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However, I believe that by default Windows overwrites the master boot record, so after installing Windows you will need to go back and re-install GRUB onto the device.
I used to believe this too. I actually installed Windows 7 onto a partition the other day and sure enough when my computer booted up, my usual grub legacy didn't boot up. I booted a live cd and reconfigured my boot partition to be the first boot device, and on reboot everything was normal, and when i selected windows from the menu, it chainloaded it fine. If it had have been on the mbr, i'd think the chain load wouldn't work. I suspect that Windows does what Opensuse does (which i hate) and that is; the bootloader is installed to the root partition but it is configured automatically to be the first boot device.
To clarify that, the bootloader of NT6 (Vista, 7) is a multi-stage bootloader, like Grub. It's first stage resides in the MBR, the second stage resides in the partitions boot-sector, the third stage is a program called bootmgr, which is found in the root directory of the system partition.
If for whatever reason Windows has not replaced the MBR on your system then you had the luck that the installer failed to write to the MBR.
The only reason I could see windows not overwriting the MBR is if you used two hard drives. If your linux drive was made secondary while while windows was installed on the other drive and then you later swapped the drives you would still have grub because windows wrote to the second MBR. of course if thats the case you will most likely have to update grub to include windows.