How to Dual Boot Linux on Windows 10 Computer

windows-os-and-linux-osInstructions for installing Linux on a laptop or computer that came with Windows 10 pre-installed so that you can choose to boot into windows or linux. This will allow you to keep your windows 10 machine intact exactly as it is (you won’t lose your files) but will create a partition for you run an entirely separate Linux OS. When you turn on your computer you will be able to choose whether you want to go to Windows 10 or Linux. 

I performed this process on a Dell 15″ Inspiron 7000 series touch screen laptop w/ Intel I7 processor, 12Gb DDR4 ram, and 500Gb SSdrive.  If you follow these instructions and install the same distribution of linux that I did (Mint 64bit) on a Dell, then yes the touch screen will work as a touch screen in Linux. 

NOTE: You should probably backup your existing Windows 10 system before doing this. I didn’t but I’m an idiot. If something goes wrong it’s smart to have a backup. These instructions should in theory work with Windows 7 & 8 as well though I have never personally tried it. Others have told me it worked for them.


How to Dual Boot Windows 10 & Linux

1. Read this entire tutorial before you start actually doing it. Make sure you understand it before you start. 

You should also make sure your device is fully charged or almost fully charged and plugged into a power source. Internet access is preferable as well. Things you will need:

  • USB Thumb Drive at Least 32GB (preferably USB & new, all data will be deleted)
  • A Linux Distribution to Install (I am using LinuxMint 64bit)
  • Universal USB Installer (download it here)
  • A computer with at least 20GB of free HD space (preferably 60+) & 4gb of ram
  • A 1/4″ Impact Driver w/ at least 18 Volts (you don’t really need this)

2. Enable booting from USB Drive.

Plug the USB into the computer which should be on at this point. If you are using a computer like my Dell Inspiron 7000 series which uses UEFI BIOS then you gotta turn that off. Restart your computer and press F2 when it begins to boot and BIOS should open. Your computer has secure boot turned on for your own protection but you are going to turn that off against the manufacturer’s advice.

The BIOS will look different on every system but should look something like this:



Turn Secure Boot off > Change Boot tab to LEGACY > Change Boot Order to CD-USB-Harddrive > Save changes

When you are back in windows you can press Ctrl+R to open Run and type “msconfig” to popup a little dialogue box where you can check the boot order for your system. Make sure USB is enabled.

While in MSCONFIG you should also make sure you have the “boot”  tab set to at least 30 seconds so you have time to press the keys to enter boot menu before your comp boots.


3. Create Bootable Linux USB Stick

Your USB stick is plugged in to your computer still. You have downloaded Linux Mint 18 (64bit) and UNUSBInstaller. Now open the USB installer. Click “I Agree” without reading anything on the splash screen.


Note: You should probably install Linux Mint 18 since that is the current version

There will be 3 parts on the following page. The first is a dropdown menu for your to choose the linux distribution. The second item says browse to your disk image. Click Browse and then select the LinuxMint.ISO file you downloaded. The third item is another dropdown menu and you select your USB drive there. Make sure you are certain that you selected your USB stick because the drive you select will be completely formatted.  Click create.

After you click create you will get  a scary warning screen that you should ignore without reading and click yes.

Wait while your computer does magic and it will let you know what it complete.

Now you have a bootable USB stick with Linux Mint on it.

4. Make Room for Your Linux Install

Now before you try to install linux from your USB stick you need to make room for it on your hard drive. Right now your computer is just a little recovery partition and then a huge hard drive with Windows on it. You need to shrink the windows partition down so you have some free space.

Click on the windows (start) button and go to “Disk Management”

You will see a removable disk. This is your USB.

You will also see “System Reserves” that is your recovery partition and other shit you don’t want to mess with. This will only be about 500mb. Don’t touch it.

Find the main disc, which is most likely “C:/” that says “primary partition” along with a bunch of other shit. This drive should be roughly the size of the hard drive of your computer.

