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i just bought a laptop with ubuntu pre-installed.Because my linux skills are not good at all i prefer to have both OS on my computer.My trouble is:when i try to boot the windows installer, i always get the blue-screen.

From my researches it is caused by the MBR partition that is in conflict with the windows FAT/NTFS.I tried to set up another partition from the Linux disk utility but was unable to modify anything.I always get that editing or modifying the partition cannot be done.

Can you help me?i need the time to know Linux better, because not even the internet is not working on this laptop,for me to at least have the chance to learn more.

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2 Answers 2

Giuliano, you don't mention how it is that you are trying to install Windows into your computer. Does it have a CD drive? If so, you must insert the intallation CD and press or while booting to enter the BIOS config and enable boot from CD (do not set it as default boot medium) and then or to access the boot menu. Boot from the Windows CD. It's possible to make a bootable USB drive too but I won't dwelve into it. It will be required later.

What is VERY IMPORTANT is that previously you must make a partition for Windows. This is probably the culprit.

To do this you must first use Gparted to reduce the Ubuntu partition and make way for a Windows partition. !! SAVE THE CHANGES!! Then you create a new NTFS partition in the empty space. For good measure, format it as NTFS.

For good measure, in case something goes wrong, download the image of the Ubuntu you are running and make a live CD or USB drive. In any case you will need it to repair GRUB after you install windows.

Shut down the computer and boot into the Windows CD. You will be able to install it into the empty NTFS patition. After Windows is installed, you will find that you lost the ability to boot into Ubuntu; Windows will have overwritten the boot sector.

To remedy this, boot with your Ubuntu Live CD (or better yet your bootable Ubuntu USB). To reinstall GRUB follow this link: http://www.webupd8.org/2009/12/how-to-recover-grub2-linux.html. If you have a Live USB and allowed some space on it to install some programs, find "Grub-Customizer" with a G search and install it in your USB Drive. It has a nice and intuitive graphical interface and will allow you to repair grib in a minute. Choose your default boot system and you're done.

If you need more detailed explanations, let us know where you're stuck.

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Jorge,first of all i have a CD and all the steps you told me i did already...booting from CD part.i get the blue screen after windows setup loads all drivers and is about to start.so that is why i cannot access the windows partition from the CD :S The second procedure with gparted i also tried...i installed it exactly as described by creator with sudo apt-get install gparted and it started installing it but some thing ddn't work since i cannot find the program in order to start it :S if you know the root sudo commands for me to modify to NTFS maybe it works.thank you though –  giuliano Apr 25 '12 at 20:40
    
Giuliano, you can work as root from a terminal with the command: ~$ sudo su (means sudo super-user, for mnemonics) and invoke gparted from there. However, if you want to establish yourself as root in the GUI (not recommended), you type ~$ sudo passwd (watch out it's passwd, not password). After that, you will be asked for your own user password and then you type the root password twice -to confirm, as there's no feedback. –  Jorge M. Treviño Apr 27 '12 at 2:56

Giuliano, if you do decide do do a thorough clean install of both OS's, the advisable order is this:

  1. Get an external storage medium large enough to back-up all your data. If it's sufficient, back-up your existen Windows installation as well. There might be some data and configuration files you may later need. It will only mean some extra cups of cofee while the copy is made.

  2. Boot your PC with the Ubuntu live CD, so you can access all your partitions. Now make your back-up.

  3. With GParted, zap all partitions one by one until you have a continous empty space. You may need to be saving the changes after each removal.

  4. Still in GParted, format all your Hard Drive as NTFS. Shut down.

  5. Boot from the Windows install CD and make a fresh install. Verify it's working and install the essentials. Don't mess with partitions just yet. Shut down.

  6. Boot again from the Ubuntu Live CD (or USB Drive which is waaaay faster). Go into GParted.

  7. Reduce the Windows partition to a reasonable size for the OS plus programs. In my last laptop it was 100Mb, now I have a 750Mb HD and I assigned 150Mb to it. You can now label it too for easy ID. OS1 or Win7 for example, are quite positive identifiers.

  8. In the empty space install a new NTFS partition for your data, give it the total available space. Label it DATA or whatever you wish. Save changes.

  9. Now, proceed to install Ubuntu. Choose the third option ("Something Else"). Use GParted to ceate a 3d partition to install Ubuntu. Give it some 30Gb if your space is tight, 100Mb if you can affor it. Point the MOUNTING POINT to dev/sda. DO NOT point it to dev/sda1 or dev/sda2 or whatever partition you find. Just point it to the MAIN DRIVE.

  10. Start the install. Ubuntu will put GRUB2 in the boot sector, replacing Windows MBR and will set Ubuntu as the default OS. That will be changed later at will.

  11. Once the install is finished, shut down, remove the Live CD and boot normally. Check you can start Windows and Ubuntu.

  12. Boot back into Ubuntu and install GParted which will have disappeared. Then download a nifty app called Grub-Customizer (the sofware center will find it for you). With this you can choose which OS boot as default or to boot the last OS used.

  13. Restore your data to the reserved NTFS partition.

  14. Lastly make that partition R/W to both Windows and Ubuntu. In Ubuntu it will appear as an external disk under /media/.

  15. Now to break stones re-configuring both systems to your liking.

I hope this helps. Set aside some three or four hours for the whole process. A weekend is usually best.

Regards from Mexico,

--Jorge.

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Oops! I forgot the part that your laptop is new, so there should be no data or very little data. My advice, go for a thorough clean install. I just did that with a new Dell that came with Win7 preinstalled. Great plus; you can now dowload the fresh-from-the-oven 12.04 Precise Pangolin LTS final release. Beats 11.10 hands down. –  Jorge M. Treviño Apr 27 '12 at 3:46

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