Guide To Install Linux Mint 17 & 16 In Dual Boot With Windows

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Guide to install Linux Mint in dual boot with Windows 8

This article was originally written for Linux Mint 16 but the steps are exactly the same to dual boot Linux Mint 17 with Windows.

Last week I switched from Ubuntu 13.10 to Linux Mint 16 (which is also based on Ubuntu 13.10). For the sake of experimenting, I have been switching between Linux distributions quite frequently in recent times. I always dual boot Linux with Windows. As I leaned more towards Linux, I started using Windows less and less. In fact, now I hardly use it. But I just kept it as it is sort of back up if I screw up my system while playing with Linux. Dual booting Linux with Windows is always suggestible for the beginners. And in this article, I’ll show you how to install Linux Mint 17 in dual boot with Windows. Once you have installed it, you can also check out things to do after installing Linux Mint 16.

Before we proceed to see the procedure to dual boot Linux Mint 16 with Windows, let me give you some details. First, I had Windows 7 installed with 3 partitions on it. Later I installed Linux on it in dual boot mode. I changed the partition and kept around 100 GB of total 320 GB for Linux installation. In the course of time, I upgraded to Windows 8 and subsequently to Windows 8.1. I never had to face the problem of Windows 8’s secure boot thingy. It is just to clarify that this process does not show you how to deal with UEFI.

If your computer came with Windows 8 pre-installed, the process to install Linux in dual boot is slightly different. For Windows 8 pre-installed system with UEFI, follow this tutorial which is written to dual boot Ubuntu with Windows 8 UEFI. Though written for Ubuntu, it is applicable for Linux Mint as well.

Install Linux Mint 17 & 16 in dual boot with Windows 8:

Follow the steps below to install Linux Mint in dual boot with Windows:

Step 1: Create a live USB or disk

Download and create a live USB or DVD. If you are using Windows, you can use a live usb creator tool. In Ubuntu, you can use Startup Disk Creator (if it works). If you need more hints, here is a screenshot tutorial on how to create a live USB for Linux.

Step 2: Boot in to live USB

Plug the live USB or disk in to the computer and restart the computer. While booting the computer press F10 or F12 function key (defers from computer to computer) to go to the boot menu. Now, choose the option to boot from USB or Removable Media.

Step 3: Start the installation

It takes some time to boot from the live USB or disk. Have some patience. Once it boots in to live disk, you’ll be provided to Try Linux Mint or Install Linux Mint. Even if you choose to try it, you can find the install option on the desktop:

Linux Mint Installation in dual boot with Windows

In next few screens, you’ll be asked to choose the language of the operating system. It will then do some checks on available space, battery and Internet connection.



Step 4: Prepare the partition

This is the most important part of the whole installation. Where to install Linux Mint? As mentioned before, I prefer separate partitions for Windows and Linux. Windows is already installed here, we’ll prepare a new partition for Linux Mint. In the Installation Type window, choose Something Else:


Now, I have 3 NTFS and some ext4 partitions. If you don’t have ext4 partition, don’t worry, we don’t need that. As you can see in the picture below, one of the NTFS partition consists of Windows installation. This should be untouched if you want to keep your Windows installation safe.

I hope you have more than one NTFS (or FAT 32) partitions (i.e. Drives in Windows term) on your hard disk, with one of them consisting of Windows installation (usually C drive). What you need to do here is to delete a NTFS or existing ext4 partition and create some free space. This will delete all the data in that partition and this is why I asked you to verify if you have Windows installed in a different partition.

Click on the desired partition and press the - to delete the partition.


Step 5: Create root, swap and home

Once you created free space on your hard drive, its time to install Linux Mint on it. Now, there are several ways to do it. But here, I’ll show you my favorite way and that is to have a Root, a Swap and a Home.

Create a root partition first. Choose the free space available and click on +.


Here, choose the size of root (10 GB is enough but I chose to have 20 here), choose ext4 file system, and mount point as / (i.e. root):

Install Linux Mint with Windows

Now, next is to create swap partition. It is advised by many that Swap should be double of your RAM. You can choose the swap size accordingly.


The next step is to create Home. Try to allocate the maximum size to Home because this is where you’ll be downloading and keeping the files.


Once you have created Root, Swap and Home partitions, click on Install Now button.


Step 6: Follow the trivial instructions

Technically, you have crossed the main hurdle if you react till this point successfully. Now you will be taken through a number of screens to select options like keyboard layout, login credentials etc. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out what to do here afterwards. I have attached screenshots for reference purpose here.





Once the installation is over, you will be presented with the option to keep trying live version or to restart the system.


