What’s the best way to have Ubuntu and Windows 7 on the same PC?

Lewis Lebentz August 22, 2012
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I currently have a dual-booted laptop with Ubuntu 12.04, and Windows 7 Home Premium. I much prefer Ubuntu, and don’t like having to see GRUB every time I turn on my computer.

So when Ubuntu 12.10 is released in October, I want to format my whole laptop and have a clean install of Ubuntu. Then, as there are some things that have to use Windows, I would like to have it as a Virtual Machine, in VMware or VirtualBox. BUT:

1. I don’t know how I can take my Win7 Home Prem. and put it in a VM without having a disk? Because it came preinstalled on my laptop when I bought it from Sony 2/3 years ago. I have a Product Key, but don’t really know how I could do this.

2. Sony disabled VT-x on my laptop, and I cannot enable it from the BIOS, but I have read about people flashing it and updating it (Cannot find an update though, Motherboard: Sony, BIOS: AMI) or hacking it. But then, for example I can run Ubuntu 32bit in a VM, and BackTrack 32bit in a VM.. So would a 32bit version of Windows 7 work in a VM without having to enable Virtualization from the BIOS?

I have a Sony Vaio VGN-NW24S.


  1. Dev
    January 31, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Find below the steps to install linux or any other Operating system on your machine using virtualBox i.e creating a virtual machine on your system that will be treated as an independent machine.

    Refer [installing-ubuntu-virtual-machine-on-windows7][1] for step to step Guideline to install ubantu

    [1]: [Broken Link Removed]

  2. Jeremiah Iliffe
    October 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Wubi is quite simple to install. Download it from the Ubuntu website

  3. itsnotlevel
    October 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Make a vhd from systernals from microsoft of your win7 then run it under virtualbox in ubuntu....

  4. Alvaro
    October 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Not sure how to go about it if you don't have a Windows 7 disk or ISO image of the disk. If you can get hold of an ISO image, I think you can use the key you have no matter how you got the image, at least that's what I did (but then I got both from the same source.) Perhaps you might be able to find the image by looking at your computer rescue options.

    Assuming you can get the image, Ubuntu as main OS with Windows 7 in Virtual Box inside Ubuntu works just fine. Don't forget to install the Guest Additions in Virtual Box, and to enable shared folders. If you want to work primarily in Ubuntu, the shared folders are probably the only ones you'll use in VB/W7.

    As far as I'm concerned, if I could use MS Office with Wine in Ubuntu I'd never fire the Virtual Box (except for checking some web development works fine in IE). Unfortunately, that doesn't work too well, in my experience.

  5. Milos Dedic
    September 18, 2012 at 9:34 am


    Installing Ubuntu with the Windows installer
    Once the Windows installer has been downloaded, you need to open it to install Ubuntu. You’ll find detailed instructions below. If you need further help, support options are listed at the bottom of this page.

    If you are using Internet Explorer, you'll be asked whether you want to run or save the file. Choose 'Run' to launch the installer.

    Most other web browsers (like Firefox, for example) will only ask you to save the file. To start the installation, click 'Save' and then double-click the downloaded file.

    If a security message like this appears, click 'Continue' to proceed.

    To install Ubuntu, all you need to do is choose your user name and password. Do note that you need to enter your password twice to make sure you typed it correctly.

    After choosing your password, click 'Install'. The files will be downloaded and installed automatically.

    Wait until Ubuntu is downloaded and installed. This can take quite a while – the downloaded file size is around 500MB - but you can keep using your computer throughout.

    When the installation is complete, you’ll be prompted to restart your computer. Click 'Finish' to restart.

    After your computer restarts, choose 'Ubuntu' from the boot menu.


  6. Krishna Vallabhaneni
    September 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Duel boot or if you really want, buy a new HDD and change it out

  7. Naoman Saeed
    September 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

    you could download this windows thing as a trial version and create its virtual machine in ubuntu and apply the product key on it.

