Re: Beware Zorin
Just because Windows installer is a pile of junk doesn't mean we should accept that in Linux installers. The issue of GRUB silently clobbering other disks is something that turned out to be a specific complaint against the a Ubuntu installer and not a problem with installers from other distros..
Sure, if you select a fully automatic partitioning setup then don't be entirely surprised if it takes over whatever it fancies (although an accurate, upfront summary of what it's going to automatically do is still beneficial) however if you've gone into custom setup, selected a specific disk and chosen you own partitioning and bootloader options then it's unquestionably a serious bug if the installer does anything to a disk which you excluded from that process, especially when there's no point it tells/warns you.
Normally one of the joys of working with Linux is having very tight control over every aspect of your OS. Windows likes to think it's clever; goes off and automatically does crazy things without telling you and it's very rare that it ever allows you any choice in the matter. It's always disappointing when anything on Linux behaves in such a way.
On a desktop system or older, more accessible laptop it's not too much trouble to remove a disk but on newer systems getting at the NVMe SSD drives can take a fair bit of disassembly and they're often held in place with glue as well... I can't remember the last time there was an option to disable a drive in a laptop BIOS.
In my specific case it was a brand new L series ThinkPad that I wanted to dual boot from a SATA SSD that was easily added without disassembling the whole thing. I wanted Windows on one drive and Linux on the other, each using their own bootloaders and just using the EFI Boot Menu to choose which drive. There wasn't really any option to remove the Windows drive.
I was eventually able to repair the busted Windows bootloader by booting from a Windows DVD about a million times and working through various iterations of fixmbr and fixboot and bcdedit and so on. I've had to repair a few borked Windows installations over the past few years and I can never get my head around how insanely bad their tools are for fixing it - including the fact that I've never, ever seen the automatic repair option in the GUI do anything other then fail..
GRUB2 is way overcomplicated and can be a bit of a pig too, but even with its warts I still think it's head and shoulders better than the flaky set of Windows boot management tools