How to dual-boot Linux and Windows
Dual boot allows you to use two operating systems simultaneously on a single PC. The technique is useful if you want to try some new operating system without uninstalling the existing one.
Dual boot is quite an easy task. Just follow these simple steps to know how to dual boot Linux and Windows:
Step 1: Getting Prepared
Before starting the startup process we need to check for the following requirements:
- A PC with Windows 7 installed on it, with at least 30 GB of free hard-disk space
- A CD/DVD burner and a blank CD/DVD or a USB flash drive with capacity of 2 GB or more
- An external Hard Drive to backup Windows installation
- Administrative access to the PC
- Internet connectivity
Step 2: Select a Linux Distro
Select the distro (distribution package) that best suits your requirements.
Linux comes in many distribution packages. Some are aimed at fulfilling simple hardware requirements (Puppy Linux, DSL) while some are designed for providing full configurability for advanced users (Arch Linux, Gentoo), while others aim at being simple and easy to use (Mint, Ubuntu).
Ubuntu is one of the most widely used Linux distros packed with excellent user interface and has a very wide and community helpful for new users.
Step 3: Prepare Installation Media
Go to the Ubuntu website and download the ISO file for Ubuntu. The latest version is 15.10.
Download Ubuntu here.
After the ISO is downloaded, right-click the icon and choose Burn disk image. This will launch a tool to burn the image to a CD or DVD. Once the disk is burned, remove the CD and you can keep it for future reference.
You’ll need the program UNetbootin, if you are using a USB flash drive.
Step 4: Backup Windows
Now, you’ll need to back up your PC. This will help you restore your PC to the current state if any problem occurs during the installation.
Step 5: Partitioning the Hard Drive
Windows 7 Disk Manager is the best tool if you are partitioning the hard drive. You can partition the Hard Drive by following these simple steps:
- Click on Start button
- Type in Disk Manager in the search field
- Now all you disk drives labeled C, D, E, or other will be listed
- See the drive which has free space of more than 30 GB
- Right click on the drive and select Shrink Volume
- Next, you’ll be asked how many MBs you want to shrink the volume
- Now shrink to (30000) if 30GB space
- After this you will see a bar saying Unallocated
Fragmentation process is complete. Now you can close the Disk Management window.
Step 6: Boot from Removable Media
Now boot the system from removable disk. Power ON the system and press a function key (F2, F8 or some other depending upon your manufacturer) to open the Boot Menu. Here you can alter the boot order via BIOS.
Select the CD drive or USB media you earlier used to save the ISO image as the primary boot device.
Now save the changes and reboot.
Step 7: Install OS
Click on Try Ubuntu if you want to get familiar with the OS without installing it, or else you can simply double-click the Install Ubuntu option.
Thereafter, in the next window you’ll be prompted to choose the installation language. After that, you’ll be asked to install a third party software for playing all your MP3s.
Now proceed by clicking the Next button.
Step 8: Change Boot Device
In this step you’ll again need to change your boot priority from CD/DVD to hard drive as the primary boot device. If you don’t do so then it will continue to boot from the removable media before booting from Windows.
Step 9: Reboot and Configure
Now you need to reboot your system. You’ll see an option to select between Ubuntuand Windows. Select Ubuntu and press Enter.
All set. Congratulations! You have successfully dual booted your PC with Windows 7 and Linux. Enjoy.