And that would be it. On next boot, you will see the option of Linux Mint on the grub screen. And thus you can enjoy the beautiful and beginner friendly Linux distribution. I hope you found this guide to Linux Mint 16 dual boot with Windows helpful.If you want to remove, you can follow this guide to uninstall Linux Mint from Windows 8 dual boot.

If you have questions, suggestions or a word of thanks, feel free to drop a comment. Stay tuned for more Linux Mint 16 tutorials. Ciao :)


  • Dave Darr

    Great write up. I do have a question that I have searched google for and cant find the answer.
    First off, I have went into the windows 8 machine’s BIOS and disabled the EUFI secrure boot feature (under the advanced settings). This finally allowed me to Boot Linux Mint 16 KDE from USB stick.
    Next I booted Windows 8 and shrunk disk space, freeing up 70 Gig to use for Mint.
    From there I booted Mint (from USB). Started up the install process. I set the 3 required partitions like the article instructs from within my 70 Gig free space.
    / – approx 15GB
    Swap – approx 8 GB
    /Home – approx 47 GB
    which all combined = 70 GB
    When I click the “install now” button, i keep getting a error prompt title “Do you want ot return to the partitioner” in a nut shell it says that my my home partition is too small and to make sure that my home partition is a least this large: /home 0TB0.
    Anyone know what I’m doing wrong, or what I need to adjust to get Mint on my PC?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Dave,

      Sorry for my late reply. Your comment just got piled down among several others.

      I have seen this error in past. But at present I don’t remember how I fixed it :( I did not have to Google for it for sure. After freeing up the space, try resizing (with different sizes this time) the home, swap and root.

      • med marcovic

        hi mr abhishek i can’t find my “D” partition plz help

        • Abhishek Prakash

          Hi Med,

          The drive number in Windows are just a logical name. One can always change it. So you can have a C drive and P drive or similar.
          So for your question, was there ever a D drive that you lost after re-partitioning?

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  • Staks

    This is quite the guide, however I only have one windows drive and 4 partitions. How do I know which to choose?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Staks,
      It depends upon requirement. If you don’t have useful data on some partition, choose that. Anything of size 20GB+ would be enough for the start.

  • TokiTech

    YOU ARE A F******N GENIUS MAN!! TY VM Ive been looking for two months this guide! Anything in youtube or else where help me to go through to the dual boot, til now! Ty Vm

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome TokiTech :)

  • Zachary Sonicfast

    It does NOT work at all.

    NOTHING works for me to dual boot Win7 with *any* version of linux.
    It takes 2 1/2 hours to reformat and repartition the default Windows image. Not something I want to do again. No fun sitting at the computer for hours on end over and over again just to ‘see’ if it will dual boot.
    I shrank Windows down using it’s native disk management to make a LOT of extra space.
    I tried just about every combination I could devise and it REFUSES to dual boot Linux and windows.
    I even tried install alongside windows and THAT didn’t work.
    Can no one fix linux so it will dual boot with windows 7??
    I am able to access linux if I use supergrub2 cd first.
    But this is unacceptable.
    I only have remimaging disks(4 dvd’s) for my laptopand not a regular windows disk.

    I feel the problem is with the bootloader. Seems it either won’t install or is not recognized or windows overwrites it.
    The default is /sda for bootloader. I tried installing it to the linux partiton and other partitions and to no avail. I used easy BCD and that too did not work – ALWAYS an error 0xc0000098 missing or corrupt.
    For some reason I am required to make a 1MB partition for a linux grub boot sector or somesuch nonsense. With linux I have only 4 primary partitions. I did not separate the root and home. But did make a swap partition.
    I am getting a new 500GB ssd hard drive for christmas and wanted to make a dual boot but I am forced to choose one or the other but never both.
    No, dvd’s and flash drives are out of the question.
    Perhaps someone can tell me the right way to get this working? And without resorting to complicated command line instructions?
    Where does the grub bootloader go? Certainly not on either windows partition or linux partition.
    And how to absolutely FORCE this friggin computer to accept and use Grub.
    I have uefi turned off. Disk is a GPT disk.
    Perhaps I should delete the windows recovery partition?
    I never had this problem with linux and XP. Worked beautifully.
    I hate windows but must have it for a few things that linux cannot do. If I didn’t need windows for things I surely would toss it out in the garbage.
    System is:
    ASUS K55A
    i5 quad core, 3210M
    8GB ram
    512GB platter hard drive (currently)
    Win7 Home Premium
    Supposed to be getting a samsung EVO, 500GB SSD.
    If I can get dual booting fixed and working I want to migrate to new SSD and install Linux from there.
    I prefer to use Mint 13, KDE, 64 bit because of LTS.
    It will be difficult for me to come back to this site because I will lose everythig again. So, perhaps someone could email me and let me knowthe site address so I can come back to see a solution?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Zachary,

      What do you mean by it “refuses to dual boot”? What error do you see and at what point?

