Windows 7 Dual-Boot BackTrack 5 Boot Menu

BackTrack Linux is now known as Kali Linux. You may read all Kali Linux articles and tutorial at

BackTrack is a Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu, designed for hackers and/or security professionals, and loaded with the best Free Software and Open Source penetration testing applications available.

The latest edition is BackTrack 5 R2 (the “R” is for Revolution), and the most recent article about it published on this website, before the publication of this one, is Install BackTrack 5 Revolution 2 on external hard drive.

In this article, the steps required to dual-boot the KDE edition with Windows 7 (there is also a GNOME edition), are presented. To begin, download an installation image from here. Burn it to a DVD, then place the DVD in your computer’s optical drive and reboot. The system will boot into a console and you will see a prompt just like the one in the image below. To boot into a Live KDE desktop, type startx and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
BackTrack 5 R2 Startx

Once in the Live desktop, click on the Install BackTrack icon on the desktop. And when the installer launches, click through the first few steps until you get to the one shown below, It is the fourth of eight steps of the installation process. Notice that you have four disk partitioning options. How you want to set up the dual-boot system will determine which one you select.

Since the objective is to set up a dual-boot system, you obviously do not want to choose the second option (Erase and use entire disk). Select the first option if all the space on the disk is taken up by Windows and you want the installer to shrink Windows and install BackTrack. Select option 3 (Use the largest continuous free space) only if there is unpartitioned space on the target disk and you want the installer to auto-partition the space. Use the fourth option (Specify partitions manually (advanced)) if you want to create a custom set of partitions. This assumes that you have some knowledge of disk partitioning in Linux. If you do not, and want to go this route, you might want to read guide to disks and disk partitions in Linux and tips for dual-booting Windows and Linux.
Just to show how this can be done manually, the last option is selected for this tutorial.
BackTrack 5 R2 Disk Partitioning Options

Related Post:  Dual-boot Linux Deepin 12.06 and Windows 7 on a computer with 2 hard drives

And it just so happens that the target disk has some unpartitioned space. So the next step is to select it and click the Add button. By default, the BackTrack 5 installer creates just two partitions – one for the root partition, and the other for Swap. For a distribution of this sort, that is likely all you need, unless you want to add an NTFS partition at the end for whatever reason you can think of. For this tutorial, just two partitions will be created.
BackTrack 5 R2 Advanced Partitioning Tool

This is the partition setup window. Since there are two existing partitions (the Windows 7 partitions), the installer will attempt to create the BackTrack partitions as logical partitions, which is just fine. BackTrack, like any Linux distribution, can boot from a logical or primary partition. If you are confused about “primary” and “logical,” take a few minutes to read guide to disks and disk partitions in Linux.

What you need to do at this step, is specify the amount of disk space you want to use for BackTrack 5, then select the file system from the “Use as” dropdown menu (the default is ext4). Finally, select the mount point from the “Mount point” dropdown menu.
BackTrack 5 R2 Create Partition

This is what the same step looks like after the right values have been specified. Click OK to return to the main window.
BackTrack 5 R2 Create Root Partition

For the next partition, which should be for Swap, select “swap area” from the “Use as” menu and specify the amount of disk space you want. OK.
BackTrack 5 R2 Create Swap Partition

Back to the main window, click Forward to move to the next step.
BackTrack 5 R2 Create Partition Cmpleted

On the next step, shown here, the installer gives a summary of what it will do, based on the selections you made. And this is also where you specify where you want the installer to install GRUB, the boot loader. By default, GRUB, the GRand Unified Bootloader, is installed in the Master Boot Record (MBR). In setting up a dual-boot system with Windows, installing it there will overwrite the Windows boot loader, which could cause major headaches for you when you reinstall or upgrade Windows, or install certain anti-virus programs. The recommended option is to install GRUB in the root partition of BackTrack, which in this case, is /dev/sda5. So, to change where GRUB should be installed, click Advanced.
BackTrack 5 R2 Install Summary

That should land you here. You can see that /dev/sda is the “Device for boot loader installation.” That is just another way of saying that GRUB will be installed in the MBR.
BackTrack 5 R2 Install GRUB MBR

Related Post:  Triple-boot Windows 7, Ubuntu 12.10 and Fedora 18 on one HDD

For this tutorial, you want to change it to /dev/sda5. OK.
BackTrack 5 R2 Install GRUB Root Partition

Back to the installer summary window, click Install to continue with the rest of the installation.
BackTrack 5 R2 Install

After installation has completed successfully, reboot the computer. It will boot into Windows, which is expected. The next task is to add an entry for BackTrack 5 to Windows 7’s boot menu. To do that, you need another application. The easiest to use that I have found is a free-for-personal-use software from NeoSmart Technologies called EasyBCD. You may download it from here. After download, install it in the same way that you would install any other Windows application.

