Upgrading to Windows 7 (Dual Boot with Ubuntu)

I’ve run with Vista for about a year now and on the whole have had no problems with it. Now I’m one of those people that hasn’t really had any problems with Vista – and frankly I’m not sure what all the fuss was about. Yeah, I was happy with XP and only upgraded to Vista because my new employer was using it.

So why was I looking to upgrade to Windows 7 now..? Well there were a number of reasons but the most pressing was that Vista was starting to get on my nerves. So some reason it started to run painfully slow. This was mainly due to the fact that the hard drive would be chattering away for a good 20 minutes after I had logged in – now that’s infuriating! What the hell was it doing.? Well I didn’t really have the drive to spend hours looking for the source so had just lived with it.


When Windows 7 hit Release Candidate I thought – “What the Hell”. If it all went to hell in a wheel barrow then I could either restore my XP system with the CD that came with the laptop or install Vista from the CD I had bought for the upgrade (OEM version purchased with a new HDD).


In a previous post I explained that how I configured the laptop to dual-boot with Vista/Ubuntu and when I took the decision to upgrade the Vista part of this configurations I had a few alarm bells going off in my head. Would it adversly affect my Ubuntu installation (apart from overwritting the grub bootloader), would it lose all my documents, music and photos.?


Well, it was as good a time as any to do some housekeeping on my systems to delete old stuff and backup the rest. So after my little spring clean I downloaded the latest Release Candidate (7100), burnt the iso to a CD and kicked off the setup process.


The first part of the process was to perform a compatibility check which advised me that Skype, SQL Server 2005 and my Sony Ericsson PC Suite may have problems running on the new operating system. No big deal, I knew that Skype had a fix for this and was pretty sure that Microsoft would sort out SQL Server. As for the mobile phone software – well I don’t ue it that much and if a new version was not available then it was no big deal.


The rest of the installation took about 4 hours and restarted the system a number of times – no interaction needed from me so that was good.


When the installation was complete I booted into Windows 7 and had a nose about – and although it’s early days I’m quite impressed. Impressed enough to buy it when it’s released..? Well let’s no get ahead of ourselves here :-).


Ok, so know I had a system running Windows 7 and a Ubuntu installation that I could not access – the grub bootloader had been overwritten (which I knew would happen before I started).


So, how do I reinstall grub so that I could get me dual boot back?


Well the Ubuntu Documentation has this article on just this process which worked like a charm for me. I used the first method (with the Live CD) and within 5 minutes I was booting into Ubuntu (which to my relief was still there).


3 thoughts on “Upgrading to Windows 7 (Dual Boot with Ubuntu)”

  1. Rich G – Teesside – Geek, cyclist, ecoist and bad photographer. I develop systems for HE and fiddle with WordPress. #MIEE #MCE #AdobeEduCreative Apple Teacher
    Richard says:

    Hmm, I’m having trouble doing exactly what you’ve done.
    I’ve got Vista and Ubuntu installed on one drive, dual booting with GRUB.
    Went to update Vista to 7 last night, it installs (took almost 2 hours), reboots a few times, then goes on to say that my install is being rolled back to Vista.
    Then it restarts in Vista and shows a message saying Windows 7 could not be installed, please run the upgrade advisor.
    I try and run that but it can’t connect to the server (tried disabling firewalls etc).
    When I first run the installer it tells me iTunes and Symantec Endpoint Protection aren’t compatible, but I figure that can’t make the installer crap out, the software will just be broken until I upgrade them to Windows 7 versions.
    Might just flatten the Vista partition and do a fresh 7 install…

  2. What a pain! My experience was so different (although the process did take twice as long as yours).
    It could be a compatibility problem I suppose but you will need to download the Upgrade Adviser somehow to find out.
    Paving your hard drive is sometimes a good idea anyway but I always forget to backup a document or a file and realise anout 30 seconds too late!

  3. Hello!
    Thanks for the input. I modified the script a bit and it runs on one machine of our Ubuntu 8.04 LTS server cluster. Hope you like the implementation of the script…
    #set -x
    g_currip=$(wget -q -O – http://www.whatismyip.com/automation/n09230945.asp)
    if [ -f $g_lastip ]; then
    # Update known IP with last saved one.
    l_knowip=$(cat $g_lastip)
    # In case no IP file found continue…
    # touch $g_lastip
    # echo $g_currip >> “$g_lastip”
    if [ “$g_currip” != “$l_knowip” ]; then
    # Remove and update the IP file here.
    rm $g_lastip
    touch $g_lastip
    echo $g_currip >> “$g_lastip”
    # Now update trusty OpenDNS service…
    wget -O – -q –http-user=account –http-passwd=password https://updates.opendns.com/nic/update

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