add a 4th to a triple boot system

#1
Everything is working fine.
set up: 1st Hard Ddrive sata - vista and xp
2nd Hard Drive sata - Ubuntu

What I would like to do, but don't even know if it's possible.
I would like to create a so called test partition in the 2nd HD
to put a 2nd Linux Distro - pclinuxos.
Could this work? How would I handle the MBR? What happens with the GRUB?
I have used "easybcd 1.71 in the past to set up my present system.
Thanks for any help
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Install the test linux install to another partition on the second drive with grub loading to that partition's bootsector. After that you may or may not need to copy the entries created from a menu.lst on the newly installed linux partition to the menu.lst you use to boot linux (whether thats at /boot/grub/menu.lst on your first install's partition or on your Windows partition at /nst/menu.lst if you're using NeoGrub in a manual configuration. If you install to the bootsector of the partition you shouldn't have a need to recover the Vista bootloader but if you do, you can do that with startup repair or EasyBCD if the linux installer created and entry in grub that'll allow you back into Windows.

From there on, the linux entry you've already created using EasyBCD well continue to give you a second menu with your linux boot options, with when setup properly, the added entries for your new install.

Ideally, I would recommend you create a virtual machine instead since it'll be a test machine, so you can use it within your other install of linux/windows without having to reboot the computer.
 
#3
Thank you for helping Kairozamorro.

Hope I am not breaking any rules by uploading these attachments.
They are 4 screens that I hope will help explain the situation that
I have arrived at. If I am, tell me what to do that is acceptable
I can't add pcclos because neogrub is complaining that it already exists,
which it does. Deleting it wipes out the entry for Ubuntu. I haven't installed
Pcclos yet as I think the boot record has to be entered then the program.
Not sure about that.
Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
You need to select where the linux partition is, which you can't do with the grub/mbr option below enabled as you can see. Like I said in my post, your goal is to merge the menu.lst created with your test install with the menu.lst you're currently using. You need to adjust the pasted entries so any root (hd0,y) lines are pointing to root (hd1,y) instead for the second hard disk in the system if they're not already. Like EasyBCD complains you can have only one entry. Using the modified menu.lst with entries from both installs you'll get a second grub menu after you've selected the linux entry from the vista bootloader. You may want to rename the entry "linux" or "grub" instead of "ubuntu" if you're running more than one distro of linux.
 
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#5
I was unable to follow the instructions above.
So I improvised. Loaded "PCLinuxOS over Ubuntu.
When I installed PClinuxOS I loaded the grub
to that hard drive as I had disconnected the 1st
HD that has windows on it.
I can boot into it if I disconnect the 1st sata HD.
I am using "easybcd 2.0" and took out the entry
for Ubuntu and replaced it with PclinuxOS.
PclinuxOS is set for the the 2nd SATA hd.
I tried it with a Check in the Grub thingy and
without the Check in the Grub thingy. Neither worked.
I can boot into Vista and XP PRO on the first HD.
I only do this randomly and its very difficult for me
to remember what I did 6 months ago.
This email is coming from Vista on the 1 HD.
If you can spare a few moments to help, it would
be most appreciated.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
If you have a linux partition on the same HDD as Vista, you can add a Linux entry to the BCD directly (don't tick the "grub isn't installed...." box). You can add another entry for another Linux on the same HDD in the same way.
However, there is a problem (with grub, not EasyBCD) trying to add a Linux entry to the BCD if the Linux partition is on a different HDD.(your situation)
In this case, EasyBCD provides you with the ability to boot Linux using Neogrub (tick the "grub isn't installed...." box).
Unfortunately it's not designed to boot multiple Linux partitions on a different HDD directly.
As you've discovered, trying to add the 2nd Linux replaces the original Neogrub menu.lst with the version for the new system.
You need to copy the contents of the menu.lst Neogub created for each of your 2 Linux systems, and merge them yourself into a single menu.lst containing both systems.
Then when you choose Linux from the 1st boot menu (Vista's), you'll get a second menu (Neogrub's) where you can choose between the two Linux systems.
 
#7
Thanks for helping Terry60.
I gave up on trying to put 2 LInux distros on the same HD.
I loaded PclinuxOs over Ubuntu thereby wiping it out.
I no longer have Ubuntu.
So my System is:
HD 1 - Vista and XP PRO
HD 2 - PclinuxOS
Everything works by disconnecting the HD I don't want to use.
I don't understand Easybcd well enough to get all three to work.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
In that case,as far as I know, you should be able to triple boot the Linux by removing the Linux entry, uninstalling Neogrub, then adding the linux entry gain with the "grub is not ..." box ticked.
That's if pclinuxos works the same way as ubuntu. (I'm not familiar with it, so can't guarantee it. CG will need to say if it's not supported the same way.)
 
