I run a dual-boot Linux/Windows system. Every once in a while, I make a clean installation of one or both.

Installing Windows is always a pain. I need a DVD I don't have at hand, which then the installer takes ages to read, and when it's finished it wipes the bootloader.

Is there an painless way to install Windows?


Install Windows first. Linux / Grub will handle writing GRUB for your bootloader for an existing install then trying to fix GRUB after Windows installs.

This route has always been painless for me.

  • I do this when I reinstall both systems. However, I sometimes need a fresh installation of Windows without touching Linux – slezica Apr 10 '13 at 15:54
  • Then try just repairing GRUB ubuntuguide.net/… – Austin T French Apr 10 '13 at 17:38
  • That's what I always do and was trying to see if I could avoid :) – slezica Apr 10 '13 at 17:48
  • You could try what @Rainer suggested below. Make your image, with Windows and Linux, setup how you like and then make a bit by bit image of the hard drive, it would capture the MBR and GRUB setup too – Austin T French Apr 10 '13 at 18:05

If you are always installing on the same computer, in the same partition, I would consider making an image of the windows installation after you have installed all updates with e.g. partimage partimage. You can make a image either from the windows partition only or the whole hdd. Instead of a new installation of windows, you just have to put your image back into the partition and everything should be fine

DISCLAIMER: not tested!

  • This is a very enticing idea! I'll give it a shot – slezica Apr 10 '13 at 18:21
  • As you said, this is untested, and I would be lazy if I accepted an answer before I tried it. Besides, it only covers the case of same-version reinstallations; while I mostly deal with partial updates. – slezica Apr 11 '13 at 21:28

Installing using a USB drive should hopefully be faster. If you have an ISO around, you can use the Windows USB/DVD Download tool for that.


There is a official Microsoft USB Tool that can create bootable USB sticks. Works with Windows 7 and 8.


To my knowledge, you almost always need to install windows first in a dual boot scenario. So make that part easy. Use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to custom build a USB that will have all your drivers, hotfix rollups, and applications. May take some work and some trial and error, but it's worth the time spent. That way your user account is always there, you could even see if you could get the user state migration tool to keep all your files and settings.


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