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Linux Manjaro – Windows 10 Dual Boot on Dell XPS

Here is a quick guideline to install Manjaro Linux along with Windows 10 for the Dell XPS notebook series, tested on model 9560. It is always recommended to backup your system before making changes on your BIOS settings!

Change RAID to AHCI

Dell notebooks using a disk technology called RAID on default. It basically merges multiple ssd drives into one and improves the performance. However, linux distributions do not recognize hard drives on this setting, so the first thing you have to do is to get rid of RAID.

Log in into Windows, press the windows key, type cmd, right click on it and press “run as administrator”.

Force to boot in safeboot mode by typing:

bcdedit/set safeboot minimal

Reboot your system and enter the bios by spamming F2 on the DELL loading screen.

Navigate to System Configuration > SATA Operation and change RAID to AHCI.

Log in to your system, open cmd again and type:

bcdedit/deletevalue safeboot

Setup Bootable Live Stick

Download the distro with desktop environment of your choice at:

https://manjaro.org/download/

Download Rufus and create a bootable USB drive with the previous loaded distro.

https://rufus.ie/

Reboot your system and spam F12 at the Dell loading screen again, than select your stick and start the Manjaro live demo.

Install Manjaro

The first installation steps are straight forward, select your location, language and keyboard layout.

On step Partitions, select Manual partinioning.

Now create one partition for your RAM swap, which should be around the half of your RAM in total, but not more than 8 GBs. Select the free space and click on Create. Insert your size on the top field, on Mount Point select linuxswap and mark swap on the bottom list Flags. Than click on OK.

The remaining space serves as your system environment, so select Free space again and click on Create. Take all the remaining space and select / on Mount Point. On the bottom menu Flags look for root and mark it.

Now select the partition with your bootloader, which should be the first one with few hundred MBs and a File System format of FAT32. Select it and click on Edit. The only thing to change here is on field Mount Point, set it to /boot/efi. Click OK.

Go through the next straight forward steps and finish the installation!

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