I have a 250GB hard drive with a 100GB Win32 XP Partition, 20GB Ubuntu 9.10 with Grub installed. I want to install Windows 7 'behind' those two.

How do I proceed so I will still be able to boot into Windows XP and less importantly into Ubuntu. I boot the Ubuntu partition via VirtualBox usually. Will Windows 7 overwrite Grub with its own bootloader?


A very interesting thread https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WindowsDualBoot

This is an extract from another forum

  1. Obtain a copy of Windows7.
  2. Partition your disk with gparted.
  3. Install Windows7.
  4. Re-install Grub.
  5. Edit Grub to List Windows 7.
  6. Have Fun.

1. Obtain a copy of windows 7.

*You can also find a torrent of this but for legal reasons I cannot provide a link. *

2. Partition your disk

This does go wrong in some cases, if in doubt back up your valuable data.

Boot from a Ubuntu live cd or a gparted live cd. Start up gparted, If ubuntu is on the whole disk you need to re-size it by at least 8 gb for Windows 7. (Make sure windows 7 is on the second partition to make it easier for grub) You will be left with some unallocated space on your hard disk if you want you can partition it to NTFS or you can do it later on the windows install.

3. Install Windows 7

Follow the on screen instructions, Select the un-partitioned space to format and install windows on, or if you already made it NTFS choose your NTFS partition.

It will ask for a product key but you have 30 days to do that. Note: Beta keys will work with the RC

4. Re-install GRUB

Now you have windows 7 but it has completely eaten your boot loader so you need to re-install grub. Boot from the ubuntu live cd and go to terminal. Type in terminal:

"sudo grub" "grub> find /boot/grub/stage1"

That should return your Ubuntu partition in the form of (hdX,Y), use that:

grub> root (hdX,Y) grub> setup (hd0) grub> quit

(you don’t need to type the grub> bit)

That has re-installed grub but you can no longer see windows7

5. Edit grub. Go to terminal from normal ubuntu and type :

“sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst”

A large text file will open and at the bottom leave a line and add this:

title windows 7 beta (Loader) root (hd0,1) savedefault makeactive chainloader +1

  • This above mentioned method works for many people in that forum – subanki Sep 8 '10 at 19:00
  • Thanks, this looks promising. Will read carefully and prepare. – Cipster Sep 8 '10 at 19:15
  • If it works dont forget mark it as accepted , many people come here and as soon as they get an answer they leave the rest behind – subanki Sep 8 '10 at 19:33
  • Will do. Will probably only get to do it this weekend. – Cipster Sep 8 '10 at 21:56
  • Will have to wait for another few days. Going on a short vacation for a few days, don't want to break my PC just before it ;) – Cipster Sep 11 '10 at 14:16

Yes, Windows 7 will overwrite Grub but it should recognize your XP partition.

see http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/ubuntu/reinstall-ubuntu-grub-bootloader-after-windows-wipes-it-out for restoring Grub which will see all OSes typically.

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