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How to make a dual boot machine with Fedora 64 bit?

asked 2014-09-01 23:45:03 -0500

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I have a Dell inspiron 660 with windows 7 64 bit. I want to install Fedora version 20 64 bit as a side by side OS system with the option of booting either to windows or Fedora. I have been reading horror stories about how windows (windows 8, actually) will not boot without secure boot being disabled in BIOS. Does something like this hold true in Windows 7? Can anyone tell me what I should watch out for and how to, if possible, succesfully run Fedora and windows 7 in a side by side environment? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I use this PC for work. If there are any known issues with Fedora, windows 7, and this particular machine that have not been resolved, Please let me know. If so, then I will have to forget the install of Fedora.

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If you are new to linux and if you are planning to install it in your work machine, I would say, install it first in a virtual machine instead. Spend sometime learning the basics and once you are comfortable you can install it along side with your windows 7 in ur work machine!

anishjp gravatar imageanishjp ( 2014-09-02 02:05:54 -0500 )edit

"Anishjp" is right. You might want to install it in a VM first unless you already have experience with Fedora and you're just asking for a dual booting help

cgonz31 gravatar imagecgonz31 ( 2014-09-02 08:22:46 -0500 )edit

I have used different flavors of Linux before, but this is my first time with Fedora. I chose Fedora due to the fact that it updates (more or less) with regularity instead of hit or miss with other linux distros. My original desire was to create a dual boot environment with windows 7 and Fedora 20 side by side with the option to boot from either/or. Some of the blog horror stories I had read had told of users windows 7 crashing, not having a boot option screen showing, and various other issues. All that led me here for help

Crazy_Dave gravatar imageCrazy_Dave ( 2014-09-02 11:01:14 -0500 )edit

Here are details about my PC: PC is Dell Inspiron 660 with Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium| BIOS has ability to enable/disable security mode (If memory serves BIOS shows it to be currently enabled)| BIOS Mode is Legacy| Disk Partition is MBR| Disk has 3 partitions: Recover, OEM Partition, and OS (C:)| None of these partitions show an option to convert from one type to the other ie: MBR to GPT| Fedora is VERSION 20

Crazy_Dave gravatar imageCrazy_Dave ( 2014-09-02 11:02:27 -0500 )edit

UPDATE: BIOS is UEFI capable. It is currently in Legacy mode. Secure boot however, is disabled and has no option to enable. I have the install files on a flash drive. There is no raw, unpartitioned space on the 1TB HDD

Crazy_Dave gravatar imageCrazy_Dave ( 2014-09-02 11:47:42 -0500 )edit

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answered 2014-09-02 09:12:20 -0500

cgonz31 gravatar image

updated 2014-09-02 09:14:20 -0500

First things you need to find out about your PC:

1) Currently for Windows 7, are you booting in UEFI mode or legacy (CSM) mode? Or third option, though I doubt this is the case, your motherboard firmware is not capable of UEFI booting and you are booting in BIOS because there is no other choice.

Solution: Look in the motherboard firmware. All motherboards have a different firmware so use the OEM manual if you can't find the boot settings.

2) If you are UEFI booting, is Secure Boot enabled, disabled, or not supported by your motherboard firmware?

Solution: Motherboard firmware.

3) Is your disk partitioned as GPT or MBR? If you are UEFI booting, then your disk is partitioned as GPT by default.

Solution: Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management. On the list of all disks, right click on your disk. If there is a menu entry saying "Convert to GPT Disk," then you have a MBR disk. If there is a menu entry saying "Convert to MBR Disk," then you have a GPT disk.

4) A complete breakdown of the partitions and free space in your disk: type, filesystem, size, and location. This is specially important for an MBR disk because you can only have 4 primary partitions in this type of disk.

Solution: Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management. You'll find the partitions of your disk there.

