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My hard drive is failing. I installed a new drive, and the installed Ubuntu 12.04 to try to rescue data. Realized that I wanted to install Windows and just access drives without transferring data (there are loads of it).

I then installed Windows 7. Now my drive only boots to Windows 7.

How do I access Linux and make Windows boot-loader load Linux? I originally thought I would just not use the Ubuntu installation but now I think I want it to be a dual boot system.

What are good boot-loaders to install for this kind of dual boot situation? Can I accomplish this with BCDEdit?

If I would have done this the other way (Windows first, then Linux) everything would be fine, but I didn't and now I'm trying to fix this.

The problem I have is that I don't really know how to boot into Linux to retrieve any files I need. I guess using the disc would work, but I'm not sure how to go about this.

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I don't know if you can accomplish this with BCDEdit alone, but try inserting your Linux installation disc. It will usually have some kind of "install bootloader only" mode where it will automatically fix everything to your desires. GRUB will then let you decide between Windows and Linux.

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Sweet - I just inserted my disc. Rebooting now. Thanks for the tip. – nicorellius Nov 17 '12 at 22:26
There was not that option, unfortunately, so I opted to reinstall Ubuntu on the existing Ubuntu partition. But then Windows is booting by default again. Which is weird, because I thought this would have fixed it by installing CRUB. Hmmm... – nicorellius Nov 17 '12 at 23:07
Is the correct partition set as active? Look into that with, for example, Gparted – sinni800 Nov 18 '12 at 4:49

If you just want to retrieve your files then I suggest you create a bootable USB Drive with PartedMgaic loaded on it. Its a small ~175 MB download and you will be able to access all your files. You'll need UNetbootin to create a bootable USB Drive.

It allows you to install grub if you need to do that.

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Install easybcd on the windows partition, go to the "Add Entry," select "Linux," and then select "GRUB2" - this should add the linux partition to your windows bootloader, and let you boot into that partition

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I reinstalled Ubuntu where it was before and chose to install the boot loader where the Windows installation was, and now I can boot all three systems. It would have been nice to not have to reinstall Ubuntu again but it goes so fast, that I'm happy it's done.

Thanks, sinni800, +1, for the live disc idea.

I also found an alternate method where making a FAT32 partition and copying boot files and then configuring Windows to boot, but this seemed much too complicated since I could just reinstall Linux. Had I not been able to reinstall, I may have tried something like that.

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