4 free boot managers – dual-boot Windows and Linux

How to do a Linux and Windows dual-boot on the same hard drive? Typically, a computer will have a single operating system installed, for those who want to dual boot multiple operating systems such as a combination of Windows and Linux, you will need to make some changes and enable the option to allow choose the operating system to boot from when booting.

You can install 2 operating systems as long as you partition your SSD or hard drive into 2 drives. When you install a Linux distribution, it usually installs the Grub boot loader. Grub loads instead of the Windows boot loader at boot time if Windows was already installed, allowing you to choose which operating system you want to boot by changing the boot configuration data.

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01 – Grub2Win | Free

Grub2Win supports 64 and 32 bit EFI and BIOS on Windows 10, 8, 7 and XP. Safe dual boot Windows and Linux from GPT or MBR disks. Grub2Win starts the native GNU Grub version 2 code. Everything is contained in a single 20MB directory on your Windows C: drive. On EFI systems, a few small modules are installed on your EFI partition.

Using the simple Windows graphical user interface and instructions, you can install Grub2Win quickly and safely. Select from many operating system choices. Supports Antergos, Android, Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, Fedora, Mint, Clover and Windows. Also starts ISO files. You can enter your own custom commands for each menu entry.

  • Supports 64 and 32 bit EFI as well as BIOS firmware.
  • Installs on Windows 10, 8, 7 and XP.
  • Requires a single directory on the Windows C: drive, approximately 20MB of disk space.
  • A simple Windows GUI easily configures Grub2Win in seconds.
  • Allows you to set the boot order of the EFI firmware from Windows.
  • Preview and customize the 9 included graphic background themes.
  • Works with all file systems including Mac hfs and Btrfs.
  • Can search and start a partition by its label. Supports advanced scripting.
  • Works with GPT and MBR disks – up to 128 primary partitions per drive.
  • Supports extremely large disks and partitions (over 40TB).
  • Multiboot securely Windows, Antergos, Android, Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, Fedora, Mint, Clover and more.
  • Grub customization is done from Windows – Linux setup is not required.

02 – EasyBCD | Free staff

Take control of your bootloader, EasyBCD supercharges your Windows PC, which allows you to do a dual boot depending on your heart’s content. Also boot into legacy systems that Microsoft does not support: MS-DOS, Windows 9x, Windows ME and Windows 2000!

EasyBCD is intended for users of all kinds. Whether you just want to add an entry to your old XP partition or create a duplicate for testing; If you want to debug the Windows kernel or boot your seven test operating systems seven times, EasyBCD is the key.

  • Start anything – Windows, Linux, macOS, and BSD! Boot from and to USB drives, ISO images, virtual disks, etc.
  • Boot Anywhere – Create bootable USB drives with repair utilities that you can take with you anywhere.
  • Disaster Protection – Create entries to boot into recovery utilities or safe mode to prepare for a rainy day.
  • Pain-Free Editing – Add, rename, delete, configure, and rearrange entries as you like.
  • Troubleshoot tough problems – Use EasyBCD to troubleshoot Windows, backup and repair bootloader, etc.
  • Powerful scripts with NeoGrub – You will have the power to hide partitions, change active flags, and create complex startup scenarios.

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rEFInd is a fork of the Small rEFIt Boot Manager for computers based on the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) and Unified EFI (UEFI). Like rEFIt, rEFInd is a boot manager, which means that it presents a menu of options to the user when the computer first boots up, as shown below. rEFInd is not a boot loader, which is a program that loads an operating system kernel and transfers control to it.

This is an EFI-based bootloader for BIOS-based computers created as a replacement for the EDK2 / Duet bootloader. Clover is an operating system boot loader for computers that already have UEFI firmware and for those with legacy BIOS firmware. An operating system (OS) can support (U) EFI (macOS, Windows 7, 8 or 10, Linux) or not (Windows XP). Legacy boot is used for the last, that is, old system BIOS is used to manage boot sectors.

  • Boot macOS, Windows and Linux in UEFI mode or in legacy mode on Mac or PC with UEFI firmware or BIOS
  • Boot using UEFI firmware directly or CloverEFI UEFI firmware emulation
  • Customizable graphical interface including themes, icons, fonts, background images, animations and mouse pointers.
  • Possibility to start the previously selected start input after a default delay
  • The boot entries menu scrolls if the screen resolution is too low for the menu
  • Create custom boot entries to customize boot entries and add support for other operating systems
  • Create Clover Boot Entry in NVRAM with GUI Tool