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Old 06-07-2015, 10:18 AM   #1
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Installing GRUB Bootloader on Harddrive with existing Windows operating system?

Hi folks!,

i'm planning to install Arch-Linux next to my already installed Windows Operatingsystem (on the same hard drive).

If I run grub-install /dev/sda, will this be harmful to my Windows partition?

I understand that all grub-install does is that it tells the MBR to give control to GRUB on system boot, but does this not make the required space of the MBR bigger, and therefor overwrite some of the files of my partition?

Thanks for any helpful answers in advance!
Old 06-07-2015, 12:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by AsspieRing View Post
If I run grub-install /dev/sda, will this be harmful to my Windows partition?
Is your Windows system running in EFI-mode?

If not, use these commands to install and configure GRUB:
# pacman -S grub os-prober
# grub-install --recheck /dev/sda
# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Providing os-prober is installed, GRUB will pick up Windows and provide a menu entry for it.

If you have a UEFI system I recommend using gummiboot rather than GRUB as it is much easier to set up and troubleshoot.

In the case of a UEFI system, you should use the Windows-generated EFI system partition (it will be the only FAT-formatted partition and `gdisk -l /dev/sda` will identfiy it as type "EF00") and mount /boot (not /boot/efi) to this partition.

When installing Arch, follow the guide linked in my signature.

Do not be tempted to use random blog guides or YouTube videos, these are *all* outdated and/or error-ridden.

If you do not know if your system is UEFI, load up a live distribution (any will do) and post the output of:
# parted -l
Old 06-07-2015, 05:18 PM   #3
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Just adding to the good comments above. It has been some time since I made a dual boot, but the question is are you working with a production windows or a fresh windows install? If you are working with a clean slate, I prefer the 4 partition method:

Tiny FAT boot partition
Windows NTFS Partition
Linux EXT3 Partition (Personal preference, not a fan of ext4)
Data Partition (Your choice of FAT or NTFS, just so both Windows and Linux can share the same data.)

Install Windows first because it was not written to detect multi boot option. Then install Linux, many distros will recognize that you are trying to make a dual boot and have built in tools to assist with this. I can not remember the exact details but some versions of Windows will detect a change in the boot partition and start complaining about security issues. You will need to Google the error messages and solve those on a case by case basis.
Old 06-08-2015, 06:33 PM   #4
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Right about this time I usually suggest a free virtual machine.

Then I say, better backup windows and test that backup before you go any farther.
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