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Thread: Win7 - Arch Linux dual boot with 2 HDD: unable to configure EasyBCD

  1. #1
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    Question Win7 - Arch Linux dual boot with 2 HDD: unable to configure EasyBCD

    Well, here it's the configuration.

    Two hard disks: 1) a 120GB SSD, upon which I installed Windows 7; 2) a 200GB mechanical HDD, upon which I installed, a few days ago, Linux Mint.

    GRUB2 was written on the MBR of the second hdd (I didn't want to touch the MBR of the SSD) and, using EasyBCD, I was able in less than 5 minutes to configure the Windows Boot Loader to manage the two installations. It all ran well and I was happy.

    But... there's always a "but", you know. Well, this "but" is I didn't really like Linux Mint (I come from Slackware, then Debian for several years and I wanted to try something fresh, but I found that Linux Mint - though certainly "fresh"... as mint - doesn't really adhere to my tastes). So, I looked around and I put my eyes on Arch Linux, which I fell in love with by trying in a virtual machine.

    So, long story short, I wiped Linux Mint from my second HDD and I installed Arch Linux. As always, I made GRUB (please note: the old legacy one provided by Arch installer, this time, and not GRUB2) go in the MBR of the second hdd. I then launched Windows 7, ran EasyBCD and accordingly deleted the old "Linux Mint" entry and then added a new "Arch Linux" entry, configuring it to use "GRUB Legacy" and pointing it to the first partition of the drive 0 (that is, the "/boot" partition of the second HDD).

    I rebooted and... well, the situation is as follows:
    - every time I choose "Arch Linux" the cursor blinks in the top left corner of the screen and after some seconds, without any error, the monitor turns black and the PC restarts;
    - If I choose to boot into Windows, it's all ok;
    - if I make the BIOS look, first of all, at the second HDD (the one with Arch Linux, you know), GRUB correctly runs from that device and it lets me boot into Linux.

    So, the problem seems to be the Windows Boot Loader, as managed by EasyBCD, as the hard disks can boot in the respective OS when they're set as primary in the BIOS. Any idea?

    P.S.: I know I could probably solve by making the second HDD the primary one in the BIOS and letting the GRUB on that HDD manage the boot, after editing its configuration to make it advised of the Windows installation on the SSD. In this way: a) I'd let GRUB stay on the mechanical HDD, instead of touching with its hands the SSD; b) I'd solve and make my dual boot configuration run without any major headache; c) I could spend my few spare time doing something else than elucubrating about MBRs, boots, and so on (maybe a girl or two wouldn't be a bad idea). But (here it's another "but"... I've plenty of them), but I'm just too much curious how to solve it by using the Windows Boot Loader (and EasyBCD) and, so, by leaving in the BIOS the SSD as primary and the HDD as secondary block device.
    Last edited by jojoman; April 19th, 2012 at 11:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    What kind of bootloader does Arch Linux use (GRUB or GRUB2?), and where is its configuration file stored? What filesystem is your /boot partition?
    Mahmoud Al-Qudsi, Director



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  3. #3
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    Did you tick "Use EasyBCD's copy...." when adding the legacy grub entry ?
    (necessary due to grub shortcomings if the bootloaders are on different devices)
    Terry

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Computer Guru View Post
    What kind of bootloader does Arch Linux use (GRUB or GRUB2?), and where is its configuration file stored? What filesystem is your /boot partition?
    Well, as explained in the post (but I probably messed up with words, my fault), the Arch Linux installer uses GRUB, not GRUB2. My /boot partition is an ext2 filesystem and the configuration file is /boot/grub/menu.lst


    Quote Originally Posted by Terry60 View Post
    Did you tick "Use EasyBCD's copy...." when adding the legacy grub entry ?
    (necessary due to grub shortcomings if the bootloaders are on different devices)
    No, didn't use that option to be honest. I only added the entry "Arch Linux" as a "GRUB Legacy" one pointing to the /boot partition of the drive 0. I didn't use the option because I hadn't to with my previous Linux Mint installation (based on GRUB2). Is that important?

  5. #5
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    I draw your attention to the first word in parentheses in my previous post.
    see point 7 in the sticky
    Terry

    Baker of fine scones.



    Please keep requests for help in the forums where everyone can see them, not in Private Messages.
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  6. #6
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    Short answer: based on the info you provided, Terry's solution should instantly work for you.
    Mahmoud Al-Qudsi, Director



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  7. #7
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    Oh, I see. That makes quite a sense, too. Now I understand why, while I had Linux Mint installed, there was a file in a subfolder of the root directory of the C: drive, under Windows, named "NeoSmartGrub"-something. That was EasyBCD applying automatically the fix when I chose "GRUB2" as boot manager.

    Well, I'll try but I can't see why it shouldn't run to be honest. It seems it should do the job pretty straight. I'll make you eventually know, should I need some further help, but I don't think it will be necessary, so thanks a lot and sorry if I didn't RTFM (well, I did, but I looked at EasyBCD guide and didn't care about the sticky in the forum)!

  8. #8
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    We acknowledge that the FM has not always been as up to date as it might be in a properly staffed professional organization with a documentation department, but since Neosmart is in fact a one man band with 4 or 5 globally spread volunteers helping out in the forum whenever a spare moment arises, we attempt to avoid such curt responses and aim more for the apologetic nudge.
    (I pointed you to the sticky, then realized that it wasn't up to date. The info was correct but the text on the tick box had changed since it was first written, with obvious potential for confusion. (Embarrassed cough ! - don't look at the "last edit" datestamp))
    Terry

    Baker of fine scones.



    Please keep requests for help in the forums where everyone can see them, not in Private Messages.
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