I have Ubuntu 11.04 on this computer and I want to install Windows 8 Developer Preview English, 64-bit (x64) on it via DVD. I burned it both using Brasero on Ubuntu and using the standard Mac instructions from the Ubuntu website. My BIOS refuses to boot off of both DVDs when it boots off other CDs just fine. How can I do this?

If it helps, I have a Windows computer as well.


You can test to see if the DVD is bootable by attempting to boot from it on your other computer. If it won't boot on either computer, then it's probably a bad burn (or perhaps the .iso image you downloaded is corrupted). If it does boot on your other computer, then the problem is one of booting your Mac from the DVD. Assuming your Intel Mac can read the DVD and has a 64-bit processor, it should be able to boot from it. (A PPC Mac will, of course, not run the Windows 8 Developer Preview, which is only available for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 architectures.) But that's not an Ubuntu question--you may want to post about that at a Mac support forum (like this one) or (since you're trying to boot Windows 8) a Windows support forum (like this one).

If this answer is not sufficient to your needs then you might want a link to the instructions you followed. It sounds from your description that you followed the instructions for burning an Ubuntu CD/DVD; there may be a different procedure that is required for burning a usable Windows 8 Developer Preview disc. You should consult whatever documentation came with Windows 8 Developer Preview.

In general, to install the Windows 8 Developer Preview on a machine that already has Ubuntu is not much different from installing any other version of Windows on a machine that already has Ubuntu. Assuming you want to keep Ubuntu, you should boot from an Ubuntu live CD, select Try Ubuntu rather than Install Ubuntu. Run the GParted Partition Editor. (Up to Ubuntu 11.04 this is in System > Administration; in Ubuntu 11.10 and future versions, press super, i.e. the windows key, type gparted, and click on the search result.) In GParted, shrink down the Ubuntu partition -- it's of type ext4 -- to make room for a Windows partition to be created. Apply your changes, quit GParted, and shut down the computer.

Then boot from the Windows installation CD/DVD or USB flash drive and tell it to create a new partition in the free space you've recently created. Make sure not to tell it to erase the disk or use the whole disk. The specific interface and steps used to tell it what to do will differ from one version of Windows to the next, and may differ between different developer previews and other pre-releases of Windows 8, so you should stay sharp in the installation process. Furthermore, since the Windows 8 Developer Preview is pre-release software, it is especially important to make sure your backups of important files in your Ubuntu system are current (which you should have done anyway, before performing dynamic partition resizing in GParted to make room for the Windows partition).

Some people manually create NTFS partitions for Windows systems to use, when preparing a machine that already has Ubuntu to have Windows installed. So long as the version of GParted creating the NTFS partition is sufficiently current (as are all versions provided in currently supported Ubuntu releases), this is OK for versions of Windows up through Windows 7. However, this is probably not OK for the Windows 8 Developer Preview and subsequent pre-releases and releases of Windows 8, as they may use a version of NTFS different from the latest version supported by GParted (or perhaps the new Protogon file system).

For the same reason, you should not expect that you'll be able to read and write to your Windows 8 Developer Preview partition (or partitions associated with future Windows 8 releases) from within Ubuntu, and you should not expect that mounting it and writing to it can be done without putting the data on it at significant risk.

  • Wouldn't Windows 8 overwrite GRUB and make Ubuntu unbootable (without using a live CD to repair GRUB)?
    – lesderid
    Apr 12 '12 at 7:10
  • @lesderid It would be nice if Microsoft made Windows 8 detect whether or not there was already a boot loader installed and give the user a choice as to whether or not to install its own, as Ubuntu and most other operating systems do. But you're right--ham-fistedly writing NTLDR to the MBR has been the behavior of Windows for many years. Fortunately, you can easily reinstall GRUB to the MBR. Apr 16 '12 at 12:11
  • That's a problem for me, my DVD drive broke. I'm still trying to figure out how to make a bootable USB drive for my Macbook so I can install Windows 8...
    – lesderid
    Apr 16 '12 at 16:01
  • @lesderid Fortunately, it's easy to make a bootable USB flash drive for Ubuntu. The download page tells you how. Unfortunately, making a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows (or run repair utilities from the "CD") is considerably more complicated. But I believe there are instructions for that, with the most current version of Windows 8 in testing (the Consumer Preview). Is the problem that you have instructions from Microsoft for making the Windows 8 flash drive but they require Windows, and you don't have a Windows system? Apr 16 '12 at 20:17
  • 1
    @lesderid That seems like a totally separate problem from the topic of this question. I recommend that you post a new question about this. Apr 18 '12 at 15:02

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