Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

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Well there are definitely some tips and tricks here to get Windows 8.1 to live on one SSD and Ubuntu to live a different SSD and then finally to have a data SSD that both can use. Here’s how to do it:
1. Install Windows 8.1 first because Windows doesn’t work with Ubuntu. The easiest way to do this is to use a working Windows machine and get a Windows 8.1 All-in-one ISO and then use Rufus to burn the ISO onto a USB 3.0 drive (the faster the better, I’ve found that the SD to USB 3.0 converters are very fast and it is easier to keep track of SDs than USB keys).
2. Now install Ubuntu by downloading the Ubuntu ISO and using Rufus. The trick here is that when it asks you the very scary “delete Windows and replace”, you actually click *yes*, it doesn’t do this as the next dialog shows you the different hard drives on your machine. Pick the blank one and it will do a clean Ubuntu install. The Ubuntu multiboot then takes over and lets you pick what you want to do. Or, in your BIOS change the boot order if you always want to go to Windows first. This is normally the F8 key on ASRock motherboards.
3. Put all your data on the third drive. Boot to Windows and make sure to format to a GPT (not MBR partitiion) and to make it NTFS as Linux now understands that but not exFAT. The main complexity is making sure the file names stay legal when you create them under ubuntu:

  • < (less than)
  • > (greater than)
  • : (colon)
  • ” (double quote)
  • / (forward slash)
  • \ (backslash)
  • | (vertical bar or pipe)
  • ? (question mark)
  • * (asterisk)

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