How to get Windows after Ubuntu Linux dual boot


This tutorial covers how to get Windows after dual boot Ubuntu Linux. We will do our best to make sure you understand this guide. I hope you will like this blog How to get Windows after Ubuntu Linux dual boot. If your answer is yes, please share after reading this.

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When it comes to dual booting, the general idea is that you start with a Windows system and then install Linux on top of it. You choose whether you want to boot into Windows or Linux during the boot process.

What if you were in the opposite situation? What if you have a PC with only Linux installed and want to duplicate Windows and Linux?

In this guide, I will teach you how to install Windows after dual booting with Ubuntu Linux.

Dual Boot Windows on an Existing Ubuntu Linux System

I tested this tutorial on an Ubuntu system with UEFI and GPT partitioning scheme. In theory, the same steps should apply to most, if not all, Linux distributions.

Terms & Conditions

Here is everything you need to perform the procedure safely and easily:

  • A bootable Windows 10 USB key (USB key, Pen Drive) of at least 8 GB
  • A live Ubuntu USB key (USB stick, Pen Drive) of at least 4 GB in size
  • A computer with UEFI boot and only Ubuntu Linux installed on it
  • Internet connection is required to create live Windows and Linux boot disk
  • One way to back up your important data to an external drive (optional but recommended)

You can also handle this tutorial with a single USB drive. First create the Live Linux USB drive, create the partition for Windows using that Live Linux USB drive, and then use the same USB drive as a bootable Windows USB drive.

I recommend that you read the entire tutorial before you start going through the steps.

Step 0: back up important data

Here is the thing. You will be playing around with the disk partitions and the boot configuration. If you screw it up, you will lose your data.

Having a backup to an external drive will provide you with a safety net. In the worst case, if things go wrong, you can install Windows or Linux and copy the data to your system.

How is a backup done? The easiest method is to have an external USB or SSD drive and copy files from Documents, Music, Pictures and other folders where you saved your files.

Step 1: Create a bootable Windows USB drive

If you have access to a Windows system, you can follow the instructions on the Microsoft website to create Windows bootable media.

If you only have a Linux system, creating a bootable Windows USB drive can be tricky. Fortunately, a handy open source tool called Ventoy helps a lot in this case.

Connect your USB stick of at least 8 GB and format it. Now download the ISO from Microsoft Windows.

Then download the latest version of Ventoy. Extract the folder and run the script with sudo. It will give you the URL when you run it. Copy this URL and paste it into a browser.

It will open a web page for Ventoy to run on. Go to the UEFI install and press the install button.

Once installed, you will see two partitions on the USB stick: VTOYEFI and Ventoy. You need to copy the downloaded Windows ISO image to the Ventoy partition.

When copying is complete, DON’T BE IN A HURRY TO DISCONNECT THE USB Again. Click on the file manager unmount option.

Well. So now that you have a bootable Windows USB drive, it would be a good idea to try it out and see if it works.

How are you doing that? Plug in Windows USB, restart your system. When the system turns back on and displays your system manufacturer’s logo, press the F2 / F10 / F12 keys to enter BIOS setup.

In BIOS, choose to boot from USB. In some cases, you may need to turn off Secure Boot from BIOS setup.

If the Windows bootable USB drive creation was successful, you should see the Ventoy screen and choose to boot into Win10.

After that you will see a screen about installing Windows. Do not go with the installation part yet. Close it and shut down your system, then restart Linux.

This check was necessary because you must have a working Windows bootable USB drive. Without it, there will be no point in following the rest of the tutorial.

Remove the bootable USB drive from Windows at this point.

Step 2: Create Live Ubuntu Linux USB Flash Drive

You might be wondering why you need a live Ubuntu USB stick here when Linux is already properly installed.

The reason for this is that you need to modify the existing partition and free up space on which you will install Windows. But you cannot modify an already mounted partition on Linux. When using Linux, your disk is mounted. You will not be able to modify it and create a new partition on it.

That’s why you need a live Linux USB stick. Boot from live USB and create necessary partition on disk from live session.

