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Old 10-10-2010, 07:24 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2010
Location: California, USA
Distribution: Debian.
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Reinstall Windows without affecting boot record

I have a new Dell Inspiron 1545 with a dual-boot setup: Kubuntu and Windows 7. A long, tedious story made short, I have Kubuntu working but cannot for the life of me get the wireless adapter to work in Windows 7. Since the Microsoft universal fix consists of reinstalling the OS, that's what I plan to do.

That said, I'm concerned that Windows will not just reinstall itself, but wipe out the boot record used by grub. I've invested enough time setting up Kubuntu that I really don't want to start from scratch (again) with both OSs.

Can anyone provide any tips on how to reinstall Windows without wiping the boot record? If not (i.e. Windows will kill whatever grub has in place), is there a way to use the Kubuntu disc, or another linux disc, to reinstall grub afterward, thereby leaving the linux partitions intact?

Thanks for any suggestions!
Old 10-10-2010, 07:46 PM   #2
Timothy Miller
Registered: Feb 2003
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Linux partitions will not be affected, only the MBR is if you choose a custom install. Just make sure to not allow Windows to make the decisions itself since it does prefer to take over the whole disk.

And there is, to my knowledge, no way of installing Windows without overwriting the MBR. However, yes, you can use an ubuntu live cd to reinstall grub and thus repair your preferred bootloader.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 10-10-2010 at 07:47 PM.
Old 10-10-2010, 07:57 PM   #3
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Win7 will replace the MBR. You won't get an option.
Restoring the MBR from a Linux install/live CD is pretty simple. See grub2 or grub for useful doco. Should apply to kubuntu o.k.
Old 10-11-2010, 02:24 AM   #4
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check out this post....
Old 10-11-2010, 10:45 AM   #5
Registered: Jul 2010
Location: California, USA
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Thanks, all. Very helpful.

In typical MS fashion, some random combination of steps fixed wireless right before I went for the reinstall, so I was able to dodge any further heavy lifting. Nice to have this information out there either way.


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