Triple Booting Vista, XP and Ubuntu - possible EasyBCD IDE/SATA error

#1
Hi There,

I'm new to this forum but have been tearing my hair out for weeks trying to boot Ubuntu as part of a triple boot setup that has the following config:

Vista on SATA 1 (NTFS - 466GB)
XP on SATA 2 (NTFS - 279GB)
Ubuntu on IDE 1 (Linux Native - 143GB)

Ubunty sees the IDE 1 Drive as /dev/sdc and Ubuntu has the Bootloader installed in the partition /dev/sdc1 as per instructions on Neosmart web site

EasyBCD sees the Ubuntu Disk as Disk 0, the Vista Disk as Disk 1 and the XP Disk as Disk 2

When creating the Linux entry in EasyBCD I had initially selected Grub from the Linux tab and Drive 0, Partition 0 (Linux Native - 143GB) from the drop down drive selector. THis resulted in an error message (seen so many I can't remember which one).

I then Installed Neogrub and undertook many edits of the Menu.lst file to replicate the entries in the Menu.lst file on the Ubuntu installation - all to no avail. Again numerous error messages - bad file, can't mount etc.

As a last resort (and I have spent hours reading numerous similar forum posts) I decided to do what I beleived was completely illogical and that was to start from scratch and this time select drive 2 as the drive to boot Ubuntu from (i.e. the XP disk). The logic being that if Ubuntu thought it was installed on the 3rd disk (Disk 2) then it might actually be!!

This now works perfectly

So - despite EasyBCD telling me that Drive 0 is my Ubuntu disk - it is actually Disk 2 - even though EasyBCD tells me that Drive 0 has Partition 0 - 143GB and Partition 1 - Swap - 6GB

Can anyone explain this or have I just been stupid :smile:

Hopefully this explanation will help some else who, like me, refuses to give up - despite the odds. If anything is unclear please ask.

Two achievements today - fixed the Carpet cleaner and fixed my triple boot!!

Tony
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
The drive numbers you see in EasyBCD are those that the OS you're running from calls them.
If you run EasyBCD alongside Vista Disk Management, you should see that the disk and partition numbers match in the Linux drop down with what you see in the dsk mgmt.
Unfortunately, with a SATA/IDE mix Vista always displays the IDE disk first even when you're booting from the SATA and the BIOS is calling it disk(0).
This caused a lot of problems in the early builds of HnS, but I hadn't realized that it might afflict Easy too.
There have been a number of people having inexplicable difficulty trying to get Linux booting properly recently, which might be explained by the IDE /SATA disparity between Windows and the BIOS.
I'm moving this thread into the bug forum, so Guru can assess whether this is a previously unrecognized problem, or whether we're both on the wrong track.
 
#3
Thanks - I thought the post had been lost. I have two machines configured like this and have experienced the same problem with both and so I was assuming it was me who was causing the problem.

As you say there are numerous people who seem to have similar problems - most with unresolved posts - it might be worth summarising my post as a sticky in the Support forum as a potential solution for those mixing SATA and IDE drives.

There may be a number of people like me who have Vista and XP on SATA drives and have decided to explore linux on a separate IDE drive which was lying around.

Tony
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Sorry Tony, I should have left you a link from the other forum, and sorry also for the lack of a proper welcome to the boards on the occasion of your 1st post.
I've recently created space for Windows 7 and Ubuntu (on my old IDE disk !!), and having put W7 on with the least fuss of anything I've ever installed, was in the process of researching the Ubuntu install.
I hesitated because, despite all the documentation here and elsewhere that it should be a doddle, I too had noticed the number of posts recently from people who just couldn't make a new (known bootable) Linux accessible from their multi-boot menu, and threads that became mini-epics of multiple trials and tribulations.
My thought process "they cant all be stupid - what am I missing here ?" made me delay, and as an HnS user, I would have come to the same point of identifying the drive to a grub menu.lst which plagued auto detection in the early builds. (boot.ini in XP also uses BIOS drive numbering)
Because I hadn't yet got to installing a Linux system, I'd never had cause to look at that particular dropdown in EasyBCD, but as soon as I saw your post, bells started ringing.
As soon as Guru confirms that it is a problem, as I suspect, I'll set about placing appropriate warnings.
The obvious place would be in the wiki and in the "Please Read......" sticky which could have a new section added.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
I guess I should really get that partition-lister out....
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Can the logic you used to get round the IDE problem in HnS be included In EasyBCD 2.0 to fix that dropdown misinformation ?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
Unfortunately not. HnS was a huge effort that involved *not* predetermining the drive numbers, instead during boot-time HnS would look at all the drives on the system and pick the right one.

