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I have Windows 7 dual booted with Ubuntu 12.10. I can't get rid of any of them, and I want Windows 8 too. How can I triple boot them? Thanks in advance.

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Why the downvote? I guess this could be helpful to many users. –  Max Oct 27 '12 at 9:37
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Your question doesn't really show where you're stuck or what you've tried. This could have been reason enough for someone to downvote it. –  slhck Oct 27 '12 at 10:08
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5 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The Windows 8 bootloader will overwrite GRUB, but chainload the Windows 7 bootloader. I'd suggest chainloading the Ubuntu loader to the Windows 7 BCD — EasyBCD is an easy way to set this up, then install Windows 8. You may need to then need to boot to the Windows 8 bootloader, then boot to the Windows 7 bootloader to get to Linux until someone manages to get the Windows 8 loader to load other OSes, and GRUB to chainload the Windows 8 bootloader.

You could also choose to use the Windows 7 bootloader for all 3 partitions I'd guess since Windows 7 loads both Windows 8 and GRUB.

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I don't think the BCD format changed in Windows 8..? Once again, it appears to be mainly an interface change. –  Bob Oct 27 '12 at 9:13
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The simplest solution would be

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

Ubuntu installer will automatically take care of the multi-boot.

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Yes. But the installation of windows 7 that you upgraded is gone, you will need to install a new one.

To do it you have distinct installations of:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Ubuntu

You can afterwards install a Lilo or Grub, like you probably had before to handle the transition between operative systems.

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Can you give me steps how to proceed? Suppose I have 2 partitions right now, a Windows SYSTEM partition (199MB NTFS) and just 1 other for Windows 7. –  Max Oct 27 '12 at 8:01
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Create a partition using any utility. I prefer EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition

Install Windows 8 from CD or USB in that partition. After the installation you might not be able to boot to Ubuntu because Windows will replace its bootloader.

So you have to repair it. There are two ways to repair your boot loader, according to Ubuntu Community Documentation.

  1. Boot-Repair-Disk is a CD starting Boot-Repair automatically.

    Launch Boot-Repair:

    From either the Dash (the Ubuntu logo at the top-left of the screen) or System » Administration » Boot-Repair menu (Ubuntu 10.04 only) or by typing boot-repair in a terminal.

    Then click the "Recommended repair" button. When repair is finished, then reboot. Check if you recovered access to your OSs.

  2. Install Boot-Repair in Ubuntu

    • Boot your computer on a Ubuntu live-CD or live-USB.
    • Choose "Try Ubuntu"
    • Connect internet
    • Open a new Terminal, then type:

      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update
      
    • Press Enter.

    • Then type:

      sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair
      
    • Press Enter

Note: Before doing anything, take a backup.

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Yes, you have to shrink your partition(assuming 199MB NTFS and win7 partition as you've commented) for Windows 7(in Device Manger) to the third of its current size and make 2 new partitions of roughly equal size, which should give you 3 partition of equal size.

Install Windows 8, then Ubuntu to the two new partitions, this way Ubuntu's installer will install GRUB, which will detect all three OS's. Note that you don't have to make it of equal size, but it's easier to understand what you should do.

e.g. before:

|199MB NTFS|------------------ 180 gb Win7-------------------------|

After:

|199MB NTFS|----60 GB Win7--|--60 GB Win8---|-60 GB Ubuntu-|
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There is no requirement for the OSes to have partitions of an equal size. As long as the partition size exceeds the minimum requirements of the OS, it will work - any extra is completely preference. –  Bob Oct 27 '12 at 9:21
    
True, optimal partition size depends on his hard drive capacity and which OS will he use the most, a 30 GB partition for Windows 7 would hurt performance. –  page4096 Oct 27 '12 at 9:43
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