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Old 09-11-2010, 08:02 PM   #1
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Question Second hdd install, boot loader queries, multiboot

Hello, I hope I am posting in the correct place.

I currently have 2 operating systems on my main hdd: Ubuntu and WinXP

My current setup - [storage NTFS partition, solely data][17GB WinXP partition][{extended partion}Ubuntu + swap]:

I have a second SATA hdd that I would like to install Arch Linux on to. It uses GRUB Legacy, and Ubuntu uses GRUB 2. I would like to know how I would go about booting this, and figure out where my current bootloader is installed to. i.e. /dev/sda or /dev/sda5 (the / ubuntu partiton)

PS - perhaps chrooting the drive via Ubuntu and installing Arch with GRUB2 is a possibility?

Last edited by masque7; 09-11-2010 at 08:03 PM. Reason: ps
Old 09-12-2010, 01:15 AM   #2
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I assume Ubuntu is currently your bootloader and not arch

If not sure grub menu E letter on keyboard

if you see a line that reads

linux...blah blah
initrd...blah have grub2

if it reads

kernel.....blah blah
initrd...blah have grub-legacy

2) Its easy to use chainloading so....with root powers edit your Ubuntu for file= /etc/grub.d/40_custom so it reads

menuentry "MBR2" {
set root=(hd1)
chainloader +1

then in a terminal run

sudo update your grub.cfg for that new entry

3) When you install arch.....make sure when it wants to do its grub stuff that you install grub into the second MBR and not your first one ok?

Also....grub legacy counts hard drives AND partitions from zero while grub2 changes partitons to count from 1.
I assume you will install arch into first partition second drive.

If unsure....leave it as no bootloader and do it manually with a live cd that has grub installed

boot live cd and in a terminal

(to get to root)
(prompt changes to grub-legacy grub>)
root (hd1,0)   ........(first partition second drive)
setup (hd1)
......wait for last line to read succeeded then type
You can read my signatures but arch has good wikis and so I imagine would ubuntu

4) Your current bootloader has 2 installs....a part is in MBR and the balance in your ubuntu partition

If your boot is separate partition then grub2 is there...otherwise its all under where ever your / partition is

YOu can check your /etc/fstab if unsure.
Old 09-12-2010, 06:14 AM   #3
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Just install Arch without a boot loader then add its entry into the GRUB that you have... or when Arch is installed install GRUB to the / partition then chain load it from the original GRUB... check through the Forum posts about GRUB to find examples for you to copy... !

ps you can have more than one GRUB doing the same job... or GRUB and LILO or LILO and LILO LOL
Old 09-12-2010, 10:17 AM   #4
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Ubuntu 10.04 uses GRUB2. "grub-install -v" confirms this.

I do not have a separate /boot partition. I'm not entirely sure of the advantages of having one either.

Chainloading from Grub2/Ubuntu into Arch/Grub-legacy seems logical. I don't understand how I would do this without Arch having a boot loader (as some suggest).

Would it be easier if I installed GRUB2 on Arch (during installation) rather than grub-legacy?


arch, boot, grub, loader, multiboot

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