[sclug] Grub and Windows XP

James Wyper jrwyper at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Nov 15 09:55:13 UTC 2006

On Tue, 14 Nov 2006, James Wyper wrote:

>> My father's PC used to have Win98 on hda and Ubuntu on hdb, bootloaded by GRUB on the MBR of hda.  He then installed Windows XP on hda and unsurprisingly can't boot Ubuntu any more since the MBR has been overwritten.

>No, c):

>Make the /boot or / partition the only active (aka bootable) partition, and
>put GRUB on the bootblock of that partition. The machine should then >boot
>from the BIOS to the XP MBR to the bootblock of the active partition (i.e.
>GRUB). You can then add a section like:
>title Other
>         rootnoverify (hd0,0)
>         chainloader +1

>to boot Windows from GRUB.

I wasn't convinced that this would work, since the partition that I intended to place GRUB on was a separate physical disk to the one containing the MBR.

In the end I found that my Dad's PC had an unused partition on hda, so I booted into a live CD, started the GRUB shell, and entered

root (hd1,0)
setup (hd0,2)

to put the GRUB bootloader onto the bootblock of this spare partition, then used dd to copy it to a file which I made visible to the NT bootloader.  This worked like a dream (and means that he can use the unused partition for something else at a future date).

Although I didn't try it, I gathered from my net research that if I had tried to install the bootloader on the second disk and copy it across to Windows (e.g. setup(hd1,0), or setup (hd1)) GRUB would not have worked.


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