In the last few months--since upgrading to Windows 10, really--I've had multiple incidents of Windows 10 updating and breaking the partition table. The guides to dual-booting Ubuntu and Windows all seem pretty consistent with each other, but is there some particular strategy I should be following that will keep windows from breaking my partition table every month?

Thanks for your time!

  • 2
    Are you talking about MBR or GPT? – Andrea Lazzarotto Sep 18 '16 at 0:52
  • MBR, though if it makes a difference I'll gut everything on this machine and reset it. – nonsenseless Sep 18 '16 at 6:00
  • Usually Windows overwrites the bootloader, I've never seen it overwrite the partition table. Do your partitions disappear after an upgrade? – Andrea Lazzarotto Sep 18 '16 at 10:12

I have installed Windows alongside Linux a few dozen times now, sometimes I do it just for fun and, and I have had lots of bad breakings, so I know a thing or two about dual-booting, I will tell you exactly how I do it and you can try it yourself:

Note: I prefer very much to use software designed specifically for partitioning, the best I've tried is MiniTool Partition Wizard (Not a commercial :p)

Note: I only have installed legacy never UEFI.

  1. Check windows partitions, there should be 3-5 partitions
    • ~500mbs for boot *.
    • For windows *.
    • For all other stuff and is accessible on both Windows and Linux

      (could be removed and merged with win or lin partitions)

    • 4-8GBs of SWAP space if you're running low on RAM (You can skip that)
    • For your favorite Linux distro (Pop_OS! is worth checking out :p) *
  2. Splitting up your partitions is totally up to you and your needs, you could need not more than 20 Gbs for your Linux, and you could need up to 100Gbs or more, if you're newly getting into Linux then I recommend to provide 40-80Gbs depending on what you can provide.
  3. After ensuring that your partitions are split and that you've got a free partition for your new OS, you plug in your Linux installer and restart.
  4. After booting into the Linux installer you'll not be mistaken by instructions, you'll be asked for your internet if available, then if you'd like to install updates during or after installation, then you'll be asked how do you want your new OS installed, choices:
    • Erase everything and install myOS
    • Alongside windows
    • Something else

The first one seems obvious, it looks like the "DO NOT PRESS THIS" button, Anyway, we will go to partitioning our hard drive ourselves but choosing Something else, don't worry we've already done everything, now we will only choose the largest empty partition and open that.

  1. Set the Use as to Ext4 journaling filesystem and the Mount point to /
  2. Hit Ok, take a look, check that everything is cool, mostly this is where I take half a minute just staring at the screen because once we hit next there's no turning back.
  3. Hit next, confirm the two windows that pop up next and the installation have started.
  4. Once it's finished you can type in your new username and password and voila, you've got dual-boot
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