Dual Booting

Many people want to dual boot Linux and Windows. Dual booting is challenging in a computer with only one hard disk, such as a laptop. On a desktop dual booting is best accomplished with a second hard disk.

Disconnecting the Windows hard disk is not required but provides a sane and safe way to ensure no newbie mistakes to cause trauma.

  1. Boot into Windows.
  2. Verify Fast Startup is disabled.
  3. Shut down.
  4. Disconnect the Windows disk.
  5. Connect the new disk.
  6. Install the distro.
  7. Reboot.
  8. Verify the distro boots.
  9. Connect the Windows disk.
  10. In the BIOS boot order select the new disk as the first disk.
  11. Reboot.
  12. Boot into the distro.
  13. Ensure /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober is executable (chmod +x).
  14. Run update-grub.
  15. Reboot.
  16. Verify Windows is in the GRUB boot menu.
  17. Boot into Windows.
  18. Reboot.
  19. Boot into the distro.

Performing these steps in this manner never modifies the Windows disk. The BIOS is configured to boot from the new disk. If the new disk is removed the BIOS automatically defaults to the only remaining disk. If the Linux disk is removed or fails the Windows boot loader will continue to boot without incident.

Dual booting with two disks is optimal because the boot loaders of each operating system never clobber one another.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General, Windows

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