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Question regarding dual bootting Windows and Ubuntu

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Syrne
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Hi there,

I am not sure if this is the correct forum for this, but I am currently working with an HPC machine for business use and it is currently running Ubuntu 11.04 (I have yet to update due to software incompatibilities).

Anyways, some of the users would prefer to be working within a Windows environment and other in a Linux environment. I found that my best solution would be to dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu, but when looking further into that process, I found that it's not the easiest task as Windows likes to overwrite the Linux boot manager making the machine incapable of starting Ubuntu.

I currently have the necessary Windows software in hand (Windows HPC Server 2008 SP3), but I am a little weary about attempting an install without knowing the exact steps to take in order to avoid losing Ubuntu.

So there lies my question, would anyone mind stepping me through the process of dual-booting Windows (preferably HPC Server 2008, but I'm sure they're all similar) and Linux while keeping both boot managers in tact? In the end I'd like to be prompted which OS to boot when starting the HPC.

Thank you very much!

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tarael1
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Aloha from the Big Island,
I am using a dual boot system with Win 7 and Suse 11.4. I have experienced this problem before with XP and an earlier version of Suse. Fortunately Suse has a repair feature that will allow you to recover an installed system. I don't know if Ubuntu has that feature but I have been disappointed by other Ubuntu features so I stick to Suse.
You are correct that once you instal windoze the linux boot loader will disappear. If you do a reinstall of Ubuntu (perhaps an upgrade) after a Windows install you should get the boot loader back and it will recognize the windows installation as well. Of course you must back up your home partition but you likely have done that already. Also if you partition the hard drive before you install Windoze it won't mess with anything else but the partition you give it.
Suse does not overwrite the home partition unless you ask it to. I'm not familiar with the Ubuntu configuration tool that allows you to change boot loader settings. In Suse it is Yast - a very full featured services tool that is quite easy to use and almost flawless.
If I were you I'd try this an a machine that is of little consequence.
Good Luck
Tarael

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jbennet
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If windows nukes grub (the ubuntu bootloader) you can easialy fix it by booting off the livecd and running a few commands (grub-install hd0 normally does it)

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Syrne
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Thanks, both of you! I'm in the process of partitioning the drive now, (cutting 2.3TB in half, this should be a fun wait XD) so hopefully all goes well. I'll leave this unsolved for now just in case I have any further questions. If not, I'll mark it solved.

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Syrne
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So I ran into an issue that seems completely irrelevant to this forum.

The OS disc that was supplied for me (Wndows HPC Server 2008) will not boot. I tried booting from both my HPC machine and a normal laptop and it does not recognize any sort of bootable file on the disc.

I searched the disc and the only relevant file I found was something call "boot.wim". Would you guys happen to know what needs to be done to make this file bootable? Thanks!

EDIT: There are setup files on the disc that can be run in a Windows environment, but not in Linux (obviously). The Linux machine is where I need it to install!

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DJSAN10
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Here is a link that might get all your concepts pretty much clear
http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/dual-boot-windows-7-ubuntu.html

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tarael1
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Aloha,
Did you remember to go into your Setup (BIOS) menu and set the first boot to CD/DVD?

Tarael

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Syrne
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Aloha,
Did you remember to go into your Setup (BIOS) menu and set the first boot to CD/DVD?

Tarael

Of course. :)

I found that the issue was with a wrong version of the software (what I had was merely an expansion suite as opposed to the base OS, Microsoft is not very clear about their HPC software).

Everything should be fine now. Thanks for all of your help!

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Syrne
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I actually have another question.

I encountered an issue while trying to install Windows, it cannot find any drives.

Before this I made sure to partition my drive using GParted and then format it to NTFS file system. Is this all I have to do for Windows to recognize it, or is there more?

I know the disk is fine because the BIOS sees it and I can boot normally in Ubuntu, it's just that Windows cannot see the NTFS partition I made. Thank you!

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jbennet
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I actually have another question.

I encountered an issue while trying to install Windows, it cannot find any drives.

Before this I made sure to partition my drive using GParted and then format it to NTFS file system. Is this all I have to do for Windows to recognize it, or is there more?

I know the disk is fine because the BIOS sees it and I can boot normally in Ubuntu, it's just that Windows cannot see the NTFS partition I made. Thank you!

Your disk controller may not be supported "out of the box". To get windows to install on my server, for example, I had to put the disk array driver on a floppy for setup to see it.

Question Answered as of 2 Years Ago by jbennet, tarael1 and DJSAN10
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