a word of warning for Linux users planning on installing Windows 7

I’m a Linux user.

However, I’m not like some Linux users who fear microsoft, and won’t ever use a microsoft product.
I use Linux because I prefer it. Not because ‘it’s not microsoft.’
I use gmail because it’s better than hotmail.
If hotmail were better, I’d use it. I just use what I think is best for me, regardless of the company behind the product.
I’ve criticized Microsoft a lot. The reason? They deserve it.
Vista was beyond a disaster.
Office, however, is a brilliant product. It has no deserving rival (proprietary or open).
As much as Linux users may disagree, OpenOffice.org is not as good.
Still, for most people, it is good enough. All I ever do in OpenOffice.org is write basic documents and spreadsheets, so I don’t really care. I do care about being able to use software on all platforms, which open source software tends to be really good about. For that reason I use OpenOffice.org. My home Arch Linux desktop, my personal Linux laptop and my work Windows laptop all run the same basic software (OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Pidgin, Thunderbird, Google Chrome – actually Chromium etc..)
I want the same app everywhere.
Anyway, back on topic.
I dual boot my desktop to play games. WINE is not a good solution.
I’d been dual booting with Windows XP for a while.
As a disclaimer: I never boot Windows except to play games (or do something that MUST be done in Windows).
So, back to installing Windows 7.
Usually, when I get a new PC, I install Windows first choosing a partition that’s big enough for a few games (100GB is usually enough), and then install Linux. Why? Because then GRUB can worry about my MBR.
Anytime you reinstall Windows, Windows replaces your MBR (grub stage 1), meaning you can no longer boot into Linux.
The usual way around this is to boot a Linux liveCD, load up a terminal and push GRUB back to the MBR, like this:

$ grub
$ find /boot/grub/stage1 //then use the given number for ‘#’ in the next line
$ root (hd#,#)
$ setup (hd0)
$ quit

What this code does is search your Linux filesystem for GRUB stage 1. You then copy GRUB (identifying your volume & partition) back to the MBR.

My partition looks like this

hd0,0 Windows NTFS

hd0,1 Linux / Ext4

hd0,2 Linux home Ext4

hd0,3 Linux Swap

The problem I encountered was that for some unknown reason (at least to me) Windows created an extra partition.


The solution is to edit your /boot/grub/grub.conf file and add one to the previous partition number (as hd0,1 is now an extra windows partition, hd0,2 is now your ‘/’)

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  <span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: small;">It&#8217;s easy enough, but it did have me confused for a few minutes while I figured out what Windows had done.</span></span>
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