After installation, launch it. EasyBCD’s main window is shown below. To add an entry for BackTrack 5, click Add New Entry.
Windows Boot Menu EasyBCD

Now, you are here. Click on the Linux/BSD tab. Select GRUB 2 from the “Type” dropdown menu, then modify the “Name” field to reflect the name of the distribution. Click on the Add Entry button, then on the Edit Boot Menu tab to see the result. GRUB 2 is the version of GRUB used by BackTrack 5.
BackTrack 5 R2 Add Windows Boot Menu EasyBCD

This is what the result should be. Exit EasyBCD, then restart the computer.
BackTrack 5 R2 Windows Boot Menu EasyBCD

You should now see a boot menu that looks just like this one. Boot into both operating systems one after the other to verify that everything is alright. Happy hacking.
Windows 7 Dual-Boot BackTrack 5 Boot Menu


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Hola! Did you notice that no longer runs network ads?  Yep, no more ads from the usual suspects that track you across the Internet.  But since  I still need to pay to keep the site running, feel free to make a small donation by PayPal.

Subscribe for updates. Trust me, no spam!

Mailchimp Signup Form

Sponsored links

1. Attend Algorithm Conference, a top AI and ML event for 2020.
2. Reasons to use control panel for your server.
3. DHgate Computers Electronics, Cell Phones & more.

68 Responses

  1. Nice tutorial. I have an issue though. I shrinked down the volume of drive so i could install linux on it. I created a bootable usb with the linux 18.iso on it and i can boot from the usb, so far so good. When i try to install it i am comfronted with the options to erase all data from my computer (win with all my data) and isntall linux onit or “something else” so naturally i chose “something else” where i can choose on which partition i want to install mint. It recognizes that there is a free partition (the one i created) but it states that its “unusable”. What can i do ?

      1. @finid yes that was exactly the case. I merged two partitions to one so that i had 3 partitions in total and then made room for a linux partition. Not extending the limit of 4 partitions in total and it worked fine.

  2. OK, I have a custom built desktop. MSI gaming M7 motherboard, Core i5 6600 k, 16 Gb of DDR4 and a bunch of other high end shit. I can not get Mint 17 to start, even from a live boot USB stick. I built this system myself and I just don’t get why linux refuses to start. I have tried disabling secure boot. I have tried booting linux in UEFI and in legacy mode..nothing works…any ideas?

    1. Do you get any message on the screen that gives yo a clue why it’s refusing to start? Might be an issue with how the image was transfered to the USB stick. HAve you tried other Linux distros?

  3. Trying to try out Linux Mint on my Windows 10 computer (factory installed). I downloaded 17.3 but it shows as a virtual drive (silver circular icon labeled as drive H) and not an ISO image in my downloads folder. If I try to select it in ImgBurn it opens the “drive” and lists the folders in it. I tried selecting all folders but it always picks only 1. Clicking on the virtual drive icon only opens it to show the folders. I don’t see a setup or exe file in any of the folders so which one do I burn? Been googling this for a couple of hours now and haven’t found anything to help.

  4. Hi,

    I have the problem that there is no efi file type presentit, it self installed version of windows 10.

    I have loaded mint installer from the CD but not from the eufi option for the CD in the BIOS, I can only get the installer to work by loading compatability mode from the cd, normal mode I get a black screen.

    For the eufi option I get a blank screen for both normal and compatability mode. I have disabled secure boot. I have tried deleting quiet splash and adding nomodset to the boot argument.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated I have been messing with this for a long times now.


    1. Also system spec is Intel i7, Asus z97, graphics nvidia gtx970 I have created a partition for Linux on my ssd.

    2. Log into Windows, open the partition manager, and see if the system partition is UEFI or standard MBR. Find that out, so Iknow what step to suggest next.

        1. That’s good.

          So you have at least 3 Windows partitions – a recovery partition, the EFI System Partition, and your C drive. I’m assuming that the other 2 partitions were used for Linux.

          The most important point is you have an EFI System Partition. Now, what edition of Mint are you trying to install?

          If you’re using the latest edition, boot into the computer’s boot menu, then select the UEFI option of the installer. That should work. The F12 or F11 key should bring up the computer’s boot menu.

          1. Yes exactly the other two partitions were used for Linux. I managed to install it but not from the uefi option so I couldn’t choose correct bootloader so it always just boots straight to windows.

            If I try to load the installer using the uefi option then I get as far as the menu to select, Linux, Linux compatability mode etc but when I try and boot either option I just get a black screen.

            I’ve tried various things like adding nomodset and deleting quiet splash from boot argument but still doesn’t work…. ????

          2. You meant Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon edition.

            If you have Secure Boot disabled, I’m not sure why you’re having this issue. Have you tried installing another distribution, like Ubuntu, Fedora or Antergos to see if those work?

          3. Thanks for your help, no haven’t tried another distro I’ll have to give it a go. I’m not sure if it is something to do with graphics drivers…

  5. I have windows 10 on my Lenovo G5070.I wanted to install linux mint 17.3 alongside the windows.
    So I downloaded an .iso file and burned to a DVD.
    I restart the computer select the cd/DVd drive to boot from,but it still starts windows 10.I checked the system Information,it shows secure boot not supported….
    Legacy bios
    Windows 10 is installed on Drive C
    And I have empty Drive Won which I want to install linux.
    What should I do ?

