What is an EFI system partition? I have a new laptop with Windows 10. The partitions on the SSD are

  • EFI system partition
  • Windows 10 partition
  • Recovery partition

The EFI system partition (ESP) is a partition on a data storage device (usually a hard disk drive or solid-state drive) that is used by computers adhering to the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).

What that means is that the EFI Partition is an interface for the computer to boot windows off of. its like a step taken before it runs the windows 10 partition. its really small but basically without that partition your computer wouldn't know how to boot windows

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  • I have another question then. If i had an ssd with the partitions ESP and windows 10 on them and the ESP booted into windows 10, if i duplicated the windows 10 partition would i also have to duplicate the ESP partition to boot it? Or could i just have an ESP partition and select which windows 10 to boot into? – user25832 Jun 9 '16 at 3:41
  • At that point your ESP would act as the boot loader and you would select the partition you wish to boot. almost like putting another HDD in the computer and using the Bios to select the HDD to use as primary. witch is exactly why EFI is becoming so main stream. windows should realise that you have 2 bootable OS's and offer to let you select what to boot when it reaches the ESP. if you duplicate the ESP it will most likely either do nothing or make a serious problem depending on boot order – Isaac Decker Jun 9 '16 at 3:45
  • Okay. So i just need one ESP and it can select which windows to boot into. If i were to install ubuntu would it let me choose ubuntu out of the choices or would grub be installed? If grub was installed do you think it would see both windows partitions? – user25832 Jun 9 '16 at 3:47
  • Grub would find any partitions but you would want to set Ubuntu as your primary boot OS. Ubuntu by default will always ask what HDD/Partition you want to boot. so you should partition the drive in windows for Ubuntu and the install it in that space. it would work better if you could install Ubuntu on a sepreate HDD but in the end Ubuntu will let you edit the menu and make any selections you like VS the using EFI through windows. comes down to preference really – Isaac Decker Jun 9 '16 at 3:50
  • So if i installed ubuntu and grub was installed it would see both windows and ubuntu? If grub is installed so i need the ESP? If i dont would it be wise to keep it anyways if something goes wrong,or does grub overwrite it? – user25832 Jun 9 '16 at 3:52

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