Would you like to install a second operating system and want to be aware of the risks? When you have Windows and Linux installed on your PC, you get the best of both worlds. But it's not always smooth sailing. Double booting can cause problems, some of which are difficult to predict.
Is dual booting safe? Does it affect performance? Here are seven dangers of double booting that you should be aware of before installing a second operating system.
1. Accidental overwriting of data / operating systems
If this is not the most important thing, it is certainly the risk that can get you out of the concept before you even start. Overwriting your existing data – or even the primary operating system – will eventually lead to problems. Of course, you can use recovery tools, but the chances of recovering all of your data are minimal.
Fortunately, most operating system installation wizards can recognize primary partitions. If you install Windows alongside a Linux distribution, the wizard should highlight the existing partition. You have a choice of what to do next. Linux operating systems are similarly intelligent.
However, accidents do occur. So be careful when installing. Make sure you install the new operating system on the correct drive and partition without accidentally losing your data.
2. Dual booting can affect productivity
Running multiple operating systems on your PC is a great way to maximize productivity. But sometimes it can be counterproductive. If you need to use Windows 10 alongside Ubuntu 20.04, you can easily switch to this operating system.
But do you really have to? It is important to ensure that you have equivalent applications on Linux when you switch from Windows. You should also make sure that appropriate options are available if you switch in the other direction. Dual booting should really serve to experience – and enjoy – the entire alternative operating system environment.
On the other hand, you may not even have to switch. Run Windows in a Linux virtual machine
How to set up a Windows virtual machine on Linux
is a great solution. Of course, you can also install Linux in a virtual machine under Windows
How to install Linux on Windows using a VMware virtual machine
Ultimately, it's important to make sure you're using the best operating system for the job.
3. Locked partitions cause problems in dual boot systems
Possibly one of the biggest dangers of dual booting is that you cannot access your data. Most of the time, this shouldn't be a problem. If you have organized things effectively, your important personal files will be available through any operating system you use.
This is possible, for example, via cloud storage or via a hard disk partition especially for personal files.
However, problems can arise. If you are using Windows and the system shuts down unexpectedly, any dedicated partition used for personal files will be locked. This means that trying to access the drive from your Linux partition will fail. You will see a message like the following:
Failed to mount / dev / sda5 under / media / karma / data:
Command line `mount -t" ntfs "-o" uhelper = udisks2, nodev, nosuid, uid = 1000, gid = 1000, dmask = 0077, fmask = 0177 "
"/ dev / sda5" "/ media / karma / data" & # 39; ends with an exit status other than zero 14: The hard disk contains an impure file system (0, 0).
Metadata stored in the Windows cache, not mounted. Failure to mount & # 39; / dev / sda5 & # 39 ;:
Operation not allowed The NTFS partition is in an unsafe state.
Please continue Windows and shut it down completely (no hibernation or quick restart), or mount the volume read-only with the mount option "ro".
This is possibly the most frustrating risk of a double start.
Fortunately, it can be fixed, but it can take a few minutes (depending on how quickly your Windows installation starts). You have two options:
- Follow the instructions in the error and start the device read-only
- Restart Windows, then start an orderly restart in the Start menu and switch back to Linux
With both fixes, the files should be available again with full access.
4. Windows Update and Dual Booting
Updating your operating system is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure a robust and secure computer. Unfortunately, problems can arise in dual-boot scenarios.
While a system update from a Linux distribution of your choice should cause few problems, Windows Update can prove devastating.
Running Windows Update may result in the master boot record (MBR) being rewritten and you have a missing Linux partition. Failed updates or even simple driver updates can also cause problems with a dual-boot PC.
In this situation, it's time to resort to the proven Windows 10 recovery tools
How to reinstall Windows 10 without losing your data
. Although it is time consuming when you really need to run Windows, you can get it up and running again this way.
For an optimal dual boot experience, make sure your computer's boot order is Windows by default, not your Linux operating system.
5. Viruses can affect dual boot security
Linux-based operating systems are robust and are largely unaffected by viruses and other malware. Although there are a few exceptions, this is mainly due to the relatively small user base. The many Linux operating systems together only master a fraction of the operating system market.
Scammers are clearly targeting Windows computers because they can get results more efficiently. However, many websites are attacked or even taken offline due to viruses and malware, and most web servers run on Linux.
Therefore, if you are using a dual-boot computer, the likelihood of malware affecting the Linux environment increases.
It is therefore advisable to manage an Internet security suite under Windows. If you run a malware scanner like ClamAV in your Linux operating system every day, you should also calm down. When scanning for viruses, don't just focus on the operating system. Scan your personal data files too.
6. Driver errors can be detected
From time to time, some hardware problems may occur with dual booting. However, these are usually linked to Windows device drivers and are becoming increasingly rare.
Probably the most common hardware problem with dual booting is integrated WLAN cards. These switchable devices can be deactivated under Windows and therefore cannot be initialized under Linux.
In a way, a disabled Wi-Fi card is reminiscent of the problems with a locked partition that were discussed in number 3 above.
The solution is to look for support for the WLAN card (or other device) before installing your operating systems. You should also make sure that the drivers are up to date on both operating systems. Also take a moment to check the status of the device in the UEFI / BIOS of your PC.
7. Dual booting can affect storage space
In most cases, dual booting shouldn't have too much of an impact on your hardware. One problem that you should be aware of, however, is the impact on swap space. Both Linux and Windows use portions of the hard drive to improve performance while the computer is running. However, installing additional operating systems on the drive will reduce the space available for this.
The solution is obvious: Do not install additional operating systems if there is not enough space left. If you absolutely want to do a dual boot on your PC, you can just buy a new hard drive or SSD. After installation, you have space for other operating systems.
Do you have problems with double booting?
It is extremely unlikely that you will be affected by ALL of these risks. However, it is likely that at least one, maybe two, will occur at some point. But nothing here should keep you from dual-booting. It is important to ensure that your system is set up correctly and can help mitigate or even prevent these problems.
If you still want to go back to a pure Windows setup, you can safely uninstall the Linux distribution from a Windows dual-boot PC
How to safely uninstall Ubuntu from a Windows dual boot PC
. Once you've done this, install Ubuntu in Windows 10 using the Windows subsystem for Linux
How to run a Linux desktop with the Windows subsystem for Linux
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