elementary OS verify partitions

This post shows how to dual-boot elementary OS 0.4 and Windows 10 on a computer with UEFI firmware and on a single hard drive. The computer used for this article is a Lenovo.

First Step – Get Your Windows 10 Computer Ready

1. For a pain-free and successful operation of the sort that you’re about to undertake, it is recommended that you disable Secure Boot (Restricted Boot). How this is done depends on your computer, but if you have the same Lenovo G50 laptop I used for this tutorial, read this guide. Owners of an HP 250 G5 laptop should read this article.

2. From the BIOS or UEFI setup utility, configure the computer to boot from external media.

3. After that, you need to free up disk space from your computer by shrinking the C drive or other partition with enough free space on it. Getting that done is fairly simple by using Windows 10’s partition manager. When completed, the partition should show partitions and free disk space similar to the one shown in Figure 1. elementary OS 0.4 Loki will be installed in the Unallocated disk space.

Windows 10 free disk space
Figure 1: Windows 10 partitions and the free disk space for installing elementary OS 0.4 Loki

Download elementary OS 0.4 and Create a Bootable USB Stick

The next step in this operation is to download an installation image of elementary OS 0.4 from here, then transfer it to a USB stick. From Windows 10, use this article as a guide to create a bootable USB stick of elementary OS 0.4. And from any Linux distribution, the simplest method is to use the following command:

# This command assumes that you're executing it from your Download directory
# 
# /dev/sdb is the target USB stick. Yours might not be sdb, so verify before copying and pasting

sudo dd if=elementaryos-0.4-stable-amd64.20160921.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=1M conv=sync

#

When you’ve finished creating the installation media, insert it into the appropriate port on your computer and reboot. In the next step, you’ll use that bootable USB stick to install elementary OS 0.4 alongside Windows 10.

Related Post:  Dual-boot Linux Mint 11 and Windows 7

Dual-boot elementary OS 0.4 With Windows 10

If the computer has been set up to boot from external media, you should see the elementary OS 0.4 boot menu. One of the entries will be to boot into the Live desktop. I suggest you select that option, play around with the Live desktop, and if you’re satisfied, launch the installer by clicking on its icons on the dock or on the desktop.

After the installer starts, click through the first few steps until you get to the one shown in Figure 2. The installer should detect that Windows 10 is already installed and offer to install elementary OS 0.4 alongside it. That’s great, but it will not create a separate partition for your files and folders.

elementary OS installer partition methods
Figure 2: Partition methods of elementary OS 0.4

For that to happen, you’ll have to select the Something else option, then click on the Continue button to move to the next step.

elementary OS installer Something else
Figure 3: Something else option on the installer of elementary OS 0.4

That next step shows the distribution’s manual partitioning tool, where you’ll see all the partitions detected by the installer. Of the existing Windows 10 partitions, the one of interest here is the one that has efi in the Type column and Windows Boot Manager in the System column. That is the EFI System Partition, where the boot loader files will be installed. To start creating partitions, select the free space, then click the + button.

elementary OS installer manual partition
Figure 4: Manual partitioning tool of elementary OS 0.4

That should bring up the installer’s partition editor. For each partition, you only need to specify the size, the file system (from the Use as menu) and the mount point. For partitions other than the one that will be used as swap, stick with the default file system – Ext4 journaling file system.

elementary OS partition editor
Figure 5: Partition editor of elementary OS 0.4

So let’s start by creating the root partition. For size, any value higher than 20 GB will do. From the Mount point, select /. Click OK.

elementary OS root partition
Figure 6: Creating root partition for elementary OS 0.4

The next partition will be mounted at /home. This is the partition that will hold all your files and folders, so assign most of the available disk space to it. When you’re finished setting it up, click OK.

elementary OS home partition
Figure 7: Creating home partition for elementary OS 0.4

For the partition that will be used as swap, a size of 2000 MB (2 GB) to 4000 MB (4 GB) should be enough. From Use as, select swap area. OK.

elementary OS swap partition
Figure 8: Creating swap partition for elementary OS 0.4

After creating that last partition, you should be back in the main partitioning tool’s window for the last time. From the Device for boot loader installation, select the efi partition. On the system used for this article, that partition corresponds to /dev/sda2, that is, the second partition on the hard drive. Then click on the Install Now button to continue with the rest of the installation.

elementary OS 0.4 partitions
Figure 9: Partitions for installing elementary OS 0.4

This just shows the task the installer will perform. Verify, then click Continue.

elementary OS verify partitions
Figure 10: Confirm partitions for installing elementary OS 0.4

After installation has completed successfully, rebooting the computer should reboot into the GRUB menu. GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader) is the boot manager/boot loader used on virtually all Linux distributions. Aside from the entries for elementary OS 0.4, it will also have one for Windows 10, which makes it possible to boot into Windows from the GRUB menu. GRUB is automatically made the default boot manager, but if it’s not, consult this article for how to make it so for an HP 250 G5.

elementary OS 0.4 GRUB menu
Figure 11: GRUB menu of elementary OS 0.4

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82 Responses

  1. I shrunk the C partition to have some free space. Getting into Mint [15] where there is no ‘alongside’ option, I say that my free space read as ‘unusable.’
    I did some research and found that with all HP computers, there are already 4 primary partitions. All are important, so I don’t want to delete them. And 4 is the maximum number of partitions per hard drive.
    I have already installed Ubuntu alongside Windows 7 from before. The ‘alongside’ option was available.
    I could just use Wubi’s ‘inside Windows’ option, but that would require me to uninstall Ubuntu, which I do not want.
    I am not sure what to do.
    Thanks!

