UEFI installation multiboot with Linux - how to remove Windows later?

I’m installing a new PC, with several drives, among which 2x 500GB NVME SSDs. One for Windows, one for Linux.

The idea is to have a multiboot system for both OS’es. However, it is likely sometimes in the foreseeable future Windows 10 will be removed and the SSD either removed or repurposed.

Ideally, I would install Linux first. The EFI partition would then be on the Linux SSD, and tossing Windows 10 would be easy. But with the decision of which distro still not clear (the user keeps switching between Manjaro and Mint, depending on whatever article about them appears online - this will take a while) I’m forced to install Windows first.

What would be the best way to proceed? The online guides all seem to start from a single drive, which means the EFI partition would not be an issue. I could manually create the EFI partition on the future Linux SSD, and see if Windows 10 automatically detects it, but I don’t know enough about the whole EFI system to be sure that’s all that’s needed. Similarly, I could toss on any Linux distro just to get the EFI system up and running, but I don’t know enough about Linux EFI boot to be sure that this would create problems if I install another distro over it later on.

Any tips, info, links to guides much appreciated!

The idea is to have a multiboot system for both OS’es.

Dual boots are terrible and I urge you to reconsider that unless you have a very specific need.

Every mainstream processor since the Intel Core Duo supports virtualization, and the software to do it is free. You can even game using virtualization. If you want to test things on real hardware, almost all Linux systems can be run from a Live USB session.

When you’re finally done with Windows, you just delete the VM and you’re done.

If you’re still comitted to dual booting:

  • Unplug one of the drives.
  • Install Windows like normal.
  • Power off
  • Then unplug that drive
  • Plug in the other one
  • Install Linux like normal
  • Power off
  • Plug in second drive
  • Use UEFI to select your boot drive
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Thanks. Unplug each drive in order and using the UEFI to select should do the trick and is the easiest solution.