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Install Dual-Boot of Linux Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) on a computer with Windows Vista installed (Vista installed first and Linux's GRUB2 controlling startup after Linux installation)

Last reviewed: April 2012

Do you want Linux Ubuntu 12.04 to be in control of your Windows Vista + Ubuntu dual-boot?

These guides will show you how to get a Linux GRUB2 boot loader menu when you install Linux Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) on a Windows Vista computer and create a dual-boot between the two operating systems. Linux itself 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 - the partition on which Ubuntu is installed.

In this case the Linux partition is marked as Active and therefore must be a Primary partition, preferably on the first disk though you can use a second disk. The original MBR and Windows boot loader remain unchanged and you can easily restore the Windows-controlled boot by just marking the originally active partition as Active again.

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

Basically, either of the above two options convert your Windows-based computer to a Linux-based computer - one that will allow you to bootup to Windows Vista whenever you wish.

However, if you decide to let Windows (BCD) continue controlling your computer then go here.

Or if you just want a simple method to try Ubuntu for a short period, you should go to this page

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