[sclug] Grub and Windows XP

Ed Davies sclug at edavies.nildram.co.uk
Wed Nov 15 10:56:26 UTC 2006

John Stumbles wrote:
> .... I allowed ubuntu to write grub to the MBR, ....

Can you not allow it?

I have XP on the primary master disk and my various Linux
partitions (including a couple of FAT32s for sharing between
the two systems) on the primary slave.  With the previous
version of Ubuntu I had (Hoary Hedgehog, I think it was) I
didn't let Linux touch the XP disk at all, not even for read.

I had a boot floppy with Lilo (again, I think it was) on it
which I pushed in when I wanted Linux and popped out when I
wanted XP.

I skipped one Ubuntu version (Breezy?) and went straight to
Dapper.  Rather than mess with two stages of repository
changes and because I wanted to tidy lots of stuff up anyway
I just saved /home and things and did a clean install.

Without even a by-your-leave, Dapper wrote Grub to the MBR
of the primary master.  Maybe there was an option along the
way which could have stopped it doing that but, if so, it
didn't spring out at me and there was no warning it was
about to do that.

I was pretty cheesed off about it, particularly because
I'd had some problems where rebooting direct from Linux to
XP blew away the licence for an AutoCAD installation.  I
have to shut the machine down then restart it to go from
Linux to XP to prevent this.  (A simple reboot from XP to
Linux is fine).  Actually, overwriting the MBR in this way
didn't seem to harm the AutoCAD licence but I was worried
for a while.

AutoDesk say AutoCAD isn't supported on dual-boot machines.
Twits.  But then, one can speculate that there's some
interesting background to the relationship between AutoDesk
and Microsoft.

Ed Davies.

More information about the Sclug mailing list