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!


Anonymous said...

"your Grub boot manager will load and prompt you to choose to boot from either Linux or Windows 7"... what about triple booting XP/Linux/Win7 ???

Anonymous said...

Choose Win7, this opens the Windows Loader and you can choose to boot either Windows 7 or "Older Version of Windows" - Windows XP.

Pablo said...

is there any way to find out what the disk volume and partition values for the original linux installation are are?

Anonymous said...

This is not true triple booting, that's simply dual booting twice.

Anonymous said...

EastBCD is a great free utility to add Linux to the windows boot procedure.

Anonymous said...

I have 7 and XP working now but want to install Ubuntu. How do I do that and still retain 7 and XP?

Anonymous said...

usually linux will detect and recognize other os's already installed and will add them to grub.

ray30 said...

I have 3 seperate Hdds with win xp pro 80gb that dual boots with Kubuntu
40gb and another seperate hdd 40gb with win7 ultimate, I want to be able to triple boot these thru the grub which loads up first, any one with answers

Anonymous said...

triple booting
i have installed 3 operating systems in one system (triple booging) 1st i installed windows 7 , 2nd i installed rhel5.4 and 3rd i installed centos 5.5 and only 2 o/s are booting those are windows 7 & centos 5.5 but rhel5.4 is not booting... give me a reply any one with answer.. or send me the answer to mail id

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