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Old 09-02-2005, 05:33 AM   #1
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Is Grub necessary for Dual boot system

I have Windows Xp installed on 1 hard drive, and had suse 9.3 installed on 2nd hard drive. It all worked fine and using grub could go into either O/S. I then decided to delete suse, therefore...after a long search found out how to delete Grub so my computer would boot as an XP system again, i now want to install Ubuntu on 2nd drive, can i use the windows boot menu or will a linux boot menu be needed such as Grub.

I also have Windows (longhorn) Vista beta installed (partition on my 1st drive) so when i turn my machine on it lets me decide between XP and Vista, could i just add ubuntu to the menu.

Sorry if its confusing, many thanks

Old 09-02-2005, 05:36 AM   #2
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Windows is very self-centered & only offers Microsoft OSes as boot options.

To boot into Linux, you will need a Linux bootloader such as Grub or Lilo, either on the first drive's MBR; or on the second drive's MBR & play around with the boot order on every boot; or on a boot disk that you put in the drive when you require a Linux boot. . .
Old 09-02-2005, 05:37 AM   #3
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I haven't a clue how M$'s shitty bootloader works, but generally you would install grub onto the boot partition of linux rather than the MBR itself (i.e. hda1 and not hda) then you would just chain from the other bootloader which is in the MBR. Grub rocks though...
Old 09-02-2005, 05:43 AM   #4
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Cheeers for the quick reply

so basically, i should just install ubuntu with the linux boot loader like i had it before, and worry about getting it off when it comes to it?

Old 09-02-2005, 06:12 AM   #5
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I gather Vista has a new loader - haven't (and probably won't) tried it, so treat the following with appropriate caution.

Seems you *need* the new BOOTMGR - even if you fixmbr/fixboot from XP, you (apparently) need the new ntldr if you want to boot Vista.

Sooo ......
My recommendation would be to instruct Ubuntu (if you can) to install to a partition rather than MBR (of any disk). Then copy the boot sector record across to the M$oft system partition (presumably Vistas), and update boot.ini to add the option to boot Linux.
Believe it or not, acid_kewpie said *exactly* the same thing ....
Old 09-02-2005, 10:05 AM   #6
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Not a fan of MS myself but I would defend the NT boot loader NTLDR by confirming that it boots Linux just as Linux boots Windows.

Multi-booting in NT versions of Windows is possible but a bit involved. One need to amend the hidden file boot.ini the same way one would modify Grub's /boot/grub/menu.lst or Lilo's /etc/lilo.conf for inclusion of the additional booting choices. However NT boot loader likes to round up all the booting code at the sector 0 of every system you want to boot and places them inside its "C" drive. It is a pain in the arxe as Linux can do this very easily but it can't write on a NTFS partition. One can't amend boot.ini while running XP/Win2k because it is a system security issue and needs to do it in command prompt, etc etc.

The worst part of it is NTLRD can only cope with 10 systems the last time I strectched it. Even Lilo can do 15 and sky is the limit for Grub (possibly limited by Linux's maximum 255 raw devices in practical term)

I don't have the new WIndows version to try it out but judging from this thread it is the same NT boot loader to me.

If one intalls a Linux boot loader in MBR to boot a NTLDR and the latter also multiboot two Windows it will work just fine.

Technically Grub doesn't boot Windows. It boots its NT boot loader. That is why Grub can boot all the systems, including those haven't been invented yet for the PC. Kind of a queer statement but that is how Grub works.
Old 09-02-2005, 01:28 PM   #7
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I definitely would use grub. This loader runs first, lets you choose which system to run, and hands-off control to NT's loader if you select it. This is much more flexible and can even be used if you're building multiple test-versions of NT on the same machine.

The grub documentation is quite thorough.


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