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



On Sat, Sep 19, 2015 at 11:43:11AM +0100, Ron Leach wrote:
> 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.
> 

Not a problem, probably. I have at least one machine here dual booting which
has had 8.1 on, updated to 10 and dual booting with Debian on UEFI.

> 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)
> 

8.1 and 10 may already set up several Windows partitions.


> 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.
> 

Suggestion is to leave Windows as is and just create a single partition to install
Debian at the end of the disk.

> 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.

This sounds very like a Bay Trail machine: http://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Acer/T100TA
may help here. You might need Debian multi-arch .iso to start with.
> 
> 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.

Switch off Secure Boot. You can leave UEFI 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).
> 

Clonezilla on a USB stick will work nicely.

> 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.

Do that after installing Debian?  Don't boot to Windows before installing Debian,
potentially.

> 
> 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.
> 

If Windows is installed first, then Debian, Debian should recognise that 
there is a Windows install and install grub-efi correctly.

> 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?
> 

No, don't install Wheezy at all if: Jessie works from the outset with UEFI.
You may find that there is no legacy boot option in the BIOS if you are unlucky.

> 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?
> 

If you boot from Debian install media you can use the partitioning tools in the
installer to shrink an installed Windows partition. Put the empty space at the end 
of the disk.

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

Hope this helps,

AndyC


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