Installing Windows 7 on a Dual boot Vista & Linux

  Taff™ 08:00 25 May 2009

I have Vista and Linux on separate partitions with Linux`s grub loader controlling the boot up options. (Previously I had used Wubi) How do I install Windows 7 on another partition under this arrangement?

For those who want to install Windows 7 to dual boot with Vista or XP see click here (Link provided by ambra4 in another thread)

If I use the method from this link will I lose the ability to boot into the Linux Distro?

  LastChip 11:52 25 May 2009

and frankly, don't intend to become so, but everything tells me, this will not work.

Why? Because I think it's almost certain Windows will not recognise the Linux file system and I suspect, it will overwrite the boot partition, thereby taking the grub boot loader with it.

The problem you face is, Windows does not give you options where to write the boot loader to - unlike Linux.

  Taff™ 12:20 25 May 2009

You are confirming my suspicions and I can see that Windows 7 will overwrite the boot sector partition deleting grub loader which takes me into Linux. At present Acronis True Image won`t recognise the Linux partitions probably because that uses by default a "ext3?" file system.

I previously used Wubi to get Linux Ubuntu 8 working successfully which gave me the option to load either Vista or Linux. If I deleted the existing Linux partition and then installed Windows 7 could I then use Wubi again to access the three options? Alternatively then re-install the Linux as before which seems to show me both Windows Vista Partitions - the main installation and the recovery partition at present. Would it give me the third option also?

One more please ....... How do I edit the Linux Boot Loader in terms of setting the default OS and perhaps changing the description that appears for each bootable partition?

  ambra4 12:33 25 May 2009

“If I use the method from this link will I lose the ability to boot into the Linux Distro?”

Take a read, as you have to know which OS was installed first

click here

Personal I would install on a spare drive and do a dual boot with vista installed first

As Window 7 is just Vista upgraded to a more stable and user friendly OS for XP uses to

upgrade to this way there is should be no problems with drivers

Most large companies have not upgraded to Vista to many problems with getting there third

party software to interface with vista, Windows 7 is Microsoft way to solve this problem

Have not had any problem installing XP software in Win 7 as there is “Compatibility Mode”

Build in to Win 7 for old software to be installed

To access the “Compatibility Mode” Right Click on the program “exe file” and go ‘Properties”

Click “Compatibility Tab” and select the mode that the software was made for

  Poitier 13:12 25 May 2009

When I installed Linux there was already a dual boot option in the Windows boot loader.I installed Linux manually on already unallocated space using a separate partition for Grub. On booting the last option in grub is the Windows boot loader.

  LastChip 13:17 25 May 2009

I'll deal with the grub first, as it's the easiest to deal with.

You have to use a terminal (see further below) to change the default boot option and this has to be done as "root". So log into a terminal as root, or as you're using Ubuntu use sudo.

Navigate to /boot/grub

Now open your favourite text editor and edit "menu.lst". Set the "default" line to whatever operating system you want.

A word of warning: grub "counts" from zero, therefore the first operating system will be "zero", the next, "one" and so on. Remember this when you select which to choose.

After I wrote the above (as I tend to use a terminal all the time) it occurred to me, you could do this in something like gedit, if you don't want to use a terminal.

Now, Wubi. The short answer is, I've never used Wubi and don't know. However, I can't see any reason why it shouldn't. But it may be worth doing a little research on the Internet, to see if anyone has reported difficulties.

  Taff™ 13:42 25 May 2009

Poitier - As you confirm I think that`s my current set up, thanks.

LastChip - I`m feeling my way with Linux as you can probably tell! I must admit I rather want to prove that I may never need a Windows Installation so I`ll have a go later this afternoon and post back. I will research Wubi again before I go down that route.

ambra4 - Thanks will read and inwardly digest!

  Poitier 14:20 26 May 2009

I understood you to say that you had 2 partitions controlled by the GRUB boot loader not the Windows boot loader.

  Taff™ 06:53 27 May 2009

Didn`t get a chance to try all this out yet but should have some time today. Got some reading to do first though.

Poitier - Yes, the current boot loader is a Linux Grub but a minor annoyance is that I have to select Windows which is my default of choice which currently sits last on the list. If I don`t select it immediately I get Ubuntu launching so I`m going to change that first by following LastChip`s instructions.

The dilemma is that if I set up a Windows Vista / Windows 7 dual boot the Windows loader takes over and overwrites the GRUB loader leaving me no apparent way to dive into Ubuntu when I want to. Hence trying to work out how to get a three way boot option.

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