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Old 09-08-2012, 05:44 PM   #1
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GRUB - booting windows from hdb, when hdb is bootable drive

Hello. I'm in quite complicated situation, because I need to install multiple system configuration in this order:

<currently Suse and Win Seven, but it won't be device usable for GRUB - after cleaning mess with other systems I'll try to install OS X on it, so there will be different disc format used by iboot>

Win XP
Win 7
<some other linux distros...>

recovery Ubuntu

The point is that hdb must be bootable device. When I've installed grub on hda everything was ok, but when I've installed exactly the same grub configuration, but on hdb - Windows hasn't started, neither XP or Seven - just blinking cursor and black screen. It was GRUB 2 from Suse, but I can use any other GRUB version if it'll work correctly. My system is using UEFI.

There was one more problem - XP was starting when I was booting computer from hda after XP installation, even if it was installed on hdb. After Suse installation - It was starting, when GRUB tried to boot current Win 7 from hda, so I wonder what it has done during installation.

I've never configured GRUB manually before so I feel quite confused.

Last edited by lapsio; 09-08-2012 at 05:46 PM.
Old 09-08-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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Given your situation, I would suggest you go to the site below, read the instructions, download and run the bootinfoscript and post the output here as it will give detailed information on your drives/partitions and boot files:

Your situation with xp isn't clear. Did you install xp again to sdb after installing windows 7? That would overwrite the windows 7 boot files and windows bootloaders are backward compatible but if you install an older version, you need to manually configure it, assuming it can be done. Not sure if this is what you have done??
Old 09-09-2012, 05:52 AM   #3
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It's quite enormous file . As I said - there is some other linux distros and during installation, they overwrote their grub configurations. After that I've reinstalled GRUB2 on suse from hd1.7. hdb and hdc are freshly mounted drives, so this Seven from hda was there for 2 years and it was succesfully booted from grub installed by this suse on hda. Now I've installed Win 7 on hd1.3 and after that Win XP on hd1.4 and as I can see from this file It damaged a bit Win 7 form hd0.4, but It's not problem. After installation Win 7 it works, but I don't remember which partition choosed it for MBR installation. After that I've installed Win XP and I'm sure that it used hda for its MBR and as always only XP was able to boot. After that I've installed all Linux distros and tried to always install GRUB on hdb (only suse installed it on hda first because I forgot to change it). GRUB is not detecting these 2 windows systems on hdb automatically, but detects this "SevXP something" on hda:
a) when GRUB tries to boot hd0.4 (Seven on hda) from GRUB installed on hda MBR it works. When I change It manually to hd1.4 or hd1.3 by editing grub.cfg (XP or Seven on hdb) - it doesn't work.
b) when GRUB tries to boot hd0.4 from GRUB on hdb MBR it fails - just blinking cursor as I said.

Generally - these systems are nearly out of stock so It's not problem for me if I should format whole hdb drive and install everything again.
Attached Files
File Type: txt RESULTS.txt (222.4 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by lapsio; 09-09-2012 at 06:18 AM.
Old 09-09-2012, 06:20 AM   #4
Registered: Sep 2010
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I have looked at the text file and noticed two listings of the term "extended partition". As far as I know "extended partitions" on a system using UEFI are not used because there is no need to as the new partition table format supports around 128 primary partitions.

Please note that I have never used a system using UEFI. So my comment has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Last edited by edbarx; 09-09-2012 at 06:22 AM.
Old 09-09-2012, 07:08 AM   #5
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I'm not sure how it exactly works, but gParted does'n allow you to make more than 4 primary partitions, but in fact I don't think that It could affect, because I've got also on hd1.1 Small Ubuntu what was made just for GRUB and on its GRUB Windows doesn't boot too.

I've deleted ntfs partition from hda and now Win XP installer tells me that It need at least one supported partition on hda to install starting files. What should I do?

I think that it could be not necessary in fact, maybe just older machines always booted from first drive ant this is reason why XP want to do it, I think I could try make empty ntfs partition on hda and then just move this files into XP partition on hdb. I'll post here if it helped.

Last edited by lapsio; 09-09-2012 at 08:33 AM.
Old 09-09-2012, 09:52 AM   #6
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I DID IT !!!

I've moved files installed by this XP on ntfs partition on hda to its partition on hdb and changed boot.ini line from [...]rdisc(1)[..] to rdisc(0), AND IT WORKS!!! Sorry for emotions, but i was nearly sure that I won't be able to use XP from second drive.


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