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Install Fedora on a secondary (data) hard drive dual-boot with Windows 10

asked 2019-02-21 11:53:37 -0500

dguger gravatar image

updated 2019-02-24 09:42:51 -0500

hhlp gravatar image

I tried installing Fedora many times but never suceeded.

I've a SSD running WIN10 and a HDD with a Data Partition used by Windows and 150GB unpartitioned for Fedora.

The problem is when it comes to partitioning. Partitioning automatically does not work, and I tried a lot of tutorials to partition it manually, but it still doesn't work.

Can anyone provide a manual for this case?

I don't know a lot about Bootloaders and Linux, so please ask for every further detail needed!


Following the Issue tutorial ( to step 11, I get the following error:

Failed to find a suitable stage1 device: sdb1 must have one of the following disklabel types: gpt.; EFI System Partition cannot be of type ntfs.; EFI System Partition must be mounted on one of /boot/efi.; sdb2 must have one of the following disklabel types: gpt.; sdb3 must have one of the following disklabel types: gpt.; EFI System Partition cannot be of type ext4.; EFI System Partition must be mounted on one of /boot/efi. sdb4 must have one of the following disklabel types: gpt.; EFI System Partition annot be of type None. sdb5 must have one of the following disklabel types: gpt.; EFI System Partition annot be of type lvmpv.
No valid boot loader target device found. See below for details.
For a UEFI installation, you must include an EFI System Partition on a GPT-formatted disk, mounted at /boot/efi.

Please keep in mind, my windows partition is on the SSD, and fedora shall be installed on the HDD.

Thanks in advance.

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The official guide: Yet another guide (you can skip the step about resizing partitions):

vmercuri gravatar imagevmercuri ( 2019-02-21 13:09:29 -0500 )edit

Will this line bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\fedora\shim.efi just add fedora to the boot manager or will it set fedora as my standard os?

dguger gravatar imagedguger ( 2019-02-21 14:10:29 -0500 )edit

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answered 2019-02-24 22:55:49 -0500

cmurf gravatar image

updated 2019-02-24 23:01:46 -0500

The error is not user friendly but what it sounds like is a.) the computer uses UEFI firmware and b.) the HDD partition map is MBR. This is a problem because on UEFI firmware computers, GPT partitioning is required by the Fedora installer. Microsoft's installer for Windows has this same requirement. Post the following information while booted from a Fedora Live media installer (post all of the output from each command).

sudo blkid
sudo gdisk -l /dev/sdX ## where X is the letter designation for the HDD
sudo dnf install gdisk ## if the above command is not found

Depending on that information I'll probably advise the following:

  1. Make sure your data is backed up, this includes HDD. If there's no backup, then it isn't important data.
  2. Resize the NTFS volume on the HDD using Windows Disk Management. Decide how much space you want to dedicate to Fedora. For casual use 50G is enough. For substantial use you'll probably want at least 150G.
  3. Boot Fedora Live media. And run sudo gdisk /dev/sdX This will convert the MBR to GPT in memory, and you can write it out to the disk with command w. Now this drive has a GPT.
  4. In Fedora installer, Destination Installation, do not choose both drives for installation. Only choose the HDD. Since you said you only want Fedora on the HDD, don't even bother picking the SSD as well, it just complicates things. Further, you can now use automatic partitioning scheme, and the installer will automatically use the free space you created, and create all the necessary partitions and volumes.
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I now managed to install fedora, but without boot loader, this means I've to manually mount the kernel and the initramfs... Is there a way to manually install the boot loader?

dguger gravatar imagedguger ( 2019-02-25 00:22:29 -0500 )edit

answered 2019-02-21 15:59:07 -0500

cmurf gravatar image

updated 2019-02-21 16:02:09 -0500

I think it's this bug. You can skip to comment 59 to get a summary of sorts.

I think you need steps 14 through 19 to work around this long standing bug in the installer before you click on Begin installation. Give that a shot and report back.

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If I understand right, I've to select my secondary drive (HDD) as boot device and create the /boot/efi directory there?

dguger gravatar imagedguger ( 2019-02-22 00:43:11 -0500 )edit

I did something wrong.. Which type shall the partitions be? How big?

I'm quite unexperienced with this material, can you please provide a more accurate explanation?

dguger gravatar imagedguger ( 2019-02-22 08:55:21 -0500 )edit

The problem with custom is that you have to make some of these decisions, they aren't necessarily right or wrong. How big is the SSD, how big is the HDD? And how much free space on each? Some people want Fedora only on the HDD because the SSD is small and they only care for Windows to be fast; other people plan to use Fedora most of the time and want it fast, so put it on the SSD, but they have a lot of photos, videos, files that exist on /home so they'll put /home on the HDD. You might find #fedora channel on helpful for making some of these choices.

cmurf gravatar imagecmurf ( 2019-02-22 14:34:27 -0500 )edit

Well in my case it's clear... Everything concerning Fedora on HDD...

So I've to setup: -root (/) ext4 -boot (/boot) ext4 -efi (/boot/efi) efi -swap (/swap) swap

Anything else?

dguger gravatar imagedguger ( 2019-02-22 14:48:03 -0500 )edit

Now I'm getting an even longer error message.

dguger gravatar imagedguger ( 2019-02-24 06:38:51 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2019-02-21 11:53:37 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 24 '19