Dual Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu, Install Windows 7 after Ubuntu

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Being a techie, I know the benefits of having more than one operating system running on the same machine. I myself dual boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu on my HP DC7900 machine for educational / personal purposes. The HP DC7900 is an awesome budget machine: Here are some great HP DC7900 Deals on Amazon. I do most of my GNS3 networking labs within Ubuntu while doing video editing, Adobe Photoshop etc. on the Windows 7 operating system. No matter how much you hate Windows, the majority supports this operating system and great proprietary software is made for it.

multi boot windows and ubuntu

Dual Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu

You are probably wondering how to dual boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu. It is pretty straight forward if you are doing a clean installation of Windows 7 first. On a clean hard drive you would install Windows 7 and use the Windows installation options to create required partitions. I typically use at least 50 gigabytes toward my Windows and Ubuntu partitions and create one NTFS partition to be shared between Windows and Ubuntu. The perks of this is that you can share files between operating systems, both Windows and Ubuntu can read NTFS partitions. Once the Windows 7 installation is completed, you can go ahead and install Ubuntu. The Grub boot loader of Ubuntu will then pick up both operating systems during boot process.

dual boot win 7 and ubuntu

Install Windows 7 After Ubuntu Installation

However it is more complicated if you install Windows 7 after Ubuntu installation. This will totally mess up the boot loader and replace it with the Windows 7 boot loader. Recently, this happened to me and I thought I lost my Ubuntu installation forever. Windows won’t recognize your Ubuntu partition but don’t worry you can recover your Ubuntu operating system with a few minor tweaks.

Firstly, be sure to have an Ubuntu installation on disc or flash drive. You will need this to repair your Ubuntu Grub boot loader. You will need to boot from this disc or flash drive and choose the live Ubuntu version. This will run the Ubuntu operating system from the disc or flash drive itself. Once you boot into Ubuntu, press CTRL + T  to run the terminal. In the terminal screen you should type in the following commands.

All commands in bold should be typed without quotes. Type in “Sudo Su” to enter the super user mode. Now type “fdisk -i” to search for Linux partitions. Your target Ubuntu partition will say Linux under the system column. Now you must mount that partition by issuing the command “mount/dev/sdax/mnt” without the quotes. Now you can type grub-install –root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sda to install Grub. After hitting enter you should be done with the installation of Grub, no errors should be reported and you can restart the computer.

After your system starts up again, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate within the Grub boot loader. I love dual booting Windows and Ubuntu as it provides you the best of both worlds. What are your needs for dual booting? Do you run a Linux variant other than Ubuntu? What is the best version of Ubuntu that you have used? I love hearing comments on my posts so be sure to participate.