Dualbooting Windows 7 and Ubuntu

So, I decided to take another stab at the Ubuntu/Linux Operating System and this time around, i decided that it would be best to have separate physical hard disks as opposed to partitioning ONE hard disk. The process has become less frightening for me because I’m learning to read the prompts & not be scared of hitting the “cancel” button. 🙂 I installed Windows 7 first because it’s much easier to do the dualboot when Windows is on the disk already. Installing Ubuntu 9.10 was painless particularly because I had separate hard disks. BUT I ran into an issue when I decided to switch my installations of Ubuntu and Windows 7 around i.e. moving Windows 7 to the larger hard disk.

I assumed that since the larger hard disk had been wiped clean, Windows 7 would take care of the NTFS formatting that was needed and whatnots. Well, Windows 7 refused to install because it detected the presence of a “System” partition on the computer. Based on what I’ve since learned, the system partition holds the files needed to boot up Windows and this partition needed to be removed. Thankfully, this was an easy fix although I had began to panic slightly. Simply firing up your Disk Management tool (by going to “Adminstrator Tools” and clicking on “Computer management”) and reformatting the disk that holds the system volume. Again, please make sure you don’t have data residing on this disk or that you have backed up any data you care to retain. Once I got rid of the old system partition created by a previous Ubuntu installation, the installation of Windows 7 was able to proceed seamlessly.

Be aware that GRUB (GNU Grand Unified Bootloader) will replace the boot manager for Windows 7 and you will need to be physically present at your computer to select your Windows 7 operating system if you want to boot up into Windows 7. Otherwise, Ubuntu will automatically load. Cheers!

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Jane Ullah

I wear many hats. In no particular order, I am a: wife, geeky blogger, a twitter-happy aspiring photographer, and passionate about things I believe in.