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Is there a way to tell the Windows 8 installer not to erase the grub bootloader? For example, changing something in the OEM folder or some kind of slipstream technique similar to how it is possible to automatically activate Windows?

In my case I have Windows 7 on one partition, and due to the similarities between Windows 7 and Windows 8 I would expect that there would be no need to erase the bootloader.

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I can't answer for sure if there's some way to fix this, but I can say your expectation is wrong - the Windows 8 bootloader is very different from the Windows 7 one. I'll assume you've not had to actually mess with it during boot yet, because it's very obvious - it's got pretty graphics and mouse support. My guess is that there's no easy way to do this and you'll just have to put grub again afterwards (it should work for Windows 8, but Windows 8 will almost certainly try to overwrite it). –  Shinrai Nov 2 '12 at 14:31
    
The bootloader on Windows 8 is not the same as it is on Windows 7 which means that even the Windows 7 bootloader is replaced with the Windows 8 bootloader. You would need to have installed Windows 8 and replace ITS bootloader with Grub. –  Ramhound Nov 2 '12 at 14:32
    
I can definitely tell you that imagex (slipstream technique essentially) will still replace the bootloader. superuser.com/a/490477/146694 –  Tanner Nov 2 '12 at 14:35
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Windows 8 will only boot from a secure boot loader. The windows 7 bootloader will cause the boot of windows 8 to fail. So even if you manage to keep the win7 boot, it just won't work. However, if you want to use grub2 - that will keep the win8 bootloader separately - and you'll be able to boot Grub->win8 bootloader->win8 –  jdh Nov 2 '12 at 18:10
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What @jdh said. You need to keep in mind Windows is very different from Unix - when you say "I want a setting to prevent Windows 8 from messing with the bootloader" I find myself grinning, because being familiar with Windows I know that Microsoft doesn't want you touching it at all and they don't really expose any such options. (The idea of Microsoft officially supporting custom bootloaders is laughable.) You have to install the OS and then do what you want with the bootloader afterwards, your options beforehand are extremely limited. Welcome to the world of closed software. –  Shinrai Nov 2 '12 at 19:48

3 Answers 3

No, the windows 7 bootloader is not able to boot a windows 8 parition. The windows 8 boot loader is a new version ( UEFI ) that allows a secure boot option, different from windows 7, and is required to be able to boot Windows 8. Once you have windos 8 installed, you can modify the boot menu to describe both win8/win7 partitions.

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No, Windows 7 won't replace the bootloader but it will set itself as the default option in the bootloader which will force the Windows 7 bootloader.

To revert to the Windows 8 bootloader, you will just need to set Windows 8 as the default option from msconfig.

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I think you read the question backwards, they want to retain the W7 bootloader After or during install of W8 upgrade. –  Moab Nov 2 '12 at 16:45
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I guess nobody gets me.

I can't find a way for the Windows installer to not erase the bootloader. So I think its fair to say that this is impossible.

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