Install Ubuntu 14.04 In Dual Boot Mode With Windows 8 Or 8.1 UEFI

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Dual boot Ubuntu 14.04 with Windows 8 or 8,1 UEFI

Previously I had written about dual booting Ubuntu Linux with Windows 7 and 8 previously, But those tutorials did not cover systems that come with Windows 8 pre-installed. The newer systems that come with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, have UEFI instead of BIOS. This makes thing a little different from the conventional way of dual booting. In this tutorial, we shall see how to install Ubuntu Linux in dual boot mode with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

This tutorial is performed on a newly bought Dell Inspiron 7437 that has Core i7 fourth generation processor, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM and built in 1 GB Intel graphics. I’ll cover all the steps you need to do in order to successfully dual boot Linux with Windows 8 UEFI. If you have already done some of these steps, just skip to the next one. If you have a fresh system, even better.

The steps mentioned here are applicable to other Ubuntu based Linux distributions such as Linux Mint, Elementary OS etc. Cutting the chit-chat, let’s see how to dual boot Linux on a UEFI secure boot enabled Windows 8 system.

Dual boot Ubuntu 14.04 with Windows 8:

There are various prerequisites to install Ubuntu on a UEFI system. Let’s see them one by one:

Step 1: Make a backup [optional]

It is always nice to make a back up, just in case if you mess up with the system. There are numerous articles on the web to show you how to backup your system. You can follow this tutorial here.

Step 2: Create a live USB/disk of Ubuntu

The next thing you need to do is to create a live USB or disk. I recommend Universal USB Installer to create a live USB of Linux OS in Windows.

Read this screenshot tutorial to learn how to create a live USB of Ubuntu Linux in Windows 8.

Step 3: Make a partition where Ubuntu will be installed

Assuming tat you have a fresh system, the first thing we need to do is to make partition to install Linux. The 256 GB in my system was already had several partitions from manufacturer but mainly for backup and other purposes. Main partition was C drive, of around 220 GB, where Windows 8.1 was installed.

If you have just one partition like this, you need to make some free space out of it for Linux. If you have several partitions of considerable size, use any of them except C drive because it may erase the data.

To make a partition in Windows 8, go to Disk Management tool. You can find disk management tool by searching for ‘disk’ in Control Panel.

disk management tool windows 8

In the Disk Management tool, right click on the drive which you want to partition and select shrink volume. In my case, I shrank the C drive to make some free space:


You can leave the free space as it is. We shall use it while installing Ubuntu.

Step 4: Disable fast startup in Windows [optional]

Windows 8 introduced a new feature called “fast startup” for quick boot. While it is not mandatory, it would be better to have it disabled.

Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > System Settings > Choose what the power buttons do and uncheck the Turn on fast startup box.

If you need more hints, follow this screenshot tutorial to disable fast startup in Windows 8.

Step 5: Disable secureboot in Windows 8 and 8.1

This is the most important step. The new secure boot feature of Windows 8, originally intended for security feature for rootkit viruses, prevents dual booting of Windows with Linux. To dual boot Windows 8 with Linux, we must disable secure boot in UEFI.

Step 6: Installing Ubuntu alongside Windows 8

Once you have disabled secure boot, it’s time to install Ubuntu. I hope you already created the live USB as mentioned in step 2. Plug in the USB and boot the system from it.

To boot from USB, will have to choose boot from USB option from within Windows itself. Either with PC Setting (like for UEFI) or pressing shift key while clicking on Restart.

Once you have booted in the live USB, you will be presented with option to try or install Ubuntu. Click on install. You will be presented with few screen options to choose the language. It will then do some checks on available space, power and internet connection etc. Just click on Continue.

dual booting Ubuntu with Windows 8

The main screen which you should pay attention to is Installation Type. Choose Something else here:


Remember we had created some free space beforehand? We shall use the free space to create Root, Swap and Home. Select the free space and click on the + sign.

partition on Ubuntu Windows 8 dual boot

It will provide you with option to create Linux partition. We are creating the Root partition. Any thing between 10-20 GB is more than sufficient for it. Choose the size, select Ext 4 as file type and / (means root) as the mount point.


Clicking on OK in previous step will bring you to the partition screen. Next we will create swap. Like previously, click on the + sign again. This time use the file type as Swap area. Suggestible swap size is double of RAM.


In similar fashion, create a Home partition. Allocate it maximum space (in fact allocate it rest of the free space) because this is where you’ll save music, pictures and downloaded files.


Once you are ready with Root, Swap and Home, click on Install Now:


Well, you have almost won the battle. You can smell victory now. Next you will be asked to set username password etc. Basically, you just need to click next now.

Once the installation is completed, restart the computer, you should be welcomed by a purple grub screen. Enjoy Ubuntu along with Windows 8 in dual boot mode.

Note: If after installing Ubuntu, you boot directly in Windows, check in UEFI settings for changing the boot order. If you see no option to set the boot to Ubuntu, you need to fix it from within Windows. When you are in Windows desktop, hover the mouse in left corner, right click and select administrator’s command prompt. Then run the following command:

bcdedit /set "{bootmgr}" path \EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi

This should make the Grub default and hence you can access both Ubuntu and Windows from it.

I hope this guide helped you to dual boot Ubuntu with Windows 8 UEFI. If you want to reverse the process, follow this guide to remove Ubuntu from dual boot with Windows. Though this article is written for Ubuntu, it should be helpful for other Linux OS as well. Any questions or suggestions are always welcomed.

  • Mr Chris

    Did you think at all about running virtual box/virtual machine?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Running Ubuntu and/or Win 8 virtual box? Of course I did. But dual booting is still a better way to use both OS in same system, IMO.

