All About Linux Dual Boot: Install and Safely Remove

If you want to try Linux without getting rid of Windows directly, you can install Linux dual boot. In this article we tell you how that works and we also explain how you can safely remove this partition.

In any case, we assume that you have Windows 10 running on your system. Before considering a dual boot installation with Linux, make a full system backup first. For safety's sake, you also do this if you want to remove Linux afterwards.

Also check whether you have a so-called uefi system or a (somewhat older) bios system. This can be important when compiling your live USB stick (see below). Press the Windows key and type system, then you will run the application System Information start up. In the section System overview, Bee BIOS mode do you read either UEFA off, either Deprecated.

You also check whether you still have enough free disk space. Press Windows Key+R, tap diskmgmt.msc and press Enter. You preferably have at least 20 GB Unallocated disk space. You may need to shrink a partition first.

After that, disable the Fast Startup feature in Windows, as it can be difficult to do in dual boot. Press the Windows key, type configuration and open it Control Panel. Choose System and Security and Changing the behavior of the power buttons in the section Power management. click on Change settings that are currently unavailable and uncheck Enable fast startup. Confirm with Saving Changes.

Install Linux alongside Windows 10

To start the Linux installation you need to put the desired version on a live boot medium. Let's take the popular Ubuntu distribution as an example. First you are going to download Ubuntu. Then download the free tool Rufus portable and start it up. Insert an (empty) USB stick into your PC and select it at Device. The Boot Selection tune in Disc or ISO image and via the button SELECTING refer to the downloaded iso file.

If you have a UEFI system, you chooseGPT Bee Partition Layout and UEFI (no CSM) Bee Target System. Wasn't there 'EUFI', but 'Outdated? Then you choose respectively MBR and BIOS or UEFI. You leave the other options undisturbed, after which you can start the process with the suggested default options).

Afterwards, boot your system from the USB stick. You may have to press a special key right after startup, such as Esc, Del, F2, or F12. If all is well, a boot menu will appear and you can select your USB stick.

After a while you set the desired language, such as Dutch, as well as the correct keyboard layout. What further do you choose Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10. You set the correct time zone, enter a username and computer name and a password and the installation can begin.

After completion and a system reboot, you will be presented with a special boot menu from Ubuntu: grub2. That lets you choose from (among others) Ubuntu or Windows 10. Your dual boot is ready!

Delete Linux Partition

You've given Linux a fair chance, but in the end, the operating system doesn't convince you anyway. Then of course it makes little sense to let this OS take up valuable disk space. We are now going to remove the OS again. Before we go any further, one thing is very important: you will soon need a USB stick with which you can install Windows 10. Read elsewhere on this site how you can put Windows 10 on a USB stick.

Deleting the Linux partition is a two-step process: first you delete the Linux partition(s) and then you modify the bootloader so that Windows boots again automatically instead of the grub2 drop-down menu.

Let's start by deleting the Linux partition(s). Since there is no specific uninstaller available for this, we'll just do it with the blunt axe. Press Windows Key+R, tap diskmgmt.msc and press Enter. In the Windows Disk Management you probably recognize the Linux partition(s).

Depending on the Linux installation, there may be several. Unlike Windows partitions, Linux partitions usually do not have a drive letter, nor do they list a File System.

Right-click on such a Linux partition in the graphical representation of Disk Management and choose Delete volume. If necessary, repeat this for the other Linux partition(s). You can read further on how to recover the available disk space.

Restore bootloader

You can now restart the PC. You can see that the Linux bootloader grub2 is still intact and wants to take matters into its own hands. Since it can't detect the Linux partition anywhere, grub2 goes into panic mode. Almost all it shows is the prompt grub rescue>. End of story.

So shut down the PC and restart it with the previously prepared installation stick of Windows 10. You may have to press a special key again when starting up, after which you can select your USB stick in a boot menu.

After a while, the Windows installation procedure starts. After setting language, time zone and keyboard click Next one and then on Reset your computer. You now choose successively Resolving problems and Command Prompt.

Tap the command bootrec.exe /fixmbr and confirm with Enter. Then close the window and choose Get on. If all went well, your system should now reboot nicely with Windows 10.

In the unlikely event that this does not work, try it with Troubleshooting, Startup Repair.

Cleaning up leftovers

Linux is gone and Windows is running like a charm again. However, there are still some remnants to tackle. For example, there is the freed up disk space that currently has no function. Fortunately, you can reuse it. We cover the options in the article on increasing Windows 10 partitions.

Finally, in view of your dual boot installation, if you had disabled the Fast Startup feature in Windows, nothing prevents you from activating this feature. You do that exactly as described before, only this time you put a checkmark next to it Enable fast startup (recommended).

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