  8. Igor Rizvi?
    August 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Try to update grub,soemtimes it dissaperes...

  9. Rajaa Chowdhury
    August 29, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Ubuntu is one of the most evolved free Linux distribution from Canonical for users like us and they have made it very simple to install it side by side alongwith Windows 7 on the same PC. Fisrt create a partition on your HDD (atleast 8GB minimum, more will be better. I did 20GB for Ubuntu). Use can install a software like EASEUS Partition Master 9.1.1 (Freeware) from http://www.filehippo.com/download_easeus_partition_master_home/ . Then download the Windows installer for Ubuntu Desktop from http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/windows-installer and run it. After that is is pretty simple. Even a novice like me did not face any problem. :)

      September 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      i love you indian dudes always give the best results ty !!!

  10. Benjamin Glass
    August 27, 2012 at 9:57 pm


    As far as I know, there is no way to make a complete system image of a preinstalled version of Windows and place it in VMware. The only thing you can do is back up all your files and place them on your Ubuntu machine, and then run Wine-HQ to use your Windows programs.

    The Ubuntu installer has an option to import the files (not the programs) from the existing computer, but I'd consider that to be risky.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Hello, to answer question 1, you could get an installation disk from Sony by paying a fee. Then they would ship the installation disk to you. Once you have the disk, you can instal it in your virtual machine. Keep in mind, that this might or might not work because this licenses are OEM, they can only be used in the original machine and once you start using virtual machine software the hardware in your computer does not show same there.

    To answer question 2, yes sometimes it is possible to hack your BIOS but it depends on the motherboard and the BIOS in it. You would have to look for people that have done it. I personally do not recommend doing it because you could easily end up with an expensive paperweight.

    I would say your best way would be to instal 7 and then use either wubi(best option for you) or a virtual machine.

  12. i0ni
    August 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Use WUBI: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/windows-installer
    It will install Ubuntu on your computer in dual boot with windows. You don't need to modify your partitions. You don't even need to use a CD / DVD or USB. It will be installed from your computer. It's pretty simple to use.

  13. James Graham
    August 25, 2012 at 3:36 am

    You could try using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client. It allows you to make a virtual machine out of your current machine (http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/).

    I'm still playing with it...but basically you create a vm disk image of machine. When you install Ubuntu, download VMWare Player and fire up your windows as a VM ( VirutaBox will probably support it as well ).

  14. Declan Lopez
    August 23, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Download the wubi installer from the ubuntu website, and you can dual-boot ubuntu and Win7 without harming your data in Win7.

    • Tug Ricks
      August 23, 2012 at 8:41 am

      I assume that's what he's already doing.

      • Hiramani Barman
        August 23, 2012 at 8:52 am

        No Tug, we can install ubuntu after installing Windows and it will not show the ubuntu GRUB. For that you have to download wubi installer from ubuntu.com and have to run from your windows machine. If you follow this process you will not have ubuntu GRUB at startup. I think Declan Lopez was trying to explain that only.

        • rama moorthy
          September 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm

          ya ..right man .. I am using 3 OS in my PC .. XP ,win7 and ubuntu..
          First installed win xp,then 7 and then ubuntu using wubi installer .. works fine ..! and I am working on it for more than a year ,(Ubuntu 10.10 long term edition)

  15. Bruce Epper
    August 23, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Instead of using VMWare or VirtualBox, you could use MS Virtual PC 2007 instead as it does not require hardware virtualization support. As far as moving your OS from hardware to a VM, you will need something like Paragon Software's Hard Disk Suite which can take your running system and put it into a virtual hard disk and change the drivers as required in effect taking a physical machine and turning it into a virtual machine. I have only done the process once (it does take quite a bit of time), but it worked flawlessly for me.

    • Justin Pot
      August 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      You can't use MS Virtual Machine in Ubuntu, can you?

      • Abba Jee
        November 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm

        you can use "VIRTUAL BOX" in ubuntu

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