  • Seoras Mackay

    Great guide but I hit one problem when it came to Secure boot in the UEFI settings I cant toggle mine off but I can select “Legacy Boot Mode” where it boots into Ubuntu but now Win 8.1 and UEFI boots into Win 8.1 and not Ubuntu. Is there anyway around this?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      This is strange. Because I did it in Win 8.1, I successfully toggled off secure boot. I see no need to using legacy boot mode. May be you can revert the changes and try to turn off secure boot again.

      • gingoro

        I also have to enable Legacy Boot Mode, which on my HPie laptop disables Secure Boot. So now if I boot normally I get Winders 8.1 and if I go into the startup boot targets menu and select the right disk I can boot into Ubuntu. Not a very optimal solution.
        Have tried EasyBCD but the resulting Windows boot option will only work to bring up Winders, when I click on the icon for Ubuntu it simply restarts the machine.

        • gingoro

          I can run in Secure Boot mode as well but to get to Ubuntu I need to bring up the boot from dialog and select the right drive and then presto Ubuntu comes up.

        • m33d

          For guys having a hard time disabling secure boot, I had same problem too. I have an Acer BTW. All you need to do is create a new supervisor password and the option would be available but I strongly recommend clearing the password once you’ve disabled secure boot to prevent password loss.
          I don’t know if you can still convert back to UEFI from legacy though.

  • Akhil

    Can’t see free space in linux mint partition space

    • Abhishek Prakash

      You’ll have to make some free space. You ca do it while istalling by shrinking a volume. But be careful as it may erase some data.

      • Rizky Fahrul Rozy

        still can’t see free space :v

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  • M

    Yep – successfully added Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon as dual boot to windows 8.1 on asus k200ma notebook.

    Great thanks for the awesome guide!

    • Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome..

  • Bruce

    I followed the above directions and every thing loaded fine, however, when I re-booted it did not give me the option to select which OS I wanted to use it just loads windows. It’s as if Linux Mint doesn’t even exist on this system. Can someone help me with this issue?
    Or, isn’t this the forum for this???

    Kind Regards,

    • Paolo Profetto

      I have the same issue


      • mahesh

        me also

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Go to UEFI settings once again… find UEFI Boot options there… you’ll see Windows Boot Loader and Linux Boot Loader…. change the order to put Linux Boot Loader on the top. It should solve the issue.

      • Amit

        I opened UEFI Firmware Setting , but i am unable to find Windows Boot Loader and Linux Boot Loader, in boot option it shows OS Bootloader only.

  • riotanama

    Can I do that for Kubuntu?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Yes… the same applies to Kubuntu as well.

  • Konstantin Stefanov

    Great guide, thank you it hlped me alot :)

    • Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome Konstantin

  • dnbsk

    Unfortunately, not sufficient. I faced many problems and none of them mentioned above. I had to scan different blogs and forums to find detailed info and deal with it but I couldn’t. Then I gave up. The process is not that as smooth as you’ve explained.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Reading the comments here, I see many people faced issues but trust me, I wrote the exact process I followed and it was flawless for me.
      Could you please share the troubleshoot you did so that it can help future readers?

      • dnbsk

        UEFI Firmware Settings under Advanced Settings was missing, I searched it and couldn’t find anything practical; then I realized that I did not have a problem about secure boot. I couldn’t create more than 4 partitions while instaling Ubuntu, but you have many partitions and all 3 partitions you’ve created for Ubuntu are primary. I tried not creating swap area and installed Ubuntu. Then I saw a black screen and realized that my W8.1 was not available anymore. I gave up and booted W8.1 from the very beginning.

        • BenJamN

          Did your installation process flip back to Installation Type after having set up and selected the partitions you wanted to install Ubuntu? Ours seems to be going around in circles.

          • dnbsk

            No, actually it installed Ubuntu but destroyed Windows 8.1. I did not even complete the circle :)

  • DeVansh TriVeDi

    after secure boot off, when i chose to boot from live usb (UEFI) i was stuck at a black screen that said grub v2. and asked me to enter linux i couldn’t boot into Ubuntu .. pls help.. ASAP

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Was it grub rescue error? Some details would be better.

  • BenJamN

    I’m having issues. The after setting all the partitions in a system that already has Windows 7, once I click to install after setting root and swaps, it goes back to the prior screen: Installation Type and looks like it might install over the Windows partition. Shouldn’t it tell me explicitly it’s doing a dual boot and install immediately when I tell it? It goes to some timezone thing and looks like it has an error message box popping up, too. The PhD engineer I’m helping keeps wanting me to cancel the installation because it doesn’t look like others’ method.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      It should not go back to Installation type screen. Just few questions. Do you already have Windows 7 installed on a separate partition before you try to dual boot it? (it hinders some times).
      Also, when you create Root, Swap and Home… does the format check box checked automatically?

      • BenJamN

        Yes, Windows 7 is already installed on another partition. The new unused volume was split into Root and Swap. There were checkboxes on them. The timezone thing came up at some point, and at some point we ended up back at Installation Type inexplicably though we were not hitting back. The person I was helping (an Engineering PhD fellow) was terrified I was about to destroy his Windows partition. That may have been what was about to happen, but I was telling him to trust me and trust the Ubuntu open source code stuff. Surely they have all these kinks worked out and we’re just being overly cautious. If I did not give permission to overwrite those other partitions, had designated new volumes, and was always hitting next or install, my assumption was this would work properly. I’ve never had so much issue installing any OS before, and I remember the good old days of CD Rom drivers within Dos! This Ubuntu 14.04 installer is really a step down from prior Linux installers that simply asked you things like “Dual Boot?”

        • Abhishek Prakash

          You said “Root and Swap” again. I hope you are also creating the “home” along with Root and swap.

