Dual boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint
How to dual boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint
This post will cover the process on how to dual boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint.
For this example, it is required that you have Windows 10 already installed. In most cases it is recommended to install a Linux distro after the Windows 10 installation, because of the bootloader. Linux bootloader will detect another operating system installed and add the other operating system in the bootloader entry – this process is done automatically by the GNU/Linux installation. Also this example will cover the process if you only have one partition on your HDD and check you PC how it boots(UEFI or Legacy) and make sure both OS are installed in the same mode.
Before starting the process I recommend to backup any important data you have.
Requirements for this process:
- Linux Mint bootable USB
- Free space on you HDD or second HDD(even better).
Bellow is a video tutorial for this process as well:
Creating partition for Linux Mint installation
First we will start with creating a new partition for the Linux Mint. For this step you can use any third party partition tool but in this example, we used windows disk management. So, first step is to run the disk management app by right clicking the start menu and then to choose option – Disk management.
When the app loads up, on the bottom of the app you will have a list of all your connected drives. We’re going to use and edit the Windows partition, which in most cases is a C: partition. You can also do the same step if you have another partition. Please do note that you need to have free space available on your partitions.
Select your partition, right click on it and select option – Shrink volume.
A prompt window will open in which you need to split the partition and allocate space to your new Linux Mint partition. In the field labelled – Enter the of amount of space to shrink in MB. You need to enter the size of new partition in megabytes. After that, click on the Shrink button and the partition is created.
Next step is to plug in your bootable Linux Mint USB on your PC, restart the PC and the boot the installation.
Linux Mint installation
The installation will boot the Live installation automatically. You will get the Cinnamon desktop. Run the – Install Linux Mint.
Installation setup window will start and prompt you with options. First screen is to choose the language. When you go to the next screen, it will ask you want to install third party software. This is optional, you can do it later, but if your PC/Laptop is connected on the internet, you can check the option and the installation will install all the necessary software right away automatically.
Now here comes the important step. Here we need to setup the dual boot option. This is setup for Linux Mint partitions. The screen will first offer you couple of options how to proceed with the installation and how the installation will install system on your PC. The most simple and easiest is the first option – Install Linux Mint alongside Windows. I usually go for the something else option, but that one has more steps and this time I want to cover how to install Linux Mint as simple as possible since this tutorial is for the beginners.
Formatting Linux Mint partition
So, select the first option – Install Linux Mint alongside Windows and click continue. The next screen will prompt you how will installation format the partition and how much of space will go for the system and how much for your personal files. The installation will automatically select your newly created partition which has free space. In the middle there is a graphical display of your partition – a green bar which has a separator line in the middle. Slide the separator how you want in order to allocate space to your system. Right side of the bar is for your system and the left is for personal files. If you want your system to have more space, slide the bar to the left to allocate more space to system.
When you finish with partitioning, click Install Now. Before it proceeds it will prompt you to be sure you want to continue with changes. Click on Continue again.
You will get another prompt that will ask you do you want to continue with writing changes to the disk. Again click continue.
Installation will now install the system. Installation will run in the background. While it’s running, it will offer you to finish with other part of the setup – user creation and etc.
Finishing up installation and user account creation
First it will ask you to choose your country.
On this screen you need to choose the keyboard language and choose the keyboard layout.
And on this screen you need to setup your user account and enter the computer name.
When finished, click continue. The installation will take same time.
You’ll get a prompt once the installation is finished. When you see it, remove the installation USB and restart the PC.
You need to have a bootloader menu like this when the PC starts to boot up. On this menu you will choose which OS you want to boot, Windows or Linux Mint.
To summarize the article – we have showcases the steps on how to dual boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint.
If you ever encountered with Linux distro Ubuntu, you probably noticed that Linux Mint installation is like from a Ubuntu. That’s why Linux Mint is based of Ubuntu. Disregarding that, Linux is still an excellent distro, favored by many and since it has a Windows like desktop environment, one of the best for beginners who transitioned from Windows and started to learn Linux.
