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Install Dual-Boot of Linux Ubuntu 11.04 on a Windows Vista computer (Vista installed first and Linux's GRUB2 controlling startup after Linux installation)

Last reviewed: June 2011

These guides will show you how to get a Linux GRUB2 boot loader menu when you install Linux Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) on a Windows Vista computer and create a dual-boot between the two operating systems. Linux is installed on its own partition or drive.

You must first decide on where you wish to install GRUB2. It can be over the current MBR or on the Linux partition. In both cases a Linux-controlled boot menu will appear during bootup and will allow you to boot either operating system.

Where do you want to install the Linux boot loader (GRUB2) ?


Option 1. To the MBR (Master Boot Record). Normally at the start of the first Primary partition on the first hard disk.

Doing this overwrites the existing Windows-created MBR and boot loader (BCD) and makes it a little difficult to restore Windows as a single entity should you wish to do so at a later time. It has the advantage that the Linux partition is not marked as Active and you can install Linux itself on a Logical partition if necessary.

If you want to use Option 1 (To the MBR) then go to this page


Option 2. To the Linux partition.

In this case the Linux partition is marked as Active and therefore must be a Primary partition, preferably on the first disk. If installing on a second hard disk, you must also alter the BIOS to look for an Active partition on that disk first during bootup. However the original MBR and Windows boot loader remain unchanged and you can easily restore the Windows-controlled boot by just making the originally active partition Active again.

If you want to use Option 2 (To the Linux partition) then go to this page

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However, if you decide to let Windows (BCD) continue controlling the startup then go to this page.

If you just want a simple method to try Ubuntu for a period, you should go to here

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

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