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Bought my laptop in September 2009. Does this mean that UEFI with secure boot will not be present? If that's the case then there would not be any problems to the linux/ubuntu installations while upgrading to windows 8 right?

  1. What will happen if i upgrade to windows 8?
  2. what will happen if I install windows 8 alongside?

Config: Windows 7 + Ubuntu 12.10 + Backtrack (latest)

Windows 7-32 bit, Ubuntu 12.10 - 32 bit, Processor T-9550 (Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T9550) , 4 gb ram, 1TB hardisk, NOT GPT, MBR partition

I do not want to lose my Ubuntu/ Linux distros once I upgrade to/ install Windows 8.

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Please be a bit more polite, don't be angry at users that try to answer your question, it's not constructive. –  Alvar Jan 16 '13 at 18:19
    
relax gentlemen. –  jrg Jan 16 '13 at 18:21
    
"I do not want to lose my Ubuntu/ Linux distros once I upgrade to/ install Windows 8." Backup what is important. Backup what is important. (pun intended :+)) –  Rinzwind Jan 17 '13 at 11:32
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2 Answers

As long as you only install windows 8 on your current windows partition, you should be alright.

However Windows comes with its own bootloader which is probably going to overwrite GRUB (the one used by most linux distributions, and indeed Ubuntu.) And therefor you might not have the option to boot into anything but windows after the install.

Though this should be rather easily fixed by reinstalling the GRUB from a Ubuntu live medium (dvd or usb).

There might be other challenges which I am not currently aware of.

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I agree with this person, as long as Windows doesn't touch the Ubuntu partition you should be back in business after repairing GRUB. However, it might be possible that Windows doesn't recognise the Ubuntu partition and changes or even discards that. I think you should be okay, but there is only one way to find out... I'd definitely back up my data just to be sure. –  Tomas Jan 17 '13 at 8:04
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Windows assumes it is the only operating system on the machine. In all releases up to and including XP, it would overwrite the boot loader.

I suggest using clonezilla to clone the drive before updating. Then, even if you do screw up the below, you can recover.

Theoretically, you can recover by first doing a dd of your mbr. From Linux,in a terminal, do

mount

Look at the list, you should see /dev/sdxy / where x is a letter and y is a number, i.e. /dev/sda1

Then do dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr.sda bs=512 count=1

Put the file mbr.sda on a thumb drive.

Upgrade windows, then get a rescue disk like Finnix, Clonezilla, etc, boot to it and go to the command line. Do a ls -l /dev/disk/by-id You should see sda in there somewhere Then put the thumb drive in, wait 5 seconds, then do

dmesg

You will see some the thumb drive being detected and something like sdb1 mkdir x mount /dev/sdb1 x ls x

dd if=x/mbr.sda of=/dev/sda WARNING If you type this command incorrectly or got the wrong drive it is likely you will LOOSE ALL YOUR DATA. You've been warned.

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