Zorin OS 15.3 is installed on an SSD. I installed a HDD in my PC as a data storage device and formatted it to Ext4 and earlier I've tried formatting it to FAT. When I turn on the PC I go into the bios and select the option to boot from the Zorin OS SSD. After hitting enter, I get a blank screen with a flashing underscore and nothing happens. I get this issue no matter if I format the HDD to FAT or Ext4. When I disconnect the HDD, Zorin OS boots just fine from the SSD.
What am I doing wrong?
You probably need to go into your bios settings and change the boot order. Depending on your bios you may need to look in the advanced settings area. You want your bios to look at the SSD before the HDD so it can see the boot file of the SSD.
I tinkered with the BIOS/UEFI. All drives are disabled in the boot order except the one which has Zorin OS installed.
Now the OS boots, and Zorin recognizes the data storage HDD (formatted Ext4) in the "Files" app after mounting it, but I can't create new folders on the HDD so basically I can't use it.
When I formatted it as Ext4 and set it up as an extended partition I was able to edit the drive in Linux.
I decide I want to use it as a data storage drive for use with Linux and Windows.
As I understand it formatting it as FAT32 will make it recognizable for Linux and Windows, but the file size is limited to 4Gb. NTFS is not limit to 4Gb in size but it's not recognized by Linux, right?
So if I want to use the HDD with Windows and Linux I can only format it as FAT32?
I am sure there is a way around that as I have an external drive I use for storage and I can write to it. I don't know enough to tell you what to try but maybe Aravisian or someone else can help with that. Sometimes the files manager is the problem. You might try the search feature on this forum by searching for " unable to write to a different drive". I'll also look for an answer for you.