Right click on C:/ and select “shrink volume” a dialogue box will then pop-up. The box will show you the available space on that drive and allow you select how much space you want to shrink the disk by. You want to shrink it by as much space as you want to allocate to your Linux OS. For instance I have a 500gb hard drive so I shrunk it by 250Gb so I could allocate 250gb to linux and still have a good 190Gb left for windows.


Pick your amount then click “shrink.”

Now you are ready to install.

5. Boot From Your USB Stick

Restart your computer and hold f12 (possibly f11) until you get to a boot menu. Select your USB stick and press enter.


If this works successfully you will be greeted by the Linux Mint Welcome Screen.


Press enter to select the first option on the screen which is “Start Linux Mint”


You should then be brought to the linux mint desktop.



You are now running linux. You can play around in there and test it out for a bit if you would like. It is not yet installed on your computer it is running directly from your USB stick. You can actually use linux this way if you don’t want to install it on your computer but you should know any changes you make will not be saved.


6. Install Linux Onto Hard Disk

Linux-Mint-Installation-1.jpegOn the desktop there should be an icon of a CD that says install Linux Mint. Double click on that bad boy. Select English (since you are reading this in English) and click continue.


Now you will have several options. You do not want to use the default option, “Erase Disk and Install Linux Mint” make sure that is not selected.


Select “something else” at the bottom of the list, the very last option. Double check that only something else is selected then press continue.

Now you are at the install screen. You can see all your partitions and manually select what you want to do. Find the free space that you made when you shrunk your C:/ in windows. It will say “free space.”freespace

Click on the format check box next to free space. A dialogue box will popup stating “create partition” you want to select “Logical” and “Beginning of this space.” Set the size to 2000. Then from the dropdown menu “use as” select “Swap area” and click ok.


Ignore the Size in the Picture

Now you will see there is an addition device listed /dev/sda5 (Sda# may be different depending on other factors but its a new # that wasn’t there before). The device type will say “swap.”

Now click on the format check box next to free space. A dialogue box will popup stating “create partition” you want to select “Logical” and “Beginning of this space.” Set the size to 2000. Then from the dropdown menu “use as” select “Boot Bios”for mount point select root which is “/” and click ok. This step is not necessary but it something you should do.

Finally click on the format check box next to free space one more time. A dialogue box will popup stating “create partition” you want to select “Logical” and “Beginning of this space.” Leave the size at what it is. Then from the dropdown menu “use as” select “Ext4 journaling system” then for mount point select root which is “/”

Now you will have three new devices in total, one swap, one boot, and one ext4. Select the last one you created which is the ext4 and click Install Now.

A scary message will pop-up telling you that the following partitions are going to be formatted. It should list the Swap, Boot, and Ext4. Click Continue.

You may get another pop-up telling you that there could be issues with your system because of the configurations you chose. You can either research that yourself and figure it out or do what I did and just click continue.


Click this box before pressing continue it will install all software you need.


7. Who are you? 

Linux Mint will start installation. It will first ask, “Who are you?” You should fill out your name, comp name, and username. Keep it simple

Choose a password. You are going to need to use this password a lot so make sure you do not forget it!

Keep “Require my password to login” checked. Do not select Log in Automatically unless you just don’t give a shit about security at all.


I don’t encrypt my home folder during the install so leave that blank and click continue.

You will now have a lovely slideshow with a progress bar beneath it. The slideshow will tell you all about the cool new features of Mint 18 and the progress bar shows how far along in the installation your computer is.


When complete it will state Installation complete and you should click restart now.

installation-complete*remove USB stick

8. Log Into Linux

After you restart your computer and boot into Linux. Login with your username and password.

Now you are running linux on your hard disk.


Make sure you are connected to the internet at this point.

The first thing you should do is open the terminal and type the following commands

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

This will update all the software to the most recent release and afterwards you should be running smoothly.

You Now Have Windows & Linux on Your Computer

You can hold F12 when you turn your computer on to enter the Boot Menu and you can choose to either boot into Windows or Linux. Now you have a computer than runs both full blown Windows and full blown Linux side-by-side!



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