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I'm getting a replacement laptop tomorrow so I get to set it up from scratch. I want to triple-boot Win7, Win8 and Ubuntu (all 64-bit) and I can see several answers about this already, but I was wondering what the best install order is. I'm assuming it will be:

  1. Windows 7
  2. Windows 8
  3. Ubuntu 12.10

Has anyone tried this? Any reason I should change the order?

The other option would be to run Windows 8 from a VHD (see Scott Hanselman's blog post) but now it's been released I don't see much advantage to this.

Update: I tried this but ran into problems because MBR only supports a maximum of 4 primary partitions. If you're worried about this convert the drive to GPT before installing Windows 7.

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actually, mbr supports 4 primary partitions. You can format one as an extended, and nest as many logical partitions as needed inside it. – Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '12 at 1:23
Fair point, but unfortunately my laptop already has 4 primary partitions: Win7, Win8, HP_TOOLS (FAT32, 5GB) and System Reserved (100MB, NTFS). I don't think I can convert any of these. – parsley72 Oct 22 '12 at 1:31
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, if it comes with Windows 7, then install Windows 8, which will update your boot loader to allow you to access both partitions. Then install Ubuntu which will create a new boot loader with the ability to select Windows 8 or Earlier version of Windows (Or something close). I did this on my EEE pc and it worked fine (except XP instead of 7, but that should work fine).

Now, a warning. NEVER, install ubuntu before Windows 8, if you install Windows 8 after Ubuntu it will change the boot loader and will only allow you to boot to Windows 7 and 8. You will have to reinstall the grub on Ubuntu in order to access it.

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