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Installing Windows on a Linux computer

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
About half a year ago I decided to completely remove Windows from my computer and start using only Linux. So far there haven't been any problems, except that some games don't run very well on Wine and so I want to re-install Windows just for gaming.

Now, the problem is that I already have Arch Linux on my computer, and I know that Windows messes up the boot which requires me to manually fix it. I'm also using syslinux instead of GRUB as a bootloader. Of course I could install GRUB, but I've never had to set the boot options manually before, so I'm not sure what to do. One solution would be wiping my whole hard drive and re-installing Linux too, which is made easier by the fact that I can use my external hard drive to back up my /home, but I really don't want to do it if it's not necessary.

So basically the question is: how do I fix the bootloader once I have installed Windows?

I have another question too. I want to keep the Windows partition as small as possible and install the games on the external HD instead. How large should the partition be? 30-40 GB maybe? And does loading games from an external HD make them noticeably slower to load?

I'm using 32-bit Arch Linux and the Windows DVD I have is Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit).

Thanks for help in advance.
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post #2 of 6
After Windows wrecks your bootloader, you can boot with a Linux Live CD and chroot back into your Arch partition to fix the bootloader.

If you want grub, Arch has a Wiki on it:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Grub
post #3 of 6
Have you considered a VM?
post #4 of 6
You could use Win 7 BCD and just add your Linux partition as default.
post #5 of 6
buy another cheap hard drive.

just dont mess with your current install.

nothing good will come out of it
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post #6 of 6
Read VIDEO]this[/VIDEO] section of the Arch wiki on grub. After you partition your drive and install windows on the new partition, which will overwrite your bootloader, then you can boot the live CD and reinstall grub. The grub install process should automatically detect and add entries for each OS on you drive.

The alternative is to do as Wumpus said, get a cheap drive and install windows to it. Disconnect your linux drive JIC. Then boot into Linux by changing the default boot drive in the BIOS, then rebuild the GRUB menu from within Linux. i have done this before and it works. The key is to unplug *all* other HDDs while installing Windows, so that the windows installer wont get confused by them or stupidly attempt to overwrite them.
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