How to Install Ubuntu and Windows 8 or 10 as a Dual Boot on your Dell PC

How to Install Ubuntu and Windows 8 or 10 as a Dual Boot on your Dell PC

This article provides information on how to install Ubuntu onto your Dell PC in addition to an already existing Windows (8, 8.1 or 10) operating system.

Table of Contents:

  1. Do you need to Dual Boot your PC with Ubuntu and a Windows OS?
  2. Things to know and check before you start an install
  3. Windows needs to be the First Boot on the Hard Drive
  4. Setting up the Install Partitions
  5. Installing Ubuntu as the Second Operating System
  6. Configuring the Boot Order

Do you need to Dual Boot your PC with Ubuntu and a Windows OS?

This guide takes you through how to set up your PC in order to dual-boot Ubuntu and Windows.

Note: If you install an operating system other than the one that shipped with your system, then you do so at your own risk. Dell can't certify that the hardware will be compatible and we will not be able to support the system in that configuration. This article is provided as information for those customer who want to dual boot, but it is carried out at your own risk.

Where Windows is already installed on your PC or you will install windows first before installing Ubuntu.

It's recommended a Windows operating system should be installed first. Windows doesn't include Non-Microsoft operating systems in it's boot-menu. Installing windows can also affect any information already on your Hard Drive.

This article will deal with recent Windows Operating Systems such as 8, 8.1 and 10.

If you want to install a legacy Windows operating System, please use the article linked below:

Have you checked your system type is one of those certified by Canonical as being suitable for Ubuntu?

  1. If not, then please go to the Canonical site External Link and check if your model has been tested by Canonical and is suitable.

  2. If you have and it's supported on this list then carry on.

Note: If your system did not ship with Ubuntu and you have an issue that requires Technical Support Assistance to resolve. You may be asked to return the system to the condition it shipped from Dell and advise if the issue continues at that point. If it doesn't then there would be limited support possible at that point. This guide will talk about Windows 8 and 10 alongside Ubuntu 16.04.

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Things to know and check before you start an install

There are three things you need to take into account before you start off an Ubuntu Install :

  1. To Check the type of hard ware you are trying to install to?
  2. To Check the type of BIOS settings you need for your install?
  3. To Check what version of Ubuntu you are looking to install?
What type of Hard Ware are you installing to and will it change how you go about your install?

The type or format of your storage media can affect how you would go about installing Ubuntu on your PC. That can be anything from installing on one of the new M2 cards, to installing on a standard SATA hard disk drive, to installing on the same SATA hard disk drives in an Intel Matrix RAID configuration. Check that the hardware of your PC will allow you to make the kind of install you need or read through the articles linked below to get an idea of how to change your installation method to accommodate your system hard ware :

Note : Please be aware that USB 2.0 and older removable media devices are not supported on systems using the new Intel SkyLake Processors. The Chipsets for the CPUs no longer support the USB 2.0 Hub.
What BIOS settings do your need to go about your UEFI install?

The difference between Legacy and UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) BIOS setups, can be the difference between an install succeeding or failing. Please follow the information below:

Ensure the BIOS is set to UEFI, disable Legacy option ROMS and disable the secure boot.

Which version of Ubuntu are you looking to install?

Ubuntu as with any other operating system is constantly looking to improve and better it's usage and performance. What is different with Ubuntu is that you have the option of two updates at any time :

The first is the most recent LTS (Long Term Support) release.

This update is available every two years and is fully supported by Canonical with updates for five years. It's considered a tested and stable build.

The second is the most recent Normal release.

This update is available every 6 months and is only supported by Canonical with updates for 9 Months. These normal releases are considered to be cutting edge but can have issues because of this. These builds are usually used by testers and developers.

If you are looking instead to upgrade to a new version of Ubuntu, then please check out the article linked below :

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Windows needs to be the First Boot on the Hard Drive

Windows needs to be Installed.

If Windows is not already installed then you will want to go to one of the guides on the link below to select the correct install guide for the Operating System (OS) you will be using.

Note: Please remember that while setting up your boot partition in the Windows Setup, you can partition the Hard Drive further to leave space for the Ubuntu install later on. This will save you a lot of time and effort later on. Remember whenever you work on you operating system it is best practice to have a recent backup, in case anything goes wrong.
Windows is already Installed.

Most PC's come with a version of Windows already installed and it will take up the whole hard-drive. The Windows partition needs to be shrunk. This will free space for the Ubuntu partition.

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Setting up the Install Partitions

  1. It's best to do this step from within the windows OS.

Windows 8 and 8.1

For Windows 8 and 8.1 you will also want to use Disk Management but the steps will be different.

  1. Press the Win+X keys at the Home Screen.

  2. Select Disk Management on the menu that appears.

  3. You right click on the partition and select Shrink Volume and follow the instructions onscreen.

Windows 10

For Windows 10 you will also want to use Disk Management but the steps will be different.

