Multiboot: BIOS+MBR vs UEFI + GTP

Acronyms:

  • BIOS: Basic Input Output System
  • UEFI: Unified Extensible Firmware Interface
  • MBR: Master boot record
  • GPT: Globally Unique Identifier Partition Table = GUID Partition Table

Multiboot configuration

The most effective combinations are either BIOS+MBR or UEFI+GPT. You could go around that, but it is not recommended at all.

The most compatible combination is

UEFI + GPT + Fast startup disabled + Secure boot disabled

If manufacturers stay sound, Secure boot will keep working with most Linux distributions but the future is unknown.

The steps are:

  1. Install any windows version you want as usual and install in UEFI mode
  2. disable Secure boot
  3. disable Fast startup
  4. download rufus and create a bootable USB drive (links: #1 #2)
  5. boot with the USB drive.
  6. make sure that Ubuntu installer can detect that Windows OS is already installed
  7. install Ubuntu (or any other linux version)

If the linux installer is unable to detect windows, you should NOT proceed. You should make sure that if Windows are installed in UEFI mode the linux installer boots in UEFI mode and if Windows are installed in BIOS mode the linux installer boots in BIOS mode.

A detailed guide for multibooting is here:

Other questions …

BIOS vs UEFI FAQ:

  1. Official UEFI FAQ
  2. UEFI vs BIOS

MBR vs GPT FAQ:

  1. Check to see if you have MBR or GTP (Windows OS)
  2. Convert MBR to GTP (Windows OS)
  3. How EUFI works
  4. Basic disks vs Dynamic disks

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