Friday, January 16, 2009

How to Dual / Triple boot Windows 7 with Windows XP / Linux

windows 7

Here is no-nonsense quick take to dual / triple boot Windows 7 with Windows XP and Linux.

What you need additionally : Ubuntu Linux Live (or, any Live Linux CD/DVD) CD/DVD. You can download Ubuntu Live Linux CD from here.

Assuming that you are installing Windows 7 on a separate partition in a machine that had Windows XP and Linux installed already.

If your machine had only Windows XP and no Linux, Windows 7 is generous enough to let you choose to boot older version of Windows through its boot manager.

But, it deliberately ignore other non-windows OS and file system, and hence you can’t boot Linux through Windows 7 boot manager.

In such case, you need to restore GRUB boot manager. Follow these steps carefully and restore your old GRUB:

Boot through Ubuntu Linux Live CD/DVD

Start terminal and give following command:

$ sudo grub

You will then enter in grub configuration mode. Here, give following command:

$ root (hd0,0)

Then give following command:

$ setup (hd%1,%2) - here, %1,%2 is the disk volume and partition value of your original Linux installation where /boot/grub is already installed. For example, in my machine, it is on disk 1, partition 6, so the value will be – (hd0,5). So, be careful here else your Grub will not be restored, and you will get error message instead.

Finally, give following command within grub configuration mode:

$ quit

$ exit

Now, reboot (do not forget to remove Linux Live CD/DVD to boot from HDD). If everything had gone right, your Grub boot manager will load and prompt you to choose to boot from either Linux or Windows 7. Enjoy!

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