Remove Windows 8.1, then install Windows 7 and Ubuntu 14.04 in UEFI mode
I got a new desktop machine but it had Windows 8.1 preinstalled on it. What’s worse, it was a 32-bit version (on a 64-bit machine). I poked around a bit but I didn’t like it so I decided to put a good old Windows 7 on it with Ubuntu 14.04. It was afternoon…
It’s almost midnight and I got ready just a few minutes ago. Man, this UEFI thing made me suffer…
What I learned: if you install Windows 7 in UEFI mode, then install Ubuntu 14.04 in UEFI mode too! If you try to install Ubuntu in normal mode, you will have conflicts.
But what does it mean to start the installation in UEFI mode? It took me a while to figure out.
When you start the machine, you can press a button to enter the boot menu where you can select the device you want to boot from. In my case I got this info on my screen (green emphasis by me):
After pressing F11 (it may be a different button in your case), I got this screen:
I had my Windows 7 on DVD and Ubuntu 14.04 on USB. Now, if you select option 1 (see the green numbers), then Windows 7 is started normally, while option 2 starts Windows 7 in UEFI mode. Similarly, option 3 starts Ubuntu normally, while option 4 starts it in UEFI mode. Once the installation is started, it cannot be changed later.
I had another problem. After several retries, I couldn’t install Windows 7. I got an error message that the selected disk is of GPT partition style. I found the fix for this problem here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQf9YqbD8WI. But be careful! This “fix” removes every partition from your hard drive. Do it only if you want to start with a clean sheet.
The fix above in short: when the screen with the “Start install” button appears, press Shift+F10 to open a terminal. Here start the command “diskpart”. Inside diskpart, run these commands:
list disk select disk 0 clean
It will remove the GPT flag but it will also remove all the partitions!
Now, as I had a clean HDD, I installed Windows 7 first in UEFI mode (option 2 in the figure above).
After this I started the Ubuntu installation in UEFI mode too (option 4). This time I didn’t have any problem and I didn’t have to do any fancy settings with the disk partitioning. I created a swap partition and a root partition, then “start install”.
After a reboot I had a GRUB menu where I could start either Windows or Ubuntu.