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I would like to clean install a Linux distribution as Ubuntu etc. My laptop runs Windows 8.1.

I have two options in mind. Clean install or dual boot.

My technical question is: My laptop have a 8GB SSD drive, which it uses to boot Windows with and a 500GB for storage. I wonder what that 8GB SSD stores? It can't store the whole Windows install as that would be much more than 8GB. Also if I would do a clean install of Ubuntu could I use the 8GB SSD to have Ubuntu boot up quicker. How would I install it? Option two, if I would like to dual boot, how would I proceed having the SSD to boot both systems?

I also wish to ask about the Legacy and UEFI differences. Windows runs with UEFI. So when I'm installing Linux, should I run Legacy, and if I dual boot, what option to I choose?

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You can dual boot your laptop with Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu. As I do in my desktop. I think you don't need to format your Windows from SSD device. Just free up 8GB space from your 500GB HDD using "Windows Disk Manager" from "Control Panel". Insert Ubuntu boot media such as a Live CD/DVD or a bootable pen drive, run "wubi", click on "Full Demo" and restart. When Ubuntu is booted up choose "Install Ubuntu" and then "Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 8" and complete setup. Now you have Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu on your laptop. Choose what you want from bootloader menu. Enjoy Linux!

P.S. Removing Windows from SSD can harm your Computer such as preventing a OS from booting. But I'm not sure that it could prevent Ubuntu from booting even after a fresh/clean install.

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