Personally, I’d rather keep Linux away from Windows on my computers – sure, they can be installed alongside of each other, but what happens when you upgrade one of them or reinstall it? They even have Boot Managers, Boot Loaders, Boot Menus, etc to allow for installing OSes next to each other. Ever try fixing any of those? Ever try fixing a Grub and/or MBR? I’ve always found it to be a major pain. Even trying to ‘Secretly’ install one on the same computer by unplugging the other OS whilst you install another doesn’t work for long, unless you keep unplugging one whilst plugging the other back in. In my opinion, if Linux sees a Windows OS then Linux is going to add it to its Boot Loader.

After years of testing different OSes, and seemingly years more trying to repair MBRs, Grubs, booting software and/or going inside the computer to plug-in and/or unplug – even building separate computers ends up not working for me … anyway, here are some things that I now use or have recently purchased:

I’ve had one of these for a few years now, since pulling out your computer to plug in or switch USBs is a pain. I actually have several different types of USB hubs, but like this type (if you’re not plugging in a lot of power consuming hardware – those need to be separately powered USB hubs). The new one I just bought will be for plugging in 4 new Linux USBs for testing – they have a lighted button when ‘On’ and the light goes off when the button is pressed again. I am now testing Kodachi and Disco Dingo beta … not to mention some other Linux ISO distros waiting for their turn, so I need another hub just for OSes.

SABRENT HB-UM43 4-PORT USB 3.0 HUB WITH POWER SWITCHES

Cable is short on that Sabrent hub, and my two 3.0 USB females are on the rear of my main testing computer – don’t need long ones, so a foot or two will work. Rosewill RCAB-11029 – 1.5-Foot USB 3.0 A Male to A Female Extension Cable – Black with Gold Plated Connectors will work fine.

I have an older Docking Station version; i.e. SATA 2 and/or USB 2.0, but all my SSDs and HDDs are now SATA 3. I don’t use super large drives – mainly 120-250 GBs for OSes and 500 GBs for data (I have an old Dell with 1TB that I use for data & WIN7), but this dock supports 8TB. Probably can get the USB only ones cheaper, but an old USB 2.0 only of mine could not boot OSes, so I like the eSATA/USB 3.0 combo choice. Anyway, am now waiting for the new one to arrive…

ORICO 2.5 inch & 3.5 inch USB 3.0 & eSATA to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station for2.5″ 3.5″ HDD SSD Support 8TB Drive Max – Black

 

I also ordered a 6.5 foot eSATA Cable for it since I know it works fast; however, right now (as I understand it) eSATA can deliver 6Gbps (“older versions deliver 1.5Gbps or 3Gbps”) and USB 3.0 delivers up to 5Gbps. Apparently, when USB 3.1 gets here it should do “10Gbps.” It comes with eSATA and USB cables, but I don’t know how long they are, and can always use a spare. Going with a 6.5-Foot Black Flat eSATA Cable – Supports 6 Gbps, 3 Gbps, and 1.5 Gbps.

I also have one of these in three of my computers – the old (really old) fourth computer has a new 2.5”/3.5” internal Mobile rack in it, but because the fan in it is just too loud to be near me it stays at a distance and gets little use. These are handy for swapping HDDs.

Rosewill RX-C525 5.25″ SATA Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5″ SATA I / II / III HDDs

Lots of options with those types of accessories…