Another Dual Boot.

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  1. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    I read through that whole dual boot post. My problem is:
    2 separate hard drives. No partitions for OS.

    One has XP - used for legacy programs, the other some form of Linux.

    I posted that I could not get Skype working with Mint - so loaded Ubuntu 11.04 on that hard drive. Let Ubuntu reformat. Grub did say something about partitions, and the Mint did have a couple on the Linux drive. So I told Ubuntu not to save partitions. I didn't realize that Ubuntu would see another different HD as a partition. However, I can't get into XP. It isn't on the Grub menu. It's still on its hard drive, but Grub doesn't see it.

    I want to install Ubuntu 12.04. How do I get access to the other drive? I need to get into XP.

    Skype had to work. We were expecting a call from kid in UK. We got the call, and now I have time to dork with the damn computer.


    dazki_17 likes this.
  2. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

    Well in my case, as seen on that other thread, I tried to uninstall Lubuntu by reformatting that drive. That worked but Grub, not having a choice to offer, hung and gave me no choices. I had to try a lot of stuff, but it wound up as simple as:

    Start Msconfig
    Click Launch System Restore
    When I finally got that to load, enter FIXMR

    That rewrote the boot sequence and got rid of Grub, everything is basically okay now. But in your case, since you can’t start Windows, I think you can launch System Restore by booting with the Windows install disk-one and pressing R at some point... don’t really know since I don’t have a disk.
  3. Joelgp83

    Joelgp83 Well-Known Member

    This may be a dumb question, but have you opened a terminal in Linux and ran sudo update-grub yet? It should force grub to scan everything and find the XP install.

    In particular, the key phrase you'd be looking for is either "Repair your Computer" or "Repair your Windows Installation".

    Now, as I said in the other thread, you can pull off the same repair for XP on a Windows Vista/7/8 disc (since those are more common and are actually in stores), but the command is different. Instead of FIXMBR, its:

    Bootrec.exe /fixmbr

    However, I believe there is an additional switch you must use for bootrec to specifically write an XP-style mbr that has NTLDR in it instead of Vista/7's more modern BOOTMGR code.

    You should be able to see all the switches using BOOTREC by itself.
    jefboyardee likes this.
  4. jonbanjo

    jonbanjo Well-Known Member

    I'm confused there. I'd have expected the drives and partitions to be shown as

    First HD: /dev/sda
    Second HD: /dev/sdb

    First partition on first HD: /dev/sda1
    Second partition on first HD: /dev/sda2
    First partition on second HD: /dev/sdb1
    Second partition on second HD: /dev/sdb2

  5. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

    But not as dumb as my answer... in all my googling, I never saw anyone mention that I could use msconfig to launch System Restore. From there, I did use tips I picked up in my frantic searching. And that I rescued my diskless PC from brickdom is a twisted miracle.

    I still think if I dive back in there and also do fixboot, it will probably load faster. But that
  6. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

    One more odd thing about my debacle... I had Ubuntu, Windows and Grub all working just fine.

    The problem was my attachment to having Rollback available on Windows, but Grub prevented it from working – both of them futzed with the bootloader. So I had to decide which was more important to me. I decided that Rollback had become a necessity, in my head at least, and a second dual-boot OS was merely a curiosity... so it had to go.
  7. jonbanjo

    jonbanjo Well-Known Member

    Shame it worked out the way it did. I was not aware of apps like Rollback until this thread.

    I suppose from my side of things I will at least be aware of a potential problem when someone else asks about dual booting...
  8. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

    Yes, it would have been easier if I had not developed such an attachment to Rollback. But it had saved my system before and I wasn
  9. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    It didn't. It never saw the other drive.

    I never heard of force Grub. I'll try it. I can get into the BIOS and tell it which drive to boot first, I think.

    I haven't done a system restore on XP. That HD isn't allowed online, so no worry about any malware. And all the software has been installed for years. It's stable and hasn't crashed. If I need a download or something from online like dropbox - I use the Linux HD and drop the download on the XP desktop. Anything from online HAS to go through Linux.
  10. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

    If you mean pressing F8 on boot, that got me nowhere, since my PC couldn
  11. Joelgp83

    Joelgp83 Well-Known Member

    LOL, no, I think we have grammar misunderstanding here. I mean that the command "sudo update-grub" makes grub do a scan of all partitions (and probably physical disks too), looking for known bootloader code. It does know what the windows bootloader looks like and should be able to identify it. :)
  12. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    There is still some legacy windows setup on the computer. It's always been a dual boot.
    I needed XP for some programs I wanted, but didn't like the fact that you "rented" it.
    So I put it on a drive with no outside connection enabled unless I had to. The other drive ran 98SE, then 2K. Updated the hardware, and 2K couldn't handle the new video.
    So I put Ubuntu on the 2K drive. That drive (98, 2K) did have connections enabled and all security. Neither drive could control the other. You had to boot through the BIOS. I did change which drive booted first the first time I saw Grub.

    I'll try the other on the desktop.

    Right now, I'm having fits trying to get Adobe Illustrator CS2 to install on a 7 laptop.
  13. Joelgp83

    Joelgp83 Well-Known Member

    Like I said earlier, the current version of Grub contained in Ubuntu knows how to identify and list Windows (especially XP) installs in its menu. When you select it to load Windows, it will "chainload" to Windows' own bootloader (if you have multiple windows OS versions installed you'll then see the Microsoft OS choices menu), then continue on to load windows. As long as you at least ran "sudo update-grub" from a terminal window in Ubuntu, it should find it on the other drive, permanently add an entry for it in the grub menu, and switch to it when/if told to the next time you boot.

    Ideally, you should make the drive that contains Grub to be the one selected to boot from in the BIOS. Normally you can simplify things by setting the jumpers on the hard drives so that the one containing grub is set as "Master" (the other will be "slave") on the Primary IDE cable. The BIOS will typically default to that one when told to "Boot from HD".

    If all goes well, you will have simplified your method of choosing OSes.
  14. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

    Had another curiosity attack...

  15. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

  16. Joelgp83

    Joelgp83 Well-Known Member

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  17. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

    Perhaps, but they

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