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Old 12-15-2011, 02:52 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2008
Distribution: suse 10.1
Posts: 6

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How to keep a tidy boot loader (GRUB2)?

Hello everyone,

my lapto has a quite long history of OS installations (not always successful unfortunately) and I am now in the process of cleaning a bit of the mess which has been produced :P

More specifically:
at the moment I have Windows Vista (working as fine as Windows allows), Ubuntu 9.10 (working great) and Ubuntu Wubi (not working at all).
I have grub2 and when I boot I can initially choose between:
(1) Ubuntu, Linux 2.6.31-14-generic and
(2) Windows Vista.
If I choose (2) Windows, then again I am asked to choose between:
(2a) Windows and
(2b) Ubuntu.
As I said they all work, but the wubi (2b). Actually I don't know if wubi works or not, because if I choose (2b) I see a grub shell, so that actually the OS is not loaded at all.

I would like to remove all of the Ubuntu installations and install instead Ubuntu 11.10. And have only one boot loader at the beginning between Windows and Ubuntu.

However I am a bit afraid of making any change because I had some bad experience with grub2 after an installation. Some days ago in fact I had only Windows and Ubuntu 11.10 and, for some reason too long and too boring to explain, I had to use Wubi to re-install Ubuntu.

And so I did. I downloaded the windows installer from the official Ubuntu webpage and run it. I formatted all of the partitions where Ubuntu had been installed previously and installed it again following the installer instructions.

Everything went fine, but when I booted I was prompted to grub rescue! the grub.cfg was missing completely. I tried to run grub-install using a live CD, but it didn't work. So I had to install Ubuntu again from the live CD. And this take us to the situation at the present time: a working Windows installation, a non working wubi (or only a wrong boot loader from the wubi installation), and a working Ubuntu.

This is the present situation:
> sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x4162f6de

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 1567 12586896 27 Unknown
/dev/sda2 * 1568 34202 262140637+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 34203 35377 9435136 b W95 FAT32
/dev/sda4 35377 38913 28404577 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5 35377 37222 14816808 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6 37223 38836 12964423+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda7 38837 38913 618471 82 Linux swap / Solaris

How do you suggest to proceed in order to have a final set-up with only Windows and Ubuntu? Keep in mind that:
1. I have no recovery or insallation CD for Windows;
2. I do not want to re-install windows or format that partition (sda2);
3. I have no data on the Ubuntu installation, and all other partitions can be formatted with no problems.

Can you also please comment on how one can change the GRUB properties after each
installation, or in general on how one can modify it according to the installation one wants to do?

I am quite ignorant about the grub, so I've always relied on it being properly
modified at the end of every ubuntu installation. And actually this is the reason why I am posting here even before trying anything by myself: I'm scared that I could mess up even more with the grub, and then I could lose completely also the windows installation.


dual boot, grub, ubuntu, wubi

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