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Thread: Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

  1. #1
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    Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

    I am currently running a dualboot with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.10. I want to install windows 8 on another partition, but im not sure how the bootloader will work. Right now when i turn on my PC im presented with grub with a ubuntu and windows 7 entry, but when i install windows 8 which bootloader will take over. Will the windows 8 bootloader find automatically find windows 7 and ubunty, or will grub find windows 8?

  2. #2
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    Re: Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

    Installing win8 will install windows bootloader to the MBR. It can't boot ubuntu so you will have to restore grub2 to the MBR after that from live mode. So, have your ubuntu cd at hand.

    Another important fact: Windows combines boot files from two or more installations and puts them on the partition with the boot flag. If you want win7 and win8 boot files to be separate, first create ntfs partition for win8 in advance (from win7 for example, or ubuntu), put the boot flag on it instead of the win7 partition, and only then start the win8 installer.

    That way grub2 can show both entries for win7 and win8. Otherwise there will be only one entry for the combined windows files, and then a second screen to select between 7 and 8.

    Also, for this to work the new partition for win8 has to be primary too.

    All of the above is for msdos partition table and legacy boot. If you are using uefi boot I don't know how exactly it will go, I don't use uefi.
    Darko.
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    Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 10 Pro 64bit

  3. #3
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    Re: Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

    In general, whichever OS is installed last will overwrite the other bootloaders. So if you install Ubuntu first and Windows second, the Windows install will overwrite grub. If you want grub back, it's as simple as booting the live disk and using Boot Repair:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair
    If you would rather use the Windows boot loader, you can add an entry using EasyBCD or some other tools so that Windows can "see" your Ubuntu install. This works the same way with Windows 7 and 8, though 8 has the new snazzy tile boot menu. You can check out some more info here: http://lifehacker.com/5840387/how-to-dual+boot-windows-7-and-windows-8-side-by-side

    As for your case, Windows 8 will likely see your existing Windows 7 partition when you install and boot up, but not your Ubuntu partitions (unless it's NTFS). The thing you need to be most careful with is hidden partitions, the 4 primary partition limit of MBR drives(if applicable), other stuff. Best of luck!
    Last edited by naano; February 8th, 2013 at 12:13 AM. Reason: fixed the second link

  4. #4
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    Re: Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

    Even if you create an NTFS partition for Win8, it will still most likely write its boot loader files into the Win7 partition -- that's what it did to me when I did the same thing.

    When you boot, the Win8 boot loader will have an entry for Win8 and another one for Win7.

    When you install GRUB, the os_prober will see the boot loader in the Win7 partition but will know that it's Windows 8 -- so the entry will say Windows 8 Loader.

    When you select that, you will the the Windows os selection screen and then will have to select Win8 or Win7.
    Ubuntu 16.10 Mate, Mint 18 Mate; MS Win 8.1, MS Win10 Pro.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
    Even if you create an NTFS partition for Win8, it will still most likely write its boot loader files into the Win7 partition -- that's what it did to me when I did the same thing.
    It did that even when you moved the boot flag before installing it?

    It shouldn't, unless they made changes again (read messed up ). On the other hand, just creating a partition is not enough unless you move the boot flag before you start the installer. It will put the files where the boot flag is.
    Darko.
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    Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 10 Pro 64bit

  6. #6
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    Re: Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

    Ok so i need to do this?:

    -create an ntfs partition for windows 8 (using win7)
    -move boot flag to the win8 partition
    -install win8 on that partition
    -after win8 install, boot into live ubuntu and run boot repair

    Im confused about moving the boot flag. What does that really mean and how do it do it?

  7. #7
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    Re: Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

    Correct.

    The easiest way to move the boot flag would probably be from ubuntu live mode using Gparted. You right-click the win7 partition first, select Manage Flags in the submenu that opens, and remove boot flag.
    Then you do the same on the win8 partition to activate the boot flag there. Save changes and close Gparted.

    Reboot with the win8 dvd and start the install.
    Darko.
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    Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64bit & Windows 10 Pro 64bit

  8. #8
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    Re: Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

    OK I have really bad news...my PC won't boot into an os.
    I decided to remove Ubuntu because I didn't want it anymore( I just wanted to dual boot win8 and win7) . so i used easybcd to write the MBR to the win7 boot loader, then I deleted my Ubuntu partition and swap partition. I then deleted my dell recovery partition to get some more space (which I now regret,). I then needed to merge the unallocated space I created, so i used easues partition manager to move my c: drive to the left and have the unallocated space beside each other. When the PC rebooted after applying the changes, I get this error:

    PXE-E61 : media test failure check cable
    PXE-M0F : Exiting PXE ROM
    Insert bootable media and press any key to continue

    I'm really scared right now, please help.

  9. #9
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    Re: Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

    Welcome to windows. The more you try to do, especially with moving partitions around, the more problems can happen. You have too much faith in windows, you shouldn't have tried so many changes at once.

    On another note, you are aware that this is the ubuntu forum right? I don't want to sound harsh, and this is not a punishment for removing ubuntu, but since the topic has turned into windows issues, moving partitions, recovering them back, etc, I think you might find people who can help you more on the windows forums. They know more details about the windows tools.

    Obviously the repartitioning went wrong. I don't think easeus offers support for their free products, maybe their forum can help.

    The only thing I can think of using ubuntu in live session is trying to recover your partition with testdisk. But note that it might not be recoverable since you actually did try to move it with easeus. For example, if you delete a partition it is easier to recover than trying to move it. Deleting a partition doesn't remove/move data but moving a partition might actually try moving the data, which is more complicated to recover.

    Anyway, if you want to give it a shot:
    www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

    There are probably windows programs to try recover data but I don't know any, that's why I suggested the windows forums for more detailed info. Also, may programs that can recover files actually read the whole hdd and recover what they find but the files don't have the original names. So it can happen that you need to wait several hours and then spend further several hours checking which file is what and naming them accordingly.
    Darko.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Install Windows 8 after Ubuntu and Windows 7

    Quote Originally Posted by darkod View Post
    It did that even when you moved the boot flag before installing it?

    It shouldn't, unless they made changes again (read messed up ). On the other hand, just creating a partition is not enough unless you move the boot flag before you start the installer. It will put the files where the boot flag is.
    Good point ... I didn't move the boot flag (because basically, I didn't CARE where it wrote the boot loader files). So had I moved it, it probably would have done as you said.

    On another note, I did a Win8 install to a Win XP, Win7 PC and, as expected, it wrote the Win8 boot loader files to the XP partition -- where the boot flag is located.

    However that said, if you now have MULTIPLE partitions with boot loader files, only ONE of them can have the boot flag -- and the ones that don't might not be bootable anymore.
    Last edited by Mark Phelps; February 9th, 2013 at 04:54 PM.
    Ubuntu 16.10 Mate, Mint 18 Mate; MS Win 8.1, MS Win10 Pro.
    Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.

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