I have Ubuntu on my laptop. Now I want install Windows 7 in a dual-boot. How can I do this?
I can't lose my Ubuntu files, and I'm afraid that I might break GRUB.
Go here for UEFI only!
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Here's the general outline:
/bootdirectory or partition
Open up GParted, and make sure that you have at least 20 GB available for Windows 7, either as a partition you can remove, or as unpartitioned space. If it's a partition, remove it from GRUB to make sure it doesn't break your Ubuntu install — GParted will complain if anything bad is about to happen.
Make note of current
/boot device. If that doesn't show up there, make note of the
/ device. The device name is something like
Install Windows 7 into the space you just made
Note: Instead of mounting the boot directory or partition from the installation in the live media environment you can specify the path with the
--boot-directoryparameter for grub-install, more information on the manpage.
Load up from your Ubuntu live CD, and then run these commands.
If you DO NOT have a separate
sudo mount /dev/DEVICENAME_FROM_STEP_ONE /mnt sudo rm -rf /boot # Careful here, make sure YOU ARE USING THE LIVE CD. I tried it, it works. sudo ln -s /mnt/boot /boot
If you have a SEPARATE
sudo mount /dev/DEVICENAME_FROM_STEP_ONE /boot
Note: These instructions were initially written for Windows 7 and BIOS booting computers. If you have UEFI and Windows 8 and above you probably need to replace
sudo apt-get install grub-pc.
Then continue with those commands:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install grub-pc sudo grub-install /dev/sda # NOTE THAT THERE IS NO DIGIT sudo umount /boot
And restart. It should work fine and boot both systems.
Installing Windows after Ubuntu is not the recommended process for a dual boot Windows and Ubuntu system, but it is possible.
Next, boot to the Windows DVD installer and install Windows on the NTFS partition. Upon reboot, Windows will automatically boot and you won't see the grub menu allowing you to choose Ubuntu, because the Windows bootloader has replaced grub.
Now, what you need to do is run Ubuntu from LiveCD or LiveUSB and install boot-repair.
To install boot-repair, open up a terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and type the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair
After installation, boot-repair will automatically launch, if is doesn't, launch it via Dash.
Make sure to select recommended repair to repair grub. Reboot and that's it.
This answer covers UEFI-only, and is meant to be a bit of a more modern answer as UEFI has succeeded the ancient BIOS. Also, there are some edits here to fit the fact it's answering a "how I do this" rather than a "can I do this" type of question.
To install Windows alongside Ubuntu, you just do the following:
Note: when making sure things are ready for your dual boot, check if Ubuntu is installed in the GPT partition table! While 99% of the time you will be using GPT if you're planning to do this, it is possible to install Ubuntu's UEFI on MBR but Windows 10 does not support that strange use-case. In that situation, convert to GPT if possible. If not, backup and reinstall, and I'd recommend that as it'll be easier.
boot-repair did a really good job launched from a live-usb, by just applying the recommended option.
First, you have to boot with a live CD/USB stick and shrink your partition in order to create a second one. Windows 7 requires and creates a second partition which is called "system reserved". I don't know why, but it does. (So you will end up with three partitions or four if you have a swap partition.)
When your partition is ready, just boot with your Windows 7 DVD/USB stick and install Windows 7 on the new partition.
When Windows 7 has been installed, GRUB will break and you will only be able to boot Windows (automatically). Just boot with a live Ubuntu CD/USB stick and fix it (how it is mentioned in other comments).
Now another issue that some users may face:
I own an HP Mini 210 netbook which came with Windows 7. I erased everything and installed Ubuntu. Later on I decided to also reinstall Windows 7 and have a dual boot (needed Windows for a specific application from my university which wouldn't run through wine). At that time I had three partitions:
- Ubuntu - Swap - Backup/download storage
Now when I tried to install Windows 7 I faced a problem because Windows 7 needs to create a second primary partition (system reserved). I already had three partitions and therefore was unable to create two more. The workaround here is to create an extended partition in which you will include both swap and backup storage. Now I have:
- Ubuntu (primary) - Extended - Swap - Backup/download storage - Windows 7 (primary) - Windows 7 system reserved (primary)
To install Windows you need an empty partition that will be dedicated to Windows. If you do, then go ahead and install on this using the normal installation procedure. After installation, reboot into Windows and reboot a few times more to experience Windows ;-) (sorry, couldn't resist)
Like you said, this will break GRUB and your computer can only boot Windows after this. Do not despair, as there is a help section dedicated to restoring GRUB and being able to dual boot. Look here. After performing this, your computer will be able to boot Ubuntu as well as Windows.
Before you start, very very carefully note down the location (hard drive number, make & partition number within that) of the current Ubuntu install (which you don't obviously want to overwrite) and the empty partition in which you want to install windows. Also, during Windows installation, if it offers to format any partition other than the one you are installing Windows into, please do not accept.
In case your computer came with a pre-installed copy of Windows 8 and you removed it because to many people told you to hate it and you found that after you installed Ubuntu, that it isn't what you want, note this:
For installing Windows 7, either create and boot the Windows 7 installation media in UEFI-mode or set boot-mode and partition table to legacy.
The most save way is to install Windows 7 first and to reinstall Ubuntu after that. This will ensure that grub works.
You can also edit your partitions with a live cd, and then install Windows 7. When you have done this you boot into Ubuntu with a live cd and restore grub. This procedure however, is a bit more delicate than just installing them in the right order.
One good advice: When you make the separate partition for Windows 7, using gparted for example, format it to the NTFS right away. Do not use Windows installer to format the partition, because several times I had a situation, when the Windows installer corrupted the partition table after that and I had to restore the lost partition. So, as the people recommended here: using gparted, create separate partition, format it to the ntfs, install windows there, then restore grub using livecd or liveflash. You can use the SystemResqueCD for liveflash.
I suggest you virtualize Windows 7 with something like VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org)
This way you can run Windows and Linux at the same time, without the chance of destroying you Bootloader Grub.
I don't know why you want to run Windows 7, but if you don't need the full hardware capacity (Running the Latest 3D Games for example) of your computer for windows then virtualization can be a good solution.
Basically the same answer as @evgeny, but using
chroot instead of a symbolic link.
/bootpartitions if applicable.
Mount your Ubuntu installation
sudo mkdir /mnt sudo mount /dev/<partition> /mnt
Give this partition internet access
sudo cp /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/etc/resolv.conf
Only if you have a seperate
/boot partition, otherwise skip this step
sudo mkdir /mnt/boot sudo mount /dev/<boot_partition> /mnt/boot
Set up then enter
sudo mount -o bind /proc /mnt/proc sudo mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev sudo mount -o bind /dev/pts /mnt/dev/pts sudo mount -o bind /sys /mnt/sys sudo chroot /mnt
grub-pc is the latest version
apt-get update && apt-get install grub-pc
Its a easy process to install dual OS. 1st create a NTFS partition from Ubuntu using Disk Utility. Then restart your system and continue with your windows installing. After finishing installing you can see that your GRUB is not working..... NOT A PROBLEM. I have two method to fix this GRUB problem.
[Method 2] It may be bit difficult. Don't worry i have also a easy one. For that you have to login into windows. Download EasyBCD and run it. Go to Edit Boot Menu and set your desired boot option as default. Then save it and reboot your system. [Tested under windows].
Please let me know if you stack in something.
I had Ubuntu on my computer with only half of the drive used. Then I used Acronis to restore my Windows partition (C and W partitions).
Now I want to make a dual boot. All of the instructions above assume you have a Windows 10 CD to install Windows (I don't because I upgraded from Windows 7).
Would just using boot-repair make this a dual boot system?