That was the process. I hope you find it useful and the process was easy to follow. Thank your for your time.
So how do we dual boot if using 2 separate hard drives whereby each operating system has its own hard drive. Does it matter now if Windows is installed first? Does it matter if both operating systems are configured using UEFI or Legacy? What about Secure Boot and Raid? I built my desktop with a Asus Z97-A motherboard, i5 4690K cpu, 8gb ram, and 2 hard drives that each have 1tb just so you know what these operating systems are going on, and I’m sadly having to say goodbye to my beloved Windows7 and moving up to Windows 8.1 64bit and Linux Mint Cinnamon 64bit
Hello Mike… Thanks for commenting, appreciate it and good questions. It doesn’t matter much if you have windows 10 installed first, you can still make dual boot setup. However it does matter in which mode are systems booting(UEFI or Legacy) and today on newer boards – UEFI goes by default and today’s standard. It is suggested to use only one mode for both systems – UEFI preferable if you have a newer board and by the model of the board you specified – it does have. And the booting process and the setup will be much simpler. You can disable secure boot if it causes boot issues. Raid is not suggested for dual booting, actually, If you setup RAID configuration, then you’ll not have a 2 separate hard drive configuration. RAID is used to either achieve more performance or to have a redundancy. What is important for your setup – When you install the Linux Mint on the second hard drive – it uses the GRUB bootloader. The GRUB bootloader is the main factor here. GRUB will takeover the process of the booting the systems(the screen when you select which operating system to boot). If you decide to install the GRUB on the Windows disk – GRUB will overwrite the Windows boot manager, you then don’t need to change anything in the BIOS for the boot order. But, what may happen is – Windows update might overwrite the GRUB then. But, if you install the GRUB on the drive where Linux Mint is going to be – then you’ll need to change the boot order in BIOS to boot first Linux Mint drive because of the GRUB in order to boot first and also update GRUB when you boot in Linux Mint. Also, you can use the application called – the GRUB customizer to update and configure the GRUB. You can check out this thread as well – I think this is a good starting point: https://askubuntu.com/questions/1033497/dual-boot-windows-10-and-linux-ubuntu-on-separate-ssd
Hope this helps…
If I install Mint on a separate drive with GRUB also installed on the separate drive will the computer boot directly to Windows without showing the GRUB boot menu? I would start Mint by pressing F10 during boot and selecting the Mint drive when I want to use it. I don’t want to see the GRUB Menu when I boot up normally into Windows.
Sorry, I meant F8, not F10.
Thanks you for commenting, really appreciate it.
The answer is yes… If you install GRUB bootloader and Linux Mint on the same drive(on the separate drive in your case), the GRUB bootloader will not boot first and if your Windows drive is set as first to boot in the boot order, it will still boot first. I did the same thing on my old PC where I installed Windows on one drive and Fedora on the second drive and installed the GRUB on the same drive with Fedora and had the same scenario as you want as well – needed to open the boot menu and select the second HDD to boot into Fedora.
Thanks again for your time…
HELP….HELP….All was o.k. with Linux Mint Cinnamon on one HD and XP on the other including the Dual booting option in Linux…..For the heck of it reformatted both and reinstalled both again separately and now Linux on SAT0, CD ROM on SAT1 with XP SAT2.
But, No dual options at all….not sure what I did last time….instead of Editing GRUB etc….any way out?
Thanks for commenting…
Are you able to boot in any OS when you interrupt the startup process and open the boot manager and choose the OS you want to boot?
First thing that comes to my mind, which I would try is… Set the boot order in BIOS that Linux Mint is the first one to boot, CD ROM to be the SAT2, try to boot into Linux Mint and see if updating GRUB solve the issue(updating GRUB should solve issue most of the time, since it’s autodetecting any new/other systems installed and configures the boot manager as well), if GRUB update doesn’t help then manually editing the GRUB config is required.
Hope you’ll manage to solve the issue…