          Trust me… with Ubuntu, installing Linux has been very simple. If you try to dual boot Arch Linux or OpenSuse with Windows, you’ll realize how easy it is to install Ubuntu.

  • Ankit

    what are the real disadvantages of turning of UEFI secure boot,i mean what happens to my pc? Will there be any change to my pc?And can i turn it “ON” after installing ubuntu

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Then it will be susceptible to firmware exploits which is unlikely for a normal desktop user. If you enable it again, you won’t be able to access Grub, in my opinion, haven’t tried it though :)

  • Jon

    Not sure if this helps, but I read somewhere that you need to change: Device for boot loader installation:
    /dev/sda ATA VBOX HARDDISK

    sda to sdb <<<<<<<

  • sayan

    in my case when i installed with win 7, after creating the root partation other free space was display as un usable format.. can any one help..

    • Abhishek Prakash

      more details please… swap and home was not created successfully?

  • Hitesh Ramani

    Hi, I was installing ubuntu 14.04 via USB stick and by mistake installed in the NTFS empty drive at the first go. I guess the file got corrupted and hanged then I exited the setup and restarted. It didn’t let me boot from windows as a black screen came with “grub>” command. I again read the whole procedure and this time did everything as written, successful in installing Ubuntu but now can’t get my windows 8 back! No option for chosing windows appears on the boot and Ubuntu starts automatically. Please help.

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  • Tim Converse

    Having some troubles with the installation of Ubuntu. In step 6 above, I am never given the chance to select “Something else” on the Installation Type screen. It seems to skip this step. I go immediately to the screen where I should be setting up partitions instead, but I don’t want to miss a step here. I’m installing on a brand new Alienware 18 machine with Windows 8.1 on it and I am trying to make this a dual boot machine. All the steps up to this point have been just fine.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      This should not happen. Why not run a checksum and see if the downloaded ISO is corrupted.

      • Tim Converse

        It should not happen, but it does. I have checked the USB drive multiple times. I have used different USB drives. I have reformatted the USB drives and resinstalled different downloads of the .iso file. The problem continues to exist.

  • Premnath Tiwari

    Hi Abhishek,
    I have a Sony Vaio with windows 8 pre installed.I am not able to proceed beyond step 6.In Step 6 on selecting to boot from USB I am getting error “Your vaio failed to start using media(USB device/optical device).
    Can you suggest how to proceed

    • Abhishek Prakash

      May be try using the legacy bio instead of UEFI (in boot) and see of you still have this error.

  • theVerge

    Does this mean that I have to reformat my HDD and re-install the Windows 8?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      No .. not at all. This is mentioned no where.

  • gudari6

    I followed your steps and now I have the following options in the grub.
    -Ubuntu advanced
    -Windows Boot Manager (on /dev/sda2)
    -System Setp

    When I choose -Windows Boot Manager (on /dev/sda2) a black screen appears and the OS does not load. Why?

    • paul

      If 8.1 was pre-installed, you have to install your ubuntu bootloader in the same partition where win 8.1 have his own efi bootloader. This is a very small partition (~100 Mb). You will see it in disk management in win8.1.
      You can’t just install grub like in this guide (in MBR) because one of the system will be always unbootable.
      Once your ubuntu is installed with grub in win 8.1 uefi ntfs partition all the options in your grub are working proper. After checking that’s working (you can boot both, win 8.1 and ubuntu) just go back to bios (UEFI) and enable fast booting and secure booting again. That’s it. Enjoy.

      • james

        How does one install the ubuntu bootloader in the same partition where win 8.1 have his own efi bootloader?

  • krish

    I have Windows & already installed. But i din’t shrink volume and create free space. Instead I formatted another partition and installed ubuntu by creating / and swap area.. forgot to create home folder. Now ubuntut works fine but i think windows MBR is screwed up. When i go into windows 7 it throws a blue screen and restarts.. Any idea on how to solve ??

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Oh.. blue screen of death … :(
      Try a boot repair disk. That should solve the issue.

  • LinuxUser001

    Thanks for the article! Worked out perfectly for me. One question though, after installing ubuntu, can I renable fast startup or will that conflict with something? because it makes a very noticrable difference in start up time

    • Abhishek Prakash

      In some cases (not necessarily) it may keep Windows boot in preference. Also, you’ll have problem mounting Windows partitions if you have fast startup enabled.

  • gadz

    hello. just a question. what’s the difference between installing it as primary from installing it as logical? thank you

    • Abhishek Prakash

      If you are using GPT partitioning, it won’t make a difference. If you are using MBR, it restricts to 4 partitions at max, outside the extended partition (the main partition).

  • Edwin Mokami

    Hi, I once did this, it worked and I was able to dual boot between my
    Pre-installed Windows8 and Linux Ubuntu, the problem came in when I had
    to remove linux, I formatted and removed the partition that I created
    for linux, and guess what happened? I Lost the Grub!!!!! So i lost both
    my Windows and Linux. So…is there a way that one can just remove The
    Linux partition safely?? without losing Windows 8?

  • priyanka

    Dear abhishek,
    After installation of ubuntu 14.04 on windows 8 installed pc i didnt get dual boot option. windows is directly loading. As you said i tried in UEFI boot settings but didnt find an option of os boot loader(linux bootloader/windows bootloader/os bootloader nothing). will you please eleborate the procedure in detail?
    thanks and regards,

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Before you do the trick below, try to run a checksum on the ISO you downloaded or boot from USB in to live session and choose “check for errors” from the grub.

      With admin rights, try the following command in WINDOWS command prompt:
      bcdedit /set “{bootmgr}” path EFIubuntugrubx64.efi

      This should give you the grub back but if the ISO was corrupted, you may lose access to Windows (which can be fixed by a boot repair or fresh install of Ubuntu).

