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Old 02-28-2006, 10:59 PM   #1
stugi
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Unhappy Keeps loading straight to Windows (even with Grub installed)


I'm trying to get Linux installed on my PC for the first time, but keep running into the same problem with the 2 distros I've tried (Fedora Core 4 and Ubuntu 5.10). My PC has 4 drives; a 125GB NTFS, a 120GB FAT32, a 80GB FAT32 and a 20GB NTFS. On the 20GB NTFS I have Windows XP installed. When I tried to install Fedora on the 120GB FAT32 drive, everything was running smoothly until it came to rebooting after installation. Although I'd selected Fedora as the default boot OS, with Win XP as the secondary, on reboot it'd just load straight into Win XP, without even as much as showing an option screen to give me a chance to select an OS.

Next up, I decided to give Unbutu 5.10 a try, but a similar problem occurs, this time half-way through installation. After stating that I wanted to use Grub, and it recognising I also have Win XP installed, it tells me to reboot the system (using the "continue" option) and take out the installation CD, then the installation process will continue. So I do this and to my disappointment, just as with the bodged Fedora installation, it loads straight into Win XP again.

Please does anyone have any suggestions? I'm dying to Linux installed, I'm fed up with Windows but can't afford to get rid of it yet just yet. I really need a dual-boot.
 
Old 03-01-2006, 12:39 AM   #2
jens
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When the installer asks you where to install grub, select your MBR.
 
Old 03-01-2006, 01:08 AM   #3
syg00
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And by MBR, jens means boot record of the boot drive (presumably the 20Gig) - that's why it's the "MASTER" boot record.
It's possible the installer is installing to the boot record on the Ubuntu disk, which the BIOS won't attempt to look for if it finds a valid boot record earlier in the search sequence.
 
Old 03-01-2006, 01:51 AM   #4
stugi
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With both distos it's asked me if I wanted to install GRUB to the MBR (to which I selected "yes"). I tried it again just now, to make sure as I wasn't 100% certain I'd done this before. I still get the same thing though, loading straight to Windows on reboot. Any other suggestions? This is driving me nuts.
 
Old 03-01-2006, 03:21 AM   #5
syg00
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Well personally I'd be looking at the boot record of each disk to see if any had been updated.
Perhaps you'd better check to see if you have any BIOS options (e.g. virus protection) turned on that would inhibit updating the MBR.
 
Old 03-01-2006, 04:21 AM   #6
stugi
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It's been suggested by someone sle, that GRUB is being installed to a different MBR (on the drive reserved for Linux) to the one on the XP drive. I'm going to try selecting that drive to install GRUB on next time, if this doesn't work I've been advised to try changing the drive cable around, so the Linux drive is on the end plug. As a last resort I'm just gonna try creating another partition on the XP drive and installing on that.

I'm not too sure how to view the boot record for each disk, but I'll check the BIOS to see if anything's up there.

Much appreciated.
 
Old 03-01-2006, 04:35 AM   #7
kevkim55
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You can configure the Windoz boot loader to load linux as well. So whenever you boot your system you will be presented with a boot menu from which, you can select which OS to boot. Conversely, you can install GRUB on the primary drive which in your case holds Windoz, and thus, you will have the choice to boot into linux or Windoz or any other OS.
 
Old 03-01-2006, 04:57 AM   #8
timmeke
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Or, go into the BIOS, and put the Ubuntu disk before the Windows one in the boot sequence. This avoids having to change the cables. This way, it'll find the Grub that's installed on the Ubuntu disk before it reaches the Windows disk.

This is not a very clean solution. A better way would indeed be to put the Grub boot loader on the Windows disk and leave that disk to be the first disk in the boot sequence.
 
Old 03-01-2006, 05:12 AM   #9
ethics
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just as a note, it's VERY bad to install Linux on a win/DOS filesystem (FAT16/32 and NTFS) because they can't handle proper Unix permissions. During installation you should get the option to partition your drive, do that and change FAT32 filesystem to ext3 or similar.

You can use your other FAT partition for transferring files easily between the 2 OS'
 
Old 03-01-2006, 08:29 AM   #10
pixellany
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When installing Ubuntu on a separate drive from Windows, I had a similar issue. I tool the lazy way out, and put GRUB on a floppy.

As I read this, I cannot recall the Ubuntu installer (or any other one for that matter) asking me WHICH DRIVE to put grub on.

To see what's where, use dd:
read the mbr:
dd if=/dev/hdX bs=512 count=1 |hexdump -C |more (replaceX with your drive id)
1st 446 bytes is grub, 64 bytes primary partition table, 2 bytes "signature"
(You may need to boot from a live-CD distro to do this)

On my list to try: The ultimate boot CD (can't find the link, but Google will)
 
Old 03-01-2006, 06:11 PM   #11
syg00
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Or if you're lazy, "hexdump /dev/hd?" - easier to remember ...
All the loaders, and especially their messages, make it pretty obvious who's been installed where.

Last I looked (a while back) the UBCD was a bit of a disappointment - I rarely find I need anything more than Knoppix.
 
Old 03-01-2006, 07:30 PM   #12
jomen
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To clarify the issue:
What OS is on which drive?
Code:
fdisk -l /hdX
- where X is a,b,c,d

From which drive do you boot (BIOS setting)?

What is in /boot/grub/menu.lst? (currently Ubuntu is installed - right?)
Code:
cat /boot/grub/menu.lst
As an additional hint: you can use grub from the splash-screen you are apparently seeing:
press "c" when you see the splash-screen (TAB gives you a list of commands and auto-completes them)
everything after this is just assuptions right now - so, if you know how - do it - if you don't - post the requested info

Last edited by jomen; 03-01-2006 at 07:33 PM.
 
Old 03-02-2006, 09:49 AM   #13
aus9
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stugi

you seem to be good at trying to troubleshoot so I will give my aussie cents worth.

1) if you are ok with opening up your computer.....and playing with your bios after recording the old settings.....disconnect all drives but the one you want linux installed on......change its jumper to master if its IDE....change bios to boot order cd then hd....install linux and put grub into the mbr (its mbr for the seeable drive).....if that fails I deserve to go to MS, heh heh


2) now I am guessing the 120 is the current slave to ide controller 1 so its jumper will have to change

3) if that worked...if you try it....then reset jumpers and the bios will jump to mbr for the XP drive...no problem.....if you have a live cd....eg knoppix or kanotix or the linux install cd may have a rescue/recovery option you can put grub into the mbr for the first drive.....but I suggest you read my tut first


since I suspect you have ide drives you are still likely to have a floppy drive so put grub onto floppy for a test pls if you are cautious
 
  


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