Linux-Windows dualboot systems

There were some changes in booting most recent Ubuntu and Windows versions. I happened to find out this last year the hard way. Previously it was very easy to install dualboot system if you were using Windows XP, 2000 or even older version. Then I had this new laptop with all bells and whistles… and Windows Vista preinstalled. After checking that everything worked, I started installing Linux the same way I had always done using Kubuntu 9.04. Linux was installed and everything seemed to be working. GRUB was installed on Master Boot Record (MBR), Linux booted normally.

Then I tried to boot Windows, and it did not work. Windows tried to re-install itself, and the result was messed up MBR. Even Linux did not boot up anymore. Fortunatelly I had a handy tool available. BootIt NG comes as a bootable CD, and you can use it to repair the messed MBR.

With Ubuntu the problem is that current versions do not allow custom installation of GRUB (and they use GRUB2, to be more specific). This means problems with multiboot systems. You can circumvent this by using server edition and installing X and other desktop stuff with apt-get install xubuntu-desktop.

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