My desktop computer has multiple hard drives. Here's how they're currently set up: Advanced install screen Note the Windows 7 loader on the XP drive.

My plan for 12.04 was to install it over my XP/Wubi set up and dual boot just Win7 and Ubuntu. However, I'm unsure about installing GRUB2. Is the Windows 7 loader required for me to maintain a dual boot setup? If I were to format sda and install GRUB there, would I have problems? I ask because GRUB on my laptop doesn't point to Windows 7 on some partition but rather the Windows 7 loader on some partition.

  • Wait I'm confused. Revise your question because it seems unclear what you are asking. Generally speaking though, When Ubuntu is installed, it overwrites the bootloader for Windows 7 and XP, so when you boot up GRUB is the first thing that shows up instead of booting into an operating system. A alternate suggestion would be to keep both 7 and XP and install Ubuntu alongside Windows 7 by partitioning your 250 GB hard drive... Just a suggestion though. – KoVo Apr 27 '12 at 22:20
  • Yes, but usually when GRUB replaces the Windows bootsector it also adds an entry to the GRUB boot menu which allows you to boot Windows. – irrational John Apr 27 '12 at 22:25
  • If you install Ubuntu to /dev/sda1, Windows7 will loose its bootloader and will become unbootable. There are probably ways to recover it, but you might want to find a reliable one before proceeding. For example: heiser.net/posts/3256 – mikewhatever Apr 28 '12 at 1:06
  • I should note that the "Install alongside Windows 7" option forces me to install Ubuntu to the large storage drive. I can't choose to use either of the other two drives. – MowDownJoe Apr 28 '12 at 13:28
  • you don't need to use that option, I think its purpose is to let you shrink the windows partition and install ubuntu in the created space. You want the "Something else" option, then select your XP partition format it and set the mount point as / – Anake Apr 28 '12 at 14:01

Have you got a windows 7 disc? If you do you are fine.

Formatting the partition containing the windows bootloader will stop windows from being able to be launched. However you can reinstall the windows bootloader using the install dvd as described here:


This will probably mess up grub (not sure as it is on a separate hdd) which you can recover as described here:


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