Dual-boot, Tutorials/Tips, Ubuntu

How to dual-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 11.04

All the partitions have been configured. You may continue with the rest of the installation. But before you do, decide where you want to install GRUB, the boot loader. You may install it in the Master Boot Record (MBR), the default, or in the boot partition (/dev/sda5 in this example). A good case can be made for either choice.

If you install GRUB in the MBR, it will overwrite Windows’ boot programs. This is the most common and requires no other configuration on your part. However, upgrading or reinstalling Windows, or even installing a Service Pack can overwrite certain aspects of GRUB. Restoring GRUB is not a very difficult task, but you can save yourself the trouble by installing GRUB in the boot partition of Ubuntu. This is the recommended method because it completely separate the two operating systems, even as they co-exist on the same disk. It does requires additional configuration on your part. That, however, is nothing compared to the potential headache of the other option.

For this tutorial, I will follow my recommendation and install GRUB in /dev/sda5, the boot partition. Note that the version of GRUB used by Ubuntu 11.04 is GRUB 2.

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After installation and reboot, the computer will reboot into Windows. The final task then is to add an entry for Ubuntu in the boot menu of Windows 7. For that, the easiest program to use is EasyBCD, a free program by NeoSmart Technologies. Download and install it like you would any Windows 7 application. Start it and click on the Add New Entry tab, then on the Linux/BSD tab. From the “Type” dropdown menu, select “GRUB 2,” the version of GRUB used by Ubuntu 11.04. Click on the “Add Entry” button. Click on Edit Boot Menu tab to view the new configuration.

These are two entries you will see every time you boot the computer. The default is Window 7, but you can change it to Ubuntu 11.04 if you like. Exit EasyBCD and reboot.

This is the boot menu you will see.

And this, when you attempt to boot into Ubuntu. Note: If at any time you decide to have GRUB be responsible for dual-booting, you can do so easily. Just log into Ubuntu and write GRUB to the Master Boot Record, or MBR. And if you want to switch back to Windows’ boot manager, log into Windows 7, start EasyBCD and use it to overwrite GRUB.

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  1. sorry for previous comment. i am find 2 page and solve the above doubt, but i need to change booting options without using easybcd software, and i need default OS is win7

  2. what is nest step for this process, i find one screen and which i select ‘device for boot loader selection’, in dual boot win 7 and ubuntu

  3. n.saravanan

    very very thank for your kind information to how dual boot system in a single system with windows and ubuntu by manually .this is very useful for me now and future.

  4. Pingback: #25 How to Install Ubuntu on HP Pavilion G6 | Anaggh Studio

  5. I gave 6 gb space for Ubuntu form total 20gb space . . .n for window 7 it is 100 gb

  6. I am installing Ubuntu 12.10 and I have followed all your steps n it went well till EasyBCD, after configuring EasyBCD i got Boot menu too but when i clicked on Ubuntu i got blank screen with showing
    GRUB4DOS 0.4.4 2009-10-16, Memory: 625K / 2865M, MenuEnd : 0x48f93
    [ Minimal BASH-like line editing supported. For the first word, TAB list possible command completions. Anywhere else TAB lists the possible completions of a device/filename. ]


    is there any solution for that . . .plz help me

  7. Thank you !, It works perfectly !.

  8. Ravindra Siwach

    Apparantly this doesn’t work with Ubuntu 12 but only with Ubuntu 11. I am assuming all those who got a failed to install GRUB in /boot were trying to install Ubuntu 12. I have tried 5 times with some little tweaks to install GRUB in /boot for Ubuntu 12 i.e. increasing /boot partition size, changing the format to ext4 etc but nothing works. I even set me partitions the same way so there is no misunderstanding. Now when I installed Ubuntu 11, it works fine for me. GRUB was easily installed in /boot and there were no problems at all. Please look into this. Try a fresh intall yourself and see what the problem is. Thanks.

    • Sure, I’ll give it a fresh look later this week.

    • Just tried this tutorial on a Vbox virtual machine, with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 and it works perfectly.
      Next step: trying it on my laptop 🙂

      • Some people seem to be having problems with 12.04. Let us know if it works for you on your laptop.

        • I still haven’t installed ubuntu 12.04 in my laptop,maybe later in the week. But in my “experiences” I ended up repeating the same process to dual boot windows 7 and xubuntu 12.04 (again in a VBox machine). This time I ended up with the same fatal error when trying to install GRUB in /BOOT partition. The only difference betwen the two processes was deactivating the PAE for xubuntu. Tomorrow i’ll try again with Ubuntu 12.04, with PAE activated, as in the first try I made.
          I’m relatively new to linux, and have a lot to learn, so I really don’t yet understand the reason why the fatal erros occured this time (Desktop environment, kernel, PAE, ???). Any ideas on this?

          • Well, I don’t know why, but after trying the exact same install as I did sucessfuly the first time, I got the fatal error message, and my installation did not finished… Have no idea why…
            Has anyone had better luck with this issue?

          • Check back tomorrow. I’ll update this tutorial for 12.04. If you have not done so already, you may subscribe to this website by RSS or email, so it will be delivered to your inbox or Feed Reader automatically.

          • Just wrote an update to this article using Ubuntu 12.04. You may read it here.

  9. Slaughter83

    Hi there! I ran into a little problem with my installation. Everything went just fine untill it was supposed to install the grub then i got a fatal error but I solved that with choosing /dev/sda5 again and then the installation completed. Then I followed your steps for for easyBCD and when i reboot I can choose Ubuntu 11.10 but then I get into a commandprompt lokking like this


    and a text that tells me I an get commands by presing TAB and when I do that I get a bunch of commands. But I don´t know how get any further. So should I try to do the Bootrepair or is something elese wrong?

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