Windows 10 ArcaOS Dual Boot

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Article Info
Author N/A
Date 2017-06
OS Version ArcaOS 5.0.x
Companion File N/A
Source N/A

Install ArcaOS multi boot – ArcaOS and Win10 Pro

This is a step by step install of ArcaOS and Win10 on the same disk.


This install assumes a few things:

  1. Set the BIOS to default boot your hard drive
  2. You know how to control the BIOS boot device of the pc in order to select the correct media. On some machines, F7 (some AMI BIOS), or F8 (Asus), F12 (Thinkpad), Delete key, or escape key. This is important to select the appropriate media during the different install phases.
  3. Install assumes a SATA disk drive and bootable DVD
  4. Instructions assume the hard drive is wiped clean of any old data or operating system
  5. Make sure the BIOS is set to Compatibility mode, sometimes called Legacy mode. ArcaOS cannot use UEFI.

Hardware Information

This install was developed on a Shuttle XH61V system

  • 16 GB RAM
  • 320 GB SATA hard drive
  • generic SATA DVD reader

General information

ArcaOS must install to a MBR partitioned disk.

Windows 10 (on a modern pc) will tend to be installed on GPT partitioned disks and UEFI firmware. This means in most cases it is difficult to install ArcaOS after Windows 10. The easiest method is to wipe the disk, install ArcaOS then install Windows 10. If we install Windows 10 after ArcaOS, Windows will clobber the first partition at the beginning of the disk drive to install the “System Reserved” partition. If you have a ArcaOS partition it will be wiped out and replaced with this System Reserved NTFS partition. The trick is to make the ArcaOS partition at the end of the disk drive.

You are warned the Windows 10 install is a bit tedious.

General outline

  1. Boot ArcaOS from DVD
  2. Partition disk and install AiR-Boot
  3. Install ArcaOS at the end of the disk
  4. Configure AiR-Boot
  5. Check that ArcaOS boots and runs
  6. Shutdown system
  7. Install Windows 10 Pro using a USB key
  8. Make sure that Windows 10 installs to correct partition
  9. Windows 10 will have clobbered AiR-Boot
  10. Make sure Windows 10 boots and runs
  11. Boot from ArcaOS DVD
  12. Let ArcaOS mark the LVM table and install AiR-Boot again
  13. Reboot and adjust AiR-Boot
  • These instructions assume the hard disk is wiped before starting.

Place ArcaOS in the DVD reader. Start system and boot from the DVD (some systems may default and boot the DVD) Otherwise - press key that selects the boot device (F7 on Shuttle)

Win10 arca 001.jpg

The ArcaOS will show the DVD boot menu.

  • Select Boot from ArcaOS Boot CD-ROM

Win10 arca 002.jpg

Now the Welcome to ArcaOS screen:


Let’s get right to setting up the hard drive.

  • Click on the System Management button, to get to the utilities


  • Click Disk | Disk Utility
  • Click on Fix Problems. That will write the LVM tables

Win10 arca 003c.jpg

The system will need to then reboot

Win10 arca 003c.jpg

After reboot select to boot from the DVD again

Win10 arca 002.jpg

From the Welcome screen

  • Click button System Management
  • Click Disk | Manage Volumes (Graphical)

Win10 arca 004.jpg

Select Volume | Create For this example we will create a size of 20242 MB, about 20 GB. Uncheck Use primary partition

  • Check Allocate from end of free space
  • Click Finish

Win10 arca 005.jpg

We will set up an additional volume for a use later as a recovery ArcaOS or maybe install another OS later on. This will NOT be used for the Windows 10. We will let Windows 10 carve up the disk with it’s own partition tools We can create the additional volume about 6996 MB (use your own judgement on the sizes). Again… Uncheck Use primary partition

  • Check Allocate from end of free space
  • Click Finish

Win10 arca 006.jpg

The Volume Manager will now look something like this:

