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Thread: Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

  1. #1
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    Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

    Hi, I've been running Ubuntu 12.04 and I'm looking to install Windows 7 to dual boot. Here's my drive layout:

    /dev/sda
    * /dev/sda1 (boot) /
    * /dev/sda2 extended
    ** /dev/sda5 swap
    ** /dev/sda6 home
    ** /dev/sda7 ext4

    /dev/sdb
    * /dev/sdb1 ext4
    * /dev/sdb2 ntfs <-- install here

    sda is a SSD that I initially freed up a logical partition on. Windows 7 didn't like this, so I freed space on the HDD sdb, a primary partition. Still it won't take. I think it needs a //system// partition.

    Is this true? What's the easiest route do you reckon?

  2. #2
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    Re: Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

    Do not take me for a expert on this. I am just passing on some things that I have noticed from other posts on this forum.

    It is my understanding that windows likes to be the first and only OS on a hard disk. May I suggest that you remove the SSD and boot the machine from the Windows install disk with only the hard disk in the machine. And install Windows like that.

    Then put the SSD back in and boot from it. Load Ubuntu and with both the SSD and the hard disk in the machine run the command.

    Code:
    sudo update-grub
    Others on this forum may give better advice that this. So, wait to see what is suggested.

    Regards.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  3. #3
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    Re: Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

    Take the boot flag off sda1 and put a boot flag on sdb2. If you have any other boot flags, turn them off. Try installing again.
    Linux doesn't use the boot flag but windows uses it and the flag determines where to put the boot files. If it sees it on sda1 and the partition is linux type, it will probably not like it.
    Darko.
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    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

  4. #4
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    Re: Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

    It is my understanding that windows likes to be the first and only OS on a hard disk.
    I think that's a myth. A while ago I did a few experiments and I was able to boot Windows in any partition anywhere on any disk, even in a logical partition providing you set the boot flag in the logical partition with GParted. (Grub only sets the boot flag in primary partitions). I think in the case of Windows7 the boot partition should be primary but I'm not sure if that's essential either.

    However, that depends on the way the installation media has been programmed.
    Many Windows CDs are 'recovery CDs' (a misnomer) instead of 'installation CDs', and the 'recovery' disks 'return the computer to its factory shipped state', wiping out any other operating systems and all user data and so on. The 'Installation' CDs tend to allow more flexibility and most can choose which partitions to install into but seem to be less commonly available for some strange reason.

  5. #5
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    Re: Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

    Thanks for the input. I'll try setting the boot flag with GParted. Will I be able to boot into Linux without the boot flag on the SSD?

    Another thing, do I have to keep the boot flag on the HDD? Because most of the time I'll just go directly to Linux, and I want to boot as fast as possible, naturally. Do you think the start time for getting into grub (wherever its installed) is much slower when it has to check the HDD also?

  6. #6
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    Re: Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

    Yes, linux can boot without the boot flag since it doesn't use it as already mentioned.

    And the boot flag doesn't slow down grub2 booting. For linux it's like it doesn't exist.
    Darko.
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    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

  7. #7
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    Re: Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

    Quote Originally Posted by graabein View Post
    sda is a SSD that I initially freed up a logical partition on. Windows 7 didn't like this, so I freed space on the HDD sdb, a primary partition. Still it won't take. I think it needs a //system// partition.

    Is this true? What's the easiest route do you reckon?
    Win7 needs a Primary partition for its boot loader files, but the OS partition can be Logical.

    BIG Plus to the advice to remove the other drive to install Win7. That will prevent Win7 from writing its MBR to the sda -- which it would do by default if both drives were still connected during the install.

    I believe that Win7 would automatically set the boot flag to "sdb2" (which will be "sda2" during the install), but I'm not sure about that.

    Win7 does not need a separate boot or system partition -- that's just done by default in OEM machines to allow you to encrypt the Win7 OS partition -- as Win7 can't boot if its boot loader files are inside an encrypted partition.
    Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

    Win7 needs a Primary partition for its boot loader files
    No, like I said, that's a myth. If you don't want to believe me see the following link, I'm not the only person who has done it, Booting Windows Vista/7 From a Logical Partition

  9. #9
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    Re: Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

    Just a side note. Once you have Win7 and Ubuntu installed and have Ubuntu set to boot first in grub, you can set grub to boot without displaying the grub menu. This will speed up your boot time. Then if you want to boot into windows, just press the shift key at boot up to get to the grub menu.
    My hometown on the Mississippi River.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Windows 7 and partitions, on Ubuntu machine

    @Herman
    I remember threads by you & .meierfra on booting XP in a logical, but did not know the work arounds could be used for Vista/7.
    But Windows MBR will not boot to a logical, but lilo will as that was the work around with XP. I assume syslinux will also as that is what Boot-Repair installs.

    Will Windows repair the PBR or run other repairs on the logical install? I have seen many users with issues and it seems like it just is easier to install Windows in primary partitions. Then it automatically keeps boot files configured correctly. And with multiple installs of Windows move boot flag before install to keep its boot files separate from first install.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







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