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How to Dual Boot Windows and Linux!

19 Aug 2017 . category: tech . Comments

Dual Boot

So if you are a beginner and want to install Linux on you laptop along with Windows? Take a deep breath you are at the right place. This guide will help you to Dual boot Linux and Windows. Let’s get close and finish things off:

At first open RUN in windows. You can get it by searching in start menu or you can press Windows+R to open it instantly.

Type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.

You will see all your current partitions there. Now you have to shrink few gigs of storage from your current drives so that we can allot that to our linux machine later. Shrink

Minimum requirement for running Ubuntu is around 20Gb you can allot any big amount of space than this but I personally feel around 100Gb will be good if you have enough space for linux. (Linux won’t disappoint you! Don’t discriminate!!)

Once you shrink the space from your current drives the free space will be listed in the Disk Management as Unallocated Space.

Once you see your desired storage in ‘Unallocated space’. You’re good to go! Unallocated Space Now download .iso image of the Linux Distro which you are willing to install. For beginners, I personally think Linux Mint or Ubuntu will be great!

Now you need a USB Drive of around 8gb space and a sofware named Rufus (Click to download).

Open Rufus once it’s downloaded. Open it and make sure your USB Drive is selected.

Leave everything as default and below you will find an option to select .iso file. (Click on the disk image beside ISO image)

Select the downloaded .iso file and once it’s selected hit start button and have a cup of coffee.

Rufus will ask for some permissions and show you some warning that will include the fact that rufus is going to format your USB Disk! (Make sure you have a Backup)

Once permission is granted, rufus will do some Abra-Kadabra and it will finish creating a bootable USB Disk from ISO file.

P.S.- Don’t start the process again. RUFUS won’t give you any confirmation that Creation of Bootable Disk is completed. Once the start Button is highlighted again it means USB Drive is now Bootable.

Relax…. Things are yet to come. We don’t need Windows anymore. Please shut it down!

We have to open BIOS now. A little googling may help you in case you don’t know how to open BIOS. Different brands have different ways to open BIOS.

First Turn on or restart the computer while the display is blank, press the `f10` key continuously to enter the BIOS settings menu in HP laptops.

If I am not wrong, Dell users can continuously press `f2` to boot in BIOS settings menu.

Now in BIOS you have to change your Boot Preference/Sequence. By default Windows Boot Manager will be at the top, you have to replace it by your USB Drive. (Make sure it is plugged in!)

After changing the boot priority Press the `f10` key to save the changes and exit the BIOS settings menu and reboot.

Partition We are done with the configuration and prerequisite thing. If you are stuck anywhere you can comment below or Contact me .

When you reboot your PC you will find a black screen (GRUB Menu) with something like Install Ubuntu in the 2nd option out of 4. Select that. Grub Now Ubuntu will Boot. Once it’s done you have to choose language and click next. (You can throw your laptop and sleep with peace if you have problem in this step)

Next Next Bla Bla(I know you can do that) Wait Wait Wait did you get Installation Type? Choose Something else. Choose Something else In this step we’ll create our custom partition layout for Ubuntu. I recommend that you create 3 partitions, one for root and the other for home data and one for swap (use a swap partition only if you have limited RAM resources or you use a fast SSD). Partition To create the first partition, the root partition, select the free space (the shrink space from Windows created earlier) and hit on the + icon below. On partition settings use the following configurations and hit OK to apply changes:

Size = at least 20 GB= (20x1024 MB)

Type for the new partition = Primary

Location for the new partition = Beginning

Use as = EXT4 journaling file system

Mount point = /

Partition Similarly create swap partition with the following configurations:

Size = Twice the RAM

Type for the new partition = Primary

Location for the new partition = Beginning

Use as = Swap area

Similarly create the home partition using the same steps as above. Use all the available free space left for home partition size. The partition settings should look like this:

Size = all remaining free space

Type for the new partition = Primary

Location for the new partition = Beginning

Use as = EXT4 journaling file system

Mount point = /home

Partition Done! Now select root partition and hit Install now, Just in case you don’t know, root partition is denoted by / Next Next Marathon is back. Select your time zone and proceed. Select keyboard type and proceed. Did Ubuntu ask you “Who are you?” That was rude! Probably because ubuntu still don’t know us. Let’s tell them who we are! Now give your pc some time, some space and let it install it at it’s own pace! Once done you can reboot and you will find that GRUB Menu is haunting you again. Let me tell you it will continue to haunt you each time you start your PC. Just select Ubuntu if you want to open Ubuntu in case you still miss your ex Windows you can choose Windows Boot Manager to boot Windows! Grub after installing sudo apt-get install enjoy-linux (Didn’t get this line? I’m sure you will get it pretty soon).

Contact me in case you need any help! Welcome home #superuser!


Sumanjay is a Programmer, Currently he lives in Delhi, where he studies CS in NIT Delhi. In his spare time, he likes to write answers on Quora.