Problems with Ubuntu and Windows 7 on same machine


English: Picture from Ubuntu Developer Summit ...

English: Picture from Ubuntu Developer Summit Oneiric on Budapest, Hungary Español: Fotografía del Ubuntu Developer Summit Oneiric en Budapest, Hungría (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a laptop running both Windows and Ubuntu. It’s referred to as a dual boot. For Ubuntu, I was running 12.04 LTS. There was an offer to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. It sounds reasonable. Now I do back up my machines to an external drive each week. This way, if there were a problem, I could revert back to a previous version.


I did install 14.04 LTS, which took about six hours or so. When it finally completed, I got this error message: “Upgraded to 14.04 reboot fail.” Fortunately, I’ve learned to search Google for error messages and see what tech forums teach me. In this case, the discussion at Ubuntu Forum There was one answer and involved interrupting the Ubuntu boot process. Then you had to use a tool called the Grub manager and change all read to read/write occurrences.

Guess what? That worked! But then problems occurred when I permanently changed all occurrences from read to read/write, in the configuration file. There was no occurrence of read in the temp configuration file. I had to change this in the permanent configuration file, which is not recommended.

To make a long story short, this worked for Ubuntu. I could bring up 14.04 LTS with no problem. The problem was one the windows side. For one thing, the time and date display was showing midnight, for the next day. Windows couldn’t find Java on the machine. There was also a few other problems.

Anyway, I thought I would see if Windows could be fixed. If so, I would abandon Ubuntu and run just Windows. After all, I do run mostly freeware or open source on Windows – except for a paid security suite. Otherwise, I use tools like Pea Zip, Libre Office, and VLC video player.

The biggest issue was the Java run-time environment. I first tried to install the sixty four bit version and it took several minutes. Windows couldn’t find the run-time environment, even after the install completed. So I thought I would reboot and try to install the 32 bit version. I tried this twice. For some reason, it worked on the second install. I don’t’ know why. Perhaps Windows takes a few reboots, in order to accomplish this.

I think the root issue was that Ubuntu didn’t configure the upgrade for those who used the Ubuntu Windows installer on 12.04 LTS. Sorry, Ubuntu. I do like your product. But now Windows has made it harder to duel boot with Linux systems. For now, I will run Windows and a paid security suite solution. But I will use the same open source products you find on Linux, as long as they are popular, supported and have a Windows version.

I really can’t say why Java was such a problem. But if someone has a cheap computer with Ubuntu as the sole operating system, I wouldn’t mind adding it to my home network. After all, I might want to open file attachments that are questionable, in a secure sandbox. But only after every anti-virus tool at Virus Total, flags everything as sound.


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  1. […] Problems with Ubuntu and Windows 7 on same machine […]

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