Dual-bootable; More Doable

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Linux is great, but sometimes a guy's gotta play games. Here's how to set up a quicker Dual-Boot to get you back into windows.

Over six years ago, Linux became my primary operat­ing system almost overnight. The com­pany I had been working for imploded. I was at home, working on my resume, when my Windows PC crashed for the umpteenth time. I knew a bit of Unix (when I first started using the Internet, my only means of access was a Unix shell account) and was not at all intimidated by the idea of install­ing something Unix-y on my PC. I took the plunge and never looked back.

My main box has been a dual-booter for six years now. When it powers up, the first screen following the BIOS message asks me to choose between Linux and Windows. If there is no response after 30 seconds, Linux is chosen by default, and a short while later, Linux has booted and is waiting for me.

But the way the boot process works presents a problem when I want to play Myst IV: Revelation and go to bed four hours late. When it's Myst time, I tell Linux to reboot. I wait for it to shut down. The system restarts. I wait for the boot loader screen. I select Windows. Then I wait for Windows to boot. I have to do all this sitting and waiting because I have to be present at that key moment when I have to select Windows instead of Linux. But I'd really rather be fetching a tasty beverage from the fridge.

What I need is one button on my Linux desktop that starts the reboot-with-Windows process and needs no further action from me until Windows is up and running. Sound useful? Let me show you the magic spell.

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