      • Caleb

        I’ve tried this but I get Access Denied, do you know how I can gain access?

        • jtkirk

          Make sure to run command prompt as administrator:
          – open search
          – type “command prompt”
          – shift+right click
          – run as administrator

  • Desik

    Even though i made a partition, the free space is shown as 1MB how do i proceed?

  • Joel

    Hey guys, I’ve been following the steps ok till creating the 3 partitions, I have 86g free space, I create my / root, say Ok, does its thing, when it takes me back, my free space is now UNUSABLE, and can’t create the swap or home partitions. what am I doing wrong?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      You are limited to have just 4 partitions, it seems. Try to get rid of unnecessary Windows partitions if you can.

      • Howie Lynch

        How do you choose which partitions to delete ? I have six seven with one unallocated , I have two recovery partitions can I delete these

        • Abhishek Prakash

          That depends. Try with one which has no data or less data ad move it to other partition. For recovery, it is really up to you, if you are willing to sacrifice the recovery partition.

  • Joel

    hey sorry, should of mentioned I’m trying to dual boot it with Windows 7!, I had 12.04 dual booted and working great till I updated it to 14.04 had nothing but errors

  • Joel

    Abhishek thanks for reply, so the quantity of partitions is different in 14.04? then it was in 12.04. I do have more then 4 partitions now, I use them for backups, can’t get rid of them. Too bad, I like using ubuntu, any ideas?

  • Alan

    14.04.1 does not work

    • Abhishek Prakash

      And exactly what is the issue?

  • Javier

    Thank you very much for this tutorial!!

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Javier

  • panadol

    I spent the whole night trying to install Ubuntu alongside Windows 8…it makes me go crazy until I found ur tutorial…thanks for sharing man…my hat’s off to u…=)

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome :)

  • Mike

    Hi. I’m trying to install Ubuntu Studio 14.04.1 in Dual boot with Windows 8.1 on my HP Pavilion 14-n207la. I have installed Linux Mint 17 and CAELinux before and fixed the GRUB boot with Boot repair and everything went smoothly, but I deleted those distros (Used Windows Recovery tool to set it to start up by default again, or I wouldn’t be able to boot my OS). However, when I try to fix the same GRUB issue with Ubuntu Studio, it won’t allow me: When running Boot repair and prompted to input some commands via console, it doesn’t download anything and is unable to set GRUB as booting screen. By the end,it just loads a window that says a problem has occured and I can reboot now… Do you have any ideas what the issue might be?

    Thanks, nice tutorial :)

    • Abhishek Prakash

      What’s the GRUB issue? If its not working with Boot Repair, you may try to fix it with a live version of Ubuntu Studio. Moreover, did you run a checksum to the downloaded ISO before. Sometimes, it could be because of corrupted disk.

  • connor

    should i turn secure boot back on after installing ubuntu

    • Abhishek Prakash

      I won’t suggest that

  • jsjain007

    what about boot partition ? is it not necessary

    • Abhishek Prakash

      It is more of a choice than necessity. I always prefer roo, swap and home partitioning.

  • munersia

    Hi, right now i dont have any partition but the C: itself, and I can’t make any partition out of it. Which means I need to delete my windows 8 if I want to install ubuntu. I’m not sure if my hardware fully support ubuntu, so I plan to keep my windows before I’m 100% move on to ubuntu. Any ideas? Please help.

    • Abhishek Prakash


      If your hardware is really old, you can use Xubuntu. Normally, if your computer is running Windows, it should run Ubuntu as well.

      For the partition, you will have to make another partition from C drive. Do it safely and it should be fine.

  • Night_Hawk

    On which partition should I highlight to create the swap partition
    Which Partition should I click to create the swap??? Reply fast Mr. Abhi or any professional!!

    • Abhishek Prakash

      The same way as you created the /root. Just select the free space, and click on + to add the swap ( I hope this is what you wanted to ask).

      • Night_Hawk


  • spi

    Thanks thanks thanks. After 20 wrong installations it works

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome :)

  • Frank Smith

    Hi, I’m trying to create a windows boot loader using EasyBCD for 8.1, 7 & 14.04 LTS. Using your example above as a guide, in what partition should I point the Ubuntu menu choice/add new item so that EasyBCD will add 14.04 to my Windows boot menu and allow me to choose any of the three OS when I boot my system?

  • Sujay Divatankar

    It’s not showing UEFI firmware settings in advanced options. So I am not able to disable secure boot. please tell me the solution.

  • Ben Gellman

    Hey Abhishek,

    Thanks for your helpful and clear tutorial!! I just have one question. In your directions it says to make a /home directory which will store all of my documents and other files and which will be accessible from both Windows and Linux. I followed your instructions to partition in this way, but how do I then get Windows and Linux to recognize this /home partition and save stuff there? Neither OS seems to be able to do much with the partition. I have an HP Envy. Thanks in advance for your help.


  • Robert Andersson

    It worked fine for me, (I put the boot in EFI). The only problem is that the disk has two different areas for free space. One for 169 GB and the orther 60 GB. /home will be the 169 GB. But I dont think I will have 60 GB on root. Maybe around 40 GB can be be formated in NTFS for use with both systems?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Yes, you can do that in fact. A good practice would be to mount the NTFS automatically in Ubuntu, so it would be used in both system smoothly.

  • a-Teo Periquito

    I got scared when i read the comments below as Ubuntu was installing on my laptop and i had windows 8.1 preloaded… But, after the install everything worked perfectly fine. Thank you so much. ;D

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome :)

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  • Tim Patten

    When I turn on my computer I don’t get a boot menu. It boots straight into Ubuntu. Can you please help. How do I get into Windows? I disabled windows UEFI and ubuntu was installed as legacy.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      In the UEFI, you’ll have to switch back to UEFI boot system and choose Ubuntu boot (or something like that). I don’t remember exactly what is it called.

