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How To Add Windows 7 to Ubuntu Boot Menu

Ubuntu 2

In a dual-boot scenario where you have both Ubuntu and Windows 7 installed on your computer, it’s essential to have a boot menu that allows you to choose between the two operating systems at startup. This article will guide you through the process of adding Windows 7 to the Ubuntu boot menu.

Quick Answer

To add Windows 7 to the Ubuntu boot menu, you need to update the GRUB bootloader configuration, edit the GRUB custom configuration file, add a new entry for Windows 7, save the file, update GRUB again, and restart your computer. This will allow you to choose between Ubuntu and Windows 7 at startup.

Prerequisites

Before we start, ensure that you have both Ubuntu and Windows 7 installed on your computer. Also, you should be familiar with using the terminal in Ubuntu.

Step 1: Update GRUB Bootloader Configuration

The first step is to update the GRUB bootloader configuration. GRUB, or the Grand Unified Bootloader, is a program that allows your computer to boot into multiple operating systems. You can update the GRUB configuration by opening the terminal and running the following command:

sudo update-grub

The sudo command allows you to run commands with administrative privileges, while update-grub generates a new GRUB configuration based on the currently installed operating systems.

Step 2: Edit the GRUB Custom Configuration File

Next, we will edit the /etc/grub.d/40_custom file. This file allows you to add custom entries to the GRUB boot menu. Open the file in a text editor with the following command:

sudo nano /etc/grub.d/40_custom

Here, nano is a simple, user-friendly text editor. You can replace nano with the text editor of your choice, such as vi or emacs.

Step 3: Add a New Entry for Windows 7

In the 40_custom file, add the following code:

menuentry "Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda2)" {
 insmod part_msdos
 insmod ntfs
 set root='(hd0,msdos2)'
 chainloader +1
}

This code adds a new entry to the GRUB boot menu for Windows 7. Here’s what each line does:

  • menuentry "Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda2)": This line starts a new menu entry named “Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda2)”.
  • insmod part_msdos and insmod ntfs: These lines load the part_msdos and ntfs modules, which allow GRUB to read from MS-DOS partitions and NTFS file systems, respectively.
  • set root='(hd0,msdos2)': This line sets the root filesystem for the menu entry. Replace (hd0,msdos2) with the correct partition for your Windows 7 installation.
  • chainloader +1: This line tells GRUB to load the first sector of the root filesystem, which contains the Windows 7 bootloader.

Step 4: Save the File and Update GRUB

After adding the new entry, save the file and exit the text editor. Then, update the GRUB configuration again with the sudo update-grub command.

Step 5: Restart Your Computer

Finally, restart your computer. You should now see the Windows 7 option in the GRUB boot menu.

If you still can’t see the boot menu after following these steps, try pressing the ESC or SHIFT key during startup to force the GRUB menu to appear. Additionally, make sure that the hiddenmenu line in the /boot/grub/menu.lst file is uncommented.

Conclusion

By following these steps, you should be able to add Windows 7 to the Ubuntu boot menu. This will allow you to easily switch between the two operating systems at startup. Remember to replace (hd0,msdos2) with the correct partition for your Windows 7 installation. If you’re unsure about this, you can use the fdisk -l command to list all partitions on your computer.

Can I add Windows 7 to the Ubuntu boot menu if I have Windows 10 installed instead?

Yes, you can add Windows 7 to the Ubuntu boot menu even if you have Windows 10 installed. The steps mentioned in this article will work for any version of Windows.

What should I do if I don’t see the Windows 7 option in the GRUB boot menu after following the steps?

If you don’t see the Windows 7 option in the GRUB boot menu, try pressing the ESC or SHIFT key during startup to force the GRUB menu to appear. Additionally, make sure that the hiddenmenu line in the /boot/grub/menu.lst file is uncommented.

Can I use a different text editor instead of nano to edit the `/etc/grub.d/40_custom` file?

Yes, you can use any text editor of your choice to edit the /etc/grub.d/40_custom file. Simply replace nano in the command with the name of your preferred text editor, such as vi or emacs.

How can I find the correct partition for my Windows 7 installation?

To find the correct partition for your Windows 7 installation, you can use the fdisk -l command in the terminal. This command lists all partitions on your computer, and you can identify the Windows 7 partition based on its size or file system type (usually NTFS).

Is it possible to remove the Windows 7 entry from the Ubuntu boot menu?

Yes, it is possible to remove the Windows 7 entry from the Ubuntu boot menu. To do this, you can simply delete the corresponding entry in the /etc/grub.d/40_custom file and then update the GRUB configuration using the sudo update-grub command.

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