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Booting an old PC to SSD that the BIOS cannot see

From: Robert Furber
Subject: Booting an old PC to SSD that the BIOS cannot see
Date: Mon, 28 Dec 2020 19:54:17 -0800
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Instead of sending them to the landfill, old PCs can be upgraded dramatically by replacing or supplementing the HDD by a SSD ..specially, a NVMe SSD. In my case, the NVMe SSD is mounted on a PCIe adapter card.

The catch is the BIOS in older PCs cannot see or be aware of a NVMe SSD. They can only boot from a HDD. However, after booting, the NVMe SSD becomes visible and accessible.

The challenge is to figure out when, during the Grub boot, does the NVMe SSD become accessible, and then figure how to reboot on it. For instance, would it be possible to set up a customized Grub on the HDD that would chain a second Grub on the SSD soon as the PC becomes aware of its existence? Sort of along the lines of "Chain-loading and OS". But, instead of chain-loading Windows10, it would chain-load Ubuntu20 on the SSD?

I am really green. Up until 2 days ago, I had no idea Grub even existed. Since then, I have been reading up on Grub and I feel overwhelmed, under the impression that it could take me months to learn enough about Grub to figure out how to boot from my new SSD.

Can anyone help me or point me in the right direction?


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