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I have recently installed Ubuntu 12.04 in dual-boot with windows 7 but I am having some problems. I installed GRUB in the MBR (as it is often recommended) and so GRUB was the boot-loader that appeared at startup. But I wanted Windows boot-loader to appear at startup so I installed EasyBCD and added an entry of GRUB into the Windows boot-loader and then then did the 'Write MBR' and I got my desired results. Today, I installed Windows service pack updates and I was no longer able to boot into Ubuntu (maybe because the MRB was over-written by the update). Then I had to work my way out using GRUB rescue commands and then booting into Ubuntu and repairing boot (thanks to askUbuntu)

So here's my question, each time I update Windows there is a chance of loosing GRUB from the MBR and I'll have to do all those painful steps again to boot into Ubuntu. What's the solution of this problem?

I did some research and found out this useful post to avoid the problem

but I am not sure If i should try this because installing GRUB in some partition other than the MBR is not recommended. (I once tried to do that in terminal but got an error message saying "It's not a good idea what you're trying to do")


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closed as too broad by chaskes, Braiam, Maythux, Amith KK, BuZZ-dEE Feb 21 '14 at 11:33

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The it's not a good idea" means that it will be harder to load GRUB, not that you'll break anything. – hexafraction Jul 19 '12 at 19:52
Why would you want Windows boot-loader to appear at startup instead of Grub? – Mitch Jul 19 '12 at 20:55
well I wanted it because its simpler and cleaner i.e it has only two options to choose from i.e Windows and Ubuntu. but If you see that link, the actual reason is explained in that. – Laphanga Jul 19 '12 at 21:01
Close voters: OP seems to have abandoned the question, but more importantly deciding on the best method to solve this issue is really a matter of personal preference. – chaskes Feb 20 '14 at 22:51

This is more of a hardware solution than a software one, but it's still useful to consider:

  1. Install each OS to a separate hard drive
  2. Set the BIOS to load the Ubuntu drive first
  3. Use the bootloader to choose which OS to load for that session

Doing so avoids a number of conflicts (as you have already encountered), and is reasonably future-proof. The downside is additional hardware, and slightly more complex bootloader configuration.

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I have a laptop so it's not going to work. – Laphanga Jul 19 '12 at 21:14
@Laphanga I agree this isn't a very good solution for most laptops (not for most desktops either, which only have one hard drive). However, if you wanted to do this with a laptop, you could, by booting one system from an external USB hard drive. – Eliah Kagan Jul 19 '12 at 22:25
@EliahKagan ok that's good but I am looking for a solution that doesn't require me to upgrade my hardware. So far I think making a new "Boot Partition" and Installing Grub into that should solve the problem (as it is mentioned in the attached link). – Laphanga Jul 20 '12 at 4:00
@Laphanga If you decide on a solution which you know will work, I recommend posting it as a separate answer (unless someone else has done so). Then (2 days later) you can accept that answer, making clear not just that you no longer need an answer, but also what worked for you, which benefits others searching with similar problems. – Eliah Kagan Jul 20 '12 at 4:06
@EliahKagan I just wanted to have some Experts opinion on that before giving it a try :) I'll do that if this method works. – Laphanga Jul 20 '12 at 4:11

Dual booting Ubuntu and Windows 7 can be done:

  1. Using GRUB(2) or
  2. Using Windows 7 boot manager

When installing Ubuntu GRUB is installed by default to MBR and a dual-boot is created automatically to boot Ubuntu AND Windows 7.

When installing Windows 7 NO dual boot is created automatically.

For users having more experience in Windows a dual-boot based on Windows boot manager should be the choice.

Why ?

If you have to run Windows 7 Repair for some reason it will overwrite MBR and put Windows code there ! You cannot change this as Microsoft does not care for any nonWindows OS installed !

Using Linux/Ubuntu repair you can fix Ubuntu/Linux/GRUB booting not destroying Windows 7 booting.

One stable method for creating Ubuntu 12 - Windows 7 dual boot is to use the boot sector file "/boot/grub/boot.img" from Ubuntu installation. This file is created during installation and contains boot code which "knows" how to load Ubuntu.

boot.img + a Windows "boot sector loader" can and will boot Ubuntu under initial control of Windows 7 boot manager.

See Dual-boot Linux/Unix and Windows 7 for details how to create Windows "boot sector loader" and different ways of creating/copying "boot sector file".

If Windows 7 boot manager is in control of the booting and set to dual-boot Ubuntu you can do Windows updates and repairs and the dual-boot with Ubuntu will not be destroyed.

A Windows/Linux/Ubuntu user should have some basic understanding of Windows 7 boot process and Ubuntu boot process when creating a dual-boot system as they use different booting algorithm and sooner or later you have to fix the dual-boot (when installing/updating newer versions of the OSs or for another reason).

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