Dual booting Linux with Windows

There would be probably zillion other pages on the blue nothing with similar instructions. Yes. But nothing beats doing these things yourselves … blundering through some and still coming out on tops and saying … whew!! I did it!! (ofcourse a little help from Google doesnt go unappreciated)

A lot of users go about the right way installing a dual boot system.

  1. Take backup of your existing data
  2. They will plan and create partitions
  3. They will first install Windows (WinXP in my case) on one drive
  4. They will then install Linux (Ubuntu here)
  5. Then relax, and configure both the OSes as per their desires

This is the simpler version of doing it. Its the real man’s way … a no-nonsense approach to getting things done.

And now there is my way. I have been using this laptop for about 8 months now … running it on Ubuntu. So after roughly about 8 months, I have a 5Gb home folder, some customized applications, some handy scripts, an up-to-date system … and with what internet speeds are in India, I do not wish to re-update my system again. So I decided, that I will try to rescue the Linux after losing my master boot record (MBR). So this is what I did –

  1. Installed WinXP on my 8GB FAT32 partition
  2. Put in an Ubuntu LiveCD and booted through it to Gutsy Gibbon
  3. Started grub and wrote that on the MBR. Now the windows was gone … sigh!
    1. For more detailed instructions, please visit Recovering Ubuntu after installing Windows
  4. Started my actual Linux (whew!) and edited the grub configuration file
  5. Made a manual entry for windows in this and booted
    1. This is not easy as it sounds
    2. You need to know on which partition of your hard drive was windows installed (for me it was /dev/hda4) … the grub entry which corresponds to this is (hd0,3) … keep that in mind (minus 1)
  6. This was the exact entry

title Windoze XP
rootnoverify (hd0,3)
chainloader +1

It works!

Why did I install Windows again? … to play games :-)

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