How to dual-boot Ubuntu on an Acer V5-122P-0408 laptop that comes pre-installed with Windows 8

Updated 12/22/13

I had to replace my netbook a few weeks ago, since my daily use machine had gotten a cracked screen/case that was exacerbated by the torque put on the bottom corner of the screen every time I opened it. My old Acer was cheap, fast, light, and common enough that you could easily find dual boot instructions, so I wanted another one of those. I need Windows for some programs but love Ubuntu and mainly want to work out of that environment, so I need to be able to have both OSs on whatever computer I carry around with me on a regular basis. I picked the new Acer V5-122P-0408 but there weren’t any walkthroughs online that I could find for this particular model.

I wrote my own. The steps below worked on my computer, and worked on another V5 when I gave the instructions to that user. Of course, there are no guarantees, but if you’re looking for a cheap, fast, light, dual-booted touchscreen netbook, I’d recommend the V5-122P-0408 (11.6″, touchscreen, 500 GB HDD, 1 GHz AMD Dual Core processor, link goes to Amazon), and this installation procedure:

  • Read all the way through to the end of these steps before doing anything.
  • Turn on your V5.
  • Go into Computer Management (cmpmgmt.msc)
    • Ignore the several small partitions – don’t touch them, don’t delete them. They hold backup/restore info for Win.
    • Select the big partition. Shrink it by at least 26 G. (The size is up to you; it will be the new Ubuntu partitions.) This will leave you with free space. That’s what you want; don’t format that into a new partition.
    • Exit Computer Management.
  • Create a 12.04.03 install on a USB stick. (You’ll need at least 1g free on the stick.)
  • Reboot Windows. This is just a check so you have the peace of mind that changing the partition didn’t mess up Windows at all. If you don’t need it, skip to the next step.
  • When in Windows again, reboot, but press F2 as it loads to get into the boot screen.
  • Using the arrow keys, go to the left to “Security”
  • Using the arrow keys, go down to Secure Bios. Use F6 to turn it off (it will say “disabled”).
  • Go down to the boot order, and using F5/F6, change the boot order to:
    • USB
    • USB
    • Hard Drive
    • Windows
  • Have the USB stick ready! Push F10 to save and reboot. Insert the USB stick into the USB3 port. This will make your computer load from the USB instead of Win8, and using the 3 port gives you a faster install time than the USB2 side.
  • From the menu, choose “Install Ubuntu”.
  • When the Ubuntu screen opens, look for the wireless symbol in the upper right-hand corner, select your router, and turn on the wireless.
  • Go through the installation process. After you enter your time zone/language/name/username/password, it will tell you that it doesn’t see another operating system (basically, that it doesn’t see Windows) and lets you choose between overwriting the whole drive or “something else”. CHOOSE “SOMETHING ELSE”. DO NO OVERWRITE YOUR DRIVE. Windows is safely installed in your main partition, right where you left it. Ubuntu just doesn’t see it because of a boot order issue that you’ll fix at the end.
  • When you select “something else” you can choose which partition you want to use. You’re not going to use any of them. You will make your own from that free space we opened up in Windows.
    • Select the free space. Click “Add” to create these three partitions. Do it in this order:
      • 100 MG – Bios
      • 6 G – swap (the V5 only comes with 4 but you can upgrade to 6 so you might as well make your swap space big enough to accommodate that for the future)
      • Whatever’s left – E4 journal (the very top option) with a boot of / (this will be your main partition for Ubuntu).
  • Select this new partition and press “install”.
  • Go do something else for 15 to 45 minutes, depending on which port you used and your internet connection speed.
  • Your install should be complete. Note: it will say that some modules/bundles could not be installed. Ignore that. It will be fixed in the update, and won’t stop you from the next steps.
  • Reboot the computer. When it has shut down but before it has restarted, remove the USB stick.
  • The computer will load straight into Ubuntu. Don’t worry; this is that boot order problem I mentioned earlier and is easily fixed.
    • Turn on the wireless.
    • Press CTRL-ALT-T to open a terminal window.
    • Type (or copy/paste):
      • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update
    • Press enter, type in your password when prompted, press enter again, and wait for it to unpack.
  • Type:
    • sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && (boot-repair &)
    • Press enter, and wait for it to unpack. It will load automatically.

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  • When Boot Repair opens, choose the “Recommended repair” option.
  • A pop up will open that says “buggy kernal detected” and asks if you want to backup rename Windows? Select “Yes”.
  • When it’s finished, closed Boot Repair. Your boot order is fixed.
  • Fix the clock
    • alt+F2 (or in terminal): gksu gedit /etc/default/rcS
    • Find this line “# assume that the BIOS clock is set to UTC time (recommended) UTC=yes” and change UTC=yes to UTC=no
  • Go to the update manager and install the 142 things waiting for you. This will fix the “missing modules” note from the end of the 12.04.03 install.
  • When it’s complete, it will prompt you to restart. Do that.
  • When your computer restarts, it will load the boot menu. The top option will be called Ubuntu and a couple of options down are two “Windows UEFI” boot options. You can choose either one (though I use the second one).
  • Go into Windows, check that everything still works (it will). Restart from in Win8, choose Ubuntu, and go into that to be sure everything still works (it will). At this point, you can be done.

I’d recommend several programs to install next, like VLC media player, GIMP, Chrome, Dropbox, ClamTK, Comix, Calibre, and so on, but that’s up to you.

Quirks:

  • You can’t yet update to 12.10 – it doesn’t support the graphics driver.
  • When you boot, you’ll see a note that says “kvm: disabled by bios”; ignore it. It doesn’t affect anything. This just means that Acer isn’t allowing the kernal virtual machine, which most users won’t need. If you do, check out these notes to enable SVM.
  • When you shut down from Ubuntu, the program closes but freezes on the final screen. It’s safe to power down manually (and I’m working on a fix). However, if you’re going to be using Ubuntu most, I’d suggest putting it into “suspend” instead of turning it off. That would mean whenever you open the laptop, it’s 5 seconds and you’re in (but still secure because it makes you enter your password). You can power down completely from Windows every time you use it, and restart in Ubuntu randomly to make sure programs/modules are getting completely closed often.

Thanks to Don for the clock fix and the reminder about the Fast Startup feature.

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3 comments

  1. Hello

    I solve the shutdown freeze issue by set the UEFI SATA mode setting from AHCI to IDE. The problem is that if you want boot Windows 8 you have to set it to AHCI again. I do know the perfomance lost by set to IDE.

    1. That’s not really a solution – you’re just cutting Win 8 out and that means the machine isn’t dual booting, which is the point of this post. But if someone wants to ignore Win 8 and only use Ubuntu, this note might be helpful, so I’ll leave it up.

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