Win10 arca 007.jpg

Now to install the Air Boot program

  • System | Boot Menu | Install/Update
  • System | Save changes | Exit

Win10 arca 008.jpg

This should take you back to the System Management Menu

  • Click Disk | Format Disk

Format Volume dialog

  • Make sure the drive letter is C and the new filesystem is JFS (Journaled File System)

Win10 arca 009.jpg

Now format the D drive

Win10 arca 010.jpg

Both drives C and D should now show JFS under the File System column

  • Click System | Exit

At this point you should be back at the System Management menu bar

  • Click ArcaOS | Restart Installer
  • Now the Welcome to ArcaOS screen:


Read the license agreement, click Accept | Next Installation Type screen

  • Select Custom | Next

Volumes screen Make sure the System volume is C (JFS) and Use system volume

  • Then click Next

Win10 arca 012.jpg

Location screen Select the setting for your location, then click Next Select Components screen Make your choice, the defaults are usually fine for most people Then click Next Devices Screen Make your choices. The defaults work for most new systems Then click Next

Networking screen The defaults are what most people use Then click Next Network settings Pay attention here. If you want to change the computer name do it now. It is a little tricky (hand edit of a file) if you want to change it later. Most people will be using DHCP Then click Next Confirm Installation screen Check the settings. Go to previous screens is there are any mistakes If setting look good click Next The install program will go ahead and copy in files When the system reboots, let it boot from the hard drive. AiR-Boot will start you should press F10 key to setup AiR-Boot If you do not, it grabs that D drive to start and throws and error --OS2BOOT cannot be found-- You will get a screen like this:

Win10 arca 013.jpg

If you do get the screen, simply reboot the system and remember to press F10 to get into the setup

This is the setup screen:

Win10 arca 014.jpg

Select BASIC OPTIONS Change the Default Selection to the correct ArcaOS volume Toggle the Timed Boot to Disabled

  • Then press Escape key

Win10 arca 015.jpg

You should be back at the main AiR-BOOT setup screen Select F10 or Save and Exit Confirm Yes AiR-BOOT restarts

  • Select Volume 1 which is your ArcaOS volume

ArcaOS should now start

Win10 arca 016.jpg

More files will copy in After the copy finishes the ArcaOS desktop will appear

Reboot ArcaOS and make sure the AiR-Boot is working and you get the ArcaOS booting from the hard drive Installation of ArcaOS is now complete. We can move on to Windows 10 installation. For this install we assume you have the Windows 10 USB key. If not use the search engine on another Windows pc to get the Windows 10 media creation tool. Only get the tool from Microsoft website. Run the media creation tool and make the choices to create a USB key. At this point the ArcaOS system should be powered off. Insert the Windows 10 USB key. Boot the system and use the BIOS key to select the boot device. On the Shuttle the F7 key is used, on Asus systems the F8 key is used. Use the key to boot before AiR-BOOT starts. AiR-Boot may not know how to boot the USB key.

It is very important to NOT select UEFI boot

Here is what the Shuttle system looks like after the F7 key is pressed during boot

Win10 arca 017.jpg

  • The Windows installer will start and present a screen like this

Win10 arca 018.jpg

  • You will usually want to use the 64-bit version (depends on your hardware)
  • Press Enter key

You will see a Loading files screen Then the language choice screen Make your choice and click Next

Win10 arca 019.jpg

Now the Install now screen Click the Install now button The Activate Windows screen appears If this system had Windows 10 before click on “I don’t have a product key” or enter your product key. If you do not have a key and the system never had Windows 10 before you can install and run for about 30 days before you need to “pay up”

Next a license screen Accept the license and click Next

Next screen you can select the flavor of Windows 10 The Pro version is usually what you want

Win10 arca 019.jpg

Another license screen appears

  • Accept and click Next

The type of install screen will appear

  • Click Custom

Win10 arca 020.jpg

Then you will see the very important disk layout screen You will see the two partitions we created with ArcaOS

  • Select the Drive 0 Unallocated Space then click the yellow New icon

Win10 arca 021.jpg

You can accept the remainder of the disk space

  • Then click Apply

Win10 arca 022.jpg

This dialog tells us Windows will carve up the space with two partitions. This is where Windows 10 would have wiped out a ArcaOS partition if we did not create the partition at the end of the disk drive.

