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I just installed Ubuntu, a full install removing the prior OS. I was forced to remove Windows 7 from my HP dv6 because of the max four partitions already being there. I didn't lose anything, all backed up. However, now I am looking to create another partition and install Windows 7 on it.

Do I also need some sort of boot loader that lets me choose which to boot?

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marked as duplicate by Mateo, Takkat, Eric Carvalho, minerz029, karel Jan 6 '14 at 5:28

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Four partitions is not the maximum on the hard drive. There is a mechanism called logical partitions which allows you to have almost any number of partitions. – mbaitoff May 1 '12 at 4:47
@mbaitoff but that takes One primary partition - so if the manufacture has used all primary partitions you would need to change/remove one... – Mateo Jan 5 '14 at 13:19

NOTE: Have a Linux distribution (Ubuntu) on a live CD handy before following the steps below.

  • Create partitions for Windows 7 using GParted in Ubuntu.
  • Boot the Windows 7 disk and install it on the partition created in the previous step. (Windows will not provide you with the option of choosing Ubuntu). So Ubuntu would seem unusable.
  • Recover Ubuntu by using a live CD (or live USB) and following the steps mentioned in Ask Ubuntu question Recovering GRUB after installing Windows 7 (at the end, you should have the option of choosing the operating system from the GRUB menu.)
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It's easy to install dual OS, but if you install Windows after Ubuntu, Grub will be affected. Grub is a boot-loader for Linux base systems. You can follow the above steps or you can do just the following:

  • Make space for your Windows from Ubuntu. (Use Disk Utility tools from ubuntu)
  • Install Windows on freed space.
  • After installing, login to windows

To fix this you can install 'EasyBCD' in Windows.
Download it here

Follow these steps to restore GRUB when after installing EasyBCD:

  • Launch the program and select ADD NEW ENTRY from the EasyBCD Toolbox
  • Select the 'Linux/BSD' from the operating systems column
  • Choose GRUB (Legacy) under type and click on the ADD ENTRY icon
  • Choose YES to the restart prompt

GRUB will be displayed after the restart and will detect the Ubuntu partition for you to be able to boot into Ubuntu.

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  1. use gParted to reduce Ubuntu partitions in order to create an empty NTFS partition (30Go~50Go at the start of the disk should be enough) that will receive Windows.
  2. via gParted add a boot flag on this partition
  3. Install Windows in this partition
  4. Reinstall GRUB in the MBR (eg via Boot-Repair's Recommended Repair)
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Note that Boot-Repair will not work if you have booted up in Legacy mode, it only works in EFI mode. – fuzzyanalysis Dec 30 '14 at 8:20
True only if your HDD contains an ESP. – LovinBuntu Dec 30 '14 at 22:13

GRUB will let you boot into both OS's but installing Windows 7 after Ubuntu will remove GRUB from MBR, so you'll have to reinstall GRUB. Install Windows 7 on any partition of your choice and than follow this link to repair the GRUB. Unable to load Ubuntu after installing Windows

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Alternatively you could install virtual box and then loadup windows 7 as a VM: sudo apt-get install virtualbox

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Using Windows through a VM tends to worsen the peformance of fancy graphics and visual effects, from my experience with running Windows 8 in a VM. – fuzzyanalysis Dec 30 '14 at 8:23

Delete a partition from your current setup that refers to swap area, or linux swap. You'll be able to re-create and tune it later. Create a logical partition in place of the removed one. From now on, you'll be able to create more logical partitions. Fill the created partition with you Win-7 backup (if you don't have enough space for it, resize other partitions to free some space beforehand). Then boot Linux and do update-grub, that will detect your Win-7 partition and will put a line for booting to it in the boot menu. Then reboot into your system of choice - you're dual-booter now!

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