternatives for them yet. I use Archicad as BIM, AutoCAD, and Twinmotion for rendering.

Do you think is the best option to move to Zorin from W10? I'm really bored of Windows and it is getting really slow, but I would like to make the jump.

I have tried Ubuntu before, a long time ago, but as Dual Boot, I really liked it. Now I just found out about this distro and I like it a lot, maybe more than Ubuntu, mainly because of its UI. Now I'm thinking of replacing my complete OS.

As storage, I'm using 2 drives, an SSD and HDD. My W10 OS is running on the SSD, a Kingston SSD SATA A400 M.2 240GB (https://www.kingston.com/es/ssd/a400-solid-state-drive?partnum=sa400m8%2F240g), and all my work, personal, music, and game files are stored in the HDD, a Seagate Barracuda 1TB (Seagate Barracuda, 1 TB (ST1000DM010): caracterĂ­sticas, especificaciones y precios | Geektopia).

What I'm worried about is if my current files would be deleted, the files inside the HDD. I'm fine with formatting the SSD and using it for Zorin, but could you please answer these questions?:

  • Will the HDD Disk files be deleted or corrupted?
  • Will I be able to see those files and open them using something like Wine (most of my files are .rar .zip .doc .xls .pdf .dwg, Adobe files).
  • Will I be able to install other windows specific software using wine? (Archicad, AutoCAD, Lumion)
  • Will I be able to install Steam, Battle.net, and stand-alone games?
  • Will I be able to install Videoconference and chat apps like Zoom, RingCentral, Telegram, Skype?
  • And finally, would it be possible to go back to W10 if I need to?

Can you please help me with this and give me some advice?

Thank you in advance.

No, this is a separate disk and will remain untouched. I also use several HDD's that I plug in and access at need.

You can use unrar to extract .rar files in Zorin OS. The rest should be accessible to the alternative software you mentioned above.
I also use Gimp and Inkscape heavily. They take some learning, since things are laid out differently and operate slightly differently - in spite of the similarity in appearance.

You might check WineHQ for user feedback on Those Specific apps. I had little luck in finding software for CAD for Linux, too, though there is LibreCad and a few others.

Yes and there are several users on this forum that are very good at setting all that up. If you ask Specific Questions on those topics, it is a safe bet you will be taken care of.

I never heard of RingCentral but the rest are all available on Zorin OS and can be installed and used. Many of us recommend Jitsi as a better alternative to Zoom, if you can convince others to use it.

Yes, by deleting the Zorin Partition and installing Win10. I suspect this may be a moot point.

I would suggest, however, exploring using Win10 in a Virtual Environment for certain tasks. Much easier and faster than dual boot; easier to manage and access.

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Thanks for your answer, I'm more convinced to move now.

Do you know how much space can Zorin take? I only have 240GB on my SSD and might need to buy a new one.

On average, you can start out with fully installed Zorin OS Lite taking up about 4 gigs of space and Core around 9 gigs. That will grow from there... Depending on what you install and what logs build up.
For me, I usually hover between 10 gigs and 16gigs. Developed a habit of Cleaning, often.

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Only 16 GB your whole Zorin PC? :frowning: And do you know how much space will take the PRO version? I'm thinking of installing that.

Changed from Chat to General.

Pro should run around 10 to 16 gigs once fully installed and set up.

The best idea if you plug off hard disk and then only installing linux Zorin then update grub to find win10 then you get dual boot and that is everything.
When i installing Zorin i unplug all hard disk. Installing Zorin then back plug all hard disk update grub with command @Aravisian what gived suggestion one from topic dual boot.