But NTLDR doesn't have that luxury.
 
#8
I'm curious about this myself. :smile: First of all...How could EasyBCD even detect Linux Native partitions in the first place, if Windows can't, and the software itself is run from Windows...:wink:

That has been a question in my mind for quite a while now, and I finally decided to ask about it. :smile: Also...Guru mentioned a "partition-lister". :wink: What is this exactly, and how does it work?

-Coolname007
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
EasyBCD can tell because Windows can see the partitions, it just doesn't recognize them natively. If it did, it would tell you the filesystem and allow you to mount to access content without having to format.

There is a thread on the partition-lister somewhere here. It is a program based on an idea of Terrys that CG wrote to help make our lives easier. It lists the users partitions like disk management, but also tries to identify which OS is on each partition in case the user doesn't know or doesn't have thier partitions labeled so we can tell. Users that are having problems can run the program and provide us with the details, so we know exactly what needs to be done instead of having to go down 2 to 3 pages in replies to get to the bottom of it.
 
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#10
EasyBCD can tell because Windows can see the partitions, it just doesn't recognize them natively. If it did, it would tell you the filesystem and allow you to mount to access content without having to format.
Alright. Thanks for clearing that part up, Justin. :smile:
There is a thread on the partition-listener somewhere here. It is a program based on an idea of Terrys that CG wrote to help make our lives easier. It lists the users partitions like disk management, but also tries to identify which OS is on each partition in case the user doesn't know or doesn't have thier partitions labeled so we can tell. Users that are having problems can run the program and provide us with the details, so we know exactly what needs to be done instead of having to go down 2 to 3 pages in replies to get to the bottom of it.
Ahh...NICE! :joy: Like I just stated in my "Ubuntu transferring files" thread, CG certainly comes up with a lot of awesome ideas! :brows: So what is the "official" name of this program? And any chance you have the link to the thread on it, you mentioned, handy?...:wink: I would like to check out this program myself!

-Coolname007
 
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#12
Its partition lister/identifier not listener like I was saying :lol:
w/e CG whats to call it is fine with me. It could be called the "save my time and help fix my problem faster" program for all I care :smile:
Hahaha! :lol: Yeah...I noticed you said "listener" instead of "lister", but I wasn't about to correct you since I just posted all those corrections of what Guru wrote in my other thread, about the EMBR and so forth! :brows: I'm glad you discovered your mistake. :tongueout:

Thanks for the link.

-Coolname007

EDIT: Oh right! The "Partition Identifier"! It turns out that I had already discovered that before...I didn't realize that that was what CG was referring to here! :grinning:
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
Good News !
I just noticed that W7 HDD numbering has come into line with the BIOS.
My "system" partition is listed in disk management and EasyBCD as being on disk 0, and the IDE drive has relinquished 0 status and become disk 1
The Linux dropdown in Easy now has the correct disk numbers too, so it looks like, if I do my Linux quad boot from W7 rather than from Vista, I should be able to get it looking in the right place without need of subterfuge.
 

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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#14
Awesome. Hopefully they'll publish a fix for Vista and if their really generous XP too :smile:
Make some of the support problems we have on here a little easier to deal with.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#15
I was just about to point out the same, actually! I was working on the drive lister the other day and was surprised to see it listed my Velociraptor 300 (system boot disk) as drive 0 on Windows 7 (where I'm now doing my primary programming & development).

They will *never* release an update for an older version of Windows - something like this would break a hell of a lot of software that was built /with/ this particular, buggy behavior in mind.