Can ROCK and Windows Co-exist?

I am interested in running ROCK but have a limited understanding of it at the moment.

I currently have a NUC with an internal SSD running Windows 11. This installation also contains my music collection.

Is it possible to take this SSD out of the NUC and run it exactly as it is from a USB attached enclosure?

I’m wondering whether I could install ROCK on another SSD inside the NUC and switch between that and my existing (now external) Windows SSD?

Could I point ROCK to my music collection on the external Windows installation?

I would like to basically find a way of running my existing PC exactly as it is and running ROCK too but with the ability of switching between the two. Is this possible in the way I described, or can it be done another way?

One of the reasons I would like to do this is because the NUC is quite noisy at idle with the fans regularly spinning up. Would this still happen if the NUC was running ROCK ?

ROCK isn’t designed to run with anything else. It may be possible to boot selectively from a USB based OS but it would be a faff, and the whole point of ROCK is its appliance like absence of faff.

In my experience, most of the time ROCK runs silently. However, if you are analysing music or running processor-intensive DSP, the fan will come on.

It may be time to disassemble the NUC case and give it a good clean to remove dust.

This isn’t possible. Also, note that ROCK uses the entire PCIe SSD, so you can’t install your media on this drive.

Most likely, Windows is on a PCIe SSD, too, so you wouldn’t be able to use this with a USB enclosure.

Thanks for your reply.

Are you saying there is no way of using ROCK and Windows simultaneously, even if using separate SSDs?

I wouldn’t expect to use Windows much but I like that I can back my music collection up using OneDrive.

I’m unclear how I would backup my music collection or add to it if using ROCK if Windows wasn’t readily available.

Traditional Linux OS’s like Ubuntu will provide a dual boot option (Boot loader) at time of install for PC’s already running Windows.

I don’t believe ROCK provides this option - ROCK is designed to be a single purpose appliance, so I wouldn’t expect this functionality.

If you want to retain Windows, your only really option is to install ROON server not ROCK.

Another decent option, if you are looking for a Linux environment is to install Ubuntu server with a boot loader, and then install Roon server. ROCK is a little more efficient, but the Ubuntu server experience is pretty snappy and my preference V’s Windows.

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Depending on how bad you want to, there is this (untested by me) solution -

There are numerous article’s out there. Google ‘running ROCK in a vm’.

These are interesting points to investigate. Thanks.

I don’t understand why I can’t enter the NUC bios at startup and tell it which drive I want to boot from between external Windows and built in rock?

How do users back up their music collections in Rock or add music to them?

If the music collection exists on an internal drive on the same machine as ROCK OS, then ROCK exposes a Share that people use to accomplish those functions.

In WIN10, I map that Share as a networked drive, then GTG.


I backup to an attached drive, and Dropbox.

Since my music is on a USB HDD attached to the NUC, I can copy files over a network file share or disconnect the drive and plug into my laptop. Both methods support Linux, MacOS and Windows.

Just install the roon windows server. If fan noise is still a problem while running only the roon server, investigate that because the roon server is very efficient and basically just loafs along.

Just get another computer device for ROCK.

Just to jump in that this is possible.

Theoretically you could run them on one partitioned hard drive as well. Two SSDs would definitely work. I would hover get another SSD, partition it in two, and Install Windows on one partition and ROCK on the other. Then I would use your original SSD purely for music storage, attached via usb. This will ensure that each OS boots up as quickly as possible, as they are connected via SATA, at least.

The key is Installing a boot loader like grub. They will allow you to boot into any OS you have installed at startup. It’s open source and free, so Google around on the steps, but it should be able to guide you. Even if ROCK doesn’t come with this, you can add it on. ROCK is essentially a Linux distribution. I’ve never found a Linux distribution I couldn’t boot with windows. This would allow you to avoid virtualization. This is also much easier then going to the bios at every boot and switching thr boot driver or partition (though this is possible as well). The latter is easier to set up, the former is easier to run on a daily basis.

This isn’t possible: ROCK will erase all partitions on the SSD.


I’m lucky I scrolled all the way down this post. You just spared me a lot of headaches, Sir!

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What a holy sh*t!
Just try to install Windows 10 UEFI on NUC on a separate SATA SSD drive. ROCK is already installed on the internal NVME.
No matter in what order I install ROCK and Windows, in the end, only the last installed OS is reachable through BIOS boot selection. There are now 3 boot selections available, but only one works. For all the others I get “missing operating system”.
I also tried to repair Windows with fixing MBR and the like. But no chance.
Each installation seems to kill the other OS, though I do it on two separate drives.
Also installed ROCK on the NVME without having the Windows SATA connected. No way, windows wasn’t bootable anymore, after reconnecting its drive.

What am I doing wrong?

Many thanks for any useful hint.

Thinking that you can dual boot in this scenario, I suspect. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Okay, when I have two completely separated drives, each with it’s own OS, what may be the reason why it shouldn’t be possible to boot from one or the other drive from the BIOS boot selector…? I mean It’s the 21st century… :wink:

Roon is very opinionated software, and Roon OS even more so. I suspect that your scenario does not compute…

That’s a philosophical answer :rofl:. I’d rather like a technical one :wink:

You are completely disconnecting yhe other drive when installing the OS. Meaning. Only the m.2 plugged in when installing Tock. Then taking it out and.puttonf in the drive to install wi diws. Then putting both drives back in to use the bios boot selector between drives.?