Vista/Ubuntu Two disks-two "stand alone" installs


I have two physical SATA disks. One has Vista, the other Ubuntu. When I installed Vista, the disk it is installed to was the only disk in the machine. When I installed Ubuntu, the disk it is installed to was also the only disk in the machine. In other words I unplugged, from the SATA bus, the drive I did not intend to install to.

So now, depending on which hard disk I have connected to the SATA bus, I can boot either OS. I would like to use EasyBCD to manage it. When both disks are on the SATA bus, my current BIOS settings cause Vista to boot. I think I am heading in the right direction...

I have installed EasyBCD, and configured it. I can boot into Vista, but can't boot Ubuntu. When booting if I choose the Ubuntu menu selection, it begins to boot, then ends up telling me "can't boot from hard drive. Please insert system disk, press any key to continue."

Then I hit any key and Ubuntu comes right up! So I am very close, but don't know where my misconfiguration is. I would really like to be able to get the machine to reboot without any user input.

Thanks for your help, Joe


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi Joe, welcome to NST.
Sorry all the Linux guys seem to have missed your post, I'm sure one will be around soon now you've posted again.
I'm not a Linux user, so I can't advise from experience of your specific problem, but having seen loads of similar posts answered here, I can hazard a guess that you've incorrectly Identified the location of your Linux OS when you created the entry in EasyBCD.
Remember that Windows and Linux count partitions differently (Windows counts the MBR as 0 and the first data partition as 1, Linux ignores the MBR and counts the 1st data partition as 0)
In the absence of anyone with specific expertise answering for the present, try deleting and adding the LInux entry again with a variety of locations and find it by trial and error.

Mak 2.0

Staff member
Add a Ubuntu entry but do not select the GRUB installed to MBR option. Make sure that is checked that it isnt. Then make sure to select the right disk and partition. Add the entry.

This should work to force EasyBCD to go for the 2nd drive and load GRUB.
Been there, done that...

Terry and Alex,

Thanks for the replies.

I have tried that Alex. The disk Linux is installed to, has two partitions, one swap, the other EXT3. So it's pretty easy to be sure I've picked the correct one. I thought that Windows may have the partition numbers mixed, so I tried picking the swap partition, no joy...

The closest I can get to having this work, is that grub reports that it "can't boot from the hard disk, insert system disk, press any key to continue". At that point, if I hit a key Linux comes right up...

Very strange!

Mak 2.0

Staff member
Maybe try to reinstall GRUB.
Good Morning People,

Thanks for the replies!

I am still having issues with this.

I have read the docs, I have tried remapping the drives in drive map, I have tried every possible combination of drive references in NeoGrub, I don't know what else to try.

I guess at this point I should just reinstall Linux. If I reinstall Linux with Vista already installed and booting, will Linux automagically get added to the Vista bootloader menu?

I am surprised I am having this much trouble. I am very computer savvy, 10 years+ in IT!!

Thanks for all the help everyone! Joe