Dual Boot Windows 8 And Ubuntu

In the past, we covered how to dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8, and Windows XP and Windows 8 operating systems. Dual booting a newer version of Windows OS with earlier version of Windows has always been a simple task.

Dual Boot Windows 8 And Ubuntu Picture

At times, a user may need to install the popular Ubuntu OS in dual with Windows 8 for some reasons. Though dual booting Windows 8 and Ubuntu (Windows 8 installed first) is pretty easy, the only catch is that the installer doesn’t recognize Windows 8 partition. In other words, you can’t use the straight-forward install Ubuntu alongside with Windows option during setup. So, how to dual boot Windows 8 and Ubuntu?

If you are looking for a simple way to install Windows 8 in dual boot with Ubuntu (Windows 8 installed first), follow the step-by-step instructions given below.

NOTE: We assume that you have already installed Windows 8 on the computer.


Step 1: Turn on the PC and boot into Windows 8. Create a new partition for Ubuntu installation. You can create a new partition by following our how to create a new partition and how to shrink or extend a partition guides. You can also take the help of Partition Wizard (free) software for advanced task.

Step 2: The next step is to download Ubuntu from this official page. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available. If you are unsure which one to download, simply download 32-bit Ubuntu.

Step 3: To start the installation you need to have the installation media. That is, you need to either burn the Ubuntu ISO onto a DVD or create a bootable USB. We suggest you use a USB drive (2 GB+) as installing from USB is faster than DVD. If you have a USB drive, use Universal USB Installer to make the bootable USB.

Connect the USB drive to the PC, backup data from USB drive, and then follow the steps given below to create bootable Ubuntu USB:

To create bootable Ubuntu USB:
a. Download Universal USB Installer from here. Run Universal USB Installer (it doesn’t require any installation).
b. Click I agree button on the License Agreement screen to proceed to the next step.

C. Here, you will be asked to select the Linux distribution. Select Ubuntu from the drop-down list and click Browse button to browse to the Ubuntu ISO file that you have downloaded in step 2. Enable the option named Show all drives and then carefully select your USB drive letter. Finally enable Format Drive (Erase Content) option and click Create button.

Dual Boot Windows 8 And Ubuntu Step2

d. Your bootable Ubuntu USB should be ready within a minute.

Step 4: Once you have the bootable USB, restart your PC (make sure that the USB is connected to PC). Make necessary changes to the BIOS to enable USB booting and then restart the PC again. You will see following options:
# Run Ubuntu from this USB
# Install Ubuntu on a Hard Disk
# Test memory
# Boot from first hard disk
# Advanced options
# Help

Select Install Ubuntu on a Hard Disk option and hit enter key.

Step 5: Within a few seconds, you will be greeted with a welcome screen where you need to select your Language. Once dine, click Install Ubuntu button.

Dual Boot Windows 8 and Ubuntu Step10

Step 6: In the following screen, Ubuntu setup offers options to download updates (while installing) and install MP3 plugin. Select both options and click Continue button.

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tep 7: If your PC is not connected to the Internet, you will be asked to select a wireless network, if available. If you don’t have a wireless network at your place, simply select I don’t want to connect to a wi-fi network right now option and click Continue. And if you have a wi-fi network, select the network and click Continue button.

Step 8: This is the most important step of installation. If you are getting Install Ubuntu alongside with Windows 8 option select that option and click Continue. On the other hand if you are getting "This computer currently has no detected operating systems. What would you like to do?" message, select Something else option and click Continue to proceed to Installation Type screen.

Dual Boot Windows 8 And Ubuntu Step12

Step 9: In the Installation Type screen, carefully select the drive that you have previously created for Ubuntu and click Delete button. You should now see free space entry. Select the free space entry and click Add button to create a Swap partition. Select Location of new partition as Beginning and then select Use as Swap. Click Ok button.

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Dual Boot Windows 8 And Ubuntu Picture24
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Next, in the Installation Type screen, again select on the free space and click Add button. This time, Select location of partition as Beginning, select use as EXT4 journaling file system and finally select Mount point as "/". Click Ok button.

Finally click Install Now button to start installing Ubuntu.

Step 10: In the next two screens, you will be asked to select your location and keyboard layout. In the last step, you will be asked to enter login details (user name and password). Once done, you will be asked to restart the computer. 

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Dual Boot Windows 8 And Ubuntu Step 16

Step 11: Restart the computer to see the following screen:

Dual Boot Windows 8 And Ubuntu Boot Menu

You may see Windows Recovery Environment option instead of Microsoft Windows 8 entry in the boot menu if you have installed Ubuntu after choosing “Something else” option in step 8. In simple words, Ubuntu 11.10 setup doesn’t recognize Windows 8 and adds Windows 8 entry as Windows Recovery Environment (or, at least, this is what I got when I installed Ubuntu 11.10 in dual boot with Windows 8 Developer Preview build).