  1. Press or click on the Windows Start Button keys at the Desktop.

  2. Type Disk Management on the menu that appears.

  3. Press or click on the program that's listed.

  4. You can then right click on the partition and select Shrink Volume and follow the instructions onscreen.

Note: Don't try and create a partition for Linux here. The Ubuntu Install will deal with this.
Note: If you have resized the windows boot partition and cannot boot up windows, then you can use the Windows Recovery tools to fix it. See here for guides on this.
  1. Once you have sufficient Unallocated Space on the Hard Drive, then its straightforward to install Ubuntu as the second operating system. You will want to boot from your Ubuntu DVD or USB drive.

  2. Ensure you're logged in as an Administrator and check if Fast Startup is disabled. (This can affect whether GRUB can pick up your Windows installation at a later stage.)

    1. Open Control Panel (The windows key + X is a shortcut on all recent versions.)

    2. Open Power Options.

    3. Select Choose what the power button does.

    4. Select Change settings that are currently unavailable.

    5. Ensure that the box marked Turn on Fast Startup (Recommended) is disabled.

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Installing Ubuntu as the Second Operating System

Follow the steps indicated below to install Ubuntu on your Dell PC and configure the BIOS to use grubx64.EFI (Required for normal operation):

  1. Have you got a copy of the latest DVD or USB installation media from Canonical? These will include the latest updates and fixes for this operating system. (You may want to use a 3rd party application like Rufus External Link to create the bootable USB key.) If you have decided which version of Ubuntu you want to install, you can download the appropriate Ubuntu ISO from Canonical External Link.

Note: Dell does not recommend or support applications like Rufus. Third party applications are used at your own risk.
  1. Tap rapidly on the F12 key at the Dell splash screen on start up. It will bring up and Boot Once menu. Using the Cursor / Arrow Keys, select your method of boot and press the ENTER key.

  2. When the setup boots, choose the Try Ubuntu option. This option will check that your hardware is seen okay by Ubuntu.

  3. When you're ready to proceed, click the Install Ubuntu button. The install wizard will appear to prompt you through some choices.

  4. Select your install language and click Continue.

Language Selection

  1. The Preparing to install Ubuntu window appears. Choose the applicable options and click Continue.

Preparing to Install

  1. If you do not have a wired connection plugged in, the install will take you through setting up a Wireless Wi-Fi connection.

Wireless Setup

  1. The Installation type window appears. Several options are available.

    1. If you want to Dual Boot install Ubuntu alongside other Operating Systems, read the guide below before you select the Install Ubuntu alongside Option. Go to step 13.

    2. If you want to install Ubuntu over your entire hard drive, click Erase Disk and Install Ubuntu. Then select the Hard Drive that you want to install Ubuntu onto. You want to read the guide below for more information.

    3. If you want to manually setup various partitioning on the Hard Drive, read the guide below before you select the Something Else option.

Installation Type

  1. During installation you will be asked How do you want to partition the disk ?

  2. In the setup choose to install the OS to either :

    1. The largest available free space

      1. Usually down as Resize IDE1 master, partition #1 (hda1) and use freed space

      2. Choose the size of the new partition as a percentage of the Hard Drive and click Forward.

      3. Continue with the Install.

    2. Select a partition that you have already created for Ubuntu.

      1. Usually marked down as Manually edit partition table.

      2. Select the partition you want from the list provided and press Enter.

      3. Click Size then ENTER and Yes and ENTER again.

      4. Choose the size in Gigabytes and press ENTER.

  3. You can create further partitions if you use the guide below.

Note: You will need at least 20GB for your Ubuntu install Partition.
  1. Select Finish partitioning and write changes to disk.

  2. Click Install Now. From this point you can't cancel the installation.

  3. You need to setup a few configuration settings. The Where are you? window appears next.

Where are You?

  1. Select the location closest to where you are on the map or enter it into the text box and click Continue.

  2. The Keyboard layout window appears. Select the correct keyboard layout for your system and click Continue.

Keyboard Layout

Note: If you are unsure what your layout is, you can now select the Detect Keyboard Layout button for help.
  1. The Who are you? window appears. You want to fill in your information at this point.

Login Screen

  1. While the operating system installs, the screen will scroll through different screenshots that give you further information about the Ubuntu revision you are installing on your system.

Installing System

  1. When the install wizard finishes, you will get a the Installation is complete message window up. Click Restart Now to restart your computer.

Installation Complete

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Configuring the Boot Order

The system will reboot into the GRUB menu and will sit for 10 seconds while you choose which Operating System you want to boot with. Ubuntu 16.04 or Windows 8 thru 10.

Ubuntu will be set as the default OS to boot to. That means if you press the Enter key or wait out the 10 second, it will boot straight to Ubuntu.

Once Ubuntu finishes loading, login in with the username and password you set. Ubuntu 16.04 provides NTFS file system support automatically, that means you can access information and files from the Windows partitions just by clicking on the Windows Volume.

If you want to change to the windows installation, reboot the PC and choose the windows partition from the GRUB menu.

You can go to the guide below for some initial setup information :

Note: If you have completed the installation and there are any issues, the easiest and quickest resolution is to run the install again.

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Additional Information :

Software support is provided by Canonical through the following methods:
Technical Support is provided by Dell :

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Article ID: SLN301754

Last Date Modified: 10/16/2018 02:56 AM

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