  • Click OK

Win10 arca 023.jpg

The dialog showing us the results of Windows 10 carving up the disk.

  • Click Next

Win10 arca 024.jpg

Windows 10 will now copy in the operating system.

Win10 arca 025.jpg

Still going

Win10 arca 026.jpg

Now Windows 10 will restart

Win10 arca 027.jpg

You will see this and wait

Win10 arca 028.jpg

  • Be patient

Win10 arca 029.jpg

  • Select your region

Win10 arca 030.jpg

  • Add an extra keyboard layout if needed

Win10 arca 031.jpg

Windows 10 grabs some updates as needed

Win10 arca 032.jpg

Select if this system is a personal or an organization

  • Select and click Next

Win10 arca 033.jpg

Windows 10 allows you to login with a Microsoft account. You probably will not want that.

  • You can use a local account (MS calls it an offline account), but it is a tiny choice in the lower left corner

Win10 arca 034.jpg

It looks like this:

Win10 arca 035.jpg

And they try one more time to get you to sign up

  • Just click NO

Win10 arca 037.jpg

Finally... you can enter the login you wish to create

  • Then click Next

Win10 arca 037.jpg

Create your password

  • Then click Next

Win10 arca 038.jpg

Confirm your password

  • Then click Next

Windows requires some sort of entry on the password hint page

  • Then click Next

Win10 arca 041.jpg

Now you come to the Cortana dialog You probably do not want to use Cortana

  • Just click NO

Win10 arca 043.jpg

Then the Privacy dialog. You probably want to turn off as much as possible! Move the slider on each item to the OFF position

  • Then click Next

Win10 arca 044.jpg

Setup will continue with more messages to let you know it is still working. Be patient the set up will continue with a few messages such as:

We’re getting everything ready for you
This might take several minutes
Questions are a burden to others;
answers a prison for oneself

Finally you will get to to the desktop

Win10 arca 044.jpg

Windows 10 is installed! Now let's clean up

You can use the Windows key and click on the Power button icon to power off the system

Win10 arca 047.jpg

Clean Up the Windows 10 disk problems

If you power up the system again you will find that the AiR-Boot menu has been wiped out by the Windows 10 install. We need to install the AiR-Boot program again

Make sure the ArcaOS DVD is in the reader. Boot the system but use the special key to interrupt the normal boot order Select the DVD to boot from

Win10 arca 048.jpg

When the ArcaOS DVD boots

  • select Boot from the ArcaOS Boot CD-ROM

Win10 arca 050.jpg

  • Boot with default values unless… you need some special settings to access the disk

On the Welcome to ArcaOS, click System Management The Disk Utility program will display an error from the install of Windows 10

  • Click on Fix Problems

Win10 arca 051.jpg

The next screen will tell us “changes have been applied”

  • Click Close
  • Click OK to allow the reboot

Shutdown will complete and you will see the dialog to Ctrl+Alt+Del Go ahead

When the system starts to reboot interrupt with the special boot device selection key You need to boot again from the ArcaOS DVD

  • Boot from the DVD

On the Welcome to ArcaOS screen

  • Select System Management

On the ArcaOS System Management screen

  • Select Manage Disk Volumes (Graphical)

You will then see the Installation Volume Manager program

  • Select System | Boot Menu | Install/Update
  • Click Yes button
  • Then System | Exit
  • ArcaOS | Shut Down
  • Click Yes
  • When you see Shutdown has completed, press Ctrl+Alt+Del

Let the system boot normally from the hard drive You should now see the AiR-Boot menu

Win10 arca 053.jpg

Customize the menu as your needs dictate Note: the Windows 10 you should set to boot the 01/01 partition

Win10 arca 054.jpg

Do not forget to save&exit the AiR-Boot settings


You should now be able to boot back and forth from ArcaOS and Windows 10 using the AiR-Boot