Getting GRUB & Vista To Work Together

volvoguy

New Member
I'm not dead. :crazy: Of course all I had to do is mention my pain/insomnia in a public form and I've been asleep nearly since my last post! :huh:

Unforunately I haven't tested your latest instructions yet Computer Guru. I needed a break. I *was* surprised though at how productive the Vista environment was while I was trying to get my daily tasks done without my usual OS's. That's a good sign. If only they could get the default configuration memory footprint down a bit from nearly 800Mb on my system. My tweaked XP install only uses 175Mb with the OS, firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware running!

Anyway, I have a bit of an update. I was still really perplexed why installing grub on a different physical disk and making that disk boot first didn't work. So I tried it again. It got me back into WinXP just fine, but for some reason my Ubuntu install isn't recognizing my keyboard. Maybe something about reorganizing hardware. :glare:

Assuming I can get my experiment working, I *think* all I'll have to do is find out how to add Vista into GRUB. Perhaps just point GRUB at the drive Vista is installed on, or to the other IDE drive where Vista seemed to put it's bootloader. I'll keep you posted.

Aaron
 

volvoguy

New Member
Ok. I'm back with good news (I think). My SATA drive with WinXP and Ubuntu is set to boot first in the BIOS. That drive also has GRUB installed and booting both OS's perfectly. Now I just need to figure out how to get Vista in the mix. I assume what will happen is GRUB will point to a drive with Vista's bootloader on it and Vista will take it from there. I'll be able to delete XP from the Vista boot manager now too since GRUB can access it (and it'll be one less screen I see when I boot!).

How's that sound Mr. Computer Guru sir? :smile:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Sounds wonderful to me!
Here's what I'll do: I'll give you the exact code needed to use GRUB to chainload into Vista.
:smile:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Code:
title Windows Vista
	rootnoverify (hdx,y)
	chainloader +1
Where x is the drive number (starting from 0), and y is the number of the partition on the drive (starting from 0).
 

volvoguy

New Member
Cool! We're so close to perfect that I can smell it. :smile:

Now GRUB can boot all 3 OS's, but when I select Vista I go to the Vista bootloader (as expected) and still have the WinXP that I added with VistaBootPRO. Once booted into Vista I tried to remove it, but VistaBootPRO won't run saying it can't access the BCD Registry. I'm sure this is because I rearranged the boot order in the BIOS and with GRUB, but now that I'm back to fixing Vista I'm stuck again. I read all the bcdedit documentation and I don't fear the command prompt by any means, but I'm convinced MS writes their documentation in the most obscure, convoluted way possible - often using their own names for things that the rest of the world calls something else. </rant>

If you have one final suggestion for me, I'm all ears. :smile: If you remember, I have that handful of boot related files that I copied from the Vista to the Windows partition, so they should be the same in both places. I think Vista origionally put it's bootloader on yet another disc though, so that's why I think the reordering is screwing it up. If you don't have an immediate suggestion, don't worry about it. It's just cosmetic at this point - having to select Vista in GRUB and then Vista again in it's own bootmanager.

I can't thank you enough for all your help. A few days ago I was totally convinced I was going to have to reformat and reinstall all three OS's and the solution was little more than editing a few text files! You're my hero. Heh.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hey, if you're not OCD, do this instead:

In VistaBootPRO go to the second tab and set the timeout to 0.
Selecting Vista in GRUB will boot straight to Vista without displaying the boot menu again - as if GRUB boots all three :smile:

This is great news my friend, you have all three OSes working againg without a single format and with little trouble - just amazing.

Try this out and tell me if it does what you need :smile:
 

volvoguy

New Member
Computer Guru said:
In VistaBootPRO go to the second tab and set the timeout to 0.
That's the problem. When I run VistaBootPRO (as Administrator or regular user) I just get the "Error Accessing BCD Registry!" error. Because it's looking for it on a disc that's moved I assume. Is there a way to launch the app and specify, "use the BCD registry on your own disk, not the one you forced onto another disk"? (yes, I'm sarcastic even with my computer error messages). :smile:

Or perhaps... should I try running VistaBootPRO from WinXP? That's still not the disk/partition that Vista's bootmanager is installed on, but that's where I copied the system files. *shrug* Just a thought.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Try this:
Copy the (hidden) folder called "Boot" from wherever it is now (the old system partition) to the new System Partition.
 

volvoguy

New Member
Computer Guru said:
Try this:
Copy the (hidden) folder called "Boot" from wherever it is now (the old system partition) to the new System Partition.
Just copying it over didn't change the situation but perhaps I need to reboot. I'll report back next time I do so.

