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I'd like to install Ubuntu 10.04 on a brand new Dell vostro v130. Dell notebooks usually come with a recovery partition, which allows you to restore the original Windows configuration of the notebook.

The question is: will installing grub in the master boot record overwrite the address of this partition, making it useless?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

No it shouldn't. The MBR should have nothing to do with access to partitions.

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MBR traditionally contains the partition table so it has all to do with access to partitions. That said, Grub by itself does not touch the table. – arrange Mar 14 '11 at 23:24

Installing grub to the mbr will not affect the partition table, so the recovery partition will remain intact and an entry for the recovery partition will be automatically added to the grub menu so that you can boot from it if needed.

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It should work, either from Grub menu or via F8 during Windows boot. – arrange Mar 15 '11 at 8:57

If the Win7 partition is occupying the entire hard disk minus the recovery partition, then delete that partition and create a smaller Windows (NTFS) partition say of 40 GB. In the remaining space create partitions for Linux. Run the restore option to install Win 7 on the new Win7 partition. And, then run Ubuntu installation on the other partitions. Grub will automatically add entries for Windows 7 and the recovery partition.

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Why are you recommending that a partition be deleted? Ubuntu's installer can resize an existing Windows partition and that's certainly faster and less obtrusive than re-installing Windows to make more space. – Jordan Uggla Mar 15 '11 at 5:43
Agree with Jordan, the installer provides the tools to resize the windows partition. And it's what I already did. I'm only worried about the fact that the recovery partition may not be available after installing grub in the mbr. – Alessandro Cuttin Mar 15 '11 at 8:15
Because I am paranoid, I have not tried resizing an existing Windows partition. If it works fine (and it seems to be), then that that is the easier option. Installing GRUB will not make you lose your recovery partition. In an Acer laptop, I found that GRUB automatically added the recover partition to the Grub menu entries. If I ever need to restore Windows to factory setting, I just need to select that option from GRUB. – BZ1 Mar 16 '11 at 5:38
@AlessandroCuttin , did it work? Were you able to access recovery partition? – BigSack Nov 25 '13 at 4:09
To date, I have two windows partitions (main+recovery) available. – Alessandro Cuttin Nov 25 '13 at 15:44

I have had lot problem with the Grub MBR and the Recovery Software interference. This is problem mostly occurs when you try to install Ubuntu to a logical partition.

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