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How to Dual Boot Windows and Linux | COMPLETE

how to dualboot windows and linux
windows and linux

Why Defend Windows with Dual Boot?

When you want to use linux as a primary OS for your daily work, sometimes we are hit by a need where we really need windows installed on a physical machine (not on a virtual machine).

Although linux has evolved (thanks to the power of opensource) and virtual environment (wine) support that allows us to run several Windows applications on LINUX.

But there are certain things that are only able to run optimally if using windows that are installed on a physical machine.

Games application with anti cheat

Game applications that use anti-cheat (game guard, xigncode nProtect, et al) cannot run in a virtual environment (wine / QEMU)

This anti-cheat application must run on kernel ring 0 (runs on the base of the operating system) so we must use Windows physical machine so that games can run.

Games with High Graphic Games

Although the linux community has made opensource drivers for VGA cards and VGA card vendors also make proprietary drivers

But the resulting performance will be different if you use windows directly because the game is run using a virtual environment (Wine).

Indeed linux has supported VGA passthrough technology that allows Virtual machines (QEMU) to use physical VGA cards installed on the computer directly to get maximum performance, but not all VGA models support VGA passthrough facilities.

Computer Specs Limited

For LINUX mania that has computers with passive specs and even uses virtual machines to run games feels heavy and less optimal.

The dual boot option can be the right choice to still be able to use Windows applications smoothly and still maintain Linux.

Installing dual boot windows and linux can be done after installing LINUX or after installing WINDOWS.

The easiest way is to install Windows first and prepare a partition to install linux, but if you've already installed LINUX you can still install Windows that booted with Linux without uninstalling Linux.

BIOS Partition Structure is different from UEFI

There is a slight difference in the structure of the BIOS partition and the UEFI firmware and there are things to consider in order for a successful dual boot installation, this is because there is legacy technology (Legacy BIOS and MBR) and there are new technologies (UEFI and GPT).

The use of this technology must be right in its blend because legacy cannot read / support new technology.

Because Linux is flexible and can be custom settings, Linux does not need special attention, we pay special attention to Windows because we will make a little adjustment so that Windows can be friendly with Linux.

You need to know about the partition structure for BIOS legacy or UEFI because it determines where the boot loader will be installed.

LEGACY BIOS Partition Structure

In the BIOS firmware mode legacy windows will create 2 partitions: a partition with a system size of 500MB and a partition of the size you have specified to install the Windows system itself.

For storage with the MBR partition table partitioning system, you can only make max 4 primary partitions, if you want to make more, you can do it by breaking the primary partition into smaller logical partitions.

Bootloader in firmware mode legacy BIOS mode will be installed on the master boot record (MBR) which is the first sector on the HDD / SSD and does not require special partitions such as UEFI mode.

URGENT!!! The operating system can only be installed in the primary partition, not a logical partition.

Party UEFI Structure

In UEFI mode Windows firmware will create more system partitions than when using legacy BIOS.

Partition with a size of 100MB with the label EFI / system is what we should pay attention to because this partition is used by Windows to put the bootloader.

The partition with the system label / EFI is what you must mount to / boot / EFI when you install Linux to become DualBoot.

Make Bootable Flashdisk Linux and Windows

After you understand the partition structure in the BIOS and UEFI, you can prepare windows or Linux installation media using a bootable flash disk.

Making bootable flash disk is adjusted to firmware mode (BIOS legacy / UEFI) and the system partition used (MBR legacy / GPT) so that the installation runs smoothly.

How to make a bootable windows and linux flashdisk the same way, the difference is in the ISO file that you will use.

So you can follow the guide article How to Make Bootable Flashdisk Windows and Linux to be used as reference material.

How To Install Linux Without Removing Existing Windows

Condition: Windows is already installed on your computer / laptop and you want to install Linux without removing Windows and existing files (dual boot).

This is the easiest method and is highly recommended for those of you who like convenience, follow the steps precisely to ensure your data is not erased.

Prepare and Create Partitions for Linux

To prepare partitions for Linux you can use Windows default disk management (press the Windows key > type diskmgmt.msc and press enter).

  • Make a partition with a primary type (not logical) with a minimum size of 10GB.
  • Leave the partition unformatted because later we will split the partition when installing linux.

Keep in mind that on a disk with MBR partition table you can only create 3 primary partitions (this is a limitation of MBR legacy and is replaced by GPT without limiting the number of primary partitions).

Booting With a Bootable Linux Flashdisk

So you can install Linux from the bootable flashdisk that you made, then you have to boot from the flashdisk on the computer that you will dual boot.

To be able to boot from Flashdik you can use 2 methods below, please choose one

A.Set boot order pada BIOS /UEFI firmware

The first way that you can boot from Flashdik is by changing the boot order (boot order) which you can only access and the settings from the BIOS and UEFI menus.
You can change the order of the boot order by following the instructions on entering and setting the UEFI BIOS .

B. Using the Boot Menu

You can choose the media for your money to boot using the boot menu, you can access this boot menu by pressing a special button when the computer boots.
The buttons for each brand of mainboard are usually different but in general are the F10, F11 keys, or you can see them on the screen when the computer is booting.

If you are late pressing the boot menu button then you have to repeat it by shutting down the computer and then turning it on again and pressing the appropriate button on the screen to enter the boot menu.

After successfully entering the boot menu then select the bootable flashdisk and press enter, if there are 2 options legacay / UEFI please select the appropriate firmware mode on your computer.

Mounting Parisi Boot when Installing Linux

Make a partition to swap and / (<- slash means root) by breaking up the partition you have before.
After the swap and root partitions are created you can mount the root partition marked with a slash /.

Because the structure of the partitions in the BIOS and UEFI are different, this is the most important step and you should pay close attention.


