For Newcomers - How to Install and Dual Boot Linux Mint 16 Onto a Windows 8 System (With UEFI)

  6 years ago

This short tutorial is focused on newcomers who want to load Linux Mint 16 in dual boot configuration onto a Windows 8.0 system. The specific focus is on the adjustments you have to make to your Windows 8 system in order to install Linux Mint in dual boot mode.

I'm a relatively fresh-off-the-Windows-boat newcomer = noobie = noob.  By no means a Linux expert...but absolutely a Linux Mint advocate.  Many thanks to all across the Web and Linux community who have written blogs, articles, and instructions on how to dual boot Linux onto a Windows 8 box - I relied heavily on these experts.  Overriding goal with this tutorial is keep it simple, and don't scare away the noobie....but also wide open to community input and improvements. 

So let's get right to it. 

1.  Notes & Assumptions

a.  This tutorial assumes the following and thus does not cover in detail:

b.  You want to dual-boot Linux Mint 16 onto a Windows 8.0 system.  Does not apply if you intend to completely replace Windows 8 with Linux (ie completely overwrite Windows with Linux). 

c.  Assumes these procedures will work with Windows 8.1, but can't guarantee - my system is Win 8.0.

d.  You know how to access your Windows 8 system's Bios (varies depending on your brand of computer - follow the manufacturer's instructions for your system).  This is critical.  Try accessing your system's Bios (as a test run) prior to proceeding with the instructions below.  Put it another way - you MUST know how to enter Bios and make changes for the process below to work.  General help can be found here:  and here:

e.  You know how to create a Linux Mint 16 bootable CD/USB, and how to load/configure Linux.  Instructions found here:

2.  My System Specs

a.  Sony Vaio laptop with Windows 8 pre-loaded....fresh out of the box.

b.  Intel I3 processor...I specifically choose the Intel chip as a safe bet, because thought I read somewhere there are challenges with Bios/UEFI config changes and dual boot on the AMD architecture......I'm could be wrong, comments?

3.  Windows 8 System Actions/Changes

a.  Complete a full backup Win 8, create recovery disk/USB, set fall-back point, backup files, etc...

b.  Go to Windows Control Panel, Power Options, Choose What the Power Buttons Do, Change Settings That Are Currently Unavailable.  Excellent help here:

c.  Fast Startup.  Factory setting = on  (box checked on).  Action:  turn off = uncheck box. 

d.  Optional - also recommend turn off (uncheck box) sleep and hibernate options. 

4.  Turn System Off

a.  Turn off system, unplug from power, then plug back in. 

b.  For laptops, remove the battery and plug the system into an electrical outlet.

c.  This ensures the system restarts from a complete cold boot.

5.  Turn System On, and Make Bios Changes

a.  Access your system's Bios.  See the prior instructions above.  In some systems, you push the start/power button and simultaneously pressing the F12, F10, F2 or other function key depending on your particular system requirement.

b.  Enter into Bios and make following changes:

c.  External device boot.  If current setting = disabled.   Action:  change to "enabled".

d.  Secure boot.  If current setting = enabled.  Action:  change to "disabled." 

e.  Boot mode.  Current setting = UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface).  Action:  change to "legacy" or similar setting.

e.  Save Bios settings....but don't exit just yet.

f.  Insert your Linux CD or USB stick.

g.  Now exit Bios. 

h.  Your system might boot at this point from the Linux CD/USB, but if not, power down system, then power back on.

6.  Load Linux Mint

a.  Power up system with Lunix CD/USB installed.

b.  Linux Mint should now load and install.  Follow instructions in the Linux Mint User guide found here:

7.  How to Get Back Into Windows 8

a.  This is where other experts probably have even better assistance. 

b.  For my system, a little cluncky, but it works.  Re-enter Bios from cold start, and change boot mode from "legacy" back to "UEFI".  Save settings and exit Bios. 

c.  My system then loads Windows 8 no problem.

d.  To get back to Linux Mint, do the reverse.  From cold start access Bios and change boot mode back to "legacy, " save settings and exit Bios.  Linux then loads no problem.

8.  Conclusions

The above process worked cleanly for me.  I was actually surprised how well it worked.  I encountered no system problems.  All critiques and assistance welcome....anything to help newcomers successfully achieve Mint/Win-8 dual boot.   

Zhies 3 years ago

I thought a ton about dual-booting when I left Microsoft (except for a Windows partition used solely for gaming!). A lot of people were using dual-boot options using one system embedded in another. That didn't make me comfortable putting my secure Linux inside a Windows partition.

So I went the easy route and made my PC dual-boot using the BIOS. I just press the F8 key when it boots up and select the OS I want. I know every BIOS doesn't have that feature, but at least mine does, and well worth the headache of doing a system-in-system dual boot.

BIOS ftw

JOPETA 5 years ago

So, nor dual boot and neither UEFI. Good totu for nothing.

TonyUkuk 5 years ago

PLEASE, do not wright out there 'With UEFI" if you are offering to SWITCH OFF UEFI and enable LEGACY/CSM or so - such tutorials MUST be named as "Linux Mint with WindaX bla bla bla LEGACY/CSM" but not "WITH UEFI"!!! Do not make such mistakes and dont make others, especially newcomers, to repeat these mistakes and fall in frustration about LINUX!!!

killinjoe 6 years ago

not so great. You should be able to install straight in UEFI boot mode. works for Ubuntu. Will write something if I can get it done...

MagicMint 6 years ago

A comprehensive but also comprehensible, step-by-step description which should help to dissipate fears of UEFI dual-booting, though, personally, I find it unacceptable to have to enter the BIOS each time I want to change the boot configuration on the fly… After all, the dark ages of DOS should be long over ;-)

By the way, if your laptop is a newer one, maybe even with a touchscreen, it could be interesting for the community to learn something about your experiences with the hardware in this configuration, especially they concern a Sony. Perhaps you could add this to your user page ?

goinglinux 6 years ago

Well-written, clear, complete and thorough instructions. Well done, Mintgineer!