Computer Software

How do I install Elementary OS Luna as a Dual Boot with Windows?

The procedure is:

  1. Make sure you have restore CDs for your Windows installation.
  2. If you have not got them, find them or create new ones before going any further.
  3. Download the Elementary OS luna image file.
  4. Choose the amd 64 version if you have a modern laptop (bought after circa 2006)
  5. If you have an older laptop, you will need the 32  bit 386 version
  6.  If you don’t know whether to download the 32 or 64 bit version, boot the machine with any Linux live CD, and in the terminal, type: lscpu, and it will say Architecture:          x86_64 CPU op-mode(s):        32-bit, 64-bit
  7. Make the image you downloaded into a real CD.
  8. In M$ Windows, Navigate to Control Panel>System and Maintenance>Administrative Tools>Create and Format Hard Disk Partitions
  9. Right-click on either your “C” or “D” partition and choose “Shrink Volume”
  10. The result will be an area of “unallocated space”. This needs to be at least 5 gig.  I would make it at least 10 gig for good measure. You can make it more than this if your HD has sufficient free space, but I would not make it larger than 10gig for this first initial test.
  11. Set your machine to boot from the CD.
  12. Reboot the machine with the Elementary OS install CD in the drive.
  13. Elementary OS should now boot up okay.
  14. Use the “network” icon on the top right hand of the screen (between the “sound” and the “battery” indicator) to connect to your WiFi.
  15. Run the installer. It will ask you if you want to wipe out your windows installation. Do not click this option under any circumstances.
  16. Choose “something else” in the installer, and select the “unallocated space” you just created.
  17. If you are not sure of what you are doing, cancel the installation, and watch a Youtube video on the subject.
  18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HANcetKsqc
  19. Create a new partition in this unallocated space.
  20. You can now set the installer to format this new partition.
  21. If you are happy everything is correct, proceed with the installation.
  22. The installer will ask you which drive for bootloader installation. Choose the partition  you are installing Linux onto. If you choose your Windows partition, it will install the grub menu there, and you don’t want it to do this if you are on Windows Vista or later.
  23. When the install is finished the machine will eject the CD from the drive and ask you to press any key to reboot.
  24. At this stage, change your default boot option to boot from the Hard Drive. This prevents accidental re-booting of any live CD you happen to leave in your drive.
  25. The machine will now reboot, and you will be back in Windows as normal.
  26. Now, here comes the cunning part. You need to add an entry to the Windows  boot screen so that there is an option for Linux.
  27. An easy way to do this is to use EasyBCD which is available from http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/
  28. Download and install EasyBCD, and choose “neosmart linux”. Add an entry which selects your linux partition.
  29. Reboot the machine. If it doesn’t work, go back to EasyBCD, delete the entry, and try another setting.  The Neosmart Linux setting definitely works.
  30. Last but not least, if you get stuck, there is a program called Easus Partition Master which will allow you to view and modify the partions on your laptop.
  31. http://www.easeus.com/partition-manager/
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