I think I'm going to give another go at the triple partition (XP/ 7/ Ubuntu 10.04). I was thinking, is the following method a good way to configure the partitions:

-Boot with GParted

-Use GParted to delete all partitions on the hard drive

-Use GParted to configure partitions (i.e., set the file system, size, etc.) on the hard drive

Total capacity: 750 GB HD

/dev/sda1: Primary partition, NTSC, 120 GB (Windows XP)

/dev/sda2: Primary partition, NTSC, 400 GB (Windows 7)

Next, the logical partition with a total size of 120 GB for Ubuntu 10.04.

/dev/sda5: ext4, /boot, 5 GB (boot)\

/dev/sda6: ext4, /, 10 GB (root)

/dev/sda7: swap, 5 GB (swap)

/dev/sda8: ext4, /home, 100 GB (home)

Any criticisms of this format?

Now, my question is this, since I'm going to use GParted before even installing Windows XP, the first OS that I will install, should I still install the GRUB on /dev/sda5 during the process of configuring the partitions? Or, should I wait at some point down the road (e.g., when I install Ubuntu)?

I'm under the impression that using GParted first, before even installing any operating systems, is the best way because you never have to adjust the size of the partitions later which could cause an error message for Windows XP and 7 during boot. I know you can just use the System Repair to fix the error, but...


  • Multi-booting seems to be a largely academic exercise nowadays. Unless there's a real reason to do so, why not set up VirtualBox on Windows 7 or Ubuntu and virtualize the other two installs that you want? It would give you a bit more flexibility and spare you the (albeit minor) downtime when you're rebooting into another OS. – Ben Preston Apr 14 '11 at 19:02
  • I had XP Virtual Mode under Windows 7, but unfortunately, I can't access the Windows XP Recovery Console using the XP Virtual Mode (and, I need to do be able to do so). You can only access it when XP is actually installed on a hard drive partition. – user76275 Apr 14 '11 at 19:24
  • The partitioning looks OK, but you probably meant "NTFS", not "NTSC". – Piskvor left the building Apr 14 '11 at 19:31

I'd say "install Windows first, then GRUB during Linux install":

  • Windows are rather pushy in this regard and will happily overwrite any bootloader with their own (and therefore you couldn't get to your other OSes), whereas
  • a new installation of GRUB can adjust for existing Windows' loader

(tested with Win2000, XP, Vista, and Seven, and multiple Linux distros: every time, the Windows installer decides "meh, there can't, shouldn't and mustn't be anything more interesting here than Windows" and overwrites anything it can lay its grubby paws on. What, me bitter?)

  • Yes, sorry. Too many acronyms flying through my head right now. – user76275 Apr 14 '11 at 20:20

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