I've tried this pretty much every way I can think of and I cant get Zorin (16.3 core) to detect Win10. The goal is a dual boot and expected operation would be the Zorin installer detecting my existing windows install, and partitioning and installing the bootloader automatically
I've disabled hibernation/sleep in Windows, fast boot disabled, secure boot disabled in bios, bitlocker disabled in windows, and SATA mode set to AHCI. It is successfully seeing the physical drive as sda, its just not detecting the win10 install on that drive. I've verified that my Windows installation is using Legacy and not UEFI
I'm at a loss here, what else could be causing my problem?
Ensure that Windows is being fully shut down prior to booting the Zorin LiveUSB. It may be this simple - With Win 10 or 11, turning Windows off actually hibernates it, instead of Full Shut Down. Microsoft does this is to give Windows that seeming "Fast Booting" by having it wake up rather than boot up.
I believe that this is very likely to be where the issue is coming from.
Zorin OS might have trouble recognizing a GPT partition table in non-UEFI mode. If the drive is GPT, you might be able to convert it to MBR. But this would necessitate reinstalling Windows...
You can use the "Something Else" option to manually partition the drive if the automatic Ubiquity installer is not detecting Windows, as a work around to your issue. If Zorin OS is using EFI to boot and Windows is not, it may complicate grub.
The best practice is to install an additional Operating System with the same partition tables as the one already installed. If Windows is installed with MBR, Then Zorin OS should be as well.
And the same goes for EFI or UEFI with GPT.
I appreciate the response
My understanding is that I have to use legacy mode since we commonly have problems booting into linux using UEFI or secure boot. Its been a few years since I've set up a dual boot environment, is it recommended to use UEFI now?
The current windows install is using MBR, and since I have secure boot disabled in bios it should force zorin to boot the same way correct?
EDIT: Zorin is in fact running in uefi mode
UEFI is perfectly fine with Zorin OS. However, dual booting EFI and MBR may be a bit frustrating or troublesome.
Secure boot is usually fine, but can interfere with some drivers (Nvidia...)