Dual Booting Windows 7

I am going to be replacing the Vista installation on my desktop with Windows 7 (a disk/key came with my new computer and I won’t be using it there). I already have openSUSE, Fedora (PlanetCCRMA) and Archlinux installed on this machine, and I have Grub set up to multiboot all these (and Vista). Obviously, after installing Win7, I won’t be able to get to Grub, or any of my other OSs. So what steps should I take to get Grub back and get my Win7 install added to it? Are there any tricks I should know?


So I assume you are using the grub menu you currently want to use and you know where that menu.lst is ?

Can you post your current fdisk -l
and explain it?

Disk /dev/sda: 640.1 GB, 640135028736 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 77825 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x48000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1           7       56196    6  FAT16
/dev/sda2               8         269     2097152    7  HPFS/NTFS
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3             269       45955   366977020    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4   *       45955       77562   253886242    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5           45955       45967       96358+  83  Linux
/dev/sda6           45967       47267    10442218+  83  Linux
/dev/sda7           47267       48566    10437231+  83  Linux
/dev/sda8           48567       49873    10490445   83  Linux
/dev/sda9           49873       51177    10482349+  83  Linux
/dev/sda10          51178       51452     2208906   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda11          51453       64507   104864256   83  Linux
/dev/sda12          64508       77562   104864256   83  Linux

First two partitions are utility/recovery. sda3 is the Vista install. Following that is an extended partition (sda4) with my Arch /boot (sda5), Fedora (sda6), openSUSE (sda7), openSUSE /tmp (sda8), Arch / (sda9), swap (sda10) and two data partitions mounted under /home (sda11 and sda12).

I will be resizing/deleting the last two and creating an additional NTFS partition for the Windows 7 install (for data, not OS). I’d like to install Win7 on the Vista partition (sda3).

The boot menu is openSUSE’s, on sda7; I believe I installed it to the MBR.

By the looks of that the bootloader is not to the MBR
See the boot flag on the extended partition!

When you install W7 that flag will be moved to sda3

If you have the SUSE DVD, you can use that to fix grub. Or I have other ways, if you can’t get that to work;)

[QUOTE]I believe I installed it to the MBR.

By the looks of that the bootloader is not to the MBR
See the boot flag on the extended partition![/QUOTE]

I noticed that too. What confused me is that I am certain I selected “Install to MBR” during installation. :\ But whatever works, I guess.

I’ve used the openSUSE installation disk before to set up Grub after installing another OS. I wasn’t sure if Windows 7 had any specific issues in that regard. I guess not?

Thanks for the advice.

All I would say is there were issues with grub on the MBR when Vista wanted to install service packs. My guess is W7 will be the same. Users with grub on the MBR had to restore windows bootloader, install the service pack, then re-install grub. The grub bit takes a few minutes, but expect the service pack to take it’s sweet time.

Could you point me to a link on resotring the Windows bootloader? I had trouble installing VIsta service packs and that sounds like the issue.

Could you point me to a link on restoring the Windows bootloader? I had trouble installing Vista service packs on dual boot machines and that sounds like the issue.

With windows 7, do you have an actual install DVD? It kinda sounds like you do. Just stick it in and boot from it

  1.          Choose your language settings, and then  click Next.
  2.          If you are using the Windows installation disc, click Repair your computer.
  3.          Select the Windows  installation you want to repair, and then click Next.
  4.          On the System Recovery  Options menu, click a tool to open it.


Automatic repair should do it and not touch your Linux installs

I do have an install DVD. That sounds just like what I needed. When I install Win7, I’ll probably try to get it all updated before I reinstall Grub; I’ll be sure to keep both install discs on hand, though!

Thanks so much for the assistance.

Download Windows 7 System Recovery Discs — The NeoSmart Files

Thanks for that link. I didn’t think of that before, but my disc is almost certainly an installation (recovery) disc only.