Installing Ubuntu alongside Windows 8 on a UEFI System

Gone are the days when Ubuntu installed without a hitch. Now there’s UEFI and Windows 8 to contend with. The Ubuntu site has this advice: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI.  Here’s some advice based on my experience of installing Ubuntu on three separate machines over the past week.

1 Installing Ubuntu

  1. Put the iso on a pendrive/DVD in the usual way
  2. Turn on the machine and hit the key to bring up the boot options
  3. Change the settings so the machine will boot from USB first (naturally)
  4. If it’s UEFI, make sure secure boot is disabled and legacy boot is enabled
  5. Insert the pen drive and boot up. Ubuntu should boot in the usual way from the pen drive. It will then install with no problems (so far, at least.)

2 Troubleshooting

2.1 Machine won’t boot from USB/CD

This seems to be a Windows 8 feature. You need to boot up Windows 8 and do an advanced restart as follows:

  1. In Windows 8 goto PC Settings -> General -> Advanced startup.
  2. Choose Advanced Options -> Startup Settings

The machine will reboot and should hopefully find your USB/CD

2.2 Install Ubuntu alongside Windows option is missing from the install options dialog

Again, you have to boot into Windows 8 and then use the Windows disk partition manager to make a suitable partition. The Linux Partition manger doesn’t seem to work anymore

2.3 Ubuntu is installed, but machine still boots to Windows

Follow step 5 here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI

Easy! I don’t think so. Not only have Microsoft ruined a perfectly good desktop, they seem to be doing a pretty good job of ruining the ease of installation for other operating systems. I wish they’d get a grip.

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