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I've recently had a dual boot with Windows 7 alongside Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhall).

Ubuntu has this trend that in every 6 months a new version would be out, so my concern is if I upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 sooner, does this have any effect to Windows?

I do know that if you upgrade Windows, all will be lost. Does the same theory apply to Ubuntu?

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Upgrading Ubuntu won't affect your Windows installation. It will keep recognizing your Windows installation.

p.s. Of course, there is always the probability that things may not go as expected during the upgrade process, and you may end up not being able to boot into Windows; but that's kind of an exception. Plus, there are ways to handle that situation, too :) So, no worries.

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I remember an Ubuntu install messed up my windows boot.ini a few years ago with XP, but editing a line in the Windows boot.ini file (from within Ubuntu) fixed that. If you upgrade windows, the master boot record will be overwritten, but you can restore grub2 easily.

Check this guide for instructions:

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Upgrading Ubuntu won't break dual-boot with Windows 7 as grub is explicitly intended to support booting more than one operating system. Certain upgrade operations in Ubuntu, such as upgrading the kernel) will trigger a process that searches for all available operating systems on your device and updates the list presented to the user each time you start the device. In this way grub will always preserve the ability to start all your operating systems.

That being said, upgrading to Ubuntu 11.10 at this time (just past Alpha 2) should work fine, but could possibly break things. Unless you are prepared to file bug reports and possibly do some occasional troubleshooting to get back up and running I suggest you wait until at least Beta. I am currently running Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 with updates and most things are working, but I know at any time it could change.

Btw, the boot loader for Windows 7 is much different from the boot loader from Windows XP, so don't be dissuaded by any reports of problems with Ubuntu and Windows XP. No offense meant to that poster, just pointing it out.

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