      • Zachary Sonicfast

        sorry for the delay in reply.

        Refuses means that I have only windows 7 booting. Linux refuses to even show.

        I surmise that this is due to GPT partitioning issues.

        My Win7 was OEM and it forces GPT regardless of what I want to do.

        I d/l a retail win7 and could use MBR. I can dual boot that way. But I don’t want to use a pirate copy when I paid for my copy.

        ASUS is either incompenent or unwilling to provide a patch or easy method (aka program) that will force conversion from GPT to MBR and allow reimaging so I won’t have future problems.

        Yes, they intentionally crippled windows to prevent dual booting. Yes, they refuse to provide me with knowledge or means to use MBR instead.

        I tried every combo I could think of. Nothing would allow dual booting with my preinstalled oem copy. I am going to wear out my new SSD drive if I do this too many times. $450 for another drive is not my idea of having fun.

        It takes 55 min to reimage and another hour or so for the install. Not counting 4 hours to get windows updates. And THEN attempt to install and dual boot with linux.

        Note: perta does not work for me. Kernel panic (aka BSOD). I went back to mint 13, 64, kde and no more kernel panics. And I did take pictures and sent them to the developers. I am not the only one who had this issue. Others I put petra on experienced the same problem. I plan on trying mint 13, 64, mate. I put that on others and it works pretty well. Waiting for my drive bay convertor to replace junk dvd burner with extra traditional hard drive for speed and storage.

        It seems that Linux won’t work with GPT.

        I won’t use command line for anything. It is too difficult to remember the syntax and too much complicated typing. One mess up and I have to restart that 6 hour torture of reinstalling windows.

        I noticed the ‘install alongside windows feature above. Seems none of my copies of mint 13 have that feature.

        If Linux could compartmentize all windows into a single partition and set the HD to MBR, this could work. Windows would only see it’s own grubby partitions and linux could easily be installed.

        I still prefer mint 13 because of the network control interface. Petra won’t let me change MAC address until after I am first logged into a network.

        Mint 13 has the random button (which I wish I could permanently set it to on for every connection).

        I read about using linux efi boot stuff. Far too hard for me to do.

        I have tried my installs with UEFI turned on and off. No difference. No ability to dual boot.

        Linux also needs to have mouse overs that will tell you which partition to put the boot loader. Guessing is BAD. And defaulting to /sda is not good either. That too does not work with GPT. Setting GRUB2 to the linux root partition does not work. Easy BCD in windows does not work. It always returns corrupt or missing neogrub in /NST because of GPT.

        I D/L a copy of win7 from Micro$haft. I am supposed to be able to use my product key to activate it. Peoblem is that I lose my hidden partition, recovery options, drivers, and some of the ASUS specific software.

        If I could use an external USB or DVD to convert GPT to MBR (without command line) and not lose anything nor have to reinstall anything, all my problems would be solved.

        Note: my reimaging for windows makes 5 primary partitions. GPT, MSFT reserved, Windows, Data, and Recovery.

        Deleting GPT makes windows unbootable. I can delete the data one but still maxed out at 4 primary for MBR – no room for linux :-(

        But retail win7 makes 2 partitons. Msft reserved and Windows.

    • pjm

      i had to use ubuntu 12.04 load it wipe partition for ubuntu manualy load mint kde 16 then i had grub if i did not do this i COULD NOT BOOT MINT as you said mint refused to make a grub boot menu !!!!!!!! as soon as i had grub loaded from ubuntu whitch i hate ubuntu by the way every thing worked had a grub boot with mint kde 16 if i dident do this it would go to windows ????? this works it sucks but is the onally way grub menu would load …..

  • romulo guedez fernandez

    Thanks for you wonderfull guide.

    Now in my PC I have dual boot with Windows 7-64 bits.and Linux Mint Cinnamon 64 bits.

    I just installed Cinnamon from my 16Gb USB (using Unetbootin to create a bootable usb).
    I followed your step by step guide and everything went smoothly.
    Keep up the good work.
    Thank you so much.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Romulo :)

  • Matthew Nickl

    When I get to step five it only shows the entire internal 320GB harddrive, not multiple partitions I created in Windows 7. I’m not quite sure what I’m doing wrong here, I should be seeing several partitions shouldn’t I? This is the first time I’ve taken the plunge into Linux, so I’ll just wait a few days and do a little more research to make sure I’m doing this right. I’d appreciate a few tips on why I can’t see the partitions I made in Win7 32bit and an explanation on how I can install Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon 64bit on a seperate partition.

    • naresh kumar

      I am also facing this problem during installation of linuxmint 16 kde/cinnamon. i have 4 partition hard drive shown in win7 64 bit but during installation of LM there is only one 500gb space shown. If any body have same problem and get solution please help me.

