dual boot - How to switch between Ubuntu and Windows 7 without a reboot

  • meet

    I have installed windows 7 and then Ubuntu 11.04. Now I want to know how I can switch from Ubuntu to Windows 7 and from Windows 7 to Ubuntu without restarting the computer.

  • Answers
  • Rinzwind

    This is not possible from a standard dual boot setup. You can put links on your desktop to reboot from one to another but a reboot is required.

    You could do this with virtualization though using a hypervisor: Use a virtual machine manager (VM Ware or Xen) to install all the operating systems and you can then start both operating systems independent of each other. Here is a How to installing Ubuntu 11.04 with Xen 4.1

    Virtualbox is a program where you install a operating system inside another one (so that is not exactly what you are asking). This type of virtualization is called supervisor. Using this kind of virtualization is not independent of each other though: your guest system suffers a performance penalty since you need 1 to run the other.

  • filescraps

    I think that what you are looking for is some virtual machine if your intention was to use both the operating systems at the "same" time, because if you want to switch between them you will have to restart, unless there are some hack that actually works.

    Since when you start up your computer Bios looks for bootable parts of your harddrives, then grub/grub2 takes care of the rest.

    So my solution is to install windows 7 as a virtual machine using Virtual Box, that's the software I use, and I have found it to work well for me, only thing that might be problematic is USB, if you use the open source one.

    Virtual Box

  • user unknown

    I agree with Rinzwind. If you only need windows occasionally for few applications, installing Wine (Wine Is Not an Emulator) can be an option, to run these programs.

    This can avoid the disruption of a reboot - how it compares to a VM-installation: I can't say, I guess it might be a bit faster. About stability and compatibility, you have to find out yourself.

  • user24658

    I agree with deepak, the only way to "dual boot" is with a VM, that is the only way. i reccommend Oracle VM VirtualBox, at www.virtualbox.org > Downloads.

  • Rinzwind

    Provided your hardware is compatible, you could pretty much accomplish what you have in mind using XenClient 2 under which ALL of your operating systems would (once reinstalled) be running as virtual operating systems.

    Note that XenClient 2 is based on the Xen. To run XenClient, your CPU must support VT-x or AMD-V. Also, XenClient 2 is currently in a "free to try" phase of development. Not sure what will be the cost/availability of XenClient 2 in the future.

    The above in mind, VirtualBox or VMware, as suggested by others, is probably the easier approach.

  • Related Question

    dual boot - How do I remove ubuntu from a windows 7 machine without the recovery disk?
  • Paul

    I have a computer that originally came with windows 7. I recently installed Ubuntu 11.04 (natty) on it. Now, I want to remove it from the computer while keeping windows. Unfortunately, I don't have the windows recovery disk anymore... Is there a way I can delete ubuntu without deleting the booting program (the purple screen where you can select the operating system)?

  • Related Answers
  • Sergey

    Why would you want to keep Ubuntu bootloader (GRUB) if you're removing Ubuntu? I'm not sure it's possible because I believe GRUB stores some of its files on the partition you're going to remove.

    I believe you need to re-install Windows boot loader, then you just boot into Windows and delete Ubuntu partition using standard Windows tools. You may be able to resize the windows partition to take up the free space or create a new NTFS partition there.

    (as such, the question turns out to be totally unrelated to Ubuntu... you can do everything in Windows)

  • dago

    google for easy bcd and install it while in windows. With this program you can create the MBR needed for the windows onls system. After that you can delete ubuntu partition and you are fine.

  • Misery

    You could also try to create recovery disc: howtogeek.com/howto/5409/create-a-system-repair-disc-in-windows-7/ if that seems more convenient to You.

    If needed You can use Windows bootloader. In menu start write msconfig and press enter. Than in boot options You have to find option: other systems display time or something similar. Set value to 30 sec. regards

  • tapthoseshoesandwish

    How To Delete Ubuntu From An Ubuntu + Windows 7 Dual Boot:

    This will allow you to remove Ubuntu, while maintaining access to Windows 7. You will still be using Grub.

    1. Download "Parted Magic" and burn it to a dvd. (Or you can use an ubuntu live cd) [http://sourceforge.net/projects/partedmagic/files/partedmagic/Parted%20Magic%205.7/pmagic-5.7.iso]
    2. Boot "Parted Magic" and select "Run From Ram"
    3. Open Gparted, and delete your ubuntu parition(s), and swap partition.
    4. Reboot into windows, and install "EasyBCD" [http://cdn.neosmart.net/software/EasyBCD/community/EasyBCD%202.2.exe]
    5. Using EasyBCD remove the Ubuntu entries from your bootloader.
    6. Uninstall EasyBCD

    PLEASE NOTE: If your windows partition is BEFORE your Ubuntu partitions, you can safely expand the windows partition to use that space up, if you do this from linux you will get a disk check error upon booting windows the first time, don't worry, let disk check examine your disk, which should only take a few minutes.

    Sincerely, tapthoseshoesandwish

    Sources: http://candlelight.any.djun.net/x/1/index.php?topic=532.0