After you find this information you can look at many online guides for step by step instructions on dual booting. I have provided some:

Firmware: BIOS

http://www.broexperts.com/2013/10/dual-boot-installation-windows-7-and-fedora-19/

Firmware: UEFI (with Secure Boot Disabled):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzUKCApxfRw

This one is for Windows 8 but the procedure should be very similar.

Firmware: UEFI (with Secure Boot Enabled): I do not think Windows 7 supports UEFI Secure Boot. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Fedora Installation Media:

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_create_and_use_Live_USB#quickstarts

You have to be very careful in using a UEFI booting USB. Follow the guidelines above with emphasis in "Direct Write Methods" and "UEFI Boot of USB Sticks" section.

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PC is Dell Inspiron 660 with Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium| BIOS has ability to enable/disable security mode (If memory serves BIOS shows it to be currently enabled)| BIOS Mode is Legacy| Disk Partition is MBR| Disk has 3 partitions: Recover, OEM Partition, and OS (C:)| None of these partitions show an option to convert from one type to the other ie: MBR to GPT| Fedora is VERSION 20

Crazy_Dave gravatar imageCrazy_Dave ( 2014-09-02 10:48:44 -0500 )edit

UPDATE: BIOS is UEFI capable. It is currently in Legacy mode. Secure boot however, is disabled and has no option to enable. I have the install files on a flash drive. There is no raw, unpartitioned space on the 1TB HDD

Crazy_Dave gravatar imageCrazy_Dave ( 2014-09-02 11:45:08 -0500 )edit

HDD is broken down into 3 partitions 39MB OEM partition | 21.67 GB NTFS for Recovery | and 909.81 GB set aside for C: with windows and application files installed on it. | Only 145 GB of space is being used on C: | My thought was to shrink the C: volume, Unless Fedora can automatically use a part of that and repartition it for the install of Fedora

Crazy_Dave gravatar imageCrazy_Dave ( 2014-09-02 11:57:01 -0500 )edit

2nd UPDATE: I shrank the C: volume. I now have an unallocated area of roughly 244 GB. With all that I have previously stated, I am still concerned about the dual boot prospect

Crazy_Dave gravatar imageCrazy_Dave ( 2014-09-02 12:38:15 -0500 )edit

The issue has been resolved. I have BIOS set to legacy. | The secure boot option is not available. | I created a partition and used it to install Fedora. I know have a dedicated, dual-boot PC that I can use for both work and other duties regarding linux and windows

Crazy_Dave gravatar imageCrazy_Dave ( 2014-09-02 15:39:34 -0500 )edit
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answered 2015-05-11 03:47:50 -0500

Rashid Samoo gravatar image

Kindly solve my headache ( UEFI & Legacy ) bios mode when we go to ( DUAL BOOT ) window with feodra 21, I share my problems. When I set Bios of UEFI mode than window cant run and bootable window usb cant boot.? another thing when i change the mode into LEGACY at the same time window boot and goes for install? when i put Fedora bootable usb with Legacy mode than fedora usb cant run and when i change into UEFI than fedora bootabe usb boot for installtion. Mean Window Boot on Legacy mode and Fedora 21 boot on UEFI mode? so how install. also one problem is that HD must be GPT formatted to isntall fedora and widow need MBR formatted. so one how to install both OS in one HD. These problem are face to install. Your reply from begning is higly aapreciated.

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answered 2014-09-02 15:41:58 -0500

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >750 is welcome to improve it.

The way I made this work is as such:

Leave BIOS in Legacy mode > Boot from CD or USB flash drive to install Fedora > Choose the option to manually add folders and set up the partition > Created User Profile and Master Password for root. This should basically work with any newer Dell desktop model

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That's the right procedure for any dual booting system with pre-installed OS in BIOS booting. I do think that for newer desktops (not just Dell) you might have a pre-installed OS in UEFI booting since it is the newer standard. Almost certainly if the pre-installed OS is Windows 8. In which case this "legacy" method would probably not work.

cgonz31 gravatar imagecgonz31 ( 2014-09-02 18:23:23 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2014-09-01 23:45:03 -0500

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Last updated: May 11 '15