Windows on main NVME with linux on expansion

A question regarding the speed of the 1tb storage expansion module.

How is it for running a second OS (linux) and carrying it around as a portable option?


I’m interested in this also. It is what I was planning to do.

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I’m not an expert (and don’t yet have a unit on hand to test this out), but my guess is that it would be alright, considering people carry around linux on USB drives to boot up.

And with USB4 it should be able to boot into a lightweight Linux install decently quick. Also interested to see what the actual outcomes of this setup are!


I use a 250Gb expansion card for Ubuntu 21.04 and find that perfectly acceptable.

I have a 1Tb card to use as backup, it’s extremely fast to write to.

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I have a 1TB expansion card running Windows ( to load a Windows ISO, mark as Windows To Go, etc.) and it’s plenty fast. I can’t notice a huge difference versus a “regular” SSD.

What I’m worried about is that I know Windows enjoys being the primary OS, so dual booting while running Windows updates or things like that may cause issues. My personal solution is to have two NVMe drives, my primary one running Pop!_OS and another one running Windows. I carry the one I’m not using in this enclosure
which lives in my laptop bag
I suppose booting off of the USB4 or Thunderbolt expansion card would be another solution, but I’m worried about having both drives in the computer at the same time.

@CSab6482 I’ve dualbooted Windows and Linux on PCs via multiple drives (not partitions) for years. It’s rarely been a problem. The worst of it is allowing fwup in Linux to do BIOS updates when Windows is Bitlocker’d with TPM.

My process is simply install one drive, install the OS for it with full disk encryption, disable or unplug it (Dell BIOS lets you disable SATA/NVMe drives directly, so no need to remove stuff for this process), plug in the other drive, install it’s OS, full disk encrypt it… and neither OS is aware of the other even exists.

I did the same on my Framework. Installed my NVMe, installed Ubuntu 21.04 with encryption, unplugged the NVMe, plugged in the 1TB expansion card, Bitlocker’d it, plugged the Ubuntu NVMe back in and it’s been totally fine since.

Think of the situation less as “Windows like being the primary OS” and more like “Windows like being the primary OS on a specific drive” and the solution becomes clear.

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