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Windows 7: Dual-Boot

16 Jan 2011   #1
graememcw

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Dual-Boot

Hi. I recently asked a question about re-installing windows, and i was very happy with the help i received (Not done it yet, as i need to get the disc) but now i am thinking about dual-booting my system with Windows 7 as the main OS, and linux ubuntu as a secondary. I have a few questions:

1. How much space should i leave for ubuntu's partition?
2. How do i make a swap partition (or whatever it is called, for swapping files between OS's)?
3. Can i set it up to automatically boot into windows unless i am holding down a specific key, or something similar?

I appreciate the help.

BTW, my HDD is ~500gb, but my current (factory) windows partition is 450gb.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jan 2011   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello graememcw.

If you want to dual boot Windows and Linux, just be aware there are serious boot issues along that path, have a look at this info below for some ideas and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.


information   Information

Using separate Hard Disk Drives to dual boot is the preferred method to dual boot between separate Operating Systems, this way the OSs aren't dependent on each other for the boot files needed to start Windows making it very easy to remove one or the other OS/HDD without boot issues.

Disconnect the Windows 7 HDD data cable from the motherboard and leave it disconnected for the installation process, set the 'new' HDD as first boot device after the DVD/CD drive, when the second OS is booting good on the second HDD, power down and reconnect the other HDD data cable to the mobo and restart the PC to set the preferred OS/HDD as first boot device in the BIOS, then you can use the BIOS one-time boot menu for your specific PC to select the other OS/HDD to boot when needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #3
Punkster

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)
 
 

Hello there, graememcw.

Well, the first thing you need to do is to accomodate your partitions, with Partition Magic or any other that's capable of doing that kind of things...

The next thing you want to do is give at least 50GB for your Ubuntu's partition, the SWAP partition is not for swapping files between OS's, you can actually do that within Ubuntu... Swap is the "Page File", i'd recommend at least a 2GB partition for it..

The Perfect Desktop - Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) | HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials

That's a complete guide for installing the OS, and you won't have any problems with dual booting because you can select which OS to start in a list
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jan 2011   #4
graememcw

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Hmmm. Well, in that case, i may just run a bootable USB linux instead. I dont really want to have to reinstall windows again if it goes balls-up if i decide to get rid of the ubuntu partition.

EDIT: thanks punkster. But is there a way to boot linux only when i hold a button, because i dont really want to have to tell it to boot windows every time i turn it on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #5
gregrocker

 

I would not recommend putting Ubuntu on the same HD as Win7.

We see may cases here each week of GRUB bootloader corrupting Win7 irreparably. The only solution often is to wipe the HD of GRUB to clean reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #6
Punkster

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)
 
 

Is not necessary, i used to have a dual boot (Ubuntu 10.04 and Windows 7) in the same hard drive and never had any issues, but it's up to you, you could just download the live CD and use it wherever/whenever you want and it won't touch/disturb your Windows partition or any other partition in your computer

EDIT: i do agree with Greg, there are people with this issue, but since it hasn't happened to me, i can't speak for them hehe.. i had the dual boot for over 5 months and no issues whatsoever i guess lucky me..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #7
graememcw

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Are there any other versions of linux that can be installed onto the same HDD? (safely)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #8
graememcw

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Punkster View Post
Is not necessary, i used to have a dual boot (Ubuntu 10.04 and Windows 7) in the same hard drive and never had any issues, but it's up to you, you could just download the live CD and use it wherever/whenever you want and it won't touch/disturb your Windows partition or any other partition in your computer
I think i actually have a live cd somewhere in the house, but i dont know where haha.

Whatever i do, i will either have it on a USB drive, actual HDD, or not atall :L
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #9
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Have a look at Wubi, it installs to a virtual HDD it creates inside the Windows root and it can be easily deleted like any other file if the need arises.


Wubi - Ubuntu Installer for Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #10
graememcw

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Well i will try wubi just now, since i will be re-installing windows sometime within the next week anyways, if something manages to break (not that i distrust myself that much :L)...

If i dont like it, i may just use a vm...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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