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I had Windows 7 and installed Ubuntu using the Windows installer. Now when I restart the PC, it directly boots to Ubuntu. What happened to my Windows 7 and how I can make it dual boot?

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Which Ubuntu release did you install? – Mitch Nov 18 '13 at 11:42


are you sure, that you save your windows installation during ubuntu installation process?

Usually ubuntu installer write windows loader into grub menu. Only if you does all correctly.

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At the start of Ubuntu installation, when Preparing to Install window appears, it presents you with following options

  • Install Ubuntu alongside your other systems (e.g. alongside Windows). You shold have selected this option in your case if you want to create a dual boot system.

  • Erase disk and install Ubuntu (Install Ubuntu over your entire hard drive). If you have selected this option by any chance, Ubuntu has formatted and overwritten your Windows partition. You may have to reinstall Windows and then Ubuntu after that to get back to a dual boot system once again.

  • Something else (use manual options for installations, like partitioning hard drive and then install).

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I have installed Ubuntu from a DVD. During installation process I was asked about options to install as only simple system or dual system or other. So make sure what you've selected before installation, it's decisively the right point.

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There is a software on ubuntu called Gparted that lets you see what's on your hard drive. To access it, go to Terminal and type

sudo gparted

And enter your root/ubuntu password. If it says you don't have it, download it with

sudo apt-get install gparted

and then try the first command again. This software can cause loss of data if you use it without knowing it well enough, so read the warnings carefully if you plan on changing something. For now, you don't need to change anything.

Look for a partition with data type "NTFS" or "ntfs" : it's the windows part of your hard drive. The Linux part is generally "ext4" for home use. Two cases :

1) If you have only an "EFI" partition and "ext4" partition, maybe a "swap" one too, and NO "NTFS", congratulations, you've deleted Windows. ^^" If you had anything worthwhile on your disk, I suggest you bring your hard drive to a data recovery center and use your computer as little as possible until then, as it will make data recovery harder. This will remind you to backup your data before any OS manipulations...

Or if you don't care about what was on there and just want your dual-boot : reinstall windows from scratch while erasing everything on your disk in the Windows installer menu (by booting with a Windows CD or Live USB of the Windows distribution of your choice). Then once Windows is installed, pick up your Ubuntu Live USB and this time, pick the "Install Ubuntu alongside Windows" option. From then on, your computer should recognize both.

2) If you do have an NTFS partition, or had to follow part 1) and your windows is still unrecognized, then windows is quite probably still there, it's just not recognized by your Linux-centric computer.

The key to fixing this is a software called GRUB (or GRUB2) that allows your computer to pick an OS when it boots. It's basically a black screen on startup with the choice of "ubuntu", "memtest", "setup", and "windows".

To work, Grub needs a) to be installed, b) information about which OS exists in the machine.

sudo apt-get install grub

will install grub, you might already have it.

sudo update-grub

will have grub check the hard drive for the OSs present. It will then correct the grub boot menu (or have it appear for the first time, if your computer used to boot to Linux automatically).

Normally that should fix your problem. On startup, you should be able to pick between Windows and Ubuntu.

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