Use Windows and Linux together on the same computer

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on December 20, 2007



Recently we got a mail from one of readers who is not able to boot from Linux on his computer after he had installed Windows XP.There was Linux already installed on his computer.

All this has actually occurred because of wrong order of install of these operating system.


It is always desired that you install windows before you install Linux as the installation other way round would result in corrupted boot-loader and you will not get the option to boot from Linux.

Due to wrong sequence of installation of windows over a Linux system, windows erases the existing boot-loader from boot sector of the hard disk. It overwrites existing boot sector with the windows boot-loader (NTLDR).


But don’t worry as you can simply fix this using a Linux bootable CD /DVD.

Boot the computer with the Linux bootable CD / DVD.

1. At the boot prompt, type ‘linux rescue‘ (without quotes) and hit enter.
2. Continue with the default options through the prompts.
3. When you get to a bash prompt, type ‘chroot /mnt/sysimage’ (I think that’s the path).
4. Then, type ‘/sbin/grub-install /dev/hda’ (assuming, hda is your system drive).

5. Eject the cd /dvd and reboot your computer ,you will see the default grub bootloader which allows you to boot both with windows and Linux

Hope this info fixes up the trouble.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Walter December 20, 2007 at 10:12 am

Good post but just enough info to get into trouble and not out.

Hopefully you will be able to continue using the previous grub configuration but if your Linux didn’t put in an entry to the menu-list.lst file you might now not be able to see Windows. So here is what you might have to add. However, if you use jiffy you might have to modify a totally different file. Hope this helps.

As an example—–


title Yoper Linux (2.6.23-12)
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.23-12 ro root=LABEL=/ hdc=ide-scsi
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.23-12.img
title Yoper Linux (2.6.23-12-openmosix3)
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.23-12-openmosix3 ro root=/dev/hda2 hdc=ide-scsi
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.23-12-openmosix3.img
title Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

That Guy December 21, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Also worth noting is if you move Windows to the top of the list it will become the default OS that is loaded. I usually do that and shorten the timeout to 3, or if your grub contains a default as Walter’s does, you can just change that number to the partition number for example say you have XP installed at hda(0,2) you would set it to 2.

Nick December 21, 2007 at 6:16 pm

You can just use the superGRUB CD. (you can download it) Then you can install GRUB onto the MBR, assuming you have some sort of linux installation somewhere on a disk.

Jabeen April 16, 2008 at 10:41 pm

I have installed windows XP and Fedora linux on my Pc. But, sounds and Vodeos dosent work in linux. How should I solve this problem.

Please suggest.

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