Installing Zorin OS on a computer with multiple SSDs

Hello, I have a question about installing Zorin OS on a computer with multiple SSDs.

I have previously installed Linux Mint on other computers. Their hard drives were empty and I only had to pay little attention.

My work PC has Windows 11 on an SSD and the individual SSDs can be easily identified by their size. Windows 11 is prepared (fast shutdown disabled and data backed up).

Zorin OS is now to be installed on the smallest SSD. Is it sufficient to simply specify this SSD when installing the system?

What happens after a restart of the PC? Does a menu appear to select which system - Zorin OS or Windows 11 - should be started? Does the PC behave like a dual boot system?

I am an absolute beginner, have tested the live system extensively and don't want to do anything wrong when installing it.

Welcome to Forum!

The short answer to your question is YES!
And it is absolutely easy - by paying attention and following the steps carefully you can achieve this in hardly 15 mins. Also you have a backup so it is a bonus point.

Step 1. Identify SSD name in terms of /dev/sdX

Steps here
  • Boot into Live Zorin
  • Click on Try Zorin
  • Open GParted by searching it in menu
  • From there click on Devices and select /dev/sda and then /dev/sdb ,and check by size, which ssd is the one to install Zorin to.

Step 2. Start installation

Steps here
  • Now start the installation windows by the way you prefer either by clicking on Install Zorin in Live mode or booting again from USB.
  • Proceed with the steps until you arrive to the window with any option "Something else" and any other option "Erase disk and Install Zorin".
  • Then click on Something else
  • Identify the device(ssd) by the name of /dev/sdX
  • Make partitions like here below
Sl.No:  Partition  File System           Device         Allocated Size   Partition Type
1       efi        FAT32                /dev/sda1       0.5 GB           Primary
2       swap       Swap area            /dev/sda2       Double the ram            Primary
3       /          ext4 with journaling /dev/sda3        6-10GB             Primary
4       /home      ext4 with journaling /dev/sda8       Any size          Primary
  • Select bootloader location as the EFI partition
  • Click on Install. The installation should now finish.

You should now see the GRUB memu at boot and be able to dual boot into Windows and Zorin

Feel free to ask if you face any errors.


Thank you for the extensive help.
I will do the installation at the weekend and then report back.

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I have installed Zorin OS 17.1 on the second internal SSD.
After the reboot there was a shock, the screen remained black. The problem has since disappeared for no reason.

At the moment I am concerned with booting Linux or Windows. Grub is not displayed when starting the PC.

I can only select the system to be booted via the BIOS. If the Windows boot manager is at the top, Windows 11 starts, if I move the entry (ubuntu...) to the top, Zorin OS starts.

This is just a bit annoying during the month, I would like to have a selection menu to decide which system should start.

Perhaps I should also mention that a menu with two entries appears briefly in the Windows boot loader:

Windows 11
Enter into AOMEI Backupper

The second entry allows booting into a system restore of AOMEI Backupper.

Small hint:
I let Zorin OS do the installation automatically (no manual creation of partitions). When asked, I only selected the relevant SSD and allowed Zorin OS to occupy the entire SSD.

I have deleted and formatted the SSD again and will try the installation again, but this time with the partitions you recommended. Your table was initially displayed incorrectly here (everything in one line) and I couldn't do anything with the information.
Perhaps this will give me a little more confidence in using Linux. :slight_smile:

I have reinstalled Linux. I could not use the recommended partition sizes. Twice the message came up that the sizes were too small and the installation could be cancelled.

I tried to adjust the partition sizes, but the installation finally cancelled because the memory area was supposedly too small.

So I finally left all the decisions to the programme.

So far everything works. Unfortunately, I have to change the boot order in the BIOS every time to determine whether Windows or Linux should start. This is annoying, but I can't get any further without help.

Welcome to the Forum!

When You have installed Zorin what Option did You choosed? Install Zorin alongside Windows or the Something else Option?

When You have chosen the Something else Option: What Target did You choose for the Bootloader. You have under the Partition Table an Option to choose that:

There you see the red marked Option Windows Boot Manager. Did You choosed that?

Theoretically 2 Things should be enough to do for the Dual-Boot Installation:

  1. choose Windows Boot Manager at the Option ''Device for boot loader installation''

  2. choose the Mounting Point / for Your SSD that You want to use and format it to ext4.

That should bring all the Stuff to the Places where they should be.

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What you can do is that
Open Live Zorin,search for Boot Repair and run it.
I think this should fix the error
Or you can manually install grub to the first ssd and keep the first ssd in boot order in uefi/bios.
For installing manually, I think someone more experienced might help.

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Thank you for your message. I tried to create the partitions as described in the message above (with "Something else"). I didn't read anything about the Windows boot manager.

After the partitioning failed, I chose "Erase disk and Install Zorin OS" and left it to the installation programme to make the correct settings. I only made sure that Zorin OS was installed on the correct SSD.

I will try the "Boot repair".

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Thank you very much. Everything worked out fine with "Boot repair". The boot menu appears. :grin:

It took a load off my mind.

I have tried Linux again and again over the last few years and have failed or given up every time.

Working with Zorin OS is a lot of fun. All my hardware, USB sound cards, printers and even the Epson scanner work. I even managed to get my illuminated Logitech keyboard to glow in the colour I'm used to, and I can also control the computer's RGB. :grinning:

Maybe I'm a bit too euphoric now. I hope the text doesn't come across as too silly. I'm using DeepL to help me with the English language.
Thanks for the help!


Good, that it now works for You. Have fun with it.


I am happy it works for you now. :blush:

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Just a quick update on my Linux system.
After a few days of intensive setup and installation of programs, I'm having more and more fun with Zorin OS and I'm considering making it my main system. Even Firefox Developer Edition is now running (only the occasional manual update is a bit more complicated). A new scanner (Canon Lide 400) works better, especially with Gimp!!!

I realised pretty quickly that installing it on a 500GB SSD was not such a good idea. Fortunately, I was able to transfer the small SSD to a larger SSD (1TB) (by cloning it under Windows 11) and even expand the last partition to the remaining space.

The small SSD now belongs to Windows 11 again. Could I make it usable as storage (which format?) for Linux (save files directly to it?) I know that Linux can read and write NTFS disks, but I want to prevent Windows 11 from writing to it.

A bit off-topic, but I have another question regarding Zorin OS: What is the difference between the actual Zorin desktop and Zorin Xorg? Somehow I like Xorg better, or am I wrong?

Here is some reading matter: Xorg, X11, Wayland? Linux Display Servers And Protocols Explained
But if you search for "Wayland X11" or "Wayland Xorg" on the forum, you will find plenty more to read.

Ext4 is the format you are looking for.