Trouble Dual Booting Vista(32bit) and Ubuntu

#1
Hey there,
I am currently working on a Vista/Ubuntu dual boot on my laptop. I have my vista on my main hard drive, and I am booting Ubuntu on my external. I would just use grub, but the fact that I am using a external makes me have to use the Vista/Longhorn first. So Using EasyBCD I am trying to get my boot sequence correct. I found a tutorial, and it seems to be correct. But when I boot, I get a half second flash of what might be a boot screen, then it just goes straight to vista. The tutorial I used is here http://apcmag.com/how_to_dualboot_vista_with_linux_vista_installed_first.htm .
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
#2
The problem is trying to set up a dual boot with one OS on an external drive. Just about every other time you boot you need to edit something since the boot configuration is simply too fragile.

A dual boot with a small partition at the back end of the main drive would work like a champ on the other hand. Once you assign the root/system partition for ubuntu as the / mount point you simply point the EasyBCD tool in that direction.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#3
Sounds like you didnt install GRUB to the MBR but you installed it to the Drive. Which is why it has forced you to use the Vista BCD loader instead. PC Eye is right. External boots are fragile cause the device has to be identified the same on every boot in order for it to work. Can try some stuff located in our Wiki to see if it helps.

http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Ubuntu
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
Make sure the external drive is the only usb bootable device plugged in (this includes having any flash drives/picture cards disconnected while you boot the computer).
 
#5
How large is the hard drive on the laptop there? Ubuntu doesn't need any large amount of drive space. A good 10gb is more then adequate to see a working dual boot.
 
#6
Thanks for the replies... My laptop HD is 80gb with 20 free.

I resolved my previous problem... now I have another...

I can now boot into grub without a problem... but when I choose Ubuntu, i get a file not found error... any advice?
 
#7
Are you installing off of a live cd? You may want to use GParted live first since the installer's version is quite a bit limited for options. Once you have the root set as the / mount point all you need to do from there is boot back into Windows to add the new entry in once NeoGrub is installed to the Vista primary checking off the "Grub is not installed into bootsector" box.

Ubuntu should load right up without problems if installed on a second partition as advised before. For the external drive it can see a variety of problems where one fix for one time will likely fail the next.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#8
File not found error... unless stated elsewise this suggests menu.lst is missing from /boot/grub/ on your linux partition. Either re-install Ubuntu to the partition or grub to auto-generate a new one.
 
#9
The file could still be there while the configuration is now offset with the restart. This is how fragile dual boots across removable drives are.

You can easily boot live with the ubuntu disk you burned and browse the external for the menu.lst file. Mostly you will still see it sitting there on the drive. The configuration was what saw a change when the drive was redetected during startup.