How to Install Ubuntu in Cohabitation (Dual Boot) with Windows

This manual aims to show you how to install an Ubuntu system next to a Windows system to be able to choose one or the other each time you start your PC.

1. Precautions

Your hardware is not at risk, but this is not the case of your data; so be sure to:

  • Save your important data (on CD, DVD, external hard drive, etc);
  • Create or get the DVD (or key USB ) Restore your system. For Windows, see these instructions . Otherwise, see the documentation for your computer.According to the manufacturers, the etching operation of “Recovery DVD” is called “Create factory default disc” or “Burn a backup disc with the factory default settings” or “Create a record set recovery of the operating system “). For those with Windows 8.1, create a “recovery drive” in order to troubleshoot startup, if necessary. Another method for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 is described here ;
  • Make an image of the hard drive if you have a second internal drive or an external drive, see this tutorial .

2. Make room for Ubuntu

To install Ubuntu Server, you need free space on your hard disk: at least 8 GB 1) , but if you can, plan at least 15 GB 2).

2.1 Preparing Windows

This part is useless if you want to install Ubuntu on a different hard drive that contains Windows.

On Windows, to prepare the next cohabitation between the two operating systems, you should do the following:

  1. Clean your hard drive of all that unnecessary burden: temporary files, unused software, various downloads and varied (eg the external tutorial ,Ccleaner );
  2. Usecheckdisk “test drive” Properties of your / your disk (s) drive (s) (accessible through My Computer or Computer ) → Tools → Error Checking or “Run” and type “chkdsk” .
  3. Defragment your partition (unless your drive is new or an SSD) : Start → All Programs → Accessories → System Tools → Disk Defragmenter . Or research type “Disk Defragmenter”.

3. total shutdown of Windows

Shut down Windows before installing Ubuntu, “without using the Hibernate” !

If you use Windows 8/10, use the Restart and not Turn off or your computer will be in “hibernation” .

4. Backup MBR

if :

  • Windows 7 / Vista / XP or earlier (not Windows 8 or 10) was pre-installed on the computer;
  • and your hard drive is a Ms-Dos type of partition table. (this is not the case of PCs with Windows8 / 10 preinstalled). To see if your disk is partitioned with GPT or Ms-Dos, see this paragraph .
  • and you have never installed Ubuntu (or other Linux distribution) successfully on this computer;
  • and you have never installed (or reinstalled) Windows yourself via a CD not included with the computer.

then it should take precautions 3) :

5. If Windows 8 or 10 is pre-installed on the computer

If Windows 8 or 10 was pre-installed on the computer, it is strongly recommended:

6. Installation itself

Everything is ready and you can now go to the facility to speak of Ubuntu .
However, if you want to install a dual boot with Windows Vista or Windows 7 (non-EFI) using the Windows boot loader ( necessary if the computer is tattooed), see this tutorial: comment_amorcer_ubuntu_avec_bootmgr . Or if it is with Windows XP using the Windows bootloader (required if the computer is tattooed), see this tutorial: comment_amorcer_ubuntu_avec_ntldr.

7. Common problems following the dual boot system with Windows

7.1 The grub-install facility failed BIOS UEFI

In rare cases a facility set in Dual-Boot UEFI Windows 8 or 8.1 preinstalled / installed , it is possible that this error occurs:

with the message “Installation of” grub-install / dev / sdX “failed. This error is fatal.” that appears in the installation window (here an example of installing Ubuntu 14.04 on the same disk that Windows 8.1 installed). This means that during installation of the Ubuntu system, the establishment of the boot loader has failed.So there is no start input during the boot process, and therefore the choice of OS is impossible. If only Windows was installed, only Windows will start. Seethis discussion that addresses the problem still unresolved. On the forum, several similar situations dealing more or less the same situation (especiallyhere ), but the case is not resolved universally today. The error is probably caused by non-Windows itself, the bootloader prevents the installation of grubUbuntu, making it impossible startup. See you here if you know a solution or if you have additional information.

It seems that the problem is more or less random, see this post.

7.2 The computer starts Windows only 8/10

If at the end of this installation, the computer boots directly on Windows (without ability to start Ubuntu) , it is possible that the installer has chosen the wrong mode (UEFI instead of Legacy, or vice versa). In this case, refer to the information of this page . You can also ask for help on this forum (indicating your URL Boot-Info and specifying the complete commercial name of your computer). It is also possible that the installation of the boot loader failed. Refer to the section 7.1 of this page.

This case is very likely if Windows was installed 8/10 or pre-installed on your computer 4) . You can then try to modify the different boot entries using the software EasyBCD .
If you have two versions of Windows, the last installed is launched by default. If this is not your case, you may be tempted to use EasyBCD 2.2 to restore the oldest version first. It is very effective especially if your computer is UEFI. The windows version also becomes a priority in order UEFI. It is impossible to launch Ubuntu dual boot. One solution is to use SG2D (see here ) to run Ubuntu and reorder the boot order.

7.3 Windows unbootable

If after installing the Windows unbootable 5) , first talk on this forum (indicating your Boot-Info URL ). If it does not tell you specific procedure, try the following procedure: recover Windows after installing Ubuntu.

7.4 Unable to set up dual boot in UEFI

If really you are unable to properly configure dual boot in UEFI , it will perhaps resolve to completely format the drive for use legacy mode (traditional bios). In that case:

  • Make sure that you have backed up all your data, and you have created a Windows your relocation support;
  • Set your BIOS to start in legacy mode and not UEFI;
  • Start on an Ubuntu live , format your whole disk recreate an msdos partition table (more gpt), create your partitions for Windows and Ubuntu.
  • Restart in legacy mode on your Windows support, to reinstall, and then install your Ubuntu.

8. See as well

Ubuntu Wiki English (en)

Key contributors: Fabien26 , YannUbuntu

2) some more memory for Gio SWAP and several Gio for exchanging data between Windows and Ubuntu
3) if the MBR would be tattooed
4) It may be that with some bios UEFI , the installation of Ubuntu problem, which is common in the case of installation of Ubuntu dual boot with Windows 8, UEFI bios when selected.
5) so computer can be tattooed , but without certainty because other technical problems (drivers) can give similar behavior

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