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Thread: New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

  1. #1
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    New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

    This is a pretty noob question (been using Ubuntu since 8.04) but I haven't needed to adjust my current setup (16.04) in years. I need to use some Windows software for work so I need to update my W7 partition.

    If I remember correctly, if I do a new install it will mess up my GRUB configuration. What would I need to do to fix GRUB/get back into my Ubuntu install?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

    If a BIOS system, be sure to backup partition table.
    Windows has a bug where it rewrites partition table on major updates & "forgets" to include Linux logical partitions.
    Partition is still there & just needs to be added back to partition table.
    backup partition table before any changes, so you can get back to current if changes not correct
    sudo sfdisk -d /dev/sda > PT_sda.txt
    parted rescue or testdisk can also restore partition table, but best to know details like sectors:
    So you know sectors:
    sudo parted /dev/sda unit s print

    Then be sure to have full backup. Any major change can cause issues.
    You do not normally need to backup Ubuntu as easy to reinstall, but need all your data, settings from /home, list of installed apps to make it easy to reinstall. You may need some settings from /etc if you made system wide changes. I edit grub files, but copy into /home the changes so my backup of /home includes a copy of my /etc changes. If you have installed server type apps, then those folders in / will also need backup.

    If newer UEFI system, now would then be a good time to convert to UEFI boot on gpt drive. But that will redo entire system and both Windows & Ubuntu would need to be reinstalled in UEFI boot mode. You can convert a drive from MBR to gpt, but Windows wants a lot of additional partitions with UEFI, so better to just totally reinstall.
    Last edited by oldfred; March 27th, 2020 at 03:45 PM.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  3. #3
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    Exclamation Re: New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

    Quote Originally Posted by wewantutopia View Post
    I need to use some Windows software for work so I need to update my W7 partition.
    i would advice you to upgrade to 10.

    if you need 7 for some specific software to be used i would say you stay offline if possible.

    just my 2 cents.

  4. #4
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    Re: New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

    Thanks for the replies. My system is older; still has bios.

    I backed up my partition table and saved my drive data.

    I haven't used my W7 partition in years. New software for work requires Windows so I will be install W10 OVER the existing W7 installation so no more W7.

    Thanks for the replies. I will check back if I have any other hangups.

  5. #5
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    Re: New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

    Ubuntu 16.04 is getting a bit old too, so you may take the opportunity to fresh install both Linux and Windows to a new release.

  6. #6
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    Re: New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

    I know that 16.04 is pretty old but it is still supported and it is setup just how I like it; I'm not ready to switch yet.

    So... I tried to install W10 but now I am plagued with the "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI system, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks" problem.

    Is there anyway to "convert" my old MBR disk to a GPT while keeping my current Ubuntu install and dual boot setup??

  7. #7
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    Re: New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

    You said system was older and BIOS.
    But you must have booted Windows installer in UEFI boot mode.
    Windows only installs in BIOS boot mode to MBR.
    Windows only installs in UEFI boot mode to gpt.
    You can convert MBR to gpt, but at minimum have to reinstall grub and update fstab. Often easier to reinstall & restore from backups.

    If you boot Windows installer in BIOS boot mode, it should then install in BIOS mode to your MBR drive.
    Windows in UEFI mode wants lots of extra partitions, But can be installed to unallocated space on gpt drive with Ubuntu and usually (not always) Ubuntu is ok. But you still need good backups.

    BIOS & UEFI Windows partitions, note system has totally different format & meaning between BIOS & UEFI
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/lib...=vs.85%29.aspx &
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...Configurations
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/lib...Configurations
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  8. #8
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    Re: New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

    I've installed windows 10 on an MBR drive with no problems so you should be able to do it. According to the link below at a windows forum (see the last post), you need to enable Legacy/CSM in the BIOS firmware and disable secure boot. I'm not sure that secure boot needs to be disabled but Legacy/CSM boot must be enabled. If you convert to GPT and install windows UEFI you will need to do the same with Ubuntu.

    https://www.tenforums.com/general-su...ws-10-mbr.html

  9. #9
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    Re: New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

    So my bios has support for uefi which i turned off. I then used the --workaround-bios-boot-flag for WoeUSB to make the bootable W10 usb. That worked and I was able to install W10 alongside my existing 16.04.

    Now... When it restarts there is no grub, no w10, it appears to be in a bootloop.

    I tried a Ubuntu live USB session with boot-repair doing the "recommended repair" but that didn't change anything.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Re: New Windows 10 install Over Existing Windows 7 Partion

    Any ideas?
    If you don't understand what is happening, the best thing is to ask for advice and running the "recommended repair" was definitely not the best first step. When you run boot repair, you should see an option to Create BootInfo Summary which you should select. When it finishes, you should get a link which you can post here so that some of the experts here can take a look at what happened. There are a number of possible problems and rather than have people guess, best to run boot repair and post the link here.

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