Women in Technology

Hear us Roar



Article:
  Creating a Dual-Boot Windows XP and Ubuntu Laptop
Subject:   got an error
Date:   2006-07-12 06:44:39
From:   kfarnham
Response to: got an error

So, GRUB is installed in your system's primary drive (which is where it "wants" to install itself by default).


At start-up time, does GRUB provide you with an option to book Windows or Ubuntu?


If you select Windows, does the system correctly boot into Windows? And does your Windows system still work, letting you run Windows programs, seeing the correct drives and disk space, etc.?


Finally, if you select Ubuntu at start-up time, what happens?


It's not a disaster that GRUB installed itself on your MBR, as long as it correctly identified your Windows operating system and lets you boot into Windows properly.



Full Threads Oldest First

Showing messages 1 through 5 of 5.

  • got an error
    2006-07-12 08:53:02  octathlon [View]

    <<So, GRUB is installed in your system's primary drive (which is where it "wants" to install itself by default).>>
    Right.

    <<At start-up time, does GRUB provide you with an option to book Windows or Ubuntu?>>
    Yes it does.

    <<If you select Windows, does the system correctly boot into Windows?>>
    Yes
    <<And does your Windows system still work, letting you run Windows programs, seeing the correct drives and disk space, etc.?>>
    Yes

    <<Finally, if you select Ubuntu at start-up time, what happens? >>
    It boots up (fast!) and runs fine.
    So you see, everything is working as is, so why I am I doing this? LOL. Well, the main reason was to leave the Windows drive untouched, so it wouldn't depend on having the Linux drive in the computer. Second, I was planning to install another Linux distro in another partition (on the slave drive) and use the same technique for it, using the Windows boot menu to select between them all. I was also thinking that having Ubuntu's boot menu there on hdb (but not being used), would allow me to boot from either drive as a stand-alone on the master if I ever want to (but I made the mistake of not mapping the first partition as /boot during the install).
    • got an error
      2008-09-14 14:53:18  acardh [View]

      No, not everything is working as it should.
      When starting the machine first I have the GRUB windows with the options, things work perfect from there.
      However, if you choose Windows XP, GRUB sends you to the Windows bootloader and from them you have to choose Windows XP again in order to boot into it.
      So far, so good. The problem is when you are in the Windows bootloader and you choose to boot into Ubuntu Linux, then you get the error 18 when it is supposed you should be back into the GRUB window.
    • got an error
      2006-07-12 09:58:44  Kevin Farnham | O'Reilly Blogger [View]

      Now I understand what you're trying to do. First, I'd recommend leaving GRUB on your Windows drive, now that it's there and both Windows and Ubuntu are working. If you want to add another Linux distro, you can use the GRUB installation on your Windows drive to boot that distribution -- all you have to do is add another entry to your GRUB menu.lst file that identifies the new Linux distribution and its boot files. But before you start changing menu.lst, please make a back-up copy of it, and you might also want to keep your rescue CD ready in case something goes wrong and you have to go back to your original menu.lst.

      If you decide to take your slave drive out of the computer, the GRUB install on your Windows drive will still let you boot Windows with no problem. It won't "notice" the missing drive unless you attempt to boot one of the missing systems, in which case GRUB will just return an error message saying it can't find the selected system.

      As for your goal of having your second drive be bootable as a master -- that's where the problem that started the entire conversation lies, right? I'm still not certain what the situation is there. Even on your Windows drive, I think you'll find that GRUB is installed in a directory named /boot.

      So, when you select Ubuntu from your start-up GRUB menu, it's going and loading GRUB from your slave drive, and giving you options that include your Ubuntu system and also Windows, right?

      But, I guess, since your dual-boot system is working using the GRUB that installed itself onto your Windows drive, discussion of how to configure your second drive as a stand-alone master that can be taken and put into another computer if desired is probably wandering outside the scope of this "dual-boot" article. And into the scope of a GRUB-only discussion. (I happen to be writing an article on GRUB2 as we speak, by coincidence!)

      So, does knowing you can put additional Linux distributions on your second drive and boot them from your primary drive GRUB installation meet your immediate need? By the way -- you'll have to be careful if you try to do this. The new Linux distribution could easily disable one of your existing systems. Ideally, you'll be doing this with all of your important Windows files safely backed up to another system!
      • got an error
        2006-07-12 11:02:05  octathlon [View]

        <<Even on your Windows drive, I think you'll find that GRUB is installed in a directory named /boot.>>

        My Windows drive (hda1) is an ntfs partition. I'm not at that computer to check right now, but I hope you aren't saying that the Ubuntu install created a directory and wrote files to that partition? If so, I guess I know even less than I thought about how linux installs work. That sounds really dangerous.

        <<So, when you select Ubuntu from your start-up GRUB menu, it's going and loading GRUB from your slave drive, and giving you options that include your Ubuntu system and also Windows, right?>>

        That's what I believe it's doing. I thought grub's menu.lst itself was read from the slave drive (in /boot) each time, but it sounds like you are saying the slave drive wouldn't have to be present for the grub menu to function.. I have some reading to do. Thanks for your help. As long as I know that if one drive fails or is removed, I can still boot the OS from the other, I'm happy.


        • got an error
          2006-07-12 14:59:46  Kevin Farnham | O'Reilly Blogger [View]

          oops! my mistake. Too much Linux on my mind at the moment. You don't "know even less than [you] thought about how linux installs work." But, I consider installs dangerous in any case, nonetheless. I don't know exactly how GRUB is set up on your system, but some of what I said in the last note is not correct. Apologies!

          You have a working dual-boot Ubuntu/Windows system, which was goal #1, so I'm very happy about that!