Alright, so I begin knowing that their are many such posts out their such as this. This however, is what worked for me, and so i thought i would share. My experience was mostly trial and error and my solution came from researching other fixes. For this guide I am assuming that you know your way around your mac fairly well. Although if i have posted this in the wrong place, i apologize. But i digress...
My hardware: MacbookPro8,2
- Lion recovery partition getting in the way
- Windows not booting after installing Ubuntu…. "missing operating system"
- refit not installing properly
download and install got fdisk for mac... http://sourceforge.net/projects/gptfdisk/
download rEFIt... http://refit.sourceforge.net/
MAKE BACKUP: once gdisk is installed go to terminal and type 'sudo disk /dev/disk0'. it will take you to the disk menu. once there enter 'b', and type a file name (it will automatically save in your home folder). once finish quit by entering 'q'
installing refit... many people have difficulty installing refit. the trick is to install it manually (check out refit's documentation). reboot and you should see your new loader.
partition your disk... you need to create two new partitions for windows and linux (disk utility works just fine). format both of them to FAT.
install windows 7.... in the installer format the disk you want windows on as ntfs and finish through installation (note:your computer will reboot several times and each time it does make sure to boot from your new windows partition under refit). Once its all finished go ahead and install your boot camp drivers. your eject key won't work yet so you'll have to eject the setup disk from the control panel.
install ubuntu... for this you are going to need both a live usb and live cd. create live usb: http://www.nightlion.net/guides/2011...line-diskutil/ and for the live cd simply burn the .iso with disk utility. with both the cd and the usb inserted in the computer, reboot and hold down the 'C' key on restart. It may take several minutes but you should get to the installer. In the installer select the advanced installation option. format and use the partition you set aside for linux. set the mount point to '/' and *install the grub boot loader to whatever partition your installing linux on. It will give you a warning about not having a swap partition, but you can ignore this for now and create a swap file inside your ubuntu later. install and reboot back into lion
At the moment you now have a screwed up hybrid mbr table (this is because most likely your lion recovery disk uses one of your precious mbr slots)
in order to fix this we are going to create a new hybrid mbr table. i have attached screenshots of this process.
reopen terminal and again type 'sudo gdisk /dev/disk0'. this time enter 'r'. and then 'p'. this will print your partitions. now you need to create your hmbr so type 'h'. it will now ask you for the partitions you wish to enter. referring to the printed partition list, add your lion, windows and linux partitions. (in my case 2 4 5). next it will ask you to place efi partition first, select 'y'. now it will ask you for the mbr hex code for each partition. the codes you want are 'AF' for lion, '07' for windows, and '83' for linux. don't set any of the bootable flags. once finish enter 'w' to write these changes to the disks. You can also enter 'q' if you want to quit without saving changes. reboot and now you should be able to boot into each of your OSes.
Tip: if for some reason it doesn't work and you want to restore your gpt table, simply go back to gdisk, enter 'r', enter 'l', and then type your backup filename. reboot and you'll no longer have you win or linux partitions but your gpt will gpt table will be back to normal.
i hope this helps any and all of you. its not the prettiest guides and for that i apologize, but if you have any questions i'd be glad to answer them.
EDIT: if you want a 'common' partition, simply create three new partition at the beginning(one for win7, one for ubuntu, one for common).
If you decide that you want a shared partition after you install win7 and ubuntu, simply create a new partition and the recreate your hybrid mbr as described above.