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Does Linux grub replace Windows MBR?

Q. I’m willing to try out Ubuntu Linux but my question is Does Linux grub replace Windows MBR? Can I dual boot between Windows and Linux system?

A. Yes when you install GRUB on first partition, windows MBR get replaced. In most cases GRUB automatically adds an entry for Windows XP / Vista so that you can enjoy dual booting out of box after Ubuntu Linux installation.

In case if you made any mistakes while performing Linux installation you can restore GRUB.

I recommend making a backup of all important data / files before making any changes to MBR / file system or operating system or Ubuntu Linux installation.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Gagan Brahmi September 10, 2007, 2:32 am

    You need to make sure that while installing the Linux on the machine you leave a part of the drive unassigned. Once you are at the installation screen, you will see the unassigned partition where you can install the Linux. During the course of installation Grub will ask you the default OS that is to be booted, you can select the value. Generally, the windows os is not recognized so Grub will read it as “Others” which can be named later on in the /boot/grub/grub.conf file.

  • nixCraft September 11, 2007, 11:29 am


    Thanks for contributing valuable notes. I appreciate your feedback.

  • warl0ck September 13, 2007, 12:07 am

    I suppose people have misunderstood, if you install
    grub on your *hard disk*, The MBR of the disk
    is replaced by grub and not the Windows MBR, if you
    install grub on a windows partition then it will
    overwrite the windows MBR. Remember

    Bios –> Hard Disk (MBR) –> MBR Finds the active partition (0x80) –> Loads the boot loader at sector
    0 of the active partition and passes control.

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