    1. With or without Secure Boot, you should at least still be able to boot from the DVD. Try changing the default boot device to the optical drive in the UEFI setup utility and try booting again.

  6. I have two Windows XP partitions,

    C: , which I’ve been using for some time, but which has a problem and crashes during shutdown and for other reasons, but which has many applications on it that I’m using.
    X: , which I recently created with a clean XP install and I’m gradually building up by installing the apps I need.

    How can I tell whether Windows is using C: or X: to boot from ?
    More to the point, which one should I use for bootloader for Linux Mint ?
    Is it possible to change the bootloader partition from C: to X: after Mint has been installed, or do I have to get it right first time ?

    I’ve read some articles, and they suggest that /dev/sda2 would normally be used as bootloader for Linux, however, the Mint installer has marked my /dev/sda1 as boot loader – it has (loader) next to it on the partition table that’s displayed when I opt to alter partitions.

    I imagine in this case, that I’d be better ignoring what the installer suggests, and instead use /dev/sda2 , which is my newly created XP installation on X: and will likely be better for long term stability. It’s possible I might delete the XP installation on C: eventually, once I get the one on X: up and running – I wouldn’t want to cause possible repercussions on my Linux installation if I do that. Could the Grub system cope with that, or can I configure it in preparation before I delete XP on C: ?

    Sorry I’m making this a little complicated. Such is life living under the unreliability of Microsoft operating systems, that I find myself having to keep creating new clean installations that I can gradually move to. This is why I’ve had enough, and I want to get off the Microsoft Merry-go-round and use Linux Mint instead.

    Many thanks for any help you can offer.

    Regards, Colin

    1. How can I tell whether Windows is using C: or X: to boot from ?

      I’m not a Windows expert, but I think from Windows Explorer, you can see the drive letter of your drive.

      I’ve read some articles, and they suggest that /dev/sda2 would normally be used as bootloader for Linux

      The partition that a Linux installation uses for the bootloader can be /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, /dev/sda5 or anything. The device number is ot set in stone. It just depends on how the disk was partitioned.

      You’ve made things far too complicated than is necessary. The simple solution is to backup your Windows file to a USB stick, then reinstall Windows. That way you have a single Windows installation. Now you can reinstall Linux Mint or any other Linux distribution.

  7. I currently have Windows 7 Home Premium edition and Mint 17.2. Would it be possible to upgrade to Windows 10 if I have a dual boot system?

  8. Oh it was so easy when the installer recognised an existing Windows operating system and installed alongside it. when (if) that feature appears again I’ll install Linux Mint again, until then I won’t bother.

  9. Hi, the first part I have been able to follow, however I am not showing any EFI portions available for boot loader installation? Suggestions?

    1. By creating the partitions manually, you’re telling the installer those new partitions are for Mint. After creating them, they’re the partitions marked to be formatted, so you don’t have to do anything other than create them.

  10. With most newer HP Laptops you have to press a key at boot up in order to select the Boot Order menu and then choose Ubuntu in order to boot mint. The boot order will revert back to Windows on the next boot. You then have to reboot and press the same key again to get the boot order menu. If you don’t do this when you reboot after the install it will boot into windows instead. This is done by HP’s Uefi and by design. without a firmware change you will have to press that key. There are work arounds so that you can use the grub menu to boot a windows / Linux dual boot uefi machine. this only applies to HP Laptops.

    1. Thanks for sharing.

      On non-OEM machines, like the desktop I built a few years ago, the last OS booted becomes the default. regardless of the settings in the UEFI utility. I think it’s the same on my Lenovo G50 laptop.

    2. Hi Mel…
      Your tip helped a lot. I was wondering why my HP pavilion x360 would boot straight into Win 10. I had to press ESc and then after the next screen shows up…pressed F9 and booted into Ubuntu.
      Note I did NOT have to disable UEFI.
      Thanks a lot.

  11. Good tutorial. But apparently one of the ads is using Shockwave flash – which crashes my Firefox browser. I can use Chrome – which at least tells me that Flash crashed.

Leave a Reply to newbie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest

On social media
Via my newsletter
Mailchimp Signup Form

Partner links

1. Attend Algorithm Conference, a top AI and ML event for 2021.
2. Reasons to use control panel for your server.
3. DHgate Computers Electronics, Cell Phones & more.
Hacking, pentesting distributions

Linux Distributions for Hacking

Experts use these Linux distributions for hacking, digital forensics, and pentesting.


The authors of these books are confirmed to speak during

Algorithm Conference

T-minus AI

Author was the first chairperson of AI for the U.S. Air Force.

The case for killer robots

Author is the Director of the Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence.

Why greatness cannot be planned

Author works on AI safety as a Senior Research Scientist at Uber AI Labs.

Anastasia Marchenkova

An invitation from Anastasia Marchenkova

Hya, after stints as a quantum researcher at Georgia Tech Quantum Optics & Quantum Telecom Lab, and the University of Maryland Joint Quantum Institute, I’m now working on superconducting qubit quantum processors at Bleximo. I’ll be speaking during Algorithm Conference in Austin, Texas, July 16 – 18, 2020. Meet me there and let’s chat about progress and hype in quantum computing.