In BIOS mode you only need to create a root partition or slash and swap partition.

For the choice of where to install the linux bootloader, you select the root partition marked with a slash, for example / dev / sda3.

It is intended that the Windows bootloader located in / dev / sda is not overwritten with the Linux bootloader that you will install.

After Linux installation is complete you must use the easyBCD application to edit the Windows bootloader and add Linux so you can choose Windows or Linux when booting.

You can open the detailed tutorial on the website


In UEFI Mode you only need to create a partition for root that is marked with a slash and a partition to swap then direct the bootloader installation location to the partition labeled EFI.

     1. Create a swap and root partition from the space you allocated before using Windows Moount
     2. the partition you have made to the root (slash marks), for swaps do not need to mount. Mount 
    3. partitions with ESP or EFi labels to / boot / efi 
    4. Navigate the location of the bootloader installation to the partition with the ESP label (in the          example / dev / sda2)

In UEFI bootloader mode is installed on the EFI / ESP partition which is 150-300MB in size so that the Windows and Linux bootloaders can live together and don't overwrite each other.

For detailed tutorials, you can check on

How To Install Windows Without Removing Existing Linux

If you have already installed linux as the primary OS, then in the way below you can install windows without having to uninstall linux installed on your computer or laptop.

Prepare Partition For Windows (Minimum 30GB)

Cut and allocate an empty partition that you will later use to install windows, you can use the GParted application on linux to do this.

Cut and allocate without being formatted so that it has unallocated information on the file system.

Booting with Windows Bootable flash

Set the boot sequence as the previous steps ( see above ) so that you can boot with the Windows Flashdisk bootabale that you prepared

Installation Location

After you have successfully booted from your Windows bootable flashdisk, follow the installation procedure as usual.

After arriving at the stage of selecting the location of the partition to install windows you must be careful and make sure you choose a drive with unalocated space information with a size that matches what you have prepared earlier.
  • Click on drive x unalocated space (check that the size is not wrong)
  • click the NEW button to create a partition automatically
  • Windows will automatically create a support partition, all you have to do is click yes
  • Click the partition that was created just then click install

Follow the Windows installation procedure as usual, after restarting you usually don't have the option to enter the Linux or windows operating system.

In other words, maybe you will automatically boot into Linux or windows automatically without any choice, so you have to do the bootloader settings.

Setting Boot Loader

Our goal is that when the first computer is turned on, an option will boot to LINUX or WINDOWS, then this menu display is called the boot loader.

Both Linux and Windows each have a bootloader, this boot loader is what BIOS / UEFI firmware will look for after completing the POST process when booting as a way to load the operating system into memory.

Bootloader Installed in a Different Place

The bootloader is installed in a different way according to the firmware mode used in both BIOS and UEFI).

In the bootloader BIOS installed on the MBR, which is in the initial sector of the storage media because it can only be installed one bootlaoder, we maintain the Windows bootloader when installing linux this mode.
Where as in UEFI bootloader mode is installed on the EFI partition so that we can install more than one bootloader without worrying about overwriting existing ones.

Bootloader Settings in UEFI Mode

if you use the UEFI firmware mode, you can install more than one boot loader (bootloader windows and Linux) side by side, the bootloader is installed on the partition with the EFI label.

Change and use the Linux bootloader as the default bootloader by changing it through the BIOS / UEFI settings menu that you can access when the computer is booting and pressing the special button displayed on the screen.

After you set Linux bootloader as default bootloader, you run the command $ sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg on your Linux so that the windows boot loader is included in the GRUB list and you can choose Linux or Windows when booting.
You can follow how to enter the BIOS and UEFI Settings Menu 

You can choose bootloader in the UEFI settings menu and enter the BOOT section, while in the UEFI mode boot menu there will be a bootloader option on the EFI partition.

If you usually choose the boot order for storage, in this UEFI menu you can choose the bootloader or even add or delete the bootloader list if by default it's not in the list.

Read understand and use intuition to be able to use this menu, because each brand has a different menu and way.

If it works then when your computer is loading linux bootlaoder there will be a choice of several linux modes and operating systems to choose from.

Seen in the picture above Windows Vista (Loader) is at the bottom, you can select it with the arrow and enter to enter.

Bootloader Settings in BIOS Mode

In the BIOS bootloader is installed on the MBR and only one bootloader can be installed, in the tutorial above I have demonstrated not to overwrite the Windows bootloader in the MBR.

In BIOS mode you can only use the Windows bootloader and must edit it so that it can boot into Linux that you have installed side by side.

You will need a utility to enter the Linux bootloader into the Windows bootloader list so that options appear when booting.

1. You need the Easy BCD windows application that you can download a free version of (community      edition / non-commercial use) at
    Download EasyBCD for easy Windows bootloader settings
2.Click on the Add New Entry> select the Linux / BSD tab> select the type "GRUB (Legacy)">             Name in the name column>
BIOS mode : on the drive select the partition where linux is installed (the partition you mounted to / when installing linux) UEFI mode : on the drive select the partition where the bootloader is installed (the partition you mounted to / boot / efi)

3. Then click on Add Entry

4. Click on the "Edit boot menu", make sure the linux entry that you made earlier appears there, you        can change the order and which OS will enter automatically and the countdown timer boot menu        option. Click Save settings and restart your computer.

5. If you use Windows Bootloader by default then when Booting will appear as shown below !!


Installing linux by dual boot is perfect for you who want to start learning linux or use linux in full (migrating to linux) but you still have a large application that can't be run on linux with wine.

For example a game application or other large application for a particular hardware product such as CCTV Management system.

For those of you who are learning linux, you can learn linux from beginner to advanced at (which made me and my friend) specifically discuss linux learning.

Aliif Arief
Aliif Arief web and app enthusiast

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