Oh, I also realized I abandoned the other forum where you initially found me. Once all is sorted out I'll fill them in there (or point them to this thread). I'm not sure I would have gotten to where I am now without that second drive to put GRUB on, but maybe this will still help someone.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
volvoguy said:
Computer Guru said:
Try this:
Copy the (hidden) folder called "Boot" from wherever it is now (the old system partition) to the new System Partition.
Just copying it over didn't change the situation but perhaps I need to reboot. I'll report back next time I do so.

Oh, I also realized I abandoned the other forum where you initially found me. Once all is sorted out I'll fill them in there (or point them to this thread). I'm not sure I would have gotten to where I am now without that second drive to put GRUB on, but maybe this will still help someone.
Sounds good to me, and I wish you the best of luck.

(It would be great if you'd link them to here :wink:)
 

volvoguy

New Member
Ok. I got this *mostly* workin'. Unfortunately I've been fiddling so much that I don't recall everything I did. In a nutshell, the thing that saved me was a second physical disk in my machine that I installed GRUB on. I just made that disk boot first in the BIOS and that was it. I can select Ubuntu, XP or Vista, with the two Windows doing the chainloading thing.

The only negative is that somewhere along the line, I did something to Vista's boot files that it didn't like, and I haven't been able to edit it's boot options ever since (even with VistaBootPRO). This just means that once I select Vista in my GRUB menu, it fires up Vista's bootloader - in which I tried to include XP at one point. The XP option no longer works but Vista starts up fine (probably because it's on the same physical disk as Vista's bootmanager and XP isn't). I've done all the moving around of boot files and trying to run VistaBootPRO as Administrator, but it always tells me it can't access the BCD Registry.

Since I can boot all three OS's, I'm not going to nitpick and risk messing things up trying to fix the (mostly) cosmetic Vista bootloader issue. It's worth it compared to the idea of reinstalling all three OS's in the proper order. :smile:

Computer Guru - thanks for all your help! I never would have gotten as far as I did without the info you gave me in this thread.

Aaron
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
You're very welcome Aaron, I'm just glad you have it functioning properly now.

It's up to you whether you want to give in to your inner Geek and iron it out ( :unamused:) or not :crazy: , but here's why Vista's settings aren't changing:

Vista installs the bootloader to the MBR of the main HD (unlike GRUB which asks you where you want to put it).
Now that you're using the second HD as the "boot" HD, and GRUB chainloads to the first HD, when you try to modify the settings in VistaBootPRO, it's going to try to access the Vista Bootloader off of the main HD, regardless if it's installed there or not.

Microsoft apparently assumes no one uses any other OS - arrogant, but helpless.

Oh, and forget what I said above, if you try to install the Vista bootloader to the second HD, it'll wipe out GRUB.. as I'm sure you've figured out by now :blank:
 

mizerydearia

New Member
I am using a laptop with a single hard drive.
It came preinstalled with Windows Vista.
I left it and installed Windows XP.
Then I installed Gentoo Linux and Grub that overwrote the MBR.
I then followed http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:x12Rfr8aZgMJ:auscoder.com/2007-05-18/restore-vista-mbr-bootloader.html+restore+vista+mbr&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us to restore Vista's boot manager so that I could boot into Vista again.

After reviewing all replies in this thread I realize that Vista can't chainload boot to Grub, so if I want to have all three o/s installed on a single hard drive, would it be possible to install Grub to the mbr and install Vista's boot manager into the bootsector of the partition it's installed onto and then have Grub point to that bootsector to chainload the boot manager there?

It sounds feasible, but I'm not sure how I can install Vista's boot manager into a bootsector instead of the mbr. Any ideas?
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
It is possible to chainload to a bootsector from Vista's bootmgr with NeoGrub. When you install Linux, specify you want it to install grub to it's partition rather then the MBR and add a Linux entry in EasyBCD to point to that partition. You can also use EasyBCD to add an entry to boot XP. Have a look at these wiki articles:

http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/G/Installing+Windows+Vista
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/G/Installing+Windows+XP
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/EasyBCD+Documentation+Home
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Justin is spot-on, EasyBCD was designed to be able to chainload GRUB or LILO without any problems.

mizerydearia, this is an old thread and not all the information in it is still applicable all these EasyBCD versions later :smile:

Welcome to NST, btw.
 
Top