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[Restore GRUB after Windows Installer takes over]

In any Linux-based system, you have the ability to dual boot - that is, you're presented with a boot menu when you turn your computer on and you can boot into any one of multiple operating systems you have installed.

Linux being the well thought-out system that it is, quite happy sets up dual boot during the install process, and automatically sets up the menu items for any other operating systems you have installed. Windows install, however, is not so friendly. It takes over, and destroys any dual boot system you had set up prior to installing. The reason this happens is because Windows overwrites the MBR (Master Boot Record) to point only to itself, instead of pointing to the GRUB boot manager.

The good news - it's easy to get GRUB back!

  • Boot from a Live CD, like Ubuntu Live, Knoppix, Mepis, or similar
  • Open a Terminal
  • Type sudo grub which makes a GRUB prompt appear (or, in some Linux distros, switch to the root user with "su" and then just type "grub")
  • Type find /boot/grub/stage1 and you'll get a response like "(hd0)" or in my case "(hd0,3)"
  • Type root (hd0,3) of course making sure you type in exactly what was presented in the previous command
  • Type setup (hd0) (per above results, but only the first number such as hd0 or hd1, don't include the comma or anything after)
  • Type quit
  • Restart the system. Remove the bootable CD.

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