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Windows 8.1 with Linux

I got a new laptop at my workplace, a Toshiba Satellite C55. I decided to put Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on it.

I had a Windows 8.1 ISO but I didn’t want to burn it on a DVD. Instead, I put it on a USB stick. I found an excellent tool called Rufus that allows you to create a bootable USB stick from an ISO file. Here is a youtube video tutorial too.

When Windows 8.1 was installed, the next step was to install Ubuntu. Restarting Windows is tricky if you want to change the boot order: hold down the SHIFT key and select reboot while pressing the SHIFT. Upon reboot I had to press F12 to get to the boot order menu.

Installation of Ubuntu went flawlessly.

NTFS partitions cannot be mounted
Once I had a strange problem. Ubuntu started to complain that it cannot mount the Windows partitions. It turned out that Windows was hibernated and thus the NTFS paprtitions cannot be mounted in read/write mode. But why is it hibernated when I restarted Windows?

Well, another “cool feature” of Windows 8.1 is that you can power it off / restart it in two different ways! Option 1: right click on the Windows button in the bottom left corner and select halt / restart. This will do some hibernation, thus the next boot will be faster. Option 2: move the mouse to the bottom right corner, wait for the tiles to show up and halt / restart the machine there. It is a normal power off / reboot without any hidden hibernation.

So, if you use Linux with Windows 8.1 in dual boot, you’d better stop / restart Windows using Option 2 (on the right side).

Update (20160523)
The method described above doesn’t work anymore. Here is the new way to really shut down Windows 8 (tip from here):

  • Open Control Panel, then select Power Options.
  • Click on Choose what the power buttons do.
  • Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  • Uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended).

Save and shut down Windows.

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