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Old 11-20-2009, 08:21 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2009
Posts: 222

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Dual boot, grub doesn"t show vista, no menu.lst

Dell Optiplex 780 came with Windows 7, 500GB HD. Used the Debian Squeeze (testing) installer to repartition as follows:
haven"t changed the first three partiton (dell, some windows stuff)
windows partition: down to 50GB
fat32 partiton 24GB
swap for windows 1GB
linux (EXT3+swap): the rest

All works fine during installation but then when I boot the machine there is no `Windows 7" option in grub.
Also looking at /etc/boot/grub there no `menu.lst'.

ls /boot/grub gives:
915resolution.mod  efiemu64.o	  lua.mod		   reboot.mod
acpi.mod	   efiemu.mod	  lvm.mod		   reiserfs.mod
affs.mod	   elf.mod	  mdraid.mod		   scsi.mod
afs_be.mod	   ext2.mod	  memdisk.mod		   search.mod
afs.mod		   extcmd.mod	  memrw.mod		   serial.mod
aout.mod	   fat.mod	  minicmd.mod		   setjmp.mod
ata.mod		   font.mod	  minix.mod		   sfs.mod
ata_pthru.mod	   fs_file.mod	  mmap.mod		   sh.mod
at_keyboard.mod    fshelp.mod	  moddep.lst		   sleep.mod
befs_be.mod	   fs.lst	  moreblue-orbit-grub.png  tar.mod
befs.mod	   fs_uuid.mod	  msdospart.mod		   terminfo.mod
biosdisk.mod	   gfxterm.mod	  multiboot.mod		   test.mod
bitmap.mod	   gptsync.mod	  normal.mod		   tga.mod
blocklist.mod	   grub.cfg	  ntfscomp.mod		   true.mod
boot.img	   gzio.mod	  ntfs.mod		   udf.mod
boot.mod	   halt.mod	  ohci.mod		   ufs1.mod
bsd.mod		   handler.lst	  part_acorn.mod	   ufs2.mod
bufio.mod	   handler.mod	  part_amiga.mod	   uhci.mod
cat.mod		   hdparm.mod	  part_apple.mod	   unicode.pf2
cdboot.img	   hello.mod	  part_gpt.mod		   usb_keyboard.mod
chain.mod	   help.mod	  partmap.lst		   usb.mod
cmp.mod		   hexdump.mod	  part_msdos.mod	   usbms.mod
command.lst	   hfs.mod	  part_sun.mod		   usbtest.mod
configfile.mod	   hfsplus.mod	  parttool.lst		   vbeinfo.mod
core.img	   iso9660.mod	  parttool.mod		   vbe.mod
cpio.mod	   jfs.mod	  password.mod		   vbetest.mod
cpuid.mod	   jpeg.mod	  pci.mod		   vga.mod
crc.mod		   kernel.img	  play.mod		   vga_text.mod
datehook.mod	   keystatus.mod  png.mod		   video_fb.mod
date.mod	   linux16.mod	  probe.mod		   video.mod
datetime.mod	   linux.mod	  pxeboot.img		   videotest.mod	   lnxboot.img	  pxecmd.mod		   xfs.mod
diskboot.img	   loadenv.mod	  pxe.mod		   xnu.mod
dm_nv.mod	   loopback.mod   raid5rec.mod		   xnu_uuid.mod
drivemap.mod	   lsmmap.mod	  raid6rec.mod		   zfsinfo.mod
echo.mod	   ls.mod	  raid.mod		   zfs.mod
efiemu32.o	   lspci.mod	  read.mod

fdisk -l gives:
Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x90000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1           8       64228+  de  Dell Utility
/dev/sda2               9         104      768000    7  HPFS/NTFS
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3             104        6061    47851562+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4            6062       60801   439699050    5  Extended
/dev/sda5            6062        6182      971901    6  FAT16
/dev/sda6            6183        9221    24410736    b  W95 FAT32
/dev/sda7   *        9222       59678   405295821   83  Linux
/dev/sda8           59679       60801     9020466   82  Linux swap / Solaris
Any ideas what's going on. Greatly appreciate help with this.

Old 11-20-2009, 08:51 AM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
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Your system is using the new Grub2 which no longer uses menu.lst as a configuration file. I'm not that familiar with Grub2 configuration but I believe you have to edit the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file. Grub2 disk naming and configuration is also different than the old standard Grub. The following link to the Gentoo Wiki on Grub2 configuration should help you out:

See also this one from the Arch Wiki:
Old 11-20-2009, 09:24 AM   #3
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But what are all those other files in /boot/grub?
Old 11-20-2009, 10:32 AM   #4
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Grub2 still needs time to become stable and familiar. IMHO it is currently in development and debugging stage: there is no need to hurry to switch into it. The original 'Grub,' has otherwise became 'Legacy Grub,' it remains the better boot loader yet and the user friendly. If your distro allows you the option to install another boot loader then you should install 'grub' (the stable grub) the one commonly used by majority distros. I assume your install CD still contains 'grub' somewhere in extra folder, the way Slackware boots by Lilo though it offers 'grub' in separate folder.

If this may help: Let this be known that Grub2 is a complete rewrite, it is naturally different from the first Grub (legacy), it is different architecture, with few new added commands. For those who want to experiment it please consult GNU Grub Wiki , its devel-mailinglist is rich in information and PUPA the research-father of grub2.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.

Last edited by malekmustaq; 11-20-2009 at 10:38 AM.
Old 11-22-2009, 07:56 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2009
Posts: 222

Original Poster
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Thanks all for replying.

Squeeze indeed uses the new Grub2. During installation there is an innocent looking screen which says something like `grub-pc is being upgraded' blah blah, but not much else. Searching online for `grub2 windows' bring a bajillion sites where people report problems. It seems the grub2 is still experimental.

Based on my short experience:
* grub2 does not resize NTFS partition well.
* it does not show (by default) the Windows 7 entry in the boot menu (although it is detected during installation).
* Windows 7 is broken after the squeeze+grub2 installation.

After many hours of searching online and reading many helpful pages such as:
here's what I did to get my dual-boot working (Dell optiplex 780, Debian Squeeze + Grub2, Windows 7):
* re-install Windows 7 and erase all linux partitions (if you have a Windows-only machine resize the Windows partition using a native-Windows application).
* install squeeze onto the free space:
-avoiding any changes to the windows/NTFS partitions.
-selecting the linux partition to be installed the beginning of the free space (right after the NTFS ones).
-installing grub to the MBR (the `B' flag, which indicates which partition is bootable switches from the windows partition to the linux partition).
-boot the machine.
-login as user, change to su and do `update-grub'. This gave an output like (from memory): `Detected Window 7' blah blah.
-reboot and the grub menu now shows Windows 7 in the boot menu. Can now dual-boot Squeeze and Windows 7.



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