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hpr2518 :: Converting My Laptop to Dual Boot

Converting a Linux only laptop to dual boot using information from a previous HPR episode.

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Hosted by Steve Saner on 2018-03-28 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
Linux, Windows, Dual Boot, Laptop, Lenovo, Xubuntu. 3.
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Duration: 00:24:00


Converting My Laptop to Dual Boot


In this episode I describe how I converted my Linux-only laptop to dual-boot with Windows 10. Specifically, using information from a previous HPR episode.


The procedure used in this project drew heavily from the information presented in HPR episode 2305 by Mongo.

Target Laptop

  • Lenovo Thinkpad T550
  • Intel i7-5600U Dual-Core
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD

Laptop was purchased in Jan 2016 as a factory refurb unit from an Ebay seller. The model was about 1 year old at the time. As soon as I got it, I summarily removed any trace of Windows, with prejudice, and installed Linux.

The Problem

I am needing to run some Windows software that doesn't work in either Wine or a virtual machine environment. Specifically Autodesk Fusion 360.

Some Challenges

  • No longer have Windows install media. I was able to download a Lenovo recovery USB image.

  • I didn't think that a 256GB drive would be big enough for both Linux and Windows. I purchased a 512GB SSD drive.

  • I was happy with my Xubuntu setup and configuration and didn't want to have to start all over on that. I hoped that restoring my home directory would take care of that.

The Procedure

  1. Backed up my home directory, just in case.

  2. Replaced the hard drive.

  3. Tried to boot from Lenovo Windows thumb drive.

  4. Found that the BIOS was set to legacy mode, so reset BIOS to factory.

  5. Told the installer to use the entire drive.

  6. Went through the entire Windows install and update process.

  7. Used the instructions provided by Mongo to resize Windows filesystem size.

  8. Used the instructions provided by Mongo to turn of fast boot.

  9. Used the instructions provided by Mongo to turn of Secure Boot in BIOS.

  10. Booted from Xubuntu 16.04 thumb drive.

  11. Did Xubuntu install as normal, choosing the install type of installing along side Windows Boot Manager.

  12. Installed all of the updates.

  13. Mounted the old hard drive with a USB drive enclosure, which was a bit of a challenge because that drive was encrypted. The drive has 2 partitions. A small boot partition and then a large LUKS encrypted partition.

    This is a procedure that can be used to mount such a partition.

    • First you must decrypt the partition and map it to a device. This can be done with the following command (assuming the partition mount point is /dev/sdb2):

      cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sdb2 cryptdrive

      This command will map the partition to the following device:

    • Normally you could then mount the filesystem as follows:

      mount /dev/mapper/cryptdrive /mnt
    • However, in this case the encrypted filesystem is actually an LVM volume that contains two volume groups that made up the partitions of the previous Linux install, so you can't directly mount it.

    • I had to first install the LVM tools, which had not been installed by default.

      apt-get install lvm
    • Then I had to issue the following command to activate the LVM volume groups.

      vgchange -ay

      That resulted in two more devices being created.

    • I could then finally mount the old root filesystem with:

      mount /dev/xubuntu-vg/root /mnt
  14. Copied by entire home directory from the old hard drive to the new install.

    cd /home
    cp -rp /mnt/home/username .
  15. Rebooted computer and Xubuntu came up will all of my desktop settings intact. Just need to install non-default packages.


This ended up being a totally successful process. The computer is now dual-boot. It boots into Xubuntu by default, but you can choose Windows. Xubuntu system is mostly restored back to the way it was.


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Comment #1 posted on 2018-04-01 01:02:47 by mongo

Good tutorial

Steve Saner gives a good tutorial on a way to add Windows to a Linux computer. I found the part about getting data from his old encrypted drive most interesting, as I have been a bit afraid of encrypting a drive for fear of finding myself locked out.

I am glad that he was able to use some information from my HPR show from last year on the subject of adding dual boot to my laptop.

Also, very good show notes for someone following his lead.

Comment #2 posted on 2018-04-06 10:23:58 by Ken Fallon

Is OpenSCAD an alternative to Autodesk Fusion 360 ?

About OpenSCAD OpenSCAD is software for creating solid 3D CAD models. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, Windows and Mac OS X. Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such as Blender) it does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modelling but instead on the CAD aspects. Thus it might be the application you are looking for when you are planning to create 3D models of machine parts but pretty sure is not what you are looking for when you are more interested in creating computer-animated movies.

OpenSCAD is not an interactive modeller. Instead it is something like a 3D-compiler that reads in a script file that describes the object and renders the 3D model from this script file. This gives you (the designer) full control over the modelling process and enables you to easily change any step in the modelling process or make designs that are defined by configurable parameters.

OpenSCAD provides two main modelling techniques: First there is constructive solid geometry (aka CSG) and second there is extrusion of 2D outlines. Autocad DXF files can be used as the data exchange format for such 2D outlines. In addition to 2D paths for extrusion it is also possible to read design parameters from DXF files. Besides DXF files OpenSCAD can read and create 3D models in the STL and OFF file formats.

Comment #3 posted on 2018-04-06 15:33:39 by Steve

Really a different category of software

If the question is, "can you do 3D modeling with OpenSCAD?", then the answer is yes. However, as I understand it, considering OpenSCAD an alternative to things like Fusion 360 and SolidWorks and others, is a bit tough. The open source world also has Blender, with which you can do 3D modeling too. But again, as I understand it, the way these options work is a lot different and they lack many of the features present in the commercial products.

It is worth mentioning that there are a few 3D modeling options out there that are not open source, but do work with Linux due to the fact that they are cloud/web based. comes to mind.

So, while there are alternatives, sort of, Fusion 360 seems to be becoming the software of choice in "Maker" circles.

I am a beginner at this, so these are mostly just my perceptions. Eventually, I may be able to speak with more authority, or at least more experience.

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