Grub Update in Ubuntu 10.4 Ate the MBR

#1
Hi,

First of all, thanks to Mahmoud for EasyBCD - a must have in any computer user's toolbox.

I have a problem that I am hoping the forum can solve. I wanted to dual boot Ubuntu 10.4 Linux with Windows 7 with an Dell laptop. The wubi loader worked fine running under Windows but I wanted to play in a 'real' Linux environment, so I shrank my hard drive and proceeded to get frustrated with failed attempts and numerous restores of Windows. That is until I followed the new Neosmart instructions for dual booting Windows and Ubuntu and everything worked beautifully. I was easily and seemlessly dual booting between the two environments. That is until Grub2 struck back.

On the initial install of Ubuntu, I did all the program updates except the two Grub updates, because I suspected these to be the cause of the problems I experienced in my earlier, failed, attempts to dual boot. Feeling confident using the Easy BCD boot load management, I ran the Grub updates. Now, the machine will only boot Ubuntu. Clearly the updated Grub2 wiped out the MBR setup so well by Easy BCD.

Can anyone suggest how I can get back to where I was - dual booting Windows 7 and Ubuntu. The only environment I can use now is Ubuntu and I am a Linux novice and don't know where to start.

Thanks,

locksalordy
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
#3
Hi,

Thanks for the advice.

Anticipating problems I created a Win7 rescue disk a few days earlier. The Windows repair did not work but doing it 'longhand' in DOS worked a treat except that shutdown.exe wasn't present; not a problem, the finger on the power button did the trick. I ran EasyBCD again to setup the grub2 boot entry and am now back to painless Win 7 / Ubuntu 10.4 dual boot.

Linux's grub2 is a very badly behaved program - aptly named. It is worth noting that Ubuntu 10.4 Update Manager will install grub-common and grub-pc unless you specifically deselect them. Running the latest updates is very important on any newly installed system but the grub update is positively dangerous and should only be selected if you know what you're doing (which I don't).

Thanks again,

locksalordy
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Be careful though - if you don't run grub-update, you could end up unable to boot into Linux.

Linux is stupid - the kernel name is not fixed, rather it has the version number appended to it. The bootloader loads the kernel, and when the kernel is updated, it needs to load a different path.

In the past, updating the kernel would result in just an update of the grub config file, which works a treat. But now, grub-update is used, forcing a re-install of GRUB to the MBR, which is just plain stupid. And they say MS software doesn't work well with others!
 
#6
OK.

Thanks for the warning.

I guess Linux, like most OS's, considers itself lord of all it surveys and is not written explicitly to live comfortably with a closely-coupled alter-ego that thinks it too is the boss. In other words, grub2 would be just fine if it wasn't living in a dual boot environment.

All part of the learning experience,

locksalordy