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Thread: Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

  1. #1
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    Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

    I am a complete beginner in any Linux operating system and I was planning to give it a try due to recommendations from family and friends. I found a great chance to do that with the new computer I was going to build soon, but I have never dual booted, nor have I used Linux before; used to only use windows. I was planning on my main system being Ubuntu, where I do all of my programming (college student learning comp sci) and to just try out Linux. However, I enjoy playing pc games quite a bit and that is mainly what I use windows for. I was reading a few guides online, but I couldn't find any that described the partitioning and the procedure for installing both Windows 7 (so far, windows 8 just annoys me) and Ubuntu and how I should partition my drive.

    I have not built my computer yet, but I think I have my parts planned out already.
    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H

    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

    Storage: Western Digital Caviar TBlue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

    Video Card: Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card

    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full (64-bit) && Ubuntu - dual boot


    Most of these parts are not completely set yet, a lot of them may change a bit, but that is the basic specs of what my computer is going to be like. If there are any suggestions for the parts, feel free to tell me as well. I am probably going to start ordering the parts and this stuff in about a week.

    Thank you for your help!




  2. #2
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    Re: Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

    You will have to decide if you want the new UEFI with gpt partitionging. Or the 30 year old but well known BIOS with MBR(msdos) partitioning.

    Windows only boots with UEFI from gpt partitioned drives.
    Ubuntu will boot from gpt partitioned drives with either BIOS or UEFI.

    GPT Advantages (older but still valid) srs5694 post #2:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1457901
    GPT or MBR
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1625285

    How you boot both Ubuntu & Windows flash drive installer either UEFI or BIOS is then how it installs. Both Windows & Ubuntu have to be the same either both UEFI or both BIOS.


    You cannot use the Win7 DVD in UEFI mode, you need to use BIOS mode or modify to USB with UEFI.
    Install Windows efi to new drive.
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l...=ws.10%29.aspx
    https://gitorious.org/tianocore_uefi..._UEFI_boot_USB


    You will need to use the 64 bit version of 13.04, 12.10 or 12.04.2 and from the UEFI menu boot the flash drive in UEFI mode. That way it will install in UEFI mode.
    Systems need Windows fast start up (hibernation) and UEFI/BIOS fast boot quick boot UEFI settings. Vital for some systems.
    Use Windows Disk Tools to shrink Windows main partition, but not to create any new partitions, if installing on same drive. Reboot after shrink so it can run its repairs to its new size.
    Backup efi(ESP) partition and Windows partition before Install of Ubuntu. Only one efi partition per hard drive.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/UEFI
    As of 12.04.2, it is possible to install on UEFI systems with Secure Boot enabled (using signed versions of Shim, GRUB, and the Linux kernel). This is only currently set up for Ubuntu (desktop, alternate, and server) and Edubuntu images due to pressures of time; we expect to enable it across the entire Ubuntu family for 12.04.3. Details:
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PrecisePango.../UbuntuDesktop
    Installing Grub for UEFI secure boot is only possible if you have booted your system using EFI.
    One user posted this which you probably need to do for those systems that only boot Windows with secure boot on:
    The key was to launch into Window 8 with secure boot enabled then choose Restart in Windows 8 selecting USB as the device to restart on.
    This is really strange since the big breakthrough was being able to run Boot Repair launched in "secure boot" mode and checking the "Secure Boot" checkbox in Boot Repair before running it.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  3. #3
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    Re: Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

    Good you want win7. Win8 can be a lot more complicated to set up a dual boot.

    Concerning that graphics card, have a look at this thread: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2054617
    It seems to work well with Ubuntu, although in general nvidia seems more dependable concerning driver support.

  4. #4
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    Re: Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by Impavidus View Post
    Good you want win7. Win8 can be a lot more complicated to set up a dual boot.
    Win8 is not complicated to set-up as dual boot if you are installing it yourself. Its the OEM pre-installed Win 8 which is PITA.. with 'Secure Boot' and what not.