      • Matthew Nickl

        I may have found the problem, but it’ll be awhile before I can learn the fix. I have a GPT partition table and the Linux Mint installer cannot work with GPT partition tables which is why no partitions are detected. Here is the topic and forum where I was able to figure out the problem,

        • Abhishek Prakash

          I am late in answering the comment but I see that you have already found the fix. Great!

          • Naresh Kumar

            i have already MBR partition but the problem was same only a partition of 140Gb and 360Gb shown but actually i have 4 partition of hard drive so what can i do to install LM16 KDE/Cinnamon alongside win 7 64bit.

      • Matthew Nickl

        I dont’ know if your problem was my problem, but I found a solution to the problem. There’s a lot of programs out there that’ll allow you to convert a GPT partition table to MBR partition table, which was my problem, I had a GPT partition table that wasn’t allowing Linux to see the partitions I made for it.

        So what I did was I grabbed MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional for Windows, which is a paid program. However, there’s plenty of free and effective programs out there that’ll do the same thing. I used my new program to convert from GPT to MBR. Then I booted from my LiveCD and this time Linux saw the partitions and I was able to follow through with this tutorial to get the two OS running together.

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  • TheAtheistReverend

    Used the above method to install Mint xfce to dual boot with Win 7 except for the partitioning, I let it choose “Install mint along side windows”. When I boot the computer, I get no option to boot into anything. It goes straight to Windows, no Grub, no nothin’. Anyone have a suggestion for me?

    • Pat

      Hi, maybe you should try a program named “Easy BCD” – it worked very well for me!

    • root03

      Same experience here. I think it is something to do with EFI .. not sure.. I couldn’t find much during the installation process. The BIOS is set to use legacy. UEFI is set to disable.

  • Harman

    Hey Abishek ,maybe you should make a guide on how to install another OS if you have 4 partitions. I had that problem, and it took my like 50 hours to find a solution. For my way, you need a System repair disk.What I did was NOT touch the Manufacturer tools/Recover partitions(IF you have a uefi PC) and I deleted the “System Reserved” Partition on Windows using Easus Partition Manager. Then I shut down the comp, and a note: It will not boot up the regular way. After it got shutdown, use the system repair disk to use startup repair OR open cmd and type ” bootrec /fix mbr” & “bootrec /fixbcd”. Found it on windows 7 forums.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      I am planning to buy a new laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed. May be i can wrote one then.

  • Harman Signh

    Let me restate my comment that I posted at school earlier today:

    How to Install another OS if you have 4 Partitions that look like this:
    C:, Recovery, System, [Manufacturer] Tools

    Step 1:Back-up system.

    Step 2: Make a System repair disk(NOTE:NEED A DVD BURNER)
    -In Windows Control Panel, go to Backup and restore
    -On the right, click make a system repair disk
    Step 3: Power off computer, and boot into CD/DVD

    Step 4: Select Language, etc, wait for it to initialize.

    Step 5: When you get to the main screen open Command Prompt.
    Step 6: Type in “diskpart”
    Then “list disk”
    Then select the main Hard Drive you are using by typing
    “select disk [Number of Disk with Windows Installed]”
    Step 7: Now type “list partition”
    Then Select the partition with about 100 megs by typing
    “select partition [partition number]
    Step 8: Now type “delete partition override”
    Step 9: Select the partition with Windows Installed by typing
    “select partition [windows partition]
    Step 10:type in “active”
    Step 11: Close all Command Prompts.

    Congratulations, your PC is now unbootable!

    Now to be able to boot:
    Open another command prompt, still in the system repair disk:
    Step 1: Type in”bootrec /FixMbr”

    Step 2: Type in “bootrec /RebuildBcd”

    Yay process is complete! Now shrink C: drive to allow space for more OSes.

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  • Seth Kvam

    Is the GRUB installed automatically or do I need to do that seperately?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      It should be installed automatically with the install.

  • prasad

    I am following the same procedure but windows is opened, linux mint not opened. what i will do

  • KidBengala

    Nice post!

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Thank you

  • Ashok

    how to access my older files which is in my windows 8 ,from linux mint???

    • Abhishek Prakash

      You should be able to see the windows partitions when you go in file manager. Click on it and it will be mounted. You can access all the Windows files without any troubles.

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  • Brain cancer

    Excellent guide. Thanks a lot. Installed Linux Mint 16 next to Windows XP. One little issue: Although during installation I did follow the alternative option I am not to happy with the partitioning. Linux now has about 1 Terabyte for itself and Windows only has C: with around 320 gig. Is there anyway I can do some reorganizing there? Or should I restart the entire installation process?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Brain,

      Yes, you can. You should re-partition the 1 TB Linux drive to one or more NTFS partitions. This will enable you to access data in the NTFS drives in both Windows and Linux.

