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As part of offering tools to do the job efficiently, I was tasked to set up a second operating system on an existing Windows 7 laptop with Bitlocker-encrypted NTFS partition. I tried an older version of VMWare but vmware-tools there supported upstart, not systemd. That made using the mouse too difficult with misalignment issues, switching Aero off and setting scaling to 100% didn't help. Virtualbox didn't support the 64bit os.

Steps to create the dualboot:

  1. Shrink the existing NTFS partition to make room for the Ubuntu installation. Rightclick Computer - Manage - Disk Management - rightclick partition - Shrink Volume. About 20-30GB should do.
  2. Pause bitlocker while the configuration is being updated. Control panel - Bitlocker Drive Encryption - Suspend Protection
  3. Create a Live-USB of the Ubuntu or whatever Linux you're about to install. Used LiLi myself.
  4. Boot the computer with the Live USB stick, Install Ubuntu with advanced settings.
    1. Add two logical partitions to the empty space: a swap partition the same size as the machines RAM, and an ext4 partition with mountpoint / (root)
    2. Make sure to set the bootloader to the logical partition, not MBR. Example: /dev/sda6 instead of /dev/sda
  5. After Ubuntu has finished installing, boot to windows and download EasyBCD
  6. Using EasyBCD, Add a new entry to the bootmenu from the NeoGRUB tab (install)
  7. Click configure on the NeoGRUB tab and write this entry, referencing /dev/sda6:
    title Ubuntu
    root (hd0,5)
    chainloader (hd0,5)+1
  8. Save changes from the Edit boot menu -tab
  9. Reveal the unencrypted windows partition from Computer - Manage - Disk Management - rightclick system partition - Change drive letter and paths. I assigned the letter Q: for the system drive.
  10. Copy C:\NeoGrub and C:\NST folder to the Q: drive as Q:\NeoGrub and Q:\NST
  11. Boot, verify that both Windows and Ubuntu start, resume bitlocker protection
    1. Bonus cleanup: C:\NST\NeoGrub.mbr is required, as are Q:\NeoGrub and Q:\NST\menu.lst. You can remove the extra copies.

This method doesn't flinch when the kernel is updated, unlike the traditional method of copying 512 bytes of the bootloader to a separate file and using bcdedit to boot from that file.

By: Joni Nevalainen / CSC