Setting up new dual-boot

Received my new laptop, pre-loaded with Windows 8.1, and I want to set up Mint on a dual boot. It’s a complicated set up because it has two hard drives (one SSD). I’ve got my partition layout in my head, but need to know the best sequence of events now. I think this is a UEFI machine (it’s brand new, so probably?). I haven’t booted it yet, wanted to double-check here first.
Anyway, do I:

  • Boot into Windows, activate it etc, then use partition manager to shrink the 2 NTFS partitions (one on each drive). Then reboot into Mint liveUSB and install from there
  • Don’t boot Windows at all, boot Mint liveUSB first and then use GParted to shrink the partitions. Install Mint & GRUB (to MBR), then reboot into Windows and sort it all out

Or doesn’t it matter? I know next to nothing about UEFI, apart from it seems to be Microsoft’s way of getting their hands on the firmware >:(
I’m also assuming it’s got MBR and not GPT - again, I know next to nothing about GPT other than it complicates things :frowning:

I have no experience of UEFI, I dont know if disabling UEFI will help, theres a guide here - How to Disable UEFI Secure Boot in Windows

Thanks wishbone, I don’t think SecureBoot will be an issue, as recent Ubuntu releases support it natively (and hopefully Mint will to, by extension). I’m more concerned about UEFI vs. legacy mode, and the UEFI bootloader vs. GRUB on the UEFI partition. I’ve found a suggestion that Windows bootloader will load Linux under UEFI better than GRUB loads Windows (the reverse of the normal BIOS situation), but I can’t find info on setting that up, and it’s completely alien to me.

Is this any use chemicalfan

I saw that earlier, I’ve done a ton of reading today, and basically I’ve found out that I need to do the Windows bit first, AND create the empty partitions there too. The jury is out whether I’ll successful or not, as it purely depends on how the OEM has coded their UEFI implementation, and I won’t know that until the end (and beyond, several Windows updates down the line). At least I’ve read that Ubuntu/Mint offer me the best shot at an easy life, but the UEFI world is certainly a lot scarier than the BIOS one.