Now that you know why, let’s move on to creating a live Ubuntu USB drive. First, download the Ubuntu ISO image from its website. Any version of Ubuntu will work.

Now connect the USB with a size of at least 4GB.

In Ubuntu, you can find the Startup Disk Creator tool. You can also use Etcher on Linux. The choice is yours. Here I will be using Startup Disk Creator.

The process is really simple. Your connected USB should be recognized. It should also automatically find the Ubuntu ISO. Otherwise, you can always search for it. With this set, just hit the “Create Bootable Disk” button.

It should take a few minutes to create the Ubuntu USB live. You can hit the Let button below.

Step 3: Boot from Live USB Drive and Free up Space for Windows

Well. Now boot from the live Linux USB.

Restart the system. When it lights up and displays the manufacturer logo, press the F2 / F10 / F12 keys to enter BIOS setup. Here go to the boot order and boot from Linux USB stick.

When you see this screen, navigate to Test Ubuntu.

Now that you are in the live session, open the Disco app. Is already installed.

In the Disks application, carefully select your computer’s primary hard drive / SSD. This is where you installed Linux. As you can see in the image below, I have an ESP partition (for UEFI boot configuration) and a single Linux partition. This is the partition that needs to be resized to free up space for Windows.

If you have a boot, swap, and root partition setup, you need to resize the boot partition.

When resizing it will show a minimum size. You cannot shrink the disk below this point. Of course, this will leave some extra space for using Linux.

Note that the “partition size” is for the Linux partition. In the image below, I have reduced the Linux partition from 256 GB to 120 GB. This gives you 136 GB of free space for Windows installation.

When you press the resize button, the resizing process may take up to a few minutes.

As you can see in the image below, I now have three partitions on my system. One is a 500MB ESP partition (for UEFI boot), a 120GB Ext4 partition for Linux, and 136GB of free space.

You now have a dedicated free space where you will place Windows. Shut down your system now.

Step 4: Boot from Windows USB and start installing Windows

Plug in your bootable UBS Windows. Again, restart your system, go to BIOS setup, and boot from USB. Now you know how to do this. You have already done this in step 1 when verifying Windows bootable USB drive.

You should see the Ventoy screen if you created the Windows bootable USB drive with it. Hit enter.

You should see the Windows logo. After a few seconds you will see the option to choose the language, time and keyboard.

The next screen will give you the option to start the installation. Click on “Install Now”.

On the following screens, it will ask you for the Windows license key. If you don’t have it, skip it. You can also activate Windows later. You will be prompted to choose a version of Windows and accept the end user license.

On the next screen, go with the custom install option.

You will now reach the score screen. Select the free space (unallocated space) you created in step 3 and press the Next button.

It will take a few minutes to copy the files and install Windows.

After that your system will restart automatically and this time it will boot directly into Windows.

Windows installation is not complete. The next time you start up you will be prompted to configure Windows to use it and it is very annoying but very easy to follow.

I will not go into detail on this part because I know that you can manage the configuration part, which waits and presses the next button most of the time. However, I am sharing a few screenshots for reference only.

Once you have successfully installed Windows, it will probably start Windows by default. You need to grab the Grub dual splash screen.

Step 5: Get the Grub bootloader

Again, restart your system and when it turns on, enter BIOS setup. From the boot sequence or boot order, move Ubuntu up in order. You may need to use arrow keys or F5 or F6 and the screen may be different for different system.

Save and exit and this time you should boot into Ubuntu. The battle is not over yet. The grub boot loader may not be aware of the presence of Windows. So it’s a good idea to update grub on Ubuntu.

All you have to do is open a terminal and use the following command:

sudo update-grub

Restart your system once more. You should be greeted by the familiar grub welcome screen giving you the option to choose between booting into Ubuntu and Windows.

And that brings us to the end of this long journey. It takes time and effort, but if you want to install Windows after installing Ubuntu, you definitely can.

If you still have any questions let me know in the comment section and I’ll try to answer you.

Final Words: How To Get Windows After Dual Boot Ubuntu Linux

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