Dual Booting Windows and Ubuntu

This guide has been written keeping Ubuntu in mind but should work fine for other Linux Distributions too.

  • Back up your data

    In Windows you can either use the option for Creating a recovery drive to backup your copy of Windows. Alternatively you can use File History to back up your files to another drive. These will come in handy if something goes wrong with the Ubuntu installation.

  • Create a bootable installation media for the Linux distro

    You can download the recent copy of Ubuntu here. I recommend using the LTS version as it is supported for a considerably long time.

    You can either burn the .iso file to a DVD or make a bootable pendrive of the Linux distribution you are planning to install. There are many softwares available which create a bootable USB from .iso file of the Linux distribution, I personally prefer rufus for this. In rufus Select the pendrive in which you want to make a bootable installation media.

    Screenshot from 2016-06-26 16-16-03

  • Create Partition for Ubuntu/Linux installation

    Press Win + R or alternatively open a run dialog in Windows. In the run dialog type,


    This will open the Disk Management utility in Windows. Here you need to free up some space for the Linux Partition. Right Click on a drive that is relatively empty and select “Shrink Volume“. 13518205_513169858893385_132903981_o

    In the next window enter the amount of space you want to give to your Linux installation and press Shrink. You will see that Unallocated Space equal to the space you shrank is created. This is the place where we will install Linux. Plus, try to give at least 15GB of space to the Linux partition.

  • Making it Ready for Linux

    If you want to access your files present in Windows from Linux then you need to turn fast startup off in Windows. More about it here. To turn off fast startup, Open Power Options in Control panel (It might help if you change the view to small icons instead of category). Click Choose what the power button does. On the next screen, Choose to change the options that are currently unavailable and uncheck the Turn on fast startup option. turn-on-fast-startup

  • Installing the Linux Distribution

    Restart your PC and go to the boot menu.
    You can do this by holding down Shift key while restarting in Windows. Alternatively you can also press the designated key for your Motherboard’s boot menu while your computer starts, this varies from system to system, e.g. for acer it’s F12, for hp it’s F9. In some systems if you press Esc during the first second when the system starts you can see the boot options. Lenovo laptops have a designated key on left side for reaching boot options. You have to find this yourself for your system. It usually looks something like this :3krdkOnce you get to the boot menu select the option which says Boot form USB drive. Select the one with UEFI if you’re running Windows 8 or later or the one without UEFI if you’re running Windows 7 or earlier. You’ll now see a window like this :

    Ubuntu-Grub-MenuClick on Install Ubuntu, You can also select Try Ubuntu if you want to check it out first. You will be granted with Ubuntu desktop or Installation Screen based on the option you choose. Assuming you got to the installation screen,

    • Select the Language you wanna choose.install1
    • The next screen will ask you to connect to a network. You may safely choose not to connect now as the installer might run into some problem if the network connection fails.install2
    • On the next screen you will see your PCs current status. Click next.install3
    • You need to be very careful at this step. DO NOT CLICK INSTALL NOW or your whole disk will be erased. First select something else and then Click next.install4
    • You will reach a screen titled “Installation Type” showing a bunch of drive names. Search for free space which is almost equal to the space you freed in Windows. Select that. We are now gonna split that into two. The root partition and swap space.diskmenu
    • First let’s make the swap partition. If you have less ram you need to have more swap space to prevent the system from freezing. Click the plus sign on bottom left and change the use as dropdown menu to swap area. If you have more than 4GB ram, 2048MB of swap will do just fine, otherwise make it 4096MB. Click Ok.create-partition-swape
    • You’ll get back to that disk drives list screen. You’ll see that the size of the free space has decreased and there is a swap partition just below it. Now we’ll make the root partition. This is where all your Linux files will be stored. Okay, Select the remaining free space, Click on the + sign and Change the mount point to ‘/’ and use as ext4 journaling system.disk
    • Click OK and Install now.
    • On the next screen select your Keyboard Layout and click next.install10
    • Now you’ll be asked to choose a username and password for your account. You can also choose whether to log in automatically at startup or wait for your password before logging in. Click next.logpass
    • It’ll start installing now and a progress bar will tell you about the completion of the installation process. It’ll take around 5-10 minutes depending on the configuration of your PC.install13
    • After installing it’ll ask whether you wanna continue testing or restart. Your call.
    • Ubuntu is pretty much installed now. You can skip the  next steps if you want to keep Windows to boot by default whenever you start your PC. You can boot into Ubuntu by going to the boot menu and selecting the Ubuntu installation.


  • Making grub the default bootloader

    For now whenever you start your PC it’ll boot straight to Windows. To make it boot to Ubuntu or to make grub the default bootloader, We need to modify the Boot Configuration Data.

    In Windows Open Command Prompt as admin and paste the following (By pressing Shift + Insert).

bcdedit /set "{bootmgr}" path \EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi

Restart your PC. You’ll now boot straight into grub menu. All done.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s