I know this has been asked in individual parts, but I'm looking for a way to do this with the fewest steps and least pain.

I have a laptop with Windows 7, and I want to make a move to a larger hard drive. My first requirement is to migrate/restore the existing OS and data to the new drive, a question that has been answered here and several other places.

I'm going to buy a HD with enough space to comfortably hold both Windows 7 and a Linux OS, as I want to set up my laptop as a dual boot system.

So once I've backed up my existing system, what's the quickest/best way to get to a new dual boot system? I've found lots of information on backing up and restoring, and also how to install Linux on a machine that already has Windows, but I was wondering if there was any way to do it in fewer steps, or if there was a particular order of doing things that was best.


From my experience, your best bet is to restore Windows first, make sure it is running, then install linux, using the linux tools to resize and create the partitions. Windows is very finicky about installation, so installing it second seems like a bad idea.

I'm not sure what steps you would want to cut out. You need to back up windows, as your link describes. You need to restore Windows. You need to install Linux.

I don't know of a way to cut out any of those steps.

If you want to speed up any of it, the slowest part will be copying the image of the windows machine. Make sure you use as fast of a media as possible.

  • Good point on where the real "time costs" are for this project. I guess one reason I'm always looking for the fewest steps is because that's less things for me to screw up. – rsgoheen Jun 18 '11 at 9:22
  • One specific question to this: would it be better to do the partitioning after installing windows? That was one thing I wasn't sure of: whether it was better to do that step before installing windows or after? – rsgoheen Jun 18 '11 at 9:24
  • I would do it afterwards. Fewer steps since you can do it during Linux install. – viking Jun 20 '11 at 5:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.