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Is it true that Windows 8 is writing a new bootloader (in the MBR) on every boot? Is it possible to have a Windows/Linux multiboot with GRUB (or BURG, I guess) as the bootloader? Or is this just complete speculator-y nonsense?

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@snayob, I see that you have downvoted my question regarding Windows 8‘s bootloader. Though this question seems obvious now, and asked after the answer was publicly known, I first began learning about the Windows 8 bootloader before many details were known to the general public (before Release Preview, and of course I did not download leaked builds). I had a fair bit of confusion because of Windows 8‘s graphical bootloader, and so Joey cleared up the confusion for me and maybe others. Perhaps I may be particularly dense, but I think in light of the time it was asked it should be forgiven. –  WindowsEscapist Nov 16 '12 at 19:08
    
Please try not to be so unnecessarily acrimonious. I have not flagged your comment this time, but future attacks will be. –  WindowsEscapist Nov 16 '12 at 19:09
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Windows installs its own bootloader when you install Windows and it has been that way for quite some time. GRUB will be destroyed, older Windows versions can still be booted.

But it certainly won't install its bootloader on every boot.

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Would'n't it be more accurate to say that the pointer to GRUB is destroyed (the boot sector)? –  soandos Oct 28 '12 at 0:32
    
Thanks for confirmation. –  WindowsEscapist Oct 28 '12 at 0:34
    
(I have to wait 8 minutes to accept your answer.) –  WindowsEscapist Oct 28 '12 at 0:35
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soandos, probably, yes. But does it actually matter? –  Joey Oct 28 '12 at 9:35
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You can use EasyBCD. It edits your Windows bootloader, and you don't need to worry about GRUB if you reinstall Windows (any version for that matter), as the Windows bootloader will always remain.

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So EasyBCD will work on 8? –  WindowsEscapist Oct 28 '12 at 14:17
    
I have used it on the Release Preview when I had a Lenovo laptop –  pratnala Oct 28 '12 at 15:22
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+1 because fact I didn't know EasyBCD would run under 8. However, this isn't actually an answer to my question but an unnecessary workaround (I asked about GRUB, not the Windows boot manager). –  WindowsEscapist Oct 28 '12 at 17:23
    
But thing is if you keep have to reinstalling windows, easybcd has you covered –  pratnala Oct 28 '12 at 17:24
    
Yeah but I didn't ask about continually reinstalling, I asked about GRUB/BURG and a single install. –  WindowsEscapist Oct 28 '12 at 17:26
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In a scenario where you have Ubuntu installed - dual booting with Windows 7, if you wish to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8, the GRUB remains intact and you can continue to use both Ubuntu and Windows. The GRUB lists "Windows 7 loader" and on selecting that Windows 8 boots successfully. There have been no issues so far.

However you may be careful when you choose to do a fresh installation. If you manage to destroy the GRUB, re-installing Ubuntu should do the trick. Next time you boot you would see no problems. So the rumors of Windows 8 writing new Boot loader is completely false.

Edit: Re-installing Ubuntu would not be necessary. Details in the comments.

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Actually, all that would be needed to re-write the bootloader would be to run grub-install and update-grub. A complete reinstall would be overkill. –  WindowsEscapist Oct 28 '12 at 0:52
    
+1. Thanks - I wasn't aware. –  AbhishekGirish Oct 28 '12 at 0:54
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