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Windows 7: Dual booting Windows 7/Linux on a Dell Inspiron 15R

11 Oct 2011   #1

Dual booting Windows 7/Linux on a Dell Inspiron 15R

Hi, guys. Last Christmas, I bought each of my twin sons a Dell Inspiron 15R. As teenage boys do, they really mucked them up with every kind of virus and x-ware out there. After not being completely successful cleaning them up with various anti-what-ever programs, I decided to reformat and do a clean install. Problem is, Dell no longer furnishes a hard copy of the OS that was installed at factory. Apparently, they have partitioned the hard drive and installed all original software in that partition, and provided a PC Restore program that will access all software and re-set-up the computer to the state is was when purchased. After doing this, everything worked fine as it claimed it would. Personally, I find it to be the best thing that Dell has done with MS in years.

My question is this...Can I dual boot this set-up with Linux (which I use exclusively, and my son wants to learn), or will this partition that Dell is now using cause me real problems in the case that I may need to perform a future PC Restore? Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Oct 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


information   Information
We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
& made the Startup Repair CD.
startup repair disc-create

Did you make the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks?

How to use Dell Recovery Partition,make Recovery Disks & how to order Recovery Disks.
Dell - Support

The best two ways of running Linux with Wondows on one Hd drive.
Dual Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu
Linux - Install on Windows 7 Virtual Machine using VirtualBox
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2011   #3


No, I had not made the Recovery Disks. Good info. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Oct 2011   #4

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

You need to use Disk Management to look at the partitions on the Dell. If it already has four Primary partitions, then you're going to be faced with a LOT of work to install a Linux distro because you will have to REMOVE an existing partition in order to do so.

If you already have the four, you can install the Ubuntu Linux distro from inside Windows using something called Wubi -- but that is intended for short-term use -- which is OK if all they want to do is develop some initial familiarity with Ubuntu.

If you do decide that you want to install the Linux distro in its own partition, then first, use the Windows 7 Disk Management utility to shrink the Windows 7 OS partition to make room. After that, reboot into Windows 7 a couple of times.

Then, download and install the Free version of Macrium Reflect. Use the option to create and burn a Linux boot CD. Then, image off your Windows 7 install to an external drive. NOW, you have the existing setup backed up and, if you evern need to restore it, you can do so from the backup. You don't need the Recovery Disks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2011   #5


Thanks, Mark. What I have is:

Basic | | Recovery | OS (C
465.76 GB | 100 MB | 14.65 GB NTFS | 451.01 GB NTFS
Online | Healthy (OEM) | Healthy (System, Active, Prim | Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Pri

Now here is my confusion and fears: If decision is made to install Linux for a dual-boot, I would like it to be readily available for full use. I am assuming that I would have to reduce the 451 GB partition, and create another partition for linux use. Now I do know that the linux Grub2 loader will take over the install duties at boot up, but I'm not sure how that works, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, how that would effect the PC Restore system that Dell has set up. I'm assuming that Grub2 will place itself at the beginning of the OEM partition. I am still not understanding just how is it possible for me to dual boot like this and keep/NOT screw with the PC Restore program. I do not understand the instructions "Then, image off your Windows 7 install...". Like I once heard in a movie... Can you please explain it to like I was seven. LOL!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Installing Linux to a partition on the same HD as Windows, will make the Recovery partition unusable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual booting Windows 7/Linux on a Dell Inspiron 15R

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