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Linux (Zorin 12.2 x64) alongside Windows 8.1 Pro x64 (Choice at boot each time)

Kumiko

22 months ago

So... I have basically everything ready to go. (Hardware is compatible, Zorin is ready to be installed via USB and I have enough space on my SSD and HDD. I think I just need to make a partition for Zorin, then install it there)

Simply put: I wanna have 2 OS's installed, but I only keep windows so I can play games. I wanna be able to choose which OS to load each time I start my PC.

Zorin allows the choice of installing alongside Windows, BUT I can't seem to choose between all my drives :\ The only option it gives me is to use one of my USB's which has 30GB on it. I wanna install it into it's own partition on my 250GB SSD which also has Windows on it.

Could having 2 OS's on the same drive damage my windows installation or the drive itself?

Specs:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel - Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $204.69 @ SuperBiiz
Motherboard MSI - Z170A PC MATE ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $179.99 @ Amazon
Memory Kingston - HyperX Fury Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 Memory $179.94 @ Newegg Marketplace
Storage Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $89.99 @ B&H
Storage Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $46.79 @ SuperBiiz
Video Card Sapphire - Radeon R7 370 4GB Nitro Video Card -
Operating System Microsoft - Windows 8.1 Pro OEM 64-bit $129.98 @ My Choice Software
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $831.38
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-01-10 03:04 EST-0500

Comments

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes, you can have two OSes on the same drive. It will not damage anything. In fact, you can have however many OSes you can fit on the same drive - I've gone up to four myself. Some people have done even more than this.

Install Windows first, as its bootloader won't be able to detect whatever Linux you want. Then install Zorin second.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :) Windows 8.1 Pro x64 is already installed. I'm just not sure how to install Zorin now. Don't I just need to make a new partition for it? I'm about to set aside 50GB for Zorin

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes, you'll need a new partition, which you should mark as mount point / (the root directory). Generally, the partition should be formatted as ext4 or btrfs. If you want to be able to hibernate the computer from Zorin, or you run out of RAM a lot, you'll also want a swap partition or a swap file.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

I greatly appreciate your help! :D Now, how else can I mount it? Before you told me to just use / to make it the root, I had no idea what to put there. I guess just / is best? I have 8GB and generally don't do much multi-tasking other than a few tabs in google chrome, discord and steam. That's about all I have open at all times including games as well.

So, partition of 50GB, then maybe 4GB more for swap files to assist with RAM. I should be good to go now once I set the partition, install Zorin etc?

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

/ is the top-level root directory of a Linux filesystem. So what you're doing by setting the partition as / is, you're telling Linux to treat it as the top-level "folder" of the OS. You can dedicate other partitions to different folders, such as /home for your user directories.

And yeah, that sounds fine to me.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Is there any reason to choose ext4 over btrfs or vice versa? I was hoping to choose NTFS for everything, but didn't see the option and I'm guessing Linux is best with ext4.

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

NTFS doesn't support Linux file permissions, so it's highly discouraged to install Linux on it.

btrfs is newer than ext4 and was designed to have better reliability and fault tolerance. It also has more features such as snapshots and compression, though these features won't matter to most desktop users. ext4 is older and more mature, and typically runs faster than btrfs.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Sounds like I will stick to ext4 until btrfs is fully finished and polished. Thanks for the info :)

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

Also, if your computer uses an EFI boot, you'll need a dedicated EFI system partition. Refer to this link for details on that.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Is it still considered dual-booting if I choose my OS when I start up my PC? I don't wanna waste resources on both OS's since I don't have very good hardware yet. I may do that later when I have an i7, 16GB of RAM and a RX 480 8GB.

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

It is still considered dual-booting, yeah. Hardware doesn't matter though; you only run one OS at a time. So the only thing that might produce a bottleneck is the amount of space you have in your storage. Depending on your needs, this may not be an issue.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

okay, thanks :) I doubt I will have any bottleneck.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

But do I setup the EFI partition before or after installing Zorin? I'm guessing before... but how do I assign Zorin to work with the new EFI partition?

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

First, check that your computer uses EFI for booting in the first place. If it doesn't, then you don't need an EFI partition.

If your computer does use EFI, then there should already be an EFI system partition, since it already has Windows installed. In which case you will want to mark that partition in Zorin as /boot or /boot/efi, and do not reformat it.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay, so: I don't need to make a new EFI partition, just mark the partition in Zorin (not sure how since I'm new to Linux, but honestly just wanna move to it.) then DON'T format it and should be done.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

oh, I'm certain my motherboard uses UEFI and I do have a EFI partition

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