7 Risks of Dual Booting Windows and Linux Operating Systems



Considering installing a second operating system, and want to be aware of the risks? Having Windows and Linux installed on your PC gives you the best of both worlds. But it isn’t always smooth sailing. Dual booting can lead to problems, some of which are difficult to foresee.
Is dual booting safe? Does it affect performance? Here are seven dangers of dual booting that you should be aware of before installing a second operating system.
1. Accidental Overwriting of Data/OS
If this isn’t the most important, it’s certainly the risk that can scupper you before you even get started. After all, overwriting your existing data—or even the primary operating system—is going to lead to problems. Sure, you can use recovery tools, but the chances of recovering all your data are minimal.
Fortunately, most operating system installation wizards can detect primary partitions. This means that if you’re installing Windows alongside a Linux distribution, the wizard should highlight the existing partition. You’ll get a choice of what to do next. Linux operating systems, meanwhile, are similarly smart.
But accidents do happen, so take care when installing. Make sure you install the new operating system onto the correct drive and partition, without accidentally losing your data.
2. Dual Booting Can Hit Productivity
Running multiple operating systems on your PC is a great way to maximize productivity. But sometimes it can be counterproductive. If you have a need to use Windows 10 alongside Ubuntu 20.04, it’s convenient to easily switch into that OS.
But do you really need to? Making sure you have equivalent applications in Linux if you have switched from Windows is important. Similarly, you should ensure suitable options are available if switching the other way. Dual booting should really be for experiencing—and enjoying—the whole alternative operating system environment.
Then again, you might not even need to switch. Running Windows in a virtual machine on Linux is a great solution. Naturally, you can also install Linux in a virtual machine on Windows .
Ultimately, it’s important to make sure you’re using the best operating system for the task at hand.
3. Locked Partitions Cause Problems in Dual Booting Systems
Perhaps one of the biggest pitfalls of dual booting is being unable to access your data. Most of the time, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you have organized things effectively, your vital personal files will be available via whatever operating systems you’re using.
This is possible using cloud storage, for example, or using a HDD partition specifically for personal files.
However, problems can occur. If you’re using Windows and the system shuts down unexpectedly, any dedicated partition used for personal files will be locked. This means that trying to access the drive from your Linux partition will fail. You’ll see a message like this:...

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