I recently installed Linux Mint 17 (Rebecca) on a Dell Inspiron laptop that had Windows 8.1 pre-installed and hence was using the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), GUID Partition Table (GPT), and had Secure Boot enabled by default. My first attempt, using a more-or-less “conventional” installation method ended up with Mint booting immediately once the computer was restarted, i.e. no grub boot menu was displayed to optionally load Windows. A few tweaks to the system settings and this problem was easily resolved.
Apart from the usual procedures to backup the system before making any drastic changes, and creating some free (unallocated) disk space available for the installation of Linux, the steps required for a successful dual-boot operation on the Dell Inspiron were as follows:
(1) Create a bootable USB, using Rufus and the 64-bit distro for Linux Mint.
(2) Boot the laptop into setup mode using the F2 key.
(3) Navigate to the Boot tab and toggle Secure Boot to Disabled. Toggle Boot Option #1 to USB Storage Device. Use the F10 key to save the revised settings and boot from the installation USB drive.
(4) Choose Something Else for the Installation Type and, in the disk partitioning option, add a new partition (say 50 GB). Make this a primary partition, select ext4 as the file system, and / (root) as the mount point.
(5) Add another new partition, this time selecting swap as the file system type. Typically, the swap space should be double the size of the computer’s RAM.
(6) Complete the installation process as usual.
Once the installation completes and the machine is restarted, the grub menu should be displayed allowing either Linux Mint or Windows 8 to be activated. Optionally, one can go back into the setup menu and toggle Secure Boot back to enabled.
Guide To Install Ubuntu 14.04 In Dual Boot Mode With Windows 8 Or 8.1 UEFI
Dual boot: Windows 8 + Ubuntu 14.04