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Ultimate Guide To Dual Boot Windows and Ubuntu.

Apurva ChodnekarApurva Chodnekar

You must have noticed that we have strayed from our usual tutorials on servers, hosting, and landed straight into the desktop territory.

This ultimate guide to dual boot windows and ubuntu on the same system will broaden your horizons.

It's a great idea for gamers and better yet for people who enjoy applications on both Windows and Ubuntu operating system.

Dual boot gives you the opportunity to use all your favorite applications from both operating systems on one computer.

Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

If you have any of these operating systems running on your computer then this guide has your back.

It will guide you through the dual Boot process in a step by step manner.

Once you are actually through with the entire process you will see that it is not that big of a deal.

It's true that most of the FAQ's are answered at the end of the tutorial but this is one question that we need to get out of the way.

After you create a partition some of you might face the problem known as "ubuntu partition unusable"

This usually happens when there are more than 3 primary partitions.

And if you are working with an MBR i.e A Master Boot Record only allows for 4 primary partitions at a time.

When you create a new partition for Ubuntu this will become a 5th one which is not allowed.

In order to beat that and create a new partition, you will have to delete the fourth primary partition.

Before that back up the data on that partition if there's something important otherwise you could just delete that partition and be done with it.

To find out the partition style you are working with open the Disk management window.

Right click on the “Disk 0” and select properties as shown in the screenshot.

It will give you the properties of your device.

Select the “Volume” tab and check the partition style. Looks like we will be working with an old fashion MBR here. (i.e. If we decide to install ubuntu on windows here.)



Most of the modern systems have moved on from the MBR and settled for UEFI instead.

One of the reasons for that is MBR limits primary partition to only 4 and the 5th one is the extended which has to be separately divided into small partitions.

We have already seen that in detail.

In this guide, we will see how to install ubuntu alongside windows 10 non UEFI.

As universal guides go, with this one you can not only work with an MBR but you can also install windows alongside ubuntu with UEFI.

We have already covered this aspect but just a quick reminder. Get a backup of your entire OS.

Now let's Start with the dual Boot Process:

Step 1:

Note: Your Windows user account should have administrator rights for you to perform the following operations.

For Windows 7:

The first step includes creating a partition and for that, we have to start with disk management.

Go to the Start menu. Select start menu and search for . partitions.

Select the "create and format disk partitions" options from the search results.

For Windows 8,10:

This is actually quite similar to how we do it with windows 7 but still different. And that is why we have added separate parts for Windows 7 and Windows 8,10.

Now, Right click on the start menu or in case of windows 8 the metro Menu.

Select "Disk management".

Step 2:

You should have the "Disk Management" window open. Select the c drive, right-click it.


Select the "Shrink Volume..." option from the list.

Here you can change the values as per your requirement.

We will edit the "Enter the amount of space to shrink in


Here's a tip, you can always turn to Google if you want to quickly convert from GB to MB.

Make sure that you do not shrink less than 15 GB.

After you have filled in the appropriate data, click on "Shrink".

Step 3:

The next step is installing Ubuntu 16.04.

For this, you are going to need either a DVD or a bootable USB drive.

If you already have a bootable USB drive or DVD then continue with Step 4.

If you don't then you can create one for that you can refer Booting USB for windows for creating a bootable USB drive for windows.

Step 4:

Now, plug in the USB drive or insert the DVD.

Restart your computer.

Then boot-up using the USB drive or the DVD.

To do that press the special function key. Generally, that function key is F2, F12 or F10. It depends on the vendor.

You will be taken to a grub screen when the media boots up.

Here you will see a menu. Select "Install Ubuntu" and then press the enter button to continue.

Step 5:

When presented with an Ubuntu screen

You will be presented with two options.

One will be to try Ubuntu or install Ubuntu.


We are going to select "install Ubuntu".

As you can see in the screenshot above you also have to select the language here.

Step 6:


Click on both the options and tick them. After you have done that click on "Continue".

Step 7:


Instead of going for the install ubuntu alongside windows 10 option, select the “Something else”.

You can do the same for install ubuntu alongside windows 8 and install ubuntu alongside windows 7.

There’s a reason for skipping the install ubuntu alongside windows option.

If you select that then all the partition steps will be taken care of by the boot manager without any input from you.

Select “Something else” when you want a customized and more personal partition.

After you make your click on "Continue."

Step 8: Partitions Step One

In this step you will see the “free space” entry in the “device” column.

Select it.

Then click on the add i.e the “+” button.

It will open a window called "Create Partition".

Here we are going to create a partition for swap.

Enter the size of your partition in MB.

If it’s 2 GB then you will enter 2000MB.

Set the “Type for the new partition” to “Primary”.

Set the “Location for the new partition” to “Beginning of this space”.

Set the “Use as” option to "swap area".

After you have made all these changes click the "OK" button.

Step 9:Partitions Step Two

Go to the free space again

Then click on "+" button.

Set the “Type for the new partition” to “Primary”.

Set the “Location for the new partition” to “Beginning of this space”.

Set the “Mount point” to “/”.

After you fill in all the details click on “OK”.

Don’t worry about the size part this time because it will automatically subtract the swap jack space from the original shrink volume.

Now wait until the changes take effect.

Step 9:

Here you have to select the device for bootloader installation.