    @dragonzoid2001: Double the Memory/RAM if you intend to use your machine for gaming. Also, consider adding a 100GB+ SSD (if budget is not really a constraint). You can boot both Windows and Ubuntu a lot faster from SSD.

    My two cents...
    "Evolution is Nature's way of issuing upgrades."

  5. #5
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    Re: Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

    @oldfred: Thanks for the help, but how would you recommended the partitioning of the system? Like how many partitions should I make, and how large should they be? I saw a few guides online but a lot of them were for harddrives around 80-100GB. I don't know if I should follow the sizing of these guides or allot more space in them for windows and linux. Some guides recommend 3 partitions, but others recommend at least 4.

    @Impavidius: I looked into Nvidia as well, but the prices seem quite a bit higher then radeon, I compared two of them that seemed around the same performance level (GTX 660) and it seemed that the 7870 had higher performance for a cheaper price. A few reviews that I stated said that it worked fine for Ubuntu on the experimental driver so I'll probably try it out. Most of my graphic intensive stuff (games -.-) will probably be using windows anyways. Or am I missing something?

    @fantab: Is 8 of RAM now enough for games now? I wasn't planning to do any intense video encoding or anything like that at the moment. I have a laptop with 8gb of RAM at the moment and the limitation for high-end games is the fact that my laptop will overheat very often and will crash. For the SSD drive, I was considering it, but I'll need to check if it can fit in my budget. SSD drives are cheaper then before, but are still very expensive -.-.

    Also, some guides recommend that I install windows before installing ubuntu, is this valid? I'm not worried to much about wiping memory since the hard drive will be completely empty.

    Thanks for the help everyone!

  6. #6
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    Re: Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

    Your have your system partition for both Windows & Linux. I tend to prefer smaller system partitions for both and separate larger data partitions. Since both Windows & Linux read NTFS then a large NTFS data partition when dual booting is best. Windows just does not seem to like a lot of writes into its system partition from other systems even dual boot with two Windows or it is users modifying something that should not be.

    But depending in UEFI or BIOS you need extra support partitions. Windows in BIOS mode normally installs another boot/repair partition. In UEFI it have several.
    Microsoft suggested partitions including reserved partition for gpt & UEFI:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l...8WS.10%29.aspx
    Older Windows info on gpt - 2008 updated 2011
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/wind.../gg463525.aspx
    Windows technical info on gpt and GUIDs
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/wi...sktop/aa365449
    Order on drive is important:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microso...rved_Partition

    So it is usually best to install Windows first and let it do its own thing. But only shrink Windows using Windows disk tools, but do not create partitions with Windows as it may convert to dynamic partitioning which does not work with LInux.

    My standard suggestion. But you have to decide how you use system. Some want lots of space for data, some may want extra 10 to 25GB partition or two to experiment with another system, or other uses. If UEFI you wil have gpt partitioning. If BIOS you cannot have the gpt partitions. My standard suggestion:


    For the Total space you want for Ubuntu:
    Ubuntu's standard install is just / (root) & swap, but it is better to add another partition for /home if allocating over 30GB.:
    Only if gpt - all partitions in gpt are primary:
    gpt: 250 MB efi FAT32 (for UEFI boot or future use for UEFI, you only can have one per drive, so if already existing do not attempt another)
    gpt: 1 MB bios_grub no format (for BIOS boot not required for UEFI)
    gpt or MBR(msdos)
    Ubuntu partitions - smaller root only where hard drive space is limited.
    If total space less than about 30GB just use / not separate /home or standard install.
    1. 10-25 GB Mountpoint / primary or logical beginning ext4(or ext3)
    2. all but 2 GB Mountpoint /home logical beginning ext4(or ext3)
    3. 2 GB Mountpoint swap logical

    Depending on how much memory you have you may not absolutely need swap but having some is still recommended. I do not hibernate (boots fast enough for me) but if hibernating then you need swap equal to RAM in GiB not GB. And if dual booting with windows a shared NTFS partition is also recommended. But you usually cannot create that as part of the install, just leave some space. Or partition in advance (recommended).
    One advantage of partitioning in advance is that the installer will use the swap space to speed up the install. Thanks Herman for the tip.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DiskSpace
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2021534
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  7. #7
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    Re: Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

    It's best to double-check driver support for video, but I think this one will be fine.

