Dual Boot Ubuntu 13.04 / Windows 8

how to install Ubuntu 13.04 along side Windows 8 - when Ubuntu doesn't detect Windows 8

Recently I bought a new laptop with Windows 8 Home installed as default(an Acer V5-471 from Tescos, at an amazingly good price ;) ), though when i came to install Ubuntu WUBI on it, everything went great until i attempted to boot into WUBI.   On attempting to boot i got a white on black text error scree pertaining to "wubildr.mbr".

After a bit of research i found that this was down to the new type of boot configuration on new hardware known as UEFI & Secure Boot.

After doing a bit more research i found plenty of posts on the web suggesting that WUBI is not going to work with UEFI, and that installing as a dual boot configuration in a seperate partition was the way to go.   Great, brilliant, i'll try that then.    The only problem now is that most of these posts all suggest creating a bit of spare space on the disk using the Disk Manager in Windows(shrink the Windows partition some, so that there is some spare space availabe to install Ubuntu into), which is not a problem, however they also all suggested that during the Ubuntu install you should be presented with a number of options for how the install should work, one of which being "Install along side Windows"(words to the effect of), and this option did not display for me !

A bit more research later and i couldn't find any recommendations on how to proceed.   Eventually i decided to just attempt what i thought might work instead, and it did, so here's my steps :-


1) Partitioning

Using the windows tool to partition, create some free space on the disk.   I shrank the Windows partition by 50gb, which then obviously became available for the install of Ubuntu.

2) Install Ubuntu

First of all make sure to disable Secure Boot.    I read one post that claims alot of work was put into Ubuntu 13.04 to make sure it was Secure Boot compatible, however, either Ubuntu 13.04's installer or Boot-Repair(see below) told me that i needed to disable Secure Boot before it would continue.    You should be able to do this in your BIOS settings.   You don't need to change UEFI settings at all, just make sure Secure Boot is disabled.  (note: i've not tried re-enabling Secure Boot now that i've got everything working, maybe you can try this)

I used 64bit 13.04 so i had to install from an SD card being as it was too large to fit onto a normal cd.   Either way, either boot from your Ubuntu install SD Card or from the install CD.   I'm fairly sure that i booted up the "try ubuntu with out installing" option when i was presented with the option list.

Once booted to a desktop, i connected the wireless network, then started up "Install Ubuntu" from the desktop icon.

The first part of the installer i selected not to download and install updates during installation, and opted to install 3rd party components.  (this shouldn't make much difference what you do here)

The next stage of the installer is where alot of posts are saying they see an "Install along side Windows" option, which i didn't and i'm assuming you didn't(otherwise you'd not be reading this blog post).    If you don't see the "Install along side ...." option then choose the "something else option" option.

The next stage of the installer should now show you a disk partitioning tool.   Here what you will need to do is create one small parition for 'swap', roughly the same size as the ram in your machine(some will tell you 1x the size of your ram, some will say 1.5x and some will say 2x.   I'm going with 1x)    You will then need to create another parition, using what ever space is free to be assigned to '/' and i chose ext4 as the file system type(i'm sure ext3 or ext2 would be fine to).    The final part of this screen asks you where you want to install your bootloader to.   I chose to put this on the same partition as / is on.   So, look and see what address is assigned to your main root partition (/) (not swap, but the other one you just created) and see what the partition address is, it will look something like /dev/sda4.   Once you know the partition address, select it in the choices of location to install the bootloader to. (i chose to install it on my / partition to avoid destroying any other loaders on the disk's partitions - it left me then with half a chance to back out if i needed to)

Once this is done, continue through the installer, and reboot when you're prompted to

3) Boot Repair

After rebooting you should be booting into Ubuntu no problem at all, however you may find that you're not able to boot into Windows any longer, either because you're not getting to the grub menu, or because the option is not availabe in the grub menu.

If you're not able to see the grub menu then the way to fix this in 13.04 is to either hold down SHIFT whilst booting up, which should make the grub menu appear, or failing this edit /etc/default/grub and comment out (prefix with a #) the line that reads "GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0" ... now your grub menu should apppear at start up.

If Windows or the Windows Boot Loader is not showing in the grub menu then the boot-repair is a tool i found recommended on various posts.   To install do the following in a terminal window :-

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair

Next you need to start this up either from a terminal window by typing boot-repair, or from the Unity Launcher.    Once it's up and running just hit 'apply'(i think it detects and sets all recommended settings - it did for me) and follow the rest of the instructions(it will ask you to run some sudo commands in terminal - possibly if we'd started up boot-repair from terminal with 'sudo boot-repair' it might not even prompt for you to run these commands)

Once complete, when prompted to restart, do a restart


(after you've checked if you can boot into both Ubuntu and Windows, and everything seems good, you could try re-enabling SecureBoot and checking if it's still good - i've still yet to do so, it doesn't really bother me it not being enabled)

Friday 28 June 2013 at 06:24 am | | Linux

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