In the continuing saga of setting up my new quad-core box, I'm about halfway down my page-long checklist of tasks. Most of the tasks involve installing software on Vista, but there are a few items involving additional operating systems. It'll help if you look at the disk layout:
Disk 0 is the 500 GB Samsung SATA II disk that came with the system. Disk 1 is a similar WD disk that I added myself.
The cross-hatched partition to the right of C: holds an Ubuntu Linux x64 8.10 system. When I installed Ubuntu, it recognized the Vista partition and preserved its boot block as an option within a grub boot menu. As Ubuntu updated itself to a new kernel, it extended the grub menu, but left Vista at the bottom. Ubuntu worked well for the short time I used it.
When I installed the Windows 7 beta on Disk 1, I hoped that it would ignore Disk 0 completely. No such luck: it found the Vista boot block, ignored the grub menu, and created a new Windows boot menu for itself and Vista on Disk 0. (I probably should have unplugged the Samsung disk for the installation. Now I think of it.) The Ubuntu ext3 and swap partitions are still there, but I can't boot to Ubuntu.
I'm sure that there will be a solution to this, perhaps some Ubuntu option or perhaps a 3rd-party boot manager, but I don't yet know what will work best. Since the next system to go in will be the Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64 beta, which will probably behave like Windows 7 did, I'm going to wait a bit before trying to restore bootability for Ubuntu.
Otherwise, the Windows 7 beta installed without a hitch. It found its system updates and current drivers for all the hardware on the system without any help from me, and is performing well. The only issues I have uncovered besides the grub issue have been with the buggy version of IE 8 that ships with this build. I suspect that this will be fixed in the release candidate, since IE 8 is just fine on my Windows XP SP3 box.
I would have liked to report these two issues to Microsoft, and I tried. However, Microsoft Connect refuses to let me submit my bugs, and also refuses to show me an application for the beta program. You'd think that MSDN members would automatically be able to submit bugs, but apparently not.
If you know a good way to get the multi-boot to include the Linux installation, please let me know.