My Experience with a HP Laptop, Linux, Windows 8.1, and UEFI
I bought a new HP Pavilion Laptop a HP17-117DX with Windows 8.1 preinstalled, a GPT Vol Partitioned and UEFI. I wont go into details about GPT and UEFI except to say that there are many articles about them and what they are. First off The newer HP Laptops come this way with secure boot, and Fast Startup enabled. If you are going to Dual Boot with Linux there are a few things you need to do first.
1. Choose a Linux Distribution that already supports UEFI, such as (Mint, Fedora, SuSe, and Ubuntu) these are some of the ones that do.
2. Disable Fast Startup, and Secure Boot.
3. Resize the Windows partition using Gparted (Linux) or Disc Manager (Windows) I would resize and then make 3 Linux partitions in the resized partition. (root, swap. and home). Since the The hard disc is GPT Partition managed, You can make all of your partitions Primary. There is no 4 primary partition limit with GPT. All of my Partitions are Primary Partitions Ext4. You can have hard drives bigger than 2 Terabytes if you want. Just some of the advantage of GPT.
4 . Boot up the Laptop, and press (esc + F9) keys while booting or whatever key is required to get to the boot order. You may have to go into the Bios (F10) in my case. Choose USB or DVD/CD whatever Media, your Linux is on.
5. install Linux to the partitions that you made in the resized partition. If everything goes OK, Then after the install you can boot up and press whatever key to bring up the boot order and you should see your distro. (if using Mint it will say Ubuntu) Choose that and you should be good to go.
There is no easy way with a newer HP Laptop to make Linux the default. Forget all of the Boot managers as none of them will do the trick, and some will Bork your system. With Newer HP Pavilion laptops, as soon as you change the boot order using a boot manager, at the first boot windows will become the default OS again. This is Hard Coded into the system. There is a work around, but it will have to wait for my next post in my blog.
The install with Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon went without a hitch. Since Linux Mint is my Primary OS, I did manage to do a work around to make it the default after much reading and trial and error and borking my HP Laptop a couple of times. Hopefully HP will get the word and will change it so that there is a switch or something so that the boot order can be changed without going back to Windows on the next boot. If you don’t mind pressing a key at bootup to get a different OS then you need not do anything else..