View Full Version : Dualboot Vista and Ubuntu

30-06-08, 02:37
Well...I have two hard drives, one has Vista and one has XP, and I wanted to replace the one with XP with Ubuntu.. and I can't quite figure out how to do it. :p I'm actually on Ubuntu using the Live CD right now, and I'm not sure exactly how to do it, and I don't wanna screw anything up, because I don't have a CD with Vista on it to reinstall if anything happens...my laptop didn't come with one. So...anyone know exactly how?

tlr online
30-06-08, 03:03
I resized my partition in Windows Vista then installed UBuntu using the CD I downloaded. Ubuntu installs GRUB during the installation process, which is a boot loader, so you can choose whether to load Windows or Ubuntu. I warn you tho, GRUB is a ***** to remove if you decide later to remove Ubuntu. If you are just curious or exploring Linux for the first time, I would recommend using a dedicated HDD.

30-06-08, 03:37
It is actually quite simple to restore the MBR to it's pre GRUB state if you have an install CD handy. Given that you do not have one though, I would discourage you from doing this. Even XP and Vista use different bootloaders from each other, and I have only restored the MBR going from a dual boot back to a single boot, not from triple to dual. I'm not positive if the same method can be used or not.

To go from a dual boot XP/Ubuntu back to single boot XP:
boot into windows
go to disc management
format the linux partition/drive
put in the XP install CD
reboot computer from the CD
go into recovery console
enter the commands below when you get to the command prompt (you need to have the admin password to even get to that point)


accept the changes and restart the PC

The above should be pretty similar for a Vista/Ubuntu dual boot returning to Vista Single boot. But like I said, I have never tried it with Vista much less a triple to dual boot setup.

As TLR mentioned, the Ubuntu Live install CD does have an automatic partitioner on it that has an option stating something like "Resize current partition and install in leftover space". Or, if you are dead set on getting rid of XP, make sure that you know the exact size of the drive/partition that it is installed on - there are no drive letters in linux to help with that so a good knowledge of the drive size will help greatly in this matter. Also knowing whether it is the primary/master drive and what partition it is in. Drive labels under linux look like this:

hda1 or sda1
hda2 or sda2
hdb1 or sdb1
hdb2 or sdb2

*first letter depending on drive type - ATA, SATA, SCSI
*second letter stands for "drive"
*third letter represents location - "a" for master, "b" for slave
*number represents partition - 0 for first partition, 1 for second, 2 for third etc...

Another thing you can do to keep your current config (if your BIOS has option to boot from USB drive), boot from the CD and install the OS on an external USB hard drive (may want to disconnect the IDE drives first to ensure that GRUB gets written to the USB drive and not to the MBR of the primary IDE drive). Now you can carry your Ubuntu wherever you want. As long as the machine you are going to be using has a boot option for USB hard drives, you can boot from that drive with out messing with the internal drives' configurations.

30-06-08, 04:42
Thanks, I got it installed. It's updating. :D

30-06-08, 04:53
keep us posted if you run into any problems.

It is possible to alter the GRUB loader behavior by editing the menu.list file on the Linux partition/drive. You can change it to load windows as the default option instead of linux, change the timer (if I am correct), or add a splash screen!

30-06-08, 10:46
I can't get it to connect to my wireless network. It doesn't even see it..

30-06-08, 18:52
does ubuntu recognize the wireless card?

if so, try to manually set up the connection by entering the network name and any type of encryption information.

Were you on LAN connection when you installed and updated?

30-06-08, 19:43
does ubuntu recognize the wireless card?

if so, try to manually set up the connection by entering the network name and any type of encryption information.

Were you on LAN connection when you installed and updated?

Well, it's got drivers for an Atheros wireless card.

I couldn't figure out where to do that...

LAN would be wired, correct? If so, yes.

30-06-08, 19:46

check that link for some documentation on wireless, it should help you get it figured out.