      • Brain cancer

        Ok. Sounds complicated, but I will give it a try. Let you know if it went well.

        • Brain cancer

          Actually I have no idea how to do this… (im so dumb:( )

          • Abhishek Prakash

            Don’t underestimate yourself :)
            Use GParted in Ubuntu or some other partition tool in Windows and make new partitions. A simple google search will provide you a number of good tutorial.

  • Brain cancer

    oh yeah if anyone cares to know, for the install I used a 4 gig USB ( and very sweet program called Lili usb creator to create bootable usb)

  • GemmaSeymour

    This is only partially helpful, because it does not cover the differences between MBR and GPT disks or UEFI and BIOS boot, nor does the article cover the all-important topic of the bootloader location.

    That being said, *this* time, I was installing Win7 64-bit and Mint 16 64-bit on two partitions of a 250GB MBR HDD, on a machine that is BIOS only, so leaving the bootloader option set to sda as in the screencap above resulted in a bootable system. I don’t know, however, to which partition the bootloader was actually installed.

    • Brain cancer

      hence brain cancer

    • Abhishek Prakash

      @GemmaSeymour:disqus Agree!

      As I have stated in first few paragraph, that I had Windows 7 installed and this guide does not tell you how to install with UEFI. I have an old laptop that did not come with UEFI. One day, when I’ll have a new laptop, I’ll write the complete guide.

    • root03

      This article is a simple step-by-step installation for Linux Mint without getting in to intricacies of UEFI/BIOS.

      I am stuck with broken installation. It boots in to Windows only. BIOS is set to legacy mode. I think Mint 16 installed as EFI.. but I have no way to confirm that.

      I tried booting in to Live USB and re-installing Grub. But that broke it badly. It does not boot either OS. Later I tried reinstall and chose an option to replace existing Mint installation. It created new partition table. And that when I noticed ‘EFI’ in partition type.

      Still looking for help on this — Windows 7 and Mint 16 dual boot in Legacy mode.

      • root03

        got an answer… :

        Question: Can I dual boot Win7 and Linux on a UEFI capable bios?

        Answer: Yes you can. If your HDD is formatted in MBR
        partition table (or msdos) than you can install first windows 7 and than
        the distro of your choice. BUT, careful, if you install windows from a
        DVD media it will convert your HDD in GPT partition table and dual boot
        will be almost impossible… (or will give you a lot of headache) to
        avoid this, dump the win7 iso to an usb using Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. Installing from USB will not change the hdd in GPT partition table.”


        I guess I need to start from scratch .. do an install of windows 7 in MSDOS mode and then install Linux Mint 16 on it.

        • Zachary Sonicfast

          Therein lies the problem – gpt partitioning.
          When I have to install win7 oem, I have to use the drive reimaging disks. If I don’t, I do not have drivers and OEM software that I paid for.

          This wipes everything and forces gpt/uefi.

          Linux can be installed, but no dual boot even if you turn off uefi.

          If you go back into windows after installing linux, windows repair forces the destruction of linux.

          Even easyBCD doesn’t work.

          Now, if you took a retail copy of Win7 and installed it (of course there are NO usb drivers or any others) on a MBR and then installed linux, you can go back into windows without destroying linux and use easybcd to add linux to the chain.

          And dual booting is ‘somewhat’ easy.

          If installing linux was easy, linux would work with any partitioning scheme, gpt, uefi, mbr, set where the bootloader is supposed to go automatically or give popups on mouseovers as to the why’s and why nots’s for given partitions, and fix everything so you only have to choose as an option partitions and sizes.

          The dumbest thing was to force UEFI/GPT on laptop users.
          Laptop hard drives are barely 1TB to 2TB.
          And by the time they do exceed 2TB, it is time for a new laptop anyway.

          We need a free conversion program that automatically converts GPT to MBR so linux can be installed. And with about 2 clicks of the mouse. 1 to start it and 1 to confirm you want to do it.

          Seems not even the commercial ones can do that.

  • jimmd

    This was a good partial tutorial, but did not cover some things for my situation: a new dual boot attempt with a Windows 7 laptop (Dell Latitude e6430, 3 partitions, MBR). The answer here provides a good overview and advice:

    Start by getting two new USB flash drives (or ones that don’t have files you want to keep as they will get reformatted). The Windows recovery USB will have to be devoted to this purpose indefinitely. The Mint installer USB I assume could be reformatted and used for other purposes after the installation.

