HP Laptop 2000 with Win 8

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These are the steps I took when setting up Kubuntu Precise Pangolin 12.04 LTS on an inexpensive, newly-purchased HP computer with Windows 8 pre-installed on it (June 2013).

  • Unpacked the new computer and powered it on, which loaded to the Windows 8 initial setup.
  • Chose Win 8 intialization without automatic updates or feedback (or any other automatic interactions with Microsoft). Set up a single user with a password. (I skipped the setup of networking at this time.)
  • Since I have messed up so many Windows operating systems in the past, having a set of Recovery Disks is very important to me (so that I can re-install Windows should I do something dreadfully wrong). HP does not distribute Recovery Disks separately but pre-installs an App / Program to create them for you. Access the "HP Media Recovery Creation" app:
  • Slide cursor to the lower right corner of the screen -> Search -> Apps -> Security and Protection: HP Media Recovery Creation
  • Follow the prompts to create a set of Recovery Discs (5 DVDs or 3 DLDVDs) or a Recovery USB stick. (The process took over 3 hours for me.) Put the newly-created Recovery Disks in a safe place -- you are only allowed to create one set.
  • I phone-activated Windows 8. Why? With phone activation I could write down the activation number and in the event I need to reinstall the OS using the Recovery Discs would be able to re-enter the activation number again.
  • Slide cursor to the lower right corner of the screen -> Settings -> Change PC Settings -> Activate Windows -> Activate by Phone
  • My network restricts which computers can connect by allowing only certain MAC addresses to connect. To find the wireless card's MAC address I used the CMD prompt (command terminal):
  • Slide cursor to the lower right corner of the screen -> Search -> Apps -> Windows System: Command Prompt
  • At the command prompt enter: ipconfig -all (and note the MAC address for the wireless device)
  • I started my network connection from the Desktop using the Wireless icon in the lower right:
  • Windows button -> Desktop -> Wireless icon
  • I happen to like the Classic Start menu of Windows 7 instead of the Start screen of Windows 8, so installed a New Toolbar on the Taskbar that simulates it using the instructions here.
  • I shrank my Windows 8 partition using the Disk Management: Shrink Volume tool:
  • Slide cursor to the lower right corner of the screen -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Search Control Panel: Administrative Tools -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Storage: Disk Management
  • Highlight the C: drive -> right-click -> Shrink Volume... -> Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB: 61,440 (which frees up 60 Gb of unallocated space) -> Shrink
  • Reboot the computer (I reboot twice because I'm superstitious):
  • Slide cursor to the lower right corner of the screen -> Settings -> Power -> Restart
  • Now I want to adjust from UEFI Boot to Legacy Boot options:
  • Slide cursor to the lower right corner of the screen -> Settings -> Change PC Settings -> General: Restart Now -> (Windows 8 Boot menu) -> Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> UEFI Firmware Settings -> Restart
  • The Boot Menu should now appear. During boot press the "ESC" key to choose the Boot Device Options or BIOS Settings as desired (to change settings temporarily or permanently). I entered the BIOS Settings and enabled Legacy Boot permanently. I also changed the boot order to allow the CD/DVD to boot first in both UEFI and Legacy modes (until done with all installations). Now when I reboot, pressing the "ESC" key brings up the option to boot directly from CD/DVD drive.
  • I happen to have a boot-up disk with GParted on it. I rebooted the system into the Legacy Boot menu by holding down the ESC key, then chose the Boot Device Options and selected the CD/DVD device to boot (into which my GParted disc had been placed). GParted then booted.
  • Because I had already burned my Recovery Discs (see above), I erased the HP Recovery partition (reclaiming about 25 Gb of additonal hard drive space). With the 60 Gb of drive space reclaimed from the Shrink Volume step, this left about 85 Gb unallocated space for installing Kubuntu.
  • I then remove the GParted disk and rebooted into the Kubuntu disk (for this I used a 64-bit Kubuntu Precise 12.04.2 LTS LiveCD). I happen to like to set the partitions manually and created a small 10 Mb Reserved Boot Partition (for Grub data) and a 4 Gb swap partition (equivalent to the amount of RAM on my system). I then used the rest of the unallocated space as an ext4 partition for Kubuntu. (I then allowed Kubuntu to finish installing completely.) However, the Precise Pangolin 12.04.2 LTS version is able to install to the Win 8 UEFI bootloader under the "Guided Installation -- Install to Largest Available Free Space" option as well, which is easier (and recommended) for beginners.
  • At the end of installation I was prompted to reboot. Pressing the "ESC" key during reboot now shows an Ubuntu OS boot option for booting Kubuntu.
  • At one point I made a mistake and had to start over. To edit the duplicate boot entries (that resulted) in the UEFI boot menu I used this advice.
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