  8. #8
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    Re: Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonzoid2001 View Post
    @oldfred: Thanks for the help, but how would you recommended the partitioning of the system? Like how many partitions should I make, and how large should they be? I saw a few guides online but a lot of them were for harddrives around 80-100GB. I don't know if I should follow the sizing of these guides or allot more space in them for windows and linux. Some guides recommend 3 partitions, but others recommend at least 4.
    ....
    @fantab: Is 8 of RAM now enough for games now? I wasn't planning to do any intense video encoding or anything like that at the moment. I have a laptop with 8gb of RAM at the moment and the limitation for high-end games is the fact that my laptop will overheat very often and will crash. For the SSD drive, I was considering it, but I'll need to check if it can fit in my budget. SSD drives are cheaper then before, but are still very expensive -.-.
    I just suggest more RAM because you said you 'game' "quite a bit". I would have gone with 16gigs RAM considering how resource hungry some modern games can be. I guess it also depends on what games you play.

    This is how I paritioned my Bro's HDD when I installed Windows and Ubuntu: (This for BIOS, NON-UEFI Boot with 'msdos' partition table).
    100 GB Windows Primary NTFS C: (considering that you will be installing games adjust appropriately, note that Windows C: should have atleast 25% free space after you install everything to perform at its best).
    30 GB Ubuntu Primary EXT4 "/" (I don't use separate /home, so Home Folder (where you store your DATA is created within "/". We use separate DATA partition for the same purpose. see below.)
    30 GB Free Primary Ext4
    all the remaining GB EXTENDED (Extended Partition is Primary Partition that contains several LOGICAL Paritions). Four Primary Partitions is the Limit with 'msdos' table so we create the fourth partition as Extended.
    2-4GB Linux SWAP (If you like to Hibernate your PC then SWAP size should be equal to or greater than your RAM in GiB not GB)
    all the remaining GB LOGICAL NTFS (to share data between Windows & Ubuntu). If you want you can create more Logical Paritions.
    Last edited by fantab; May 16th, 2013 at 05:29 PM.
    "Evolution is Nature's way of issuing upgrades."

  9. #9
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    Re: Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

    I suggest two hard drives, one for Windows and one for Linux. Drives are cheap! During OS installation, I have only one hard drive connected at a time. When both drives are connected and Ubuntu is running, it will find Windows and provide it as a boot choice. Partition an area of the Windows drive for backup of Linux files and partition an area of the Linux drive (NTFS) for backup of Windows files. If your Windows drive fails, Linux will still boot just fine and you will have a backup of the Windows files. If the Linux drive fails, you can still boot Windows. I have done this kind of setup numerous times. One of my computers can boot several versions of Linux (all on the same drive), Windows 7, and Windows XP.

    Remember when it comes to keeping backups of your important files, paranoia is a virtue!

    Jerry

  10. #10
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    Re: Dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu

    Thanks for the help everyone, I just finished my finals -.- And now I'm looking at the parts and I'm about to order them. There are a few spec changes, I'm getting a 2TB harddrive along with 16 of RAM now. I was planning to put around 300 GB for Windows. Considering I have only used 250~ish of my current memory with all my files and stuff, I felt that would be more than enough. Some of my friends recommened me put 64GB in the swap partition. I have plenty of space so I was planning to a be a bit more generous with the memory distribution (I can always stick another hd in if I run out of space, which is unlikely). Thanks in advance!

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