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Linux and Windows 8 Dual Boot : A Brief How-To

As regular readers would know, I make some effort to avoid using closed-source and proprietary software. This includes that popular operating system common on laptops and servers, MS-Windows. However there are a small number of reasons why this O.S. is required, including life-saving medical equipment hardware which, for some unfathomable reason, has been written to only interface with proprietary operating systems. Open source developers? Thanks for providing the Internet, but you can just die now, OK?

Having gotten that off my chest let's go through the utterly horrible process of dual-booting Linux with MS-Windows v8.0 or v8.1. The rules are ever-so slightly different, but the general process is the same for systems pre-installed with MS-Windows.

a) Build a partition in MS-Windows for your Linux to live.

Go to 'Administrative Tools' then Create and 'Format Disk Partitions'. Shrink an existing volume (probably where the existing MS-Windows OS is) and leave it as free space. We'll use it later.

b) Optional but recommended, disable fast start up.

This requires going to 'Control Panel' selecting 'Hardware and Sound' then 'Power Options', 'System Settings' 'Choose what the power buttons do' and uncheck 'Turn on fast startup'.

c) Disable UEFI in MS-Windows 8.0 and 8.1

Open the settings and select 'Change PC settings' In MS-Windows 8.0, you need to go to 'General PC settings', select 'Advanced startup', and 'Restart now'. In MS-Windows 8.1 go to 'Update and recovery' and select 'Restart now' under 'Advanced startup'.

It won't actually restart (yet), what it really want to know is *why* you want to restart now. So for certain definitions of 'now', select 'UEFI settings' and then you can select 'Restart now' which will lead you to a new screen with 'Troubleshoot' as a available option.

From 'Troubleshoot' choose 'Advanced options' and from in there, 'UEFI Firmware settings'.

Select 'Restart' to reboot your system in UEFI settings which will probably look very similar to BIOS. In that system, disable secure boot in UEFI, select the drive you want to boot from (probably USB or DVD) and then save and exit.

d) Install Linux.

Which was a lot easier than the above.