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Boxed W8/W10 PC; must anything be done, first, to enable dual-bootable later?



List, good morning, I have purchased a Windows 8.1 (optional W10) notebook and I wondered what, if anything, I ought to do *first* before letting Windows start after first switch-on, and then also installing Debian to make a dual boot system. I have installed Debian to dual boot on several Windows laptops in the past but have never installed on UEFI, nor side by side with W8.1 or W10. I do need to continue to be able to also boot to Windows for work purposes.

In the past I have partitioned a system with 3 sections:
- A windows OS and programs area
- A separate partition where I store all data files (documents, spreadsheets, etc) which I could read from and write to, from Windows or from Debian
- A Debian OS area (including /home, but happy to take advice on that)

Previous m/c preparation methods have been:
- Let Windows start, configure it as required, and compress its use of the HD
- Create the shared files partition
- Create a blank partition for Debian
followed by a Debian install.

The machine config is Celeron N2840, 32GB SSD, 2GB RAM, W8.1/W10, WiFi, USB 2/3, SD card slot. Apparently (some web comment) the machine also has a special partition where it keeps various codes and certificates, and only a recent kernel (I think, > 3.16, does that seem likely?) can read past that, on boot, without hanging.

The m/c has not yet been switched on. I would welcome advice about the initial sequence of using this machine, to facilitate the subsequent installation of Debian. Specific queries I have are:

1. On switch on, do I need to interrupt the boot? Eg should I leave UEFI on or off, and ought I change any other BIOS things first? It might be handy to change the boot sequence to default to USB first, I thought, in case there's some reason to *not* start Windows immediately on first switch on.

2. Some comments on the web suggest 'imaging' the system, next, in case of needing to fallback to the original system - though I suspect that was where users had decided to remove Windows entirely, not something I wish to do. (And I'm not sure how, unless the machine would boot from a live DVD or something which I suspect it won't unless the BIOS config is changed).

3. Because I'll be using Windows from time to time, I will want to have created its 'recovery' files and I'm inclined to do that pretty much as soon as Windows starts and settles down. After that I'll compress the space Windows takes, and create my additional 'files' partition, using Windows, so that Windows can see that partition without difficulty.

The main Windows issue is whether Debian more happily co-exists with Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, because (apparently) we will have a one-shot choice between the two, on Windows' first start after switch on.

4. Then I'd like to install Debian. I'd prefer to install Debian Wheezy because we have a very slow internet service and already have the install DVDs for D7.8. Is Wheezy 7.8 installable on UEFI, or should I use the legacy boot system in the BIOS?

And that's really my main point of uncertainty, and why I haven't yet switched the machine on. Do I need to do something, first, to ensure that I will be able to install Wheezy and be able to dual boot, after having let Windows start, and compressing the space it takes?

Apologies for the length of the post, but would be grateful for any advice,

regards, Ron


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