Replacing Existing Dual-Boot

Hello,

I have a laptop that is running Windows 10 on it's main drive. I have added a secondary m.2 drive that is 80% NTFS for basic data and the rest for Pop!_OS. I am trying to replace the Pop!_OS partition with a clean install of Zorin without touching the NTFS space, but can't figure out the right options from the installer.

Here is how the secondary drive is formatted:

I've selected a custom install, but what options do I want to be using in the installer?

Do I just need to change 'Device for boot loader installation' /dev/nvme1n1p3 as this is where Pop!_OS currently lives? leaving the swap partition and the 500mb fat32 partition?

Or should I be erasing all three of these partition in GParted before starting the install process? If so, what is the next step?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Are you looking to do a dual boot with a grub selection screen or planning on changing the boot device at boot every time?

Welcome to the community.

You can select that ext4 partition and click the gear under that partition window on the left next to the plus and minus in the installation dialog. Change from do not use to ext4. Check the box for format. Then select "/" for mount.

Under the partition window is a drop down selection box. Here you will have to specify where grub is going. From the naming convention that i see you will most likely want nvme0n1p1, but verify that is the name of the first partition in disk 0 (the efi partition, will be 100 or 500mb).

Hi Harvey, thanks for the reply. I boot into windows by default and press a key to enter the Boot Menu on start-up when I want to change.

nvme0n1p2 us the EFI system partition, it is listed as 'Windows Boot Manager' in the drop down.
(nvme0n1p1 is an ntfs recovery partition)

Just confirming that this is all applicable for having the two drives.

Do I need to do anything to the fat32 and linux swap partitions on the second drive that were created specifically for Pop!_OS. Will Zorin be able to utilise them?

Thanks again.

When your in the installation, choose the efi partition you made for pop os (nvme1n1p2) for the bootloader in the dropdown box, the ext4 where pop os was for root (/), make sure to format and mount the swap (i.e. set from do not use to ext4, format and mount on /swap). The swap partition isn't important unless your using hibernation or virtual machine.

Thanks for this, but this has not quite done what I want. Previously, I would boot into windows by default, and if I wanted to switch to Pop!_OS, I would enter the boot menu on startup and change then. Now by default, the Zorin boot menu comes up and I have to manually change to windows. I went into the BIOS and changed boot order so Windows boots first. When I do enter the Windows boot menu now, I still see Pop!_OS as an option and if I choose the Zorin option, it takes me back to the Zorin boot menu, rather than launching straight into Zorin.

Is there a way I can remove the Zorin boot menu from my main drive? I just want Zorin as an option when I launch into the Windows boot menu.

Thanks

That was my mistake. You can use the windows iso to reinstall the boot manager. You can install grub on the fat32 efi partition pop os used. That will return you to what you had prior.

Okay, things have gone a bit awry. I reinstalled with grub on the fat32 efi partition on the secondary drive, but in the main boot menu, it is still showing as on my main drive. If I reinstall the main boot manager to try clear off the ubuntu one, it feels like I wouldn't be able to boot into Zorin. I also still have the Pop boot option.

If I delete the fat32, ext4 and the linux swap partition on my secondary drive in GParted, reboot into windows and then fix the windows boot manager, can I then install Zorin on the empty space on my secondary drive? Will Zorin create all the partitions it needs, or should i then reallocate the empty space into Boot, swap etc?

You can do just as you said. Since you specifically want the second drive to be populated by Zorin you will have to create the 2 or 3 partitions that you need manually.