    1. Backup any important files (documents, photos, etc.) to a spare drive, the cloud, or whatever.

    2. Create a bootable USB recovery of your Windows system. It is best to
    use your PC vendor’s tools if available (e.g. Dell Backup and Recovery Manager)
    rather than the vanilla Windows recovery. Though, this worked for me if
    creating the latter:
    (one of the programs installed some junk in all the browsers though, as
    a warning).

    3. Create a bootable Mint USB. LiveUSB did not work for me for a reason I forget, so I chose one from this list (UNetbootin if I remember right):

    4. Defragment your hard drive, restart, then shrink your Windows C drive partition to make room for Linux:

    5. Follow a combination of these two videos, along with the tutorial above for installing Linux Mint and getting the dual boot option working using EasyBCD. To access the two-part videos, do a search on Youtube for: “usbtux Safe dualbooting Windows 7 Part 1″. I did not put a link here as it tries to embed the video.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Thanks for the detailed tip. I hope it will be helpful for new readers.

  • Shabakthanai

    Your instruction is the same as I have used many times in the past, however, the UEFI BIOS seems to have changed things.

    I have recently completed a reasonably upscale build that I installed Windows 7 Professional 64 bit. It is installed exclusively on a 256GB SSD. I have an additional 128GB SSD that hopefully will contain Kubuntu 13.10 64 bit. Kubuntu will be the exclusive operating system on that drive.

    I already have a TB 6GB/s HDD that contains about 60GB of data that is already /home. Is there a compatibility issue with UEFI and GRUB? Is there any additional programming added to the CMOS when installing a dual-boot, and if there is, will a failed installation require resetting the CMOS to recover? And if the CMOS has to be reset, will the Windows 7 Professional 64 bit installation still be accessible and bootable?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Seems you have a power-horse :)
      Yes, things have changed with UEFI. Since I don’t have a notebook with UEFI, I could not write the tutorial for UEFI.

  • Albin

    Great post and many good comments. My problem a few days ago was replacing an old W7 / Lubuntu 10.04 by installing Mint 16 XFCE in the 60gb Lubuntu partition. Without knowing better, I deleted the Lubuntu partition in Windows then used the free space for the Mint install, but after looking good it wouldn’t boot: black screen with “GRUB rescue” so I had neither W7 nor Mint. I’m clueless about that prompt, but the problem seemed to be with GRUB not with the OS installations.

    Thankfully I remembered I’d bookmarked Boot-Repair from a glitch in Lubuntu days:

    I was able to install and run Boot-Repair from the Mint Live USB, and it worked perfectly, rebuilding the entire boot sequence and printing out a log. I highly recommend trying it when GRUB won’t work or stops working.

    Even so I clearly messed up somehow. If the author would say a bit on replacing an existing Linux install rather than creating a new one, I’d appreciate it.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Albin,
      Sorry for my late reply. When you choose “something else” in step 4, it removes the existing Linux install. I hope that answer your query :)

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  • cool_007

    After following your steps ,can all the ntfs partitions be accessed from Linux mint ?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      I experience no issues in accessing the NTFs partitions, so yes.

  • A visitor

    What would happen if we just choose “install linux mint alongside them” instead of “something else”?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      It will try to install Mint along with existing OS.

  • satish

    Thank u

    • Abhishek Prakash


  • Microsoft can’t kill Linux

    Medicine fo UEFI would be disable it in BIOS use “Legacy”

    mode and reformat to MBR first install Linux on 2nd partition as ” / ” leave 1st partition somewhat bigger around 150GB if its enough for you, then install windows 7 but for windows 8 you have to do a trick each time when windows 8 boot “blue” menu appears select ” YOUR Linux” when screen got blank switch off forcefully and start again then Grub will show menu options for linux and YOUR(any version mint/ubuntu etc.) linux will start

    • Microsoft can’t kill Linux

      Little bit hasty i have written, Once Windows 8 will install then only follow above procedure with Windows 7 installation it may matter as per your BIOS version.

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  • NiceGuy

    many many Thanks ABHISHEK i have linux mint 16 to my laptop i dont need windows for years but the church laptop i will rather use both why others have no experiences with linux.

    ive tried to make a partition on mint 16 with the usb stick and gave 50 gigs for testing but when i try to start windows from the bootstick windows shows me the complete 250 gigs and the partition ive made its not readable.

  • John Smith
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  • Sreekanth

    I had successfully done Dual boot Installation legacy mode.

