Installing Windows after Linux?

So… Since i can’t get GPU passthrough to work, and single gpu passthrough is too much messing around for what is basically a dual boot (you get logged out of linux and can only use one system at a time), i may need to install Windows as a dual boot. I need it for Affinity programs, they don’t work on linux and there’s no real alternatives so… I have to use Windows…

Is there some way i can do this without it messing up my linux installation?

I don’t have anything super important here, everything is on the backup drive, i can delete everything no problem, install Windows then linux after, but if there’s an easy way to just add Windows, i’d possibly try that.

But if it’s too much faffing about, then i’ll just reinstall everyhing.

Does anyone have experience with this?

If you install windows on a separate drive (not a separate partition) windows should not overwrite Linux bootloader. And if that’s the case you might detach the Linux drive while installing windows, just to be on the safe side.
But if you are installing Windows on the same drive, things can be uncertain…

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Even if it does rewrite the bootloader, I’m sure one can chroot and easily get the Linux bootloader installed.


That’s true indeed, but the OP wrote about just “add Windows” so I mentioned that​:sweat_smile:

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I see. All my other drives are filled with data, so i planned on splitting the one with linux into partitions.
I guess i should probably just install windows first, then let linux make its own in addition.

Thanks for the info!

The other thing that might work for you is to add Windows as a Virtual Machine - it can’t hurt you too much from there :grin:

If you want to install windoze, I suggest you seek some windoze forum. We shouldn’t be giving instructions how to install proprietary operating systems – not only for ideological reasons, but also possible legal issues.

That is untrue. There are plenty of FOSS alternatives to accomplish anything that is possible with those Affinity programs. What is the real truth is that it takes a while to adjust to FOSS alternatives, it’s outside one’s comfort zone.

A possible real issue is collaboration with teams who use proprietary software. If this is for business purposes, I would demand a dedicated work laptop with all necessary proprietary software already installed. I wouldn’t put malware like windoze on my private computers, and your boss shouldn’t demand that you do.

But for personal use, as well as business that you manage, I suggest quitting proprietary stuff cold turkey. There are plenty of Free alternatives. The transition will be rough, but worth it in the end.

Quitting proprietary software is possible for most cases, but there are still a few areas of software where Windoze dominates - for one example, pdf software eg Adobe Acrobat (God knows why Adobe has animosity with *nix). Pdf viewing and basic stuff in okular, evince etc are great but there remain still many things in which Adobe still excels.
(Don’t get me wrong, I’d be one of the happiest ones if I could ditch Windoze for good, booting that thing gives me panic ;-))

Yeah, it probably has the longest startup time out of any PDF viewer. It also excels at spying on users. It is also hiterally Litler.

:rofl: True, I’m not a fan of Adobe either but sometimes there’s just no other way. Just the other day, had to verify a digital signature on a govt ID, tried okular with firefox, master pdf editor but none worked; took a couple of seconds in Acrobat (any suggestions on this topic would be helpful though).
[Any more discussion on this line won’t be considered as post hijacking, right?]

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You could just leave the disk space you want to install Windows on as unformatted and then point the Windows’ installer to it.

Also, if you remove the boot,esp flags from your currently existing ESP (Efi System Partition), then Windows’ installer won’t use it to install its boot manager into it. It should create its own ESP. Like this you would eliminate any probable risk for your EnOS’ ESP to be overwritten by Windows.

Please note that the procedure above has worked fine for me in the past. I haven’t had the need to install Windows on a disk containing already a Linux system for quite a while.



yay -S vmware-workstation

It can share your GPU to virtual machine, though it won’t have the same performance as a native windows install

Also it’s proprietary code if that is a dealbreaker for you.

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That’s what i was trying to do, and did before, with the GPU passthrough. Worked great until i got a new better GPU. Now my old one causes issues if i put it in the second GPU slot with IOMMU, and i can’t get the system to boot.

That’s the only reason i’m considering dual booting.

IOMMU groups are either weird, my processor maybe doesn’t support 2 GPUs or something, idk. Whenever i turn on IOMMU in the bios, the system goes haywire (AMD-VI timeout), and won’t boot. WIthout it turned on, it recognizes the second GPU, but i can’t do anything then.

I’m not asking how to install windows, i know how to install it, i’m asking how to install windows “after linux”. Very different question that has least to do with windows, and i won’t get any help on windows forums for this. So idk what you’re mad about.

Which ones? And don’t say GIMP because that’s very different.

So which ones have the same workflow, can open industry standard formats and smart layers, are interconnected so i can work within them as a group at the same time, and have support if anything goes wrong?

I get what you’re saying, but design software is the one thing where FOSS isn’t really on par. That’s fine, it’ll get there, but in the meantime, there’s really nothing like the Adobe or Affinity suites… This has nothing to do with comfort zones…

But i’m open to suggestions. I tried GIMP, Krita and Inkscape. None of which are close to what Adobe or Affinity offer. Inkscape is very Corel-like which is cool though.

I’m sorry but that’s just not how the world works lol. I hate windows too, but i don’t have the privilege to demand anything let alone that i use FOSS for my work, and if i do, nobody else will which will just make my life harder while trying to work with them. You use what everyone else uses.

Thanks, but like i said, it’s not for personal use only, nor do i intend to force something that’ll only end up making my work harder to collaborate. In an ideal world, yeah, nice, and again, open to suggestions, but i can’t just force FOSS cold turkey for certain things.

I don’t miss anything from WIndows aside from this.

Yeah, i used to keep it in a virtualization prison where it belongs, worked great with looking-glass, but ever since the new GPU i can’t get it to work anymore. Booting crashes with the AMD-VI timeout message, and i’ve hit a wall…

Thanks, i’ll give it a shot. :slight_smile:

Well, Affinity is proprietary so it’s not a dealbreaker, but i’ve had little luck with vmware before.
Thanks for reminding me though, i will try this first before i try other solutions.
It can share a single GPU with the guest at the same time? If so, that’s pretty good. The performance doesn’t need to be native, i won’t be playing games in it, i just need the Affinity suite to work.