Difficult Multi-Boot Ubuntu Install

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by bktII, Jul 8, 2006.

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  1. bktII

    bktII Registered Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    This note is for anyone wishing to multi-boot Ubuntu with Windows XP.

    I just finished installing Ubuntu 6.06 64-bit on my notebook PC. After the install, Windows XP Home would not boot.

    I ran the following command in the Ubuntu Linux terminal window which did boot:

    >sudo fdisk -l /dev/hda

    And the partitions were out of order. Not only that, but Ubuntu, without asking me, switched partitions with Windows XP so that the NTFS partiton was now on "/dev/hda3" and the Ubuntu root ( / ) partition was now on "/dev/hda1". [Prior to installing Ubuntu, I specifically created a 512 MB Linux native partition with BootIT NG (my partition manager). During the Ubunu install, I placed the root partition on "/dev/hda3" .] BAAAD Ubuntu!

    Here's how I fixed it:

    > sudo fdisk /dev/hda
    >> x (This option is for "expert" mode; in quotes because I am no expert!)
    >> f (This option fixes the partition order in "expert" mode)
    >> w (This option writes the changes and quits fdisk)

    Now the NTFS partition was on "/dev/hda1" and the Ubuntu root partition was on "/dev/hda3", which was my initial specification.

    Then I rebooted into Fedora Core 5 (I am triple-booting), which Ubuntu did not disturb, and proceeded to modify "/etc/fstab" and "/boot/grub/menu.lst" files. And in a Linux terminal window:

    > cd /mnt
    > sudo mkdir hda3 (I will be mounting Ubuntu's root partition here in FC5)
    > sudo mount -t ext3 /dev/hda3 /mnt/hda3 (Ubuntu's filesystem is ext3)
    > cd /mnt/hda3
    > cd /boot/grub
    > sudo vi menu.lst (changed to "root (hd0,2)" and "/dev/hda3" for Ubuntu boot
    and "/dev/hda1" for Windows XP boot)
    > cd /mnt/hda3/etc
    > sudo vi fstab (changed "/dev/hda1" to "dev/hda3")

    Ubuntu now boots (via my BootIt NG boot manager).

    Hope this helps anyone who wants to multi-boot Ubuntu and Windows XP.

  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    May 9, 2005
    I think you overlooked one step during the install.
    This is pretty much the same for all linuxes. When you install, Linux assigns its suggestion for partitioning. Usually, it includes repartitioning your Windows C, moving things a bit around etc. You need to reconfigure that to your liking, and then install GRUB / LILO to tell it where to boot from.
  3. bktII

    bktII Registered Member

    Apr 12, 2006

    Thanks for the comment.

    I do not believe that I overlooked what you suggested. Prior to the install, I created the following partitions with BootIt NG:

    /dev/hda3 Primary Linux native
    /dev/hda4 Extended
    Volume 1 Linux native
    Volume 2 Linux native
    Volume 3 Linux swap
    Volume 4 Linux native
    Volume 5 Linux native
    Volume 6 FAT32

    During the install I elected to "manually edit the partitions" as follows:

    /dev/hda3 Primary / or root
    /dev/hda4 Extended
    Volume 1 /usr
    Volume 2 /var
    Volume 3 swap
    Volume 4 /tmp
    Volume 5 /home

    All went well except Ubuntu swiched the first partition, "/dev/hda1", with Windows XP. I WOULD like to know why this happened and how I could avoid it.

    Never had such a problem with Fedora Core 4 or 5.

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