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Old 09-28-2014, 02:19 PM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2014
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GRUB/MBR problems - change the boot order


I have been using Windows for many years, since long before Win98. During that time I have tried Linux several times but always given up in frustration. This time I loaded Elementary Linux 3.2.0, dual boot with Win XP. Unfortunately I have run into problems again, the least of which is that I can not run my HP 1020 printer.

When I switch on my computer I get a boot menu asking me to select either Linux or Win XP. The default is Linux. If I can change the default to XP that would already be progress. What I would prefer to do is to remove the Linux files and carry on with XP until I find someone who is prepared to help me install and use Linux.

Some while ago I wiped the Linux partition from my hard drive but all this achieved was a Grub Error message on boot up. I reinstalled the Linux partition to enable me to get at the WP files.

Is there anybody who can help me with instructions on how to get rid of the Linux files? A second best solution would be to edit the GRUB/MBR ? file to make XP the default.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Erol Gericke.

Somerset Wes
Old 09-28-2014, 03:30 PM   #2
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Registered: Apr 2008
Distribution: PCLinux, Slackware
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To set the xp to boot by default you will need to edit the /etc/default/grub file as root user. I don't know what the editor used in elementary is but a standard Ubuntu uses gedit. In that case open a terminal and enter: sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
This opens the file with root/admin privileges so you can edit it. Replace 'gedit' above with whatever editor you use on Elementary and change this line:

Before doing this, go to the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file and count the menuentry lines to find which has xp and enter the correct number. Since in this instance Grub is counting from the number zero, if xp is the third entry, you would change the 0 to 2.

Some while ago I wiped the Linux partition from my hard drive but all this achieved was a Grub Error message on boot up. I reinstalled the Linux partition to enable me to get at the WP files.
Of course you would get that. Almost all of the Grub boot files are on the partition you deleted, only a tiny part is in the master boot record pointing to the other files on that deleted partition. The same would happen if you were able to boot with windows and you deleted the windows system.

If you are booting both xp and Linux using the Linux Grub bootloader and want just xp, the first thing you would have to do is install windows code to the master boot record from your installation medium. If you don't have the actual xp install CD/DVD you might have problems. You would need to check with microsoft or a windows forum on other options.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:10 PM   #3
Registered: May 2009
Location: North Coast
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.10
Posts: 32

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Originally Posted by erolnico
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Download and start EasyBCD (a Windows utility) Go to "Add Entry" click on the Linux/BSD tab select Grub2 from drop down menu. Change the "Name" to Elementary then click on "Drive" and select the partition where your Linux system is installed. Click "Add Entry" Now go to "Edit Boot Entry" and select which system you want as the default, then click "Save Settings" exit EasyBCD. Your boot menu should be straightened out.

There is a great utility called Rescatux Super Grub2 Its an ISO file you can burn to a CD. Rescatux can straighten out your Windows MBR. Super Grub2 will allow you to boot into your Linux OS.
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