Dual Boot Win7 and Mint9 using 2 HDDs
I would like to know the best way to dual boot an already installed Win7 HDD, with adding a second HDD
to which I will install Mint9?
I have attempted this in the past with Mint8, but managed to screw it up some how with Mint 8`s Beta Grub2!
So bear with me if I am skittish on repeating a "conventional" Grub bootloader selection approach!
This time I would prefer to install Mint9 to it`s own HDD with Win7 disconnected if possible, and installing Mint`s Grub bootloader directly to the Mint HDD installation,
just to insure Win7s MBR isn't affected by the Mint9 installation, by keeping each O.S. and it`s bootloader completely separate and apart.
Of course then comes the question of how to access my new Mint 9 installation, since reconnecting my Win7 HDD (with it`s MBR) will become the default,
with no knowledge of any Mint installation.
Would a third party bootloader such as "Easy BCD" be the way to go? Or am I over complicating what I would
like to accomplish here? The main thing is: NOT having to upset my twice installed Win7 installation again!
Thanks for any enlightened response.
But EasyBCD can.....see this thread.
Or, are you saying install Mint9 and Grub to itself, but with Win7 HDD connected?
I can see 2 ways to do this:
1) Let Grub do the booting (without touching Windows installation)
Don't disconnect the Windows-disk, just set your computer to boot from second disk.
Then install Mint, let it install Grub to mbr - it will be mbr on second disk.
Now add Windows to your /boot/grub/menu.lst (or edit entry if it's already present):
Now you always boot from grub on second disk, when you choose Windows in bootmenu then control is turned over to Windows bootloader.
2) Let Windows do the booting:
Don't disconnect the Windows-disk.
Install Mint to second disk, let it install grub to mbr on second disk.
Copy mbr from second disk somewhere and also put one copy on Windows C:\ :
#dd if=/dev/sdb of=/mnt/drive_c/boot_lin bs=1 count=512
You need to check the names of your disks, as well as where your Windows-partition is mounted.
Now add a line to Windows boot.ini:
Now you always boot from Windows, when you select Linux then control is turned over to grub.
This assuming Windows 7 boots same way as XP!
A small problem is that when you reinstall Windows you might not be able to boot to Linux without copying in boot_lin again and rewriting C:\boot.ini - that's why it's good to keep a copy of that boot_lin file where you can reach it from Windows. A usb-stick maybe?
Here's a tutorial that should help: http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub-2.html
Please read this article about EasyBCD before proceeding.....I assure you it is the cleanest and most recoverable way to do your boot installation. I am not in anyway connected with EasyBCD other than being a more than satisfied user of their boot setup tool. I have been triple-booting Win,Linux and BSD for more than 8 years and this is best way to leave your MBR untouched.
Thanks for all the replies to my dual boot question(s)
I will try "EasyBCD", but am concerned about using Beta 2.0 for Win7.
Also GRUB2, which is yet another BETA!
Would installing Linux MINT and GRUB to it`s own HDD while my other(2) HDDs are disconnected,
be later on recognized by Easy BCD after required reboot, then a shutdown, and reconnection of the other 2 HDDs?
Like I said in my previous post, I got burned once, and now am overly cautious.
I don't know anything about EasyBCD, someone else will have to answer that.
But concerning Grub - do not use Grub2!Go for older Grub, often called "grub legacy".
Grub2 is still beta and more complicated to use.
...and I suggest you do not disconnect any disks when installing, it will only make things more confusing later on when disks are present that were not during install.
How can I use older grub ("grub legacy") when installing Mint 9?
Isn't Grub 2 part of the latest Debian/Ubuntu/Mint distro installation package?
I don't know about Mint or Ubuntu, but the Debian installer asks if you want to install grub2 (default) or grub legacy.
My suggestion - Use Win7's bootmgr to dual boot both systems.
Install Linux Mint in the second hard disk. Make sure you instruct the installer to install the boot loader "inside" its root partition. That is not the MBR!
Linux Mint when when installed will be temporarily unbootable, unless you have a Grub1 or Grub2 floppy or CD in which case you can boot it up manually.
Follow the Task E5 of Just booting tips in my signature. A fuller explanation is given by this thread.
Vista and Win7 shared the same boot loader bootmgr.
EasyBCD doesn't do any more than BCDedit which is available inside Win7.
Linux Mint uses Grub2. For swapping disk order Grub1 is definitely better if one goes down the Grub1 way.
There is nothing to screw up if you let Grub2 in the MBR of the Win7 disk. I have Grub in a Dos partition looked upon as the "C" drive by Win2k, Xp, Vista and Win7 in the same disk with about 30 Linux. The minimum work is to go with the flow and let Grub2 dual boot both systems. Win7 or every MS Windows does not need a MBR to boot! Check out this thread for yourself. Also Win7's MBR can be generated any time with a Vista or Win7 DVD.
First off I`d like to thank everyone here who responded to my original Dual Boot question
OK, this is what I ended up doing to finally get a DUAL BOOT Win 7 and Mint 9 configured successfully.
I did use EasyBCD 2.0 as the program to use, cause I like to keep things simple and am a novice with any Command Line configuration and/or editing.
After my EasyBCD installation to Win 7, I went ahead and installed MINT 9 to it`s own HDD with my other 2 HDDs SATA Power cables DISCONNECTED!
During Mint installation I allowed GRUB2 to be the bootloader and kept it at Mint`s default placement for sole drive, in this case /dev/sda NOT /dev/sda1 or ROOT.
After the required reboot Mint 9 booted up fine, so I shutdown and then RECONNECTED my other 2 HDDs (Win7 and DATA).
I restart the computer and it boots to Win 7 as per normal. I open up the Easy BCD Program and see Win 7 as the sole installation at this point.
I hit the "Add Entry" tab and then select the Linux tab and I see my Linux HDD listed. I select the GRUB2 bootloader to use (there are several listed),
I change the default name to "MINT 9" save my settings and I shutdown.
I restart the computer and this time after POST but before Widows loads, I now see the "Windows Boot Manager" for the very first time,
which I assume EasyBCD has initiated. In the Windows Boot Manager`s box I see Win 7 as default with a 25 sec timer, and below it my (renamed) "Mint 9" listed.
From this point if I do nothing, it successfully boots to Win 7, OR, select Mint 9 and it successfully boots to Mint 9 desktop etc.
It could not be easier for an old guy like me to setup. I`m sure I`ll run into some problems down the way like backups for instance, but so far I`m very pleased!
I knew you'd like the painless approach and its easily repaired if anything goes awry. No problems here with EasyBCD 2.0. I know it can be done from within windows but its much easier with EasyBCD.
EasyBCD is a graphic implementation of BCDedit.exe which is part of the commands inside Vista and Win7. The BCDedit.exe will come in handy in Command Prompt when the MS Windows doesn't boot and so the installation DVD has to be used.
BCDedit is complimentary with boot.sect and boot.rec which together can solve nearly every booting problem from Dos, Win2k, Xp, Vista and Win7.
Being a terminal command has its advantage too as one can write a batch file to make a Win7 booting 150 Linux.
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