#9
Thanks for replying Terry60.
I think I have tried what you suggested but I will try again.
I just gained access to the PClinuxOS forum and there is quite a bit on triple booting
but I need more time to study it.
I see some reference to Easybcd.
I hope CG can tell us that Easybcd will work with PClinuxOS.
I'm gun shy now. Will be afraid to ever change anything again.
Can't remember something I did 6 months ago.

Did what you suggested and I still can't boot PClinuxOS.
Looked in nst\nst_linux.mbr. It had nothing in it.
Think I will try going back to Easybcd 1.71 and see what happens.
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#10
The beta has much more support for linux than 1.7.x, so going back well give you less support and if 2.0 can't fix it 1.7.x can't. If you continue to have problems I'd advise running in a VM like orginally suggested. Its much easier to setup and being a test install I doubt you're going to want to haft to reboot the computer everytime you want to try something.
 
#11
Thanks for any help.
Most of my problems were caused by Gparted.
I now have Vista, XP PRO, Ubuntu and pclinuxos installed.
I can boot into Vista, XP PRO and Ubuntu but not into pclinuxos.
I have enclosed an attachment of the settings in Easybcd 2.0
I noticed in looking at the layout in Gparted the sdb1 (Ubuntu) shows the mount point as "/".
Sdb3 (pclinuxos) shows no mount point.
If I go to the Easybcd selection screen and select pclinuxos(pclos), I get a black screen with one word "GRUB".
If any other info is needed I would be most happy to comply.
Nothing is ever easy.
 

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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
You need to go back to my post #6.
The entry for pclinuxos should be removed from the BCD (It's not booting because it's trying to go directly ("grub isn't....." not ticked) and that can't be done when the Linux partition is on a different HDD
Merge the menu.lst entry describing the pclinuxos partition into the neogrub menu.lst so that the Neogrub menu.lst gives you 2 Linux options to boot (you can't add the entry with the box ticked because it will just replace Ubuntu in Neogrub's menu.lst)
You need to do a bit of work yourself and merge the two Linux boots into one menu.lst.
Then "change settings" in EasybCD to rename the Ubuntu option in the BCD to "Linux", and choosing that option will give you a second menu (Neogrub's menu.lst, which you've just manually turned into a choice of 2 options) where you will be able to choose between Ubuntu and Pclinuxos.
 
#13
Hi Terry60,
I feel bad about taking up your valuable time with my problems.

I deleted the pclinuxos from the bcd list as you directed.
Here is what shows up in /NST:
menu
neogrub
grub
I do not have a menu.lst from pclinuxos to merge with the one from Ubuntu.

No Matter, there is another simpler solution.
The original reason that I wanted the 2 Linux partitions was to preserve my e-mails
and bookmarks , keep Ubuntu until I was sure that I liked pclinuxos and It would spare
me from the ancient command line philosophy of Ubuntu. I think that I have seen enough of pclinuxos so far that it is more up to date than Ubuntu. SO, why don't I uninstall Ubuntu and repartition the drive to include the entire drive and install pclinuxos. This would eliminate the conflict I am now having.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#14
That file "menu" is presumably "menu.lst", but you have "known filetypes" hidden.
If you're playing around with the OS like we do to get dual boot working, you must be able to see everything.
Make sure your folder options are set like this
Open menu.lst with notepad or wordpad and you'll see the syntax for booting Ubuntu.
Just add another section for the other Linux, with the appropriate partition change.

Or if you really only want one Linux, add that one to the BCD with the box ticked, and everything will work as you want.
 
#15
Hate to bother you all again but I have no choice.

Goal: trying to triple boot.
Set up:
1st SATA HD: Vista business(1st partition), XP PRO(2nd partition)
2nd SATA HD: PcLinoxOS(1st partition) rest of drive is unallocated
Easybcd 2.0

Can boot into Vista and XP PRO
Can boot into pclinuxos if I disconnect HD 1
Can NOT boot into pclinuxos when both drives are connected.

I have attached a picture of the Neo-Grub.
Trouble with not finding hd0. I did not see anything in the installation of pclinuxos that gave me control over this. When I used Easybcd to set up pclinuxos I checked the "Grub isn't installed to MBR/bootsector".
Thanks for your help.
 

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#16
Solved,
I want to thank all those who helped me with this.
I can now boot into all 3 OSs. Vista, XP and pclinuxos.
The people at pclinuxos helped me with my installation
errors.
Needless to say, when I sign off of Neosmart I'm backing up
my system to an external HD.