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I have Ubuntu 12.04 working fine, but need Windows occasionally. I just wanted to check that my plan for installing would work? Any help appreciated.

Current partitions are:

Partition....@ File System @ Mount Point @ Size.....@ Used.....@ Flags
/dev/sda1....@ ext4........@ /ext4a......@ 37 GiB...@ 776 MiB..@ boot
/dev/sda2....@ extended....@.............@ 122 GiB..@ -........@
./dev/sda5...@ ext4........@ / ..........@ 37 GiB...@ 6 GiB....@
.unallocated @ unallocated @.............@ 7 GiB....@ - ...... @ 
./dev/sda6 ..@ ext4........@ /home.......@ 77 GiB...@ 32 GiB...@
.unallocated @ unallocated @.............@ 65 GiB...@ - .......@ 
/dev/sda3...@ linux-swap..@.............@ 7 GiB....@ - .......@

My plan is to:

  • boot to ubuntu from USB ISO
  • change sda1 to NTFS
  • install Windows 7 to sda1
  • use the "Master Boot Record repair" utility to configure dual boot so I can see my original ubuntu installation as well as W7.

Have I missed something?

I'm concerned as to what the 776MB is that will be overwritten by the change to NTFS. It seems large for just the MBR?

Would also appreciate it if anyone can explain what sda5 and 6 are being used for? Is sda5 Ubuntu and sda6 my data?

Thanks in advance.

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Windows will overwrite just the MBR. While it is a small amount of data, it is important, as if Windows has control of it, Grub will not load and you will be forced to boot into Windows. –  hexafraction Aug 30 '12 at 13:46
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Should work just fine. If you want to see what the 776MB are, take a look into the folder /ext4a using nautilus or a terminal. Because it is mounted it will have an entry in the file /etc/fstab. Edit it and delete the entry for /dev/sda1 respectively /ext4a.

You are also right about sda5 and sda6. sda5 is the root mount point /. That means everything that has no different mountpoint is saved on that partition. In this case your system and your installed programs. sda6 contains the home folders. Your home folder is used for saving your personal files including the Pictures, Music, Documents, etc folders and even the Desktop. Most programs you use also save their settings in your homefolder. So if you want to reinstall your Ubuntu at some time, you should be able to format sda5 and use sda6 as /home mountpoint again without formating and all your files and program settings will be kept.

share|improve this answer
    
Windows will overwrite just the MBR. While it is a small amount of data, it is important, as if Windows has control of it, Grub will not load and you will be forced to boot into Windows. –  hexafraction Aug 30 '12 at 13:46
    
Yes it does. But you can fix grub using a live cd. This way you can dual boot with grub again even if you installed Windows after Ubuntu. I've done this a few times myself and never had any problems. –  André Stannek Aug 30 '12 at 14:32
1  
Oops, forgot last sentence. While you can do that, it is more difficult and was not mentioned in your answer. –  hexafraction Aug 30 '12 at 16:44
    
Just assumed thats what John F meant by "Master Boot Record repair". You are right, I should have included that in my answer in the first place. –  André Stannek Aug 30 '12 at 23:57
1  
@JohnF You can use the live CD for a repair, and lost+found does not contain the MBR. It contains files recovered from a filesystem check, most likely due to EXT2/3/4 corruption. You can use sudo nautilus from a terminal to see these files, but the names may not be meaningful. –  hexafraction Aug 31 '12 at 12:25
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