  • Crystal

    hi Abhishek,
    After following the above steps well, when the installation of ubuntu is finished and I restart the computer, the computer doesn’t provide any options for me to choose OS, just like ubuntu is uninstalled, so how should i do to solve this problem? thx

    • Abhishek Prakash

      In UEFI setup, you’ll have to select between options. I’l check what was it for me.

    • bytelinux

      If you install Ubuntu with UEFI enabled then you must disable SecureBoot option form UEFI and use an bootable USB key compatible with UEFI. Also, when installing Ubuntu in UEFI mode automatically your drive must be GPT partitioned. You can use this tutorial as a strarting point on how you should create partitions on your HDD in order co complete the installation.

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  • Victor Flores

    cant install Ubuntu I get the following screen . Can someone help me?

  • EAJ

    I’m following your instructions to install Ubuntu 14.04 alongside pre-installed Windows 8.1 on a new MSi GE60 gaming laptop. I get to the point where it says Install now, having set up the partitions exactly the same way as you described. Then I get the time zone map but an error pops up that shows a “wrong way” sign and ??? ???. Sometimes if I click OK it will go away but it will kick me back to Installation type and I have to reassign the partitions. Sometimes it just gets stuck altogether. I have tried it both with and without internet on via WiFi.

  • EricWelch

    I’ve been playing around with this loading different linux distributions on several different laptops all having Windows 8.1. Some work, some I can’t get to work at all. The installation goes reasonably well but grub never appears and in some cases the only way to boot back into Win 8.1 is to re-enable secure boot but then the linux installation is not accessible. So far I have not been able to find one set of instructions that works across multiple manufacturers and I’ve given up on Sony and ASUS. I’ve succeeded with Dell and HP and on some Acer machines. It’s been rather infuriating. Occasionally Boot-repair will fix the problem, other times it makes it worse. ReFind worked once, screwed it up on a different occasion. I like Windows 8 and 8.1 but the inconsistencies in UEFI access and booting from one manufacturer to another is almost enough to return everything to Windows 7 where installations always go like a breeze.

  • Izzie

    Everything worked smoothly up until step 5. When I go to Advanced Settings and I click install using USB, then it goes on to the screen where it says try ubuntu without installing or install ubuntu. I clicked both and it always gives me a blank black screen. I don’t know what is going on. Any help?
    I have HP ENVY Leap Motion, 64 bit. Windows 8.1

  • Edel Custodio Frias

    I can’t do this with the step to create a live USB, I found a video that helped me!!!

    I hope that it’s video can help to others people.

  • Abd Elrahman Mohsen

    I fallowed your steps but when i restart my pc i found that there is only ubuntu logged in ,No choices for windows ,just ubuntu .And when i tried to open my partitions in ubuntu this error appeared “” Error mounting /dev/sda5 at /media/abdo/mohamed: Command-line `mount -t “ntfs” -o “uhelper=udisks2,nodev,nosuid,uid=1000,gid=1000,dmask=0077,fmask=0177” “/dev/sda5” “/media/abdo/mohamed”‘ exited with non-zero exit status 14: The disk contains an unclean file system (0, 0).
    Metadata kept in Windows cache, refused to mount.
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/sda5’: Operation not permitted
    The NTFS partition is in an unsafe state. Please resume and shutdown
    Windows fully (no hibernation or fast restarting), or mount the volume
    read-only with the ‘ro’ mount option.””
    I need help here I want to reach my windows .

  • Gourav Goyal

    hi Abhishek,
    I have a Question..After dual booting with Ubuntu is it still possible to set default boot to windows 8.1….i.e no grub menu to choose b/w ubuntu/Windows. I use Linux occasionally.thanks..waiting.

  • Muhammad Haziq Adenan

    Hi Abhishek,
    After installation of ubuntu
    14.04 on windows 8 installed pc i didnt get dual boot option.Ubuntu is
    directly loading. Can you explainin detail to how to get the dual boot menu? Thanks

    • Abhishek Prakash

      You should check the options in UEFI settings.

  • veena

    Hi ,
    I have a dell windows 8.1 laptop .. I followed all the steps .. In the Ubuntu partition once I assign the space it gives me this error .. Have attached it in the photo.. And yes i assigned memeory for the bootloader What do I do ?
    Pls do tell me soon

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Please run a checksum on the ISO you have downloaded. Last it happened with me, it was a corrupted ISO (weird but true).

      • Rich

        I ran into the same problem. I ran the checksum on the ISO and it is correct. I have now tried both with adding a partituion for grub boot area and without, both installed fine but I could not boot into ubuntu (even through eufi).

        • Rich

          Okay, I figured it out for my problem at least: although Windows itself was installed in EFI mode, the bios was booting the usb drive in legacy mode. To overcome this on my asus zenbook, I had to disable the “Launch CSM” in UEFI settings, under the ‘Boot’ menu. Might be different for others as well. After doing this I was no longer asked to install a boot area (because it used the efi partition), and it grub booted up just fine.

  • Michael

    HELLO! I like this article, and is currently translating it into Traditional Chinese for Taiwan Ubuntu users. I would like to use your photos if it’s okay.
    the link above is my homepage, if it violates your right, contact me always

  • ravi

    I followed your steps and now I have the following options

    – in access UEFI settings
    my pc is not showing troubleshoot option.
    plz help me.

