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How to Dual-boot Linux and Windows (on a PC with Windows 7 already installed)

Picture of How to Dual-boot Linux and Windows (on a PC with Windows 7 already installed)
The purpose of this Instructable is to set up your computer to dual-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux. Dual-booting is a technique which allows a single physical computer to run two or more operating systems (OSes). This is useful for experimenting with new OSes without putting all your eggs in one basket.
 
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Step 1: Getting Prepared

Picture of Getting Prepared
Prerequisites:
1. A PC running Windows 7, with at least 30 GB of free hard-drive space.
2. A CD/DVD burner and blank CD/ DVD or a USB drive with a capacity of 1GB or more
3. An external Harddrive big enough to backup your Windows installation
4. Administrative access to the PC
5. Internet Connectivity

Most PCs sold in the last three years should meet the criteria for number 1. To confirm what version of Windows you are running, go to My Computer and click on “System properties.” The listed version should be Windows 7.

From that same screen, you should see how much free space you have left, which is underneath the blue bar for each disk. In the example image, there is "8.49 GB free of 55.7GB".

NOTE: The 8.49GB shown in the example is not enough space for most people. While you can install Ubuntu to a partition this size, you will typically want more space store documents and applications. 20GB is probably the minimum size you would want.

Step 2: Select a Linux Distro

Picture of Select a Linux Distro
Linux comes in many flavors. Some distributions are aimed at full configurability for advanced users (Arch Linux, Gentoo), others at fulfulling simple hardware requirements (Puppy Linux, DSL), while others aim at being as easy to use and accessible as posible (Mint, Ubuntu). These different flavors, or distributions, are commonly called “distros” by the Linux community. There are hundreds if not thousands of distros available, if you're curious go to http://distrowatch.com/ and compare. However, int this instructions set, we will use Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu is one of the most widely used Linux distros and has a very helpful community and good user interface for new users.

 
ReyK228 days ago

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aman.batra.3510 months ago

i followed the instructions but now i am left only with ubuntu, step 9 is not taking place(i.e. i am not having any option, automatically ubuntu starts) please help...

Same happened with me, then i tried this tutorial http://www.searchithow.com/2015/02/how-to-install-...

Worked like a charm :)

Sorry for the link.. Here is the updated link : http://www.syjj.in/2015/02/how-to-install-ubuntu-dual-boot.html

Greetings you intelligent lot !

Although I am somewhat advanced Win OS user I am and utter and complete rookie in LINUX-UNIX domain so I apologize in front for my pretty basic question(s) . I'm attempting to set up Win7 and LINUX dual consoles and while the size on HDD isn't an issue - the speed of future perfomance is. I need it ( LINUX console ) to be fast and friendly in terms of allowing the antiviral/firewall and IP - cloak's to function - in full extent. So my first question is ; '' Which LINUX console version would be the best ( since I can see there are literally hundred's of different Lite and 'Heavy' console versions ) installation for this concept. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me and the rest of the world - in forward. Ok, that's it for (my) beggining - thinking - I have to start somewhere and this seem' s to be a good place for this, new learning phase.

@black.bird.1884

I'm almost the exact opposite of you.

First: linux is a kernel, OS is built around it. I have no idea what one you should use but I think CentOS minimal install might be what you're looking for.

Also: Anti-viruses do exists for linux, I think more exist for the RedHat family of OS's has the most options but all should have at least one. firewalls, if by firewalls you mean simply blocking traffic. You may actually find them unnecessary. are pre-installed but usually disabled in all linux distros. Look for tutorials for "iptables". Most of all have patience. Its difficult but fun.

JayminJ5 months ago

Please make your tutorial a little clear as i lost all partitions following this tutorial, so i tried

http://www.searchithow.com/2015/02/how-to-install-... and it worked liked a charm (:

Upon bootup, you will now see a choice between Windows and Ubuntu Linux.

I dont see this!

Upon bootup, you will now see a choice between Windows and Ubuntu Linux.

I dont see this!
TadasJA6 months ago

I think it is important to mention that you must install older OS first and then install a more recent one, which nowadays is mostly installing Windows 7 first and THEN Linux, I'm not sure with Windows 8.1, I don't own it thus I can't speak for it. If you install Linux last you get the option of which OS you want to run, otherwise you will default your machine to Linux or even worse - won't be able to boot at all.

xebm7 months ago

Change Default Operating system startup in Multiboot Windows

http://itrepairguide.com/change-default-operating-system/

rayliving7 months ago

awesome tutorial.

KemalÇ9 months ago

is this a joke

aman.batra.3510 months ago

i followed the instructions but now i am left only with ubuntu, step 9 is not taking place(i.e. i am not having any option, automatically ubuntu starts) please help...

Dannyftm10 months ago

VMWare Player is free for non-commercial use and works for Virtual Machines (it cannot do .iso files)

This is fine as far as it goes, but if you have a reasonably large machine you should look into running ubuntu under windows in a virtual machine. This lets you run both at the same time. One way is to search instructables for "virtual box". This is an easy process.
Wait till uefi becomes standard. We will really be cut off. The public needs to boycott such machines.