  2. Does it make a difference if you create the partitions in a different order, such as, boot, root, swap
    instead of boot,swap,root ??

    I ask because i read another tutorial some tyime ago that did it in that order

    1. I’ve seen Swap as the first partition, followed by root. so the order does not seem to matter. However, when dual-booting, the location of the boot partitin relative to the first sector of the hard drive matters, as the system will fail to boot if the boot partition is located way out.

  3. thanks for such a great and easy way to make the things clear. actually I installed Linux mint 14 along with windows xp(already installed and working).but easybcd is showing the same error for me as what is given a few comments below by TRZALICA.i found on net that it doesn’t work for systems having only windows xp(and not windows vista/7 alongside)
    I also couldn’t find any alternate software for easybcd. I tried to manually edit boot.ini file in xp and made an entry for mint by writing ‘ c:\grldr=”Linux mint 14(cinnamon)” ‘ at the end. now on startup, window shows a choice to select between two os but soon I pick “Linux mint 14(cinnamon)”,it gives the following error :

    windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    \system32\hal.dll
    please re-install a copy of the above file.

    and then when i click enter,it boots to windows xp. i think it could not locate GRUB and the correction i made in boot.ini file is to check for GRUB at some other location. please give your valuable response about how to make a correct entry for GRUB during windows xp startup. thanks in advance

    1. sorry I wrote the error message incorrectly. the following is correct message that I am getting :

      windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
      \system32\hal.dll
      please re-install a copy of the above file.

        1. omg again!!!!
          why that keyword is not coming in any comment????it is:
          angle bracket start windows root angle bracket end
          then \system32\hal.dll
          not this time please…

  4. I don’t get it. I followed every step to the letter and tried this with LM14, picked the LM option in the MBR and all I seen was the word grub>… Anything?

    1. If you tell us a few details about your hardware, we could help you out. The size of your partitions, including the Windows partitions. UEFI or non-UEFI motherboard.

      1. It was installed via a live USB. I’m not too sure about the board, it’s an M2N-SLI board. I made a 50 GB partition for it and I used all the same sizes you did above, except for the /home partition. I just left it to use the rest of the hard drive partiton.

        It worked fine with Grub and would dualboot, but I wanted to use the 7MBR. Windows 7 partition was 400 gb or so, it still had the recovery partition that 7 uses for restores.

    2. This happened to me. Did you try to install it through the windows installer? It’s going to say that the Kernel must be installed.

      Burn the image on a cd and install it using that.

      1. It was installed via a live USB. I’m not too sure about the board, it’s an M2N-SLI board. I made a 50 GB partition for it and I used all the same sizes you did above, except for the /home partition. I just left it to use the rest of the hard drive partiton.

        It worked fine with Grub and would dualboot, but I wanted to use the 7MBR. Windows 7 partition was 400 gb or so, it still had the recovery partition that 7 uses for restores.

  5. Hey, I followed through your tutorial and I got stuck in a GRUB4DOS and it’s saying that the Kernel has to be installed. I did not install Linux from a disk but from a Windows Installer that was run on a Virtual Disk Mount.

    I understand that the Kernel is in the Virtual Disk Files but is there any help you can provide me in accessing that or at least is there an easy way to solve this without having to reinstall Linux?

    Thanks!

      1. Hey thanks for responding. I’m now trying to do it through a disk but every time I create an account during the install, it gives me a username error and it then freezes.

  6. I have one question. I set my partitions like this: /boot, /root, swap, /home and I installed GRUB into /boot partition (don’t want that Windows mess up with GRUB). I want to install LMDE next to Windows XP and I want to know how to do that because there is no solution in style of EasyBCD for Windows XP?? Everything is installed but I can’t see Linux in NTLRD boot menu…
    Please help!!
    Thanks in advance!

      1. No, it isn’t supported because when i try to open it in WinXP it said: Error opening BCD registry and than bla-bla and then Please note that EasyBCD requires the Windows Vista/7 bootloader, and will NOT work in XP-only environments.

        I need a solution!

  7. Congratulations. This is the best web site i have seen. Very useful. I’ve done the steps and installed successfully the Mint with Win 7 working as dual boot. I just have a doubt: is EasyBCD no free anymore?

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