Dualbooting Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 15.05


For some years now I've been using Ubuntu and Windows side by side on laptops I own, but that has mainly been old ones that had no OS on them at all when I got them. Making dualboots with Windows and Ubuntu is something I've done many times, but always with an old fashioned BIOS. I've read about modern UEFI causing trouble with dualboots, so when I bought my new laptop (Acer Aspire E 13) I just had to try. My goal is to dualboot Windows 10 with Ubuntu, but I will probably wait until the RTM of Windows 10 is released later this month on July 29. Making Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu "cooperate" gave me a challenge but I got it working. I started with reading a few tutorials I found, and I had great help from them, but they did not work for me right off. I had to use a combination and som trial and error. So this is what I did.

First I made backups of everything possible. This was a new laptop, I had no personal files on it, but I made backups of all drivers needed for Windows and of the partition used for factory restore. Instructions for this came with the laptop.

Next step was to make room for Ubuntu, from within Windows.After reading a few tutorials I had no problems with that, and it gave me a nice empty space for Ubuntu.

Tutorials to read:

dual boot - Installing Ubuntu 15.04 along side Windows 8.1 - Ask Ubuntu

Tweaking4All.com - UEFI - Dual boot Windows 8.x and Ubuntu 14.x ...

I made a USB stick with Ubuntu 15.04 on it, using Universal-USB-Installer from Pendrivelinux to get the iso I downloaded installed on my USB.

Turing off fast startup from within Windows was no problem either, I've done that before when creating dualboots on machines with standard BIOS.

Trying to turn off Secure boot was more tricky. I did find my way into the UEFI settings by reading tutorials, but the setting for Secure boot was greyed out on my Acer. Some more googling and I found out that I had to set a supervisor password before I could turn off Secore boot, and that worked.

My UEFI settings allowed me to enable F12 for choosing a temporary startup disk, and that worked very well. I did not have to actually change the startorder of my laptop, I just pressed F12 on startup. There was no message on the screen about this, as I am used to, but it worked when I had my Ubuntu installation USB stick connected. I got to choose to start up from that one, and the installation went on fine. I choose the option to install alongside Windows, and I was a bit worried that my partitions with Windows would get damaged, but they stayed untouched. Ubuntu installed by itself in the empty unformatted partition I had created earlier. On restart at the end of the instllation Windows started up, and that is how it stayed. I could not start Ubuntu. There was no trace of it. I tried to follow the tutorials about this, but it did not work. I got errors, and no Ubuntu. Reinstalling using "Something else" option and manually pointing Ubuntu to various start and mount did not work. I ended up doing a factory restore to get a fresh start. The factory restore left my Ubuntu partition as it was, a nice surprise. I'm more used to Windows overwriting everything. I had to clean it manually.

Next attempt the screens looked just as my first try at this. I installed alongside Windows, and at restart point Windows started. From within Windows I then added Ubuntu to Windows boot files as suggested in this tutorial

Installing Ubuntu 15.04 on Acer Aspire E 11 E3-112-C6YY Founds

I was successfull. I now got the familiar Grub2 screen on restart and could choose between Windows and Ubuntu.

Before testing this I did some more reading about this command, and I learned how to undo it if I wanted. Always feels better to be able to undo things in case of disaster.

BCDEdit -set (Windows Drivers)

BCDEdit -deletevalue (Windows Drivers)

After being successful with my Acer, I started the process on my husband's new Lenovo. He wanted Ubuntu as his main system, but sometimes needs Windows too. I did everything just as on my Acer, but this was easier. No need for a supervisor password, but unfortunatly no way to enable F12 for choosing how to start the machine. I started from USB by chosing that from within Windows, PCsettings/....instead

And when I got to the point at the end of the installation where there is a restart I got directly to the Grub2 screen and was able to choose between Ubuntu and Windows. No need for any editing or extra scripts. It worked right away.

Now I only hope that Windows 10 will be just as easy as Windows 8.1 on the Lenovo, I really like my dualboot laptops.