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  • ggarge

    Hi All,
    I would appreciate some really basic help.
    USB install stick created with 64bit image using usbinstall with format clicked
    System: Dell Inspiron 17, 7000 series, Intel i7-4510U, 2GHz,
    BIOS: Phoenix SecureCore, Secure boot disabled, Rapid Start disabled

    The problem:
    1. BIOS does not list the USB drive as a boot option. USB contents are recognised by file explorer, though

    diskpart reports the following:

    DISKPART> list volume

    Volume ### Ltr Label Fs Type Size Status Info
    ———- — ———– —– ———- ——- ——— ——–
    Volume 0 D DVD-ROM 0 B No Media
    Volume 1 C NTFS Partition 668 GB Healthy Boot
    Volume 2 Windows RE NTFS Partition 1474 MB Healthy Hidden
    Volume 3 FAT32 Partition 260 MB Healthy System
    Volume 4 Recovery NTFS Partition 27 GB Healthy Hidden
    Volume 5 E Removable 14 GB Unusable

    Any clue why the listing says Unusable? Is that the reason why the “add boot partition” is not recognising it?


  • Guillo

    Thank you so much!
    All runs perfect

  • Robert

    I dont want to waste a CD on this OS.
    On 12 you could have install it from inside windows without a cd

  • BangaluruHuduga

    Hi Abhishek, I followed exact procedure.
    Ubuntu is working fine
    But, Windwos not booting up. Telling ise windows installation disk or contact system admin or contact comp provider. :(
    Windows recovery shoots same eror message.
    Not able to boot. problem with boot/BCD

  • Tapusu

    Hello there,
    I did precisely as you specified. As for the disk space is concerned, I had to shrink one of my volume and make some free space. This partition was not empty. while installing, Ubuntu came up with an error stating – Failed to unmount volume.
    I did not allow it to unmount this time because when I allowed the last time, it formatted the adjacent volume. Can you give me a solution to that!

  • Guest

    I learned it the hard way… But after I discovered that the x64 version had native support, it went smoothly.

  • Abraham Lincoln Brigade

    I had to down load Partition WIzard to shrink my C: drive but it worked with only a slight hiccup on reboot. But I can’t find a way to disable fast startup on my HP 2000 running factory Win 8. Also, I read somewhere that Ubuntu 14.04 is compatible with Secure Boot does that mean you don’t have to disable it? If you disable it do you leave it disabled or do you reactivate it after the install? As per my post on the other thread I wonder what software and troubleshooting protocol matches my HP machine. (Great website BTW.)

  • thegeniexxx

    Ok i successfuly done all steps required and installed ubuntu fine but may i ask how do i now choose what OS i wanna boot up ? (instead of ubuntu loading everytime)

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  • jonas

    I have installed ubuntu in my pc alongside windows 8. But it does not boot in the way that I can choose what operating system to use.

  • Abhisek

    Windows sometimes creates locked ESP (EFI System Partiton). Which prevents ubuntu installer to write it’s bootloader files into EFI partiton. This problem happens when we install a fresh copy of windows 8.1 or Window 8 on a UEFI system. In that case you will surely going to get messed up bootloaders. The best way is to install Ubuntu/Linux first and then any any other windows OS.

    What the grub2/grub1 does is it reads the first disk from first sector till it reaches an end of boot flag. And the boot flag is only present on ESP. Please never try to create two ESP aprtitions, its disastrous.

    Simply follow these steps – (Assuming a clean install of all OS)
    Create these partitons from starting of the disk
    1. A 300MiB partion with label “Recovery” and Flags “hidden, diag” – this will be used my microsoft with ntfs filesystem.
    2. A 200 -250 MiB fat32 partion with flag “boot” – this will be your EFI system partition, this is where the EFI files will be kept and internally mounted on /boot/efi
    3. A 128 MiB partiton with unknown filesystem and flag “msftres” – Microsoft windows will need it.
    4. I’d recommend a common swap partion for all linux OS of size equal to your RAM.
    5. Create all other linux partitons like /boot (500MiB) and your / and /home and anyother if required .

    Now either you go for LVM of normal installation of your ubuntu or any linux. I always prefer LVM.

    Once the linux/ubuntu installation is finished. Boot to confirm GRUB is working. Then go for windows installation. During windows installtion make sure you only create C: drive and rest system partion’s will be automatically created and the installer should not ask you that it needs to create additional partions , as we have already done that, else you should check the steps back again.

    Obviously, after installation of windows windows should overwrite grub bootloader.

    As ususal, boot from linux os live disk via usb or dvd, use boot-reapir of ubuntu or reinstall grub yourself from command line. This is the best way IMO to get a stable system of dual,triple,quad any any number of boot system.

    How to install boot-repair in live ubuntu –

    And attached is my partition scheme –

  • Vadhiraj

    hi Abhishek.. Can you help me with installing if I send you pictures of where I am stuck at?

    • Vadhi

      I am a complete novice.. I have Win 8.1 but don’t want to affect that.. I dont know if my Win has UEFI/EFI or what… I think it is on C: drive and I want to install Ubuntu on E: or F: so that it is away from Win… but am stuck with what UEFI/EFI is and what bootloaders are and what to choose as device for boot loader installation… E is sda5 and F is sda6….. Please help

      • Vadhi


        • Vadhi


  • Sid Sidis

    Hello there! I have a great problem to solve! there are problems to apply that tutorial on specific machines, like asus f-552c?

  • Charles Ferreira

    Man, this ran smooth! Thanks a million!

  • Jennifer Roberts

    Hi, Abhishek (or anyone that can help!)

    I followed the procedure above and everything seemed to be normal. However, I don’t get a dual boot option when I restart the machine (it’s a Toshiba Satellite C70; Win 8.1; UEFI.