Note: If you are running an UEFI system

Then go to “Type” column In the installation manual and check all the entries.

If you don’t have an UEFI partition then you are working with a BIOS system.

But if you do have an EFI partition then

set the "Device for boot loader installation:"

as that EFI partition.


Select the hard drive.

Now that this step is out of the way. We are almost done with Ubuntu installation.

Click on the “Install Now" button.

Click on "Continue".

Step 10:

Location where you live.

Keyboard layout preference.

Personal Details.


Fill the details and then click on "continue"

Wait for few moments for the installation process to complete.

You will get the dialogue box with the Installation Complete message.

Next step is to restart the computer.
Click on the restart button and remove your pen drive.

You can use the operating system you want to use from the GRUB.

How to install ubuntu on windows 8 using virtualbox.

Step 1:

If you haven’t already Download Ubuntu 16.04
You can download the version that you prefer from

Step 2:

Download latest version of virtualbox on windows 7

Then follow the steps in the GIF to install virtualbox.


Here’s how you can create a virtual machine.











Follow the images as shown below.

Step 3:

Next, select the virtual machine in our case it is “Ubuntu/Linux”.

Now right-click on it and select settings.

Select the storage option from the list and then in the adjacent box there is a Controller:IDE click on the “+” symbol in front of it.

Then click on the “choose disk” option.

After that you can browse to the downloads folder and choose the downloaded ubuntu iso file (it's similar to mounting bootable usb drive or a cd).

Step 4:

Before you click on “OK”.

Go to the system option.

If you have a lot of RAM space then you can allocate a fair amount of it to the Base memory.

You can even tamper with the processors if you have some to spare i.e. if you have a quad core processor you can definitely assign two CPUs to the virtual machine.

It won't mess with anything.

Once you have taken care of that click on ok.

Step 5:

Now click on start. You are basically starting your virtual machine like you do with your computer.

You will be presented with a Ubuntu setup screen the one we have already seen before.

A] Here you can select the language and then proceed to click on install ubuntu.
Click on continue.

B] Select both the checkboxes in the next step and click continue.

C] Select “Erase disk and install ubuntu” and then click on “Install now”.

D] You will next be presented with a “Where are you?” on the map screen.
Enter the correct details and then click on continue.

E] You can manually select the keyboard layout or let the installer detect keyboard layout. After that click on continue.

F] Next up is the “Who are you?” screen where you have to fill in all the personal details. Now that it’s done click on continue.

You might have wait for some time for the installation to complete

It might take a while.

G] You will get installation complete message through an “Installation complete” dialogue box.
Click on restart now.

That is how you install Ubuntu on Windows 7 using a virtual box. You can do the same for Windows 9 and Windows 10.

Booting usb for Windows:

How to install ubuntu from usb?

Well, this guide will tell you that. But first you need to create a bootable pen drive.

Before you start with any of the two plug in your USB drive.

Get an empty USB drive so you don’t lose any valuable data on it when it’s formatted later.

With Universal USB Installer (BIOS compatible)

Step 1: Download Universal USB installer.


Visit the above link and download the installer.

Step 2: Download Ubuntu 16.04
You can download the version that you prefer from


Step 3: After you complete both the downloads open the Universal USB installer.
Click on “Yes”.

Step 4: Click on “I Agree” to accept the terms and conditions.

Step 5: Select the linux Distribution and version: We are going to select Ubuntu.

Step 6: Then browse and find the ubuntu iso file you downloaded. Load it in the browse the iso file section.

Step 7: Select the USB drive that you have plugged in this step. Tick the format checkbox.

After you have done all that click on “Create” and then click “Yes”.

That’s it. You have created a Bootable pen drive. (This one is BIOS compatible.)

With Rufus (UEFI compatible)

Step 1: Download Rufus.


Step 2: Download Ubuntu 16.04
You can download the version that you prefer from

Step 3: Open Rufus.

Step 4: Select your drive from the list.

For partition scheme you care going to choose MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computers from the drop down list.

Set the file system to FAT32.

Tick the quick format, create a bootable disk using checkboxes.

Then click on the icon of a CD next to the iso image, browse and select the ubuntu iso download.

Also tick the “create extended label and icon files”

Click on the start button.

Step 5: Click the “Ok” button.
Wait for the process to complete.

Step 6: After the process is done click on “Close” button.

Return to Step 4


If you skipped the introduction then you missed out the “ubuntu partition unusable” FAQ just click here to resolve that issue.

Some of you might face this issue. Where the install ubuntu alongside windows 10 not showing. There are a lot of reasons why this could happen.

  • Your windows partition is too full and cannot be shrunk.
  • Your partition is damaged and need to be fixed.
  • Your drive has been formatted as a windows dynamic disk and you need to turn it into a basic disk.

If you follow the steps in this guide/tutorial from the beginning then you might not experience this problem.

But if you do face this issue, you could try to fix the partition if it has been damaged. A partition recovery tool might help you fix it.


Well, that takes care of your “how to install ubuntu step by step alongside windows?” question, doesn’t it? This guide cover dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu as well as windows 8 and 10. And you can even install ubuntu on the virtualbox using this.

If you are interested in installing and setting up Ubuntu server then you can refer Ubuntu Server Setup Guide for Beginners (Version 16.04)

I am an avid book reader, who enjoys technology as well as writing.