I'm thinking of dual booting Windows 7 with one of the latest versions of Ubuntu. I'm curious which would be the better way to go: installing Windows first and then Ubuntu, or the other way around. For those that have gone down this road, what insights can you offer?
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While I haven't dual booted in many years I have been administrating CentOS servers for several years and playing with Ubuntu and Fedora on the desktop recently.
You have to go Windows first and then what ever version on Linux you want to use. The reason is the Windows installation likes to believe it is the only game in town and will generally blow the boot sector away and install it's own. Linux is nicer and if it does replace the boot sector it places the existing OS information in it's boot loader so you get the choice of both OS's.
I have read about changing the Windows boot loader to accomodate Linux, but I haven't tried it and wouldn't really like to touch it with a ten foot pole as the saying goes.
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I would ALWAYS go with installing Windows first.... back in the day, Windows always overwrote the MBR and therefore you couldn't boot to other OS's present in the system until you fixed what Windows broke. I believe they have since fixed that little annoyance, but I'd still trust Linux to know how to handle other coexistant operating systems better than Windows would.