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I have a laptop with Windows 8 64bit pre-installed. I made a bootable USB stick of Ubuntu 12.10 64bit using PenDriveLinux with persistence. Is it safe for me to run it on my Windows 8 pc without damaging it?

I would do it without hesitation on any other machine but having heard strange things about the BIOS and UEFI. I thought I should ask someone who has tried it before I break my PC or get sued by Microsoft or whatever.

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1 Answer 1

Running the live media should not affect your Windows installation in any way. Good luck with the persistence though, (bug 1159016) so you might want a separate USB around just for data transfer. UEFI is just the BIOS replacement, no big deal, but it can come with secure boot, (which your preinstalled W8 uses), which changes things a lot. Before you do ANY installs to ANYTHING (like another USB), backup the EFI files, visible in /boot/efi (they should all be under directory EFI, and are just files). There are so many machine specific problems, that I hesitate to predict what your Lenovo will do, but it is good to have a set of files to restore if your pc suddenly cannot boot W8 anymore. boot-repair is a tool which fixes up some installer issues, and is a good thing to have around. If you have working persistence on the live-media, you can install it:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install boot-repair

Or download and burn an iso with it preinstalled from Linux secure remix

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Thanks for your help. I will create a system restore point before I run the usb. Thanks again. :-) –  James Apr 11 '13 at 17:50
    
Oh, and if you're still there... I don't plan on installing anything to the hard drive, just to run from USB, so is there any point in me backing up the EFI files? (If I installed software whilst running the USB, it would go to the USB, not the Hard Drive, wouldn't it?) –  James Apr 11 '13 at 18:31
    
If you talking the live-media USB, yes, normally software updates would go to the USB, but persistence is broken, so no updates till that gets fixed. I did a full install to another USB stick, neglected to set up a bootable EFI partition on the stick, and clobbered my hard disk's EFI boot -- well it would still boot, just the stick, nothing else. I don't know what would have happened if I had put an efi partition on the stick, so I'd suggest caution. –  ubfan1 Apr 12 '13 at 3:31

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