Dual-Booting

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For General Users

The idea of having both Windows and Linux installed on a computer and being able to select one at boot time appeals to many who are trying, or migrating to, Linux. Outcome is very dependent on version of Windows

Windows 10

Should not be attempted by General Users

  • searches of online forums produce zero reports of suitable procedures
  • high probability that Windows 10 would cease booting

The only viable alternative appears to be using a live Linux distribution see Evaluation

Windows 8.x

The better known Linux distributions will set this up automatically, during installation to a single hard disk drive in the computer

  • generally works reliably

Windows < 8

Although this installation is reliable, as per Windows 8.x above, 'It is likely to cease functioning following the next update of Windows and restoring dual-boot requires Getting Technical

Getting Technical

The above problem can usually be obviated by having additional hard disk(s) in the computer. This is not an expensive option, given current HDD prices.

USB Drive

Pros

  • easily added
  • no change to internal HDD

Cons

  • Linux relies on the absolute order of storage devices detected by the computer's firmware
    • plugging in (say) a uSB memory drive, may upset the booting
    • contermporary Linux avert this by allocating a unique UUID to the drive and booting/mounting via that ID

Internal HDD

  • ensures permanent order of drives

Installation

  • mainstream Linux will allow installation to a second hDD
  • the bootloader must also be installed to the second HDD, in this technique
    • can require "drilling down" the installation options

Selecting Boot Device

The selection of "drive" and hence OS is done at POST stage and depends on type of firmware in the computer

see Booting from Removable Media

Strictly for Geeks

--Rod11:28, 24 August 2012 (EST)