    Step One Install Windows in C drive Using Boot CD
    Install AOMEI partition Assistant
    Convert Disk From GPT to MBR
    Restart System
    Enter Bios and Change UEFI to Legacy Boot Mode
    Start Windows normally
    Convert One drive minimum of 10 GB to NTFS
    Convert one Drive to 2 gb minimum for Swap in NTFS
    Convert one Drive For mounting Home
    Also You have to Convert one srive to EXT 4 Mode , which is needed to show The hard disk Partitioned while installing linux, if not it will show entire hard disk as one single partition
    And Insert Linux Mint KDE(Which I Tested) and Install using manual partition method
    After that Just retart and see if GRUB 2 boot loader had started with both option

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  • James Hughes

    I realize that this is a late comment, but I hope that someone will notice this and help me with my problem.

    I followed this guide step by step (and I left Windows on the hard drive, without messing with the Windows installer), and although Linux works fine, any time I try to load Windows 7, it goes straight to Startup Repair.

    Does anyone know what might have caused this, and if there is any way that I can fix this problem?

    • Ian Walker

      start windows normally.. if it gives you that option

  • yashvant

    Hai Abhi,
    I started with a bootable DVD all went fine but when I selected “Someting else” It did not show the partions but instead it shows entire disc volume as one. Wat can be the problem (I have win 8 64 bit installed & my PC is core i 7 with 16 gb ram & 1 tb HD)

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Did you already have partition in it?

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  • John Jeffries

    You are awesome! Thanks for the great information!

    • Abhishek Prakash


  • mike

    I have been following dual booting Linux with Windows 7 and using EasyBCD as a boot loader. It worked fine with an older laptop using Ubuntu 12.04, but on my 64 bit using Mint 16, mint inserts itself into the windows bootstrap automatically and won’t wait for me to setup BCD so I end up with two boot menus, first the Windows then BCD. What can I do to prevent this?

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  • TheGasMaster4381

    Thank you for this tutorial! :D

    • Abhishek Prakash


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  • 8bitvandal

    Hello! Thanks for the tutorial.
    The installation went smoothly but after checking the System Monitor it doesn’t seem to find Swap. It says “not available”. I am pretty sure I’ve followed all your steps carefully. Is there anything I could do to redeem that space I’ve allocated for the swap and activate it on LM17 somehow? Your reply is highly appreciated! :-)

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Is it visible in partition tools? You can free up from there. No sure of side effects though.

  • m0ulas

  • @Deepen

    At the start up it aks me to login. How can I login in first Live Mode?

  • naughtycalvin

    Thanks mate, very helpful. Do you mind posting, how or which to select from LM-Cinnanon, LM-Mate, LM-KDE or LM-XFCE?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Sure… will write an article :)

  • Casey Phyle

    Have followed instructions until just before the Install button. But that Device for boot loader installation disturbed me. What does it mean? Just accept what is there by default? Apparently the entire hard drive. Will that mess with the rest of the disk? Or should I choose one of those 3 new partitions that were created, as per above suggestion? Which one?

    Have tried it 2 or 3 times until I got this far. Each time rebooting Windows caused some problems, shutting down, acting strange, etc. Is there a way to make it a littler smoother so that these two competitors get along with without grating?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Once you have created the Root, swap, home just go ahead with the “Device for boot loader installation”. This is mainly your hard disk where Linux will be installed (on the Root, Home, swap partition).

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  • Mark S

    I currently have Linux Mint 17 installed on one PC, and am dual-booting Win7 and XP on another. Each Windows OS is resident on separate HDDs on the 2nd PC. I would like to move XP to the PC that is running Mint, and dual boot there instead, as I rarely use XP, but it has apps on it that I use now and again that won’t install on Win7. Question is: Since XP is on a separate HDD, what is the procedure for installing it for a dual-boot on the Mint PC? BTW, the XP install used to be with the MoBo that is currently hosting the Mint install, so there shouldn’t be any compatibility issues. Thoughts from anyone would be appreciated.


  • Mark S

    Addendum to my last. The Linux install is very recent, and I have not vested much time as of yet. No additional apps have been installed, and I have not customized the GUI (KDE). Because of that, I could re-install Mint if that is the easiest way to accomplish the dual-boot.

  • sicadera

    i wanted to install linux in c: and i had my data disk d also connected.

    i dont know how, but it is formatted now.

    i did nothing more with my data disk.

    any help very much appreciated.

  • sicadera

    I have to write this again, as it is like… deleted every time.

    Following the guide, i ended up with formatted ntfs second physical drive.

    any suggestions, hints, help?

  • Enamul

    I tried to setup Mint with my Windows 7 by following this steps, but when is select USB from boot menu. It shows two options 1. Start SUB(or something close, I can’t remember. 2. Boot from first hard drive.
    When I select option 1 and hit enter it says system will boot automatically in 15second and it reduces to 1 and then again start from ever and it continues.
    On the other hand, when I select the 2nd option and hit enter it boots my windows 7.
    Can you help me with this issue ?

    Thanks a lot.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Perhaps the live USB is corrupted. Run a checksum on the downloaded ISO and create a live USB again.

