2x Vista running, adding 1x Linux

Right now, I have two Vista partitions and have configured the boot manager with EasyBCD. Now I want to add SuSE Linux to my setup. One option is to install it in a partition with GRUB in the same partition, then configure the Vista boot manager to have a third option.

But I tend to go the other way, install Linux on a partition and GRUB in the MBR to control the boot process. Now I need some advice how to get this working. This is my plan (with some speculations and assumptions):
  • After installing Linux and GRUB, I hope that GRUB will have detected Linux and both Vistas, so I will have three entries in GRUB.
  • Linux and one of the Vistas should be loaded directly (?), but I expect the other Vista to show me the Vista boot manager with the two Vista partitions. Obviously I want to get rid of this unnecessary intermediate step. Do I just delete the second Vista entry with EasyBCD?
Does this make sense? Is there anything that I should take care before starting?



Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Nope, won't work.

You'll have GRUB bootloader with two entries: Linux and Other.
Selecting Other will give you a second boot menu to choose which Vista you want to use.
So what you are telling me is: If I want to have ONE boot loader with three options, I should use the Vista boot loader because GRUB won't be able to detect both Vista partitions!? Ok, why not. I was just hoping to get a graphically more appealing boot manager which doesn't take a couple of seconds between my BIOS screen and the boot manager screen.

Just out of curiosity, what is the technical reason that GRUB only detects one of the two partitions, namely the one with the Vista boot manager on it?



Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hi Bernd,

Unfortunately, that is correct. The reason is that while it is possible to load Linux directly thanks to its open-source architecture, Microsoft has made it (literally) impossible to load Windows *Anything* directly and instead you must go through the Windows bootloader in the middle anyhow.

So what GRUB detects is the Vista bootloader and not the actual Vista installation.