How to dual-boot Fedora 14 and Windows 7

The next step relevant to this tutorial is the boot loader configuration step. The boot loader used by Fedora 14 is GRUB Legacy. By default, it is installed in the Master Boot Record (MBR). What we want to do here is install it some place else, and the best alternative location to install GRUB, the GRand Unified Bootloader, is in the /boot partition (/dev/sda3) of the Fedora installation. The reason behind this choice of location is this: If it is installed in the usual location, Windows will likely overwrite parts of it the next time you upgrade/update Windows.

To change the location, click on Change device.


GRUB settings

Then click on the second radio button to choose installation in to the “First sector of boot partition – /dev/sda3.” OK.


Alternate GRUB location

With the GRUB location changed, click on Next to continue.


GRUB configuration

This step is not really relevant to this tutorial, but I just included it to show that if you are using the DVD installation image, the installer gives you the option to customize packages for installation. Next.


Package selection

When the first step of the installation has completed, and you reboot, the computer will boot into Windows 7. Why? Because the Windows loader in installed in the MBR, and is not aware that another OS now resides on the same disk. The task then is to edit the Windows 7 Boot Manager to include an entry for Fedora 14. Since I do know very little about Windows, and have never actually used Windows 7, other than for writing these tutorials, I found a very easy to use software that makes editing the Windows 7 Boot Manager very easy.

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That software is called EasyBCD by NeoSmart Technologies. It is a free application and you can download it from here. Install it as you would any other Windows application. After installation, there should be an entry for it in the menu and on the desktop. Launch it and you should see the default boot menu. Notice that there is only one entry, and it is for Windows 7. The next task is to edit it to add an entry for Fedora 14. Click on the Add New Entry tab to begin.



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