  • Ken Austin

    I am trying to install Linux Mint 17 alongside Windows 7, when I get to step 4 I am not offered 3 choices in order to select “Something Else” but instead I get choice 1 which is “Where would you like to install Linux Mint” with three choices to erase, and I get choice 2 which is “Manual” I select manual and then I get the screen to select partitions. My screen shows /dev/sda
    /dev/sda1 ntfs
    /dev/sda2 ntfs
    /dev/sda3 ntfs
    /dev/sdf1 fat32

    I am trying to figure out which of those represents the free space so that I can proceed with clicking “Add” so that I can partition and continue the installation. Can someone help me out please? Thanks

    • Abhishek Prakash

      none here. You will have to delete a partition to make some free space.

  • Derb


    I followed this guide and it worked perfectly for me. In fact it worked so well that I was surprised. I have been dual booting windows and Linux for over 10years, I am not a super proficient Linux Scriptwriter or hacker but I do know a little about Grub and UEFI. I just followed this with a brand new Gigabyte P35w Core i7 laptop with windows 8.1 preinstalled. The first thing I did was to create a full backup of Windows to USB, I have had issues where the restore image failed. I then went into the BIOS and disabled Secure Boot and cleared the secure boot keys. I was not able to boot the UEFI boot loader on the Mint 17 USB I created so the option to install Mint 17 with windows 8.1 never came up when I clicked the install. After the install was complete I re-enabled the Secure Boot feature in BIOS and then my Grub menu came up. I want to point out a couple of things here that I did:
    1. I never install them both on the same HDD, I have had too many problems where either Linux or Windows screws with the data of the other OS’s partition. The laptop I purchased has options for quad storage (2uSSD’s) (1 interal 1Tb mechanical drive or SSD) and a Hot swap DVD/BL burner bay that you can drop an SSD into and hot plug. I installed Linux here with a 240Gb Mushkin SSD. So Windows resides on the internal uSSD and Linux is in the 240Gb Mushkin.
    2. I never purchase “Off-The-Shelf” PC’s (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Toshiba, Sony etc) because they have sided with MS and do not always support the UEFI BIOS options on all their models. If you want to be assured of these options then purchase an Asus or Gigabyte or one of the Alienware systems.
    3. One caveat, I need to have the SSD plugged in to boot either Windows 8 or Mint 17. I was able to unplug this in windows and swap in the BL/DVD burner since the boot process was complete.

    Great Guide


  • shoot_ric

    In nine days it will be one year since this “How To” was posted. I can confirm that these steps work on a PC with a UEFI BIOS however, I made some changes in the sequence. This may be one reason why many people posted “this does not work blah blah blah”.

    Running from a live CD of Linux Mint 17.1, I used gparted (Menu/Accessories) to create the Root, Swap and Home partitions. I then rebooted (removed CD) to Windows 7 to make sure that I could log in. Rebooted again through the live CD and followed the steps in this tutorial. It works. Thank you!

  • Dawid Bielecki

    Is it possible to install Linux Mint 17 In dual boot with Windows 8.1, but i wanna got Mint on LVM ???

    Right now paritions on my disk are picked by “Instalation type” as “something else”, and im creating:

    sda3 – ext4 –
    sda4 – ext4 – home

    sda1 – NTFS – Windows 8.1
    sda2 – NTFS – personal data files

    But instalator doesn’t ask me anything about LVM. So is it even possible to got other partitions on disk if im going to use LVM?

    • Dawid Bielecki

      the entire drive has to be as LVM

  • perogy

    I tried these instructions on an Acer Aspire E 11 with 4 GB RAM and 500 GB of HDD runing Win 8.1. When I rebooted, I was not welcomed by the grub screen and there are no instructions on how to get to the Administrator’s Command Line and what to enter on the command line to make sure that the grub screen comes up. I had to go to another article that included this last part and now am able to use Linux Mint 17.1 in dual boot mode with Win 8.1. This is a good step-by-step tutorial for installing in dual boot mode except for the missing part on what to do when the grub screen does not come up after rebooting. It would be helpful to add the instructions on how to get to the Administrator’s Command Line and what to do once you are there.

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  • Lieselotte Meyer

    Wow, I’d really like to thank you so much for your tutorial! It’s great, you made it so easy and now it’s actually working after hours of not having it work. Just one little thing: It’d be great if you include the option of encrypting in the end of the process. Would be interesting, to know you’re view on the matter (and have it explained). Did it now anyway, hope that’ll work, too.
    And now: Thanks again!

  • Imran Khan Esafxai

    i have installed linux mint with windows 8.1..But the option start is not appeared whether i want to log in with windows 8.1 OR linux mint 17????
    Please guide me.