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I recently installed Ubuntu and love everything about it except for one thing: I can't use Adobe Illustrator. When I installed Ubuntu, I reformatted the hard drive. Now I want to partition the hard drive and install Windows 7 alongside Ubuntu. How can I do this?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is the official document by Ubuntu team on Dual Booting Windows 7 and Ubuntu .
You will find all the required step there .
Just install Windows before you install Ubuntu or you will end up repairing your grub
Installing an OS on external hdd will make it really slow , a better option is that you use Virtualbox for the os that you are bound to use less

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I found this about reformating a external hardrive as ntfs. Do you know if I can just install windows on that instead of partitioning my internal hardrive? – Spencer Cooley Mar 23 '11 at 5:13

I would suggest installing Virtualbox on whatever OS you prefer (Windows or Ubuntu), and then running the other OS within Virtualbox. This option does not involve partitioning your hard drive.

Edit: Yes, this means you will be switch between the two different machines quickly, just as if the virtual machine was an application (in a sense, it is, but lets not go there just yet :) )

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With newer versions of Ubuntu (circa 12.04) this process isn't so easy. Windows doesn't play nice with the existing global partition table (GPT) and refuses to install. There is a decent workaround, however.

  1. Boot into an ubuntu live CD.
  2. Run gksudo gparted and move your existing Ubuntu partition to the end of the drive. You may need to resize the partition.
  3. Optionally you can blow away all other partitions on the disk. If you don't do this now, the Windows installer will happily do it for you.
  4. Run the Windows installer. Delete all partitions except for your Ubuntu data partition and install Windows in the unallocated space at the beginning of the drive.
  5. Boot into the Ubuntu live CD again.
  6. You need boot-repair to reinstall GRUB and put everything back together.

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update

    $ sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair

  7. Run boot-repair to make your Ubuntu partition bootable again.

At this point you should have Windows installed alongside Ubuntu.

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