    Ubuntu has obviously installed ok, because I can boot into it, but only when I have changed the settings from UEFI boot to CSM boot; then it boots to Ubuntu. But of course I have to change it back to UEFI to get Windows to load.

    What have I done wrong?

    I’m not sure if it’s relevant, but I had to change to CSM boot mode to boot Ubuntu Live from my USB drive.

  • Yash Pal

    I think the problem of Ubuntu not booting or windows not booting in dual booting can be solved with ‘Easy BCD’. I had W7 and Ubuntu and had installed Easy BCD in the Windows partition. The latest edition of ‘Easy BCD’ works with UEFI. An extract of what I copied from a website is given below:
    “After installation and reboot, the computer will boot into Windows. That is expected. The next task is to download and install “Easy BCD”, a free program from NeoSmart Technologies. It makes it easy to edit the Window boot menu.”

    Those who visit the NeoSmart Technologies and then the Easy BCD page will see ‘buy now’ but can see the free distribution after going down the page.

  • Fede

    I did this a couple of months ago and I could only manage to boot ubuntu, changing from UEFI to LEGACY and booting from the hard drive which was working fine for me, but now, when I do the same, I get a black screen. So, now I can only boot Windows 8 in UEFI mode and I can’t find a way to boot ubuntu.
    I’ve tried EasyBCD but with no good result. I’ve got a DELL inspiron, i3, 4GB RAM, running windows 8. I followed this guide step by step. If someone could help me, I’d really appreciate it.

  • Jordi Mateu Besançon

    You are my hero Abhishek :)

  • Felipe Ferreira

    Man… I just wanna say tks! Tks a lot!

  • Claudia

    oh gosh, when I did my install (now it’s Ubuntu only) being unfamiliar with UEFI I installed Ubuntu alongside. Now I have a tiny boot partition and a big unused UEFI one. What can I do; can I resize? This is it:
    dev/sda2 237M 85M 140M 38% /boot

    /dev/sda1 511M 3.4M 508M 1% /boot/efi

  • Ivan Samokhin

    Hi Abhishek!
    Many thanks for the HOWTO – it was really helpful! Everything works with me – Acer V5: Mint 17.1 boots nicely together with WIN 8.1 (was pre-installed).

    Another helpfull source for others would be
    Thank you Ubuntu Community!

    And guys – if after you have installed your Ubuntu/Mint in UEFI mode your computer still doesn’t see it- go back to your EUFI (for me it was a matter of pressing F2 on starting my computer) and change your boot order (by default Windows boot loader goes before ubuntu – and everything works smoothly then).
    Thanks again for the great help!

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Thanks for sharing the link Ivan.

  • Gourav Goyal

    Recently ran into some problem and had to reinstall Windows 8.1. Now my GRUB is lost. How to recover it?reply soon.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Can you log in to windows? If yes, check the boot order in UEFI.

      • Gourav Goyal

        yes, I can login. BIOS setting is same as earlier i.e. legacy enabled. now what to do?

        • Abhishek Prakash

          You don’t have to enable legacy mode. It should be fine with UEFI. Try this part of tutorial where the below command is used:

          bcdedit /set “{bootmgr}” path EFIubuntugrubx64.efi

          • Gourav Goyal

            that didn’t work!

  • Seoras

    Hi, firstly thanks for the guide. I followed this to install ubuntu 14.04 alongside windows 8.1 on my dell Inspiron 7000 i7 all seemed to go well and I transferred all my files etc. However after a few shutdowns and reboots the system now just hangs on power up, blank screen, and backlit keyboard. After hard power off and reboot…nothing. Cannot boot from USB so other than removing the HDD and manually deleting ubuntu partition I can’t think of any options. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      hmm…. cn you log in to windows? Try reinstaling Ubuntu. If it worked for sometime, this means tat the dual boot installation was fine.

  • Nnaji Joseph Chidiebere

    Pls hw can I access the home partition from ubuntu

    • Abhishek Prakash

      What do you mean by that?

  • Robert

    On Lenovo S210 it works great. Only problem had been to boot from USB, and to did that i need to press F12 key when Lenovo screen appears and choose from which device to boot. Thanks!

    • Abhishek Prakash


  • salman

    Thank you. It worked great on hp laptop running windows 8.1. I tried to install ubuntu 14.04 and guess what it didn’t need making the grub default in windows. Cheers !

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  • Kunal

    Hi Abhishek,
    I have dual booted windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.04*. Currently wanted to use Mavericks on VMware and faced some problem of UEFI. As recommended on other tuts went on trouble shoot, but unable to find the UEFI settings. Can you please help me with this !! Unable to find the marked file. Thanks alot man !

  • Richard Gordon

    Great article until we hit STEP 6 — which is completely incorrect, starting at “Create partition”. You have to mark the ROOT (/), /HOME, and SWAP Partitions all as “LOGICAL”, otherwise the free space becomes “Unusable” after the first partition is created. I would suggest creating the partitions in the order I noted, reserving 2X your RAM size for the SWAP at the end. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic guide — keep up the good work!

  • danny

    Thank you very much ….. it worked on my lenovo flex 2…

  • youssef

    when i nave mot the uefi secure boot ….. so, how can i disable secure boot

  • Gustavo

    Hey, tkz for the guide, however the “Installation Type” screen comes of empty for me. There is a primary partition available, but nothing is shown… I can`t get passed this screen :(

    I`ve checked ubuntu disk and there is a efi boot in there… I`m kind of stuck, could you point me out some directions here?

    Thanks again.

