Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Setting up Dual boot for Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.10

Recently I have updated to windows 7 and so, I have dumped my ubuntu (8.04), and did not install until I actually needed one for some programming purpose. Now it was time for installation. It was very straight forward last time when I did it, so did not bother to check any how to do it online, and more over installing operating system wasn't a new topic for me, and have done dual booting many time before also. 

But this time the purpose was different, I wanted to make it install on an USB with persistence, I got some link to do that, it was very promising, but when I ran from that, ubuntu was crashing very often, most of the programs were not working as expected, so then I thought of installing it on hard disk after confirming that the iso image I downloaded is good by booting it on a virtual machine.

When started with installation, there was surprise for me, the disk utility was very confusing, it was asking too many questions as to whether the partition should be from beginning or at end etc, and also where the grub boot loader should be installed etc. So I was a bit confused and installed the boot loader on the same partition on which windows boot driver was installed, and it was a mistake, and things did not work, and windows also did not boot, I could only boot ubuntu. But then I was sure that the windows installation is intact, so I put the windows disc and then repaired it, and it worked for me. But because of some updates I started getting error on windows saying that "you are victim of software counterfeit.

I gone through web pages now to find out what needs to be done for making a dual boot with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.0, and found that Windows 7 messes up with the grub boot loaded when windows is updated, so we need to make sure that boot loader should be installed on the same drive as boot partition of ubuntu, and then, using EasyBCD program in windows we can configure windows boot loader to boot Linux from the ubuntu installed partition.

I had problem partitioning 4 partitions for linux using their disk tool, so I did that from windows disk management tool, and then during installation selected them, and it worked fine for me. The partitions you need are boot (500mb, primary, ext4, /boot), root (3gb+, logical, ext4, /), swap (1gb), home (remaining, how much ever you wish, ext4, logical). You are done.

EasyBCD is a free software and easy to use also, download, install and configure using the easy to use user interface. Hope it helps. I have not put any screen shots as this much details seems to be enough, and if needed refer to LinuxBSDos for a detailed explanation. If you face any problem let me know. 

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