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I've just received my Dell Studio 17 laptop, which comes with Windows 7 x64 preinstalled. I'm having quite a hard time installing ubuntu on it.

First of all, here is how I partitioned the drive using GPartEd:

|==Dell utility partition==|==Dell Recovery partition==|==Windows 7==|[==Ubuntu==|==Data partition==]|

Where [] denotes an extended partition.

Here are the steps I completed:

  • I used GParted to create this structure, keeping windows 7 installed
  • I booted ubuntu LiveCD, and installed it on the right partition
  • I let it install grub automatically
  • I rebooted intu ubuntu
  • I went back to windows 7, no problems
  • I then rebooted. Grub was gone.
  • I used Super Grub Disk to restore grub, it didn't work.
  • I tried to boot into ubuntu from supergrubdisk, but grub couldn't fint the boot folder
  • I then reinstalled ubuntu, went through the same steps, but there SGD did boot my ubuntu
  • I reverted to the previous version of grub, and installed it on my hard drive
  • It worked, but trying to boot win7 got me the "No MBR, press Ctrl+Alt+Del to reboot" error
  • I used the windows 7 cd to restore the MBR (the auto wizard didn't work, had to rebuild the mbr from command line
  • Now Ubuntu is gone. 7 works fine
  • I read a lot about this, and realized that many people could simply not boot win7 again after encountering this problem.

Now I'd like to restore GRUB, but I really won't go through the hassle of doing a full new cycle of installing/reinstalling everything again. Is there a GRUB guru around, to provide me with a detailed guide to not screwing everything up once again?

Thanks a lot!

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An alternative to dual-booting is installing Ubuntu in a virtual machine. VirtualBox is open source, free and works quite well on Windows. It'll save you the trouble of partitioning, setting up GRUB, et al. –  George P. Burdell May 24 '10 at 18:38
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2 Answers

Use this guide. It is for Vista but the steps are the same. These guides work good as I have used them myself on Windows 7 and Windows XP.

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Got it to work.

The trick is to install the Grub loader onto the system partition, and not directly on the first partition. Otherwise, windows will restore the boot flag to its own partition, and cause the bugs I experienced.

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