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  • Chetan

    Thanks Abhishek, After struggling for long time to install ubuntu on pre-installed windows 8 your post helped me a lot. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • md sajid tagala

    i have a pre installed windows 8.1 in my laptop and i was instaling ubuntu 14.10 along with windows…while installing windows 8.1 it got struck in middle and when i restart the screen neither boot ubuntu nor windows and it gets struck in screen shows pre-existing rom and restart and boot from hard drive…help

  • Caprico

    Best “How to install Ubuntu along Windows the right way”-article on the web! At least in my opinion. Well written, well documentated with pictures – perfect!

  • americast

    The installation finished successfully but upon restart, the pc booted to Windows instead of Ubuntu. Secureboot and fastboot are all disabled. Using this command did not help either: “bcdedit /set “{bootmgr}” path EFIubuntugrubx64.efi”

  • Bob

    Hi, If “Install Ubuntu along side Windows” option is available, do you suggest using it or not? Thanks for the detailed install info.

  • Madhu Anjanappa

    I installed Ubuntu along with windows 8, but what happen, when i switch on not displaying OS selection screen, instead of directly UBUNTU is opening

  • Noob

    Knowing nothing about computers and having never done anything like this before, your guide made a daunting task extremely straight forward! Can’t thank you enough

  • prasad

    i followed the guide completely as it is. It led to successful installation of ubuntu along with windows.but i am unable to boot into ubuntu as there is no such option for selection the os.
    i tried the solution of typing following in admin command prompt

    bcdedit /set “{bootmgr}” path EFIubuntugrubx64.efi

    but no results. still unable to boot to ubuntu. please help.

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  • Bruce

    I used your website:
    Guide To Install Ubuntu 14.04 In Dual Boot Mode With Windows 8 Or 8.1 UEFI
    I attempted to install Ubuntu 14.04 on Windows 8.1 and your instructions do NOT work! Unfortunately, I read the “comments” after my attempt at installing. Everyone in your “comments” also said your instructions do NOT work! Why post instructions on the web that do NOT work only to corrupt everyone’s systems that use your instructions. You are doing a grave disservice to your customers! If these instructions on this webpage do NOT work, then REMOVE that web page so you do NOT do further damage on unsuspecting customers!

    • Abhishek Prakash

      I never post anything on my blog unless I have tried it myself
      first. The instructions on the mentioned guide has worked for me
      several times. And if you read the comments, you would find that it has
      worked for a number of people as well.

      I can understand that things did not
      work for you as expected and this can happen for a number of reasons.
      If you explain what you did and what issue you faced, perhaps we can
      find a way out.

  • khaled Zoueri

    I was reading your article about installing Ubuntu with Windows 8.1 until i found out that Lenovo doesn’t support this option ,i would like to know why and if there is a solution to that .


  • JohnC

    Hi Abhishek,
    Thanks for publishing this very clear Tutorial.
    But I believe –after messing up the BIOS (UEFI) completely during my first attempt for this installation on an Acer AspireV5-431P (had to re-image the whole disk)– that there *might* be a grave error in your step # 6, during partition creation, and JUST BEFORE starting the install.

    There is a “Device for Boot Loader installation” which is usually (default) “/dev/sda”. I think that you need to make sure that the device IS the one containing the EFI partition. I noticed that in your screen captures, there is NO partition marked “boot/EFI” or “EFI”.

    For example, in my case, “/dev/sda2” was marked as type “EFI” (a tiny partition), and the GRUB files need to be installed there to make it work, together with Windows (8.1 in my case).

    In other words, after creating partitions Home, Root and Swap, and JUST BEFORE hitting “INSTALL NOW”, you have to make sure that the boot loader is changed to the device containing the EFI partition. SO in my case, from “/dev/sda” (default) to “/dev/sda2”.

    See the method for Linux Mint 17.1 with Windows 8.1 here:

    BTW, All should make sure that you have a good backup, and good RESTORE Windows USB/DVD. This is a process very prone to fatal errors as you can see by the large amount of messages with errors in this post.

    Sorry to say that.
    John from New Zealand.

  • pta2002

    When I reboot with the live USB plugged in, my PC just boots directly into windows. Any help?

  • H

    I was going to follow this tutorial, but in the screen that asks you what to do (“Erase disk and install Ubuntu”, “Something else”, etc) I had another option: “Install Ubuntu alongside Windows Boot Manager”. I selected that option and it worked well: now when I start the computer it asks me whether to start Windows or Ubuntu, like the Grub in pre-Uefi times. I don’t know what happened, because this option didn’t show up about a year ago when I tried to install Ubuntu 13.10 alongside Windows 8. For the record, I’ve install Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (64 bits) alongside Windows 8 (64 bits) in Uefi mode. The only steps of this turorial that I’ve followed are shrink the volume (make room to install Ubuntu) and disable Secure Boot.

  • Luqmaan

    Hello Abhishek,
    I’m trying to install Ubuntu 14.04 alongside Win 8.1 but I only have legacy boot. I installed 8.1 after having Win 7 on the machine. Can you suggest to me how to install it this way? Thanks

  • Johnny

    What if I don’t have UEFI?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Then you just follow starting from Step 6.

  • Gokul

    Hi Abhishek,
    While i was following the above steps at the step 6 that is ubuntu installation, i am not able to use the partition which i had made in step 3 and it is showing unusable. I am using lenovo G50-70 laptop it came with dos and i installed win8.1. Please help me to solve this and install ubuntu.
    Thank You

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  • Jaymin Joshi

    Still i don’t understand why u creating the partitions manually, it can be dangerous for a newbie and lose all data. I would rather simply create some unpatitioned space from the NTFS file system and install it without any chaos. Tutorial :


  • Ivan Tannerud

    I just tried this myself but when I get to the screen where you’re supposed to pick the “free space”, nothing at all shows up. What to do?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Did you free up some space beforehand? If you know the partition where you want to install Ubuntu, you can delete it to get some free space.

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