EasyBCD + GRUB Issues

#1
Hi,

I'm really sorry if this issue has come up a million times, but I've been looking around on these forums and on the internet in general, trying to find a resolution...

Basically, I've been triple booting 98SE, WinXP, and Vista for several months, having used EasyBCD without any major issues. However, just recently, I set up a Ubuntu Linux install on a second harddrive, and I cannot get it all to play nicely.

Now, I suppose I could have installed Ubuntu in such a way that it would take over the MBR and then GRUB could point to the Vista BCD in order to boot the Windows OS's. However, the way I opted to install was this: I disconnected the first harddrive, connected the new one, and installed Ubuntu as if it were the only OS in the system. This way, given any drive failure, they are both autonomous. Anyway, my reason is kind of beside the point.

So, if I only connect the Linux drive, GRUB loads, and gives me its little menu of options for how to boot Ubuntu. If I connect both drives, the primary one is obviously the one that boots (in my case, Windows). What I want to do is get Vista's bootloader to have another entry for Ubuntu, such that upon selection, it hands off to the GRUB installed on that second drive, which can then continue to boot as if it had been the only drive connected. Do you follow, or am I being confusing?

I guess I have 2 main issues. First, how can I get Linux to boot, period, because anything I try results in an inability to mount the drive or some other nonsense. Second, I do not like the idea of using this NeoGrub thing... I don't see why Vista's bootloader cannot simply hand off to Linux's bootloader. Anyway, if I need to explain myself more clearly, please let me know... I'll be checking these boards fairly often for a response. Any help would be appreciated, and thank you for your time and patience.

-Douglas
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi Douglas, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

I'm sorry to say that you committed the number one biggest mistake of dual-booting: Dont unplug your boot drive before installing a new OS! Please! at The NeoSmart Files

The correct way of doing it is outline in our Wiki and is to keep the drives connected and then direct Ubuntu to install GRUB to its own partition's bootloader instead of the MBR.

Only if you did that would Vista be capable of handing off the bootloading process to Ubuntu. Unfortunately, disconnecting drives sends all that to hell and leaves you with just two options:

1) Reinstall GRUB. To the bootsector this time, and make sure it re-configures your menu.lst as well.
2) Use NeoGrub.
 
#3
Ok, I figured out what was ailing me... I had forgotten to update the menu.lst file on my Linux drive - it was still pointing to itself as if it were hd0, when in fact, once I reconnected the Windows drive, it became hd1. So, I adjusted those entries, and I'm good to go!

-Douglas
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Awesome.

If menu.lst still has an entry for booting into Windows, delete it. That way, when you choose Ubuntu it'll go straight to Linux.