Dual Boot Win7 32-bit & Debian Separate HDDs

Okay...I've seen several tutorials/info on dual booting, but usually it's only one hard drive. What I want to do is install 2 OS on 2 different HDDs.

My first idea was to install Debian and Win7 on the same 500GB HDD (which is now my secondary hard drive). But since then, I had taken it to the shop and got my Windows 7 Hard drive, which was originally in this same computer, installed while getting a new MoBo. They had asked if I wanted the second HDD removed but I said no, I wanted to dual boot. I was hanging on to the small chance that they would leave the 500GB HDD alone, but they reformatted it as the secondary hard drive and I lost Debian. I've wanted to run some form of Linux on my computer for several months now.
I have one 160GB WD SATA HDD with Windows 7 32-bit
and one 500GB SG SATA HDD that I would like to partition - 100GB + 2GB Swap for Debian.
I've been through my disk manager and I see that they are both NTFS file systems (formatted, yes?), and I know...I'll probably need to resize the 500GB HDD. What should I use to resize it -the disk manager or something else entirely?

I guess what I want to know, is how should I go about this? I am perfectly fine with using GRUB. The only form of Windows 7 I have is my repair disk I asked for at the shop, and...possibly a family member's CD. I have a Lenny LiveCD too, but I'd like to use the squeeze I was recommended.

Should I disconnect the Win7 HDD and proceed to install Debian or should I leave the hard drive alone and install Debian that way? I saw on one tutorial that Ubuntu (9.10 I think....) recognises Windows 7 but I'm not sure about Debian...

When I get Debian installed, what do I do about Windows 7 to make it bootable...to make it an option on GRUB? I saw somewhere that I would need comment out or add something to a file...

Now, I'm a total beginner when it comes to Linux and "dual boot" which is why I'm asking before jumping into something that may be way over my head, but I'm willing to do just about anything to get this up and running as long as there are instructions someone can give me. :)

Thanks in advance,



You'll achieve the easiest success with least hassle if you remove the opposite drive when installing each OS.

So remove one drive, install Windows. Remove Windows drive and install Linux on the other.

When done, boot to Windows 7 by telling the bios to boot from that hdd. Download and install EasyBCD to add an entry in the Win7 boot loader for Linux:

Download EasyBCD 2.0.2 - NeoSmart Technologies

Well, that sounds easy enough for me. :)
Should I resize the secondary drive in Windows disk manager or would Debian do it itself?

Do you mean - should you prepare the Debian drive before it's install from Windows?

I never used or even seen Debian in use myself but as a guess, I'd say no. I've used and installed other flavors of Linux years ago such as Redhat. If I remember well at all, it was able to set up the 3 partitions necessary on the drive on its own (booting files partition, swap partition and main partition).

Yeah, I figured as much. I just remembered seeing Ubuntu 9.10 installed and the person installing it resized the partition then selected "Most free space" or something...figured I'd ask anyways.

Thanks again TorrentG :)

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