Re: installing Windows 8
by Kees_B - 11/23/12 11:24 AM
In Reply to: Original install by eddiener
I did that today with a full version (not an update version) of Windows 8 (downloaded from Technet as an evaluation copy). I installed onto a disk that had a bootable Linux, a non-bootable NTFS partition and some 100 GB unallocated space (freed by shrinking the Linux partition).
It installed fine, but blew up the BCD, so although the Linux partition was still there, it couldn't be reached. Then (because there was nothing to keep on the Linux partition) I deleted that (with a GPARTED) disk and installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "next to Windows 8". It nicely installed itself in the newly unallocated space, and in the BCD, so the next boot let me choose between Windows 8 and Linux, as expected.
To install Ubuntu I had to disconnect another disk (the disk I boot from regularly) temporarily, but that wasn't a real issue.
There was no Windows 7 on that disk, so I don't know what the Windows 8 install would have done with that. The two options:
(a) it would have removed it from the BCD. Then use a program like EasyBCD to add it again. Should work.
(b) it would have added itself to the BCD, so you would get multiboot between Windows 7 and 8. Then the above reinstall of Linux would have worked the same.
It's common to install Linux after Windows for this reason. Of course, if you have an image of the Linux partition, you can restore that later, so effectively you only use the install of Linux to update the BCD. For fixing the BCD of you install Windows after Linux, see https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DualBoot/WindowsLast (and noet it says it's option b above!).
Since you write you already have a 'multi-boot manager' I expect you can solve the issues with the BCD you run into. Of course, having a backup of the BCD makes sense.
If you install Windows 8 on a non-allocated part of a disk, it won't touch other partitions (neither NTFS nor Linux), but it erases the existing BCD on that disk (or adds one if it doesn't yet have it). But I didn't try with a bootable partition on that disk.
It might make sense to disconnect other disks, and use your tools to add the new Windows partition to the BCD on the disk you usually boot from. Or uset he BIOS boot device selection (F11 on my MSI motherbord) to boot from the disk you installed Windows 8 on if it's the only OS on it.
And it might make sense to make a full image of that disk, just in case the Windows 8 install decides to harm an existing bootable Windows 7 partition (I didn't try that, my NTFS partition was storage only). But maybe just using GPARTED to clean the 'this is a bootable partition' indication during the Windows 8 install (and setting it later again to 'bootable') is fine also.
Hope this helps.
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