Please Help - Vista and Ubuntu / EasyBCD Help!

shudogg

New Member
#1
OK, usually I can figure things out on my own, but I have quite a few things on my Ubuntu drive that I would really not have to re-do again. I have already backed my important stuff (file server) off of my Ubuntu HD, but as I said, I would rather not have to format the drive if I don't have to.

I have three hard drives in my computer. Main hard drive is a 36.7GB SATA WD Raptor, second is a 200 GB Storage drive (NO OS at all!), and third is a 40GB IDE drive that has Ubuntu on it. The storage drive should probably be last and E: but it is second and D: becuase Linux was added last and all my shortcuts and stuff point to D: for my storage drive.

My SATA drive runs Vista, and during setup months back I removed my 200GB drive so it didn't add a boot record to it. I have been getting by going into the BIOS and switching the drives to select which OS I wanted to boot to, but it is a little more complicated trying to teach my fiance how to do this as she doesn't use Linux very well.

So I have heard that Grub doesn't allow you to have Windows the default, so if the selection times out, it won't just boot to Windows. Anyways I would rather use the Windows Boot Loader anyways. So I found EasyBCD. I installed the 1.61 beta (newest one) and went from there. I added a Linux entry and selected that I don't have grub installed. When I would try to boot to Linux through the new boot menu, it wouldn't. So then I read the forums here, and tried some things, and now when I try to boot to Linux, it says no OS found or something like that. So I tried to switch to the drive in the BIOS, and it still wouldn't boot. So now for some reason my Linux is screwed up, and I still have no progress in getting it to boot from the Windows Boot Loader.

I have read other topics around here, and figured instead of picking out from different topics, I would create my own so I know which pertains to my computer.

So please help Guru. What do I do now? Is there a way I can fix a boot file to get Ubuntu to boot again, or do I have to format it? After I get everything fixed, do I have to install GRUB, or do I select grubless? Do I tell it to re-install Windows Boot Manager? Please help!
 

mqudsi

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

You need to install the Vista bootloader on the MBR, install GRUB to the bootsector of the Ubuntu partition, then add an GRUB entry in EasyBCD.

Directions: http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Linux

No format of anything needed.
 

shudogg

New Member
#3
Well I wrote down the things you told me to do, then I printed off the page you linked to. Following the instructions, I now am able to boot back into my linux, but I have to switch drive order in the BIOS. It does show my Ubuntu in the Boot Menu now, but when I try to boot into Linux it says "A disk read error has occured".

I take it installing GRUB allowed me to boot into Linux now fixing my "No Operating System" error, so at least I didn't lose anything!

I am still curious on getting this software to work. As I said, I have the two Operating Systems on seperate hard drives. Could I just need to try the different options for selecting where the boot loader is? Like in the Add/Remove entry page, do I need to select a different partition? I tried the larger partition as the other two where only 2 GB and not 0,0. I got hd0,0 when I did the find command in terminal.
I may play around with the settings as time permits until you can reply back. Hopefully I can get this going :grinning: Maybe my problem is that they are not the same Hard Drives and your program is designed for 1 hard drive partitioned?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
No, it isn't. It works just fine with 2 or more hard drives.

What you did wrong was install GRUB to the MBR instead of the bootsector, so EasyBCD won't work.

Easy way out: download 1.61 beta, and use the "GRUB isn't installed" checkbox when adding the Linux entry.
 

shudogg

New Member
#5
Ok, well after your first reply, I printed out the 4 page directions and followed them to a "T", installing GRUB to the bootsector and not the MBR. So right now, do I need to remove grub, re-install the vista boot manager, or just add the entry using the option "grub isn't installed". I swear I just tried all the options in there and that didn't work either.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Go ahead and try the "GRUB isn't installed" option?
Where did/does it get you?
 

shudogg

New Member
#7
I got "Error 17: File Not Found" when trying to boot into Ubuntu. I have a folder on my vista drive (C) labeled "NST" which is where the info to instruct the windows boot loader on how to find and load linux. It almost seems that it is looking on my C drive still, when this is not the case.

I do not have any partitions! I have 3 hard drives. Drive C has Vista on it, drive D is just a storage drive with no OS, and Vista doesn't support the Linux filetype so I don't know what Vista labels that hard drive. So my third drive is Ubuntu Linux! When it said "File Not Found" it also said the filetype was NTFS which means the NST boot loader is pointing to the wrong hard drive looking for linux.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
No, sounds like that error is happening when it's attempting to load the initial instructions for finding the EasyBCD/NeoGrub menu.lst file.... weird.

Are you using Dynamic Drives by any chance?
 

shudogg

New Member
#9
I believe so. I have never heard of the term dynamic drives, so I may be wrong.

C Drive is SATA 0 [Master and 1st in boot sequence] Windows Vista
D Drive is IDE [Slave and 2nd in boot sequence] 200GB Storage
0 Linux is IDE (Windows Vista doesn't see this drive in My Computer)

In order to boot into Linux, I would enter BIOS and change the boot priority of the last drive before the SATA C drive so the list to boot to linux is:

0 Linux is IDE (Windows Vista doesn't see this drive in My Computer)
C Drive is SATA 0 [Master and 1st in boot sequence] Windows Vista
D Drive is IDE [Slave and 2nd in boot sequence] 200GB Storage

Please note that the drive isn't labeled 0 or anything, I just am calling it 0 for this post as it doesn't have a name in Windows or even show up as the C and D naming scheme is a Windows thing where Linux labels 0, 1 and so on.

Here may lie the issue >> In order to setup grub according to the instructions pointed to above, I have to switch Linux to the first in the list thus making it go from (2,0)? to (0,0). So when I type the command to see what hard drive Im on in Grub, it prompts (0,0) but when I have the Vista HD first like the first example above, the hard drive (i think) is (2,0). I have edited /boot/grub/menu.list for (2,0), (1,0) and (0,0), and nothing.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
Gotcha.

Delete the old Linux entry.

Boot from a Linux Live CD (not into Linux if it requires changing of drive order!) and install GRUB to the Ubuntu partition (not the MBR as it is currently installed!) by following the directions at http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/Linux for reinstalling GRUB.

Open the menu.lst file and change it from something like this:
Code:
title Ubuntu
root (hd1,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.17-10-generic ro root=/dev/hdb2
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.17-10-generic
boot
to something like this:
Code:
title Ubuntu
find --set-root /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.17-10-generic
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.17-10-generic ro root=/dev/hdb2
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.17-10-generic
boot
This way it will automatically search for and load Ubuntu, no matter what the order of the drives is.

At this point, reboot into Vista and a new (normal) Linux entry with EasyBCD.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#12
Temple, use the find line as well with no root (hdx,y) line or use root (hdx,y) finding x for disk and y for partition without the find line.