dualbooting Vista and Linux

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by demonon, Apr 5, 2009.

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  1. demonon

    demonon Guest

    Hi,

    I currently have a internal drive where I have installed Vista on.
    I also have a old internal drive which now is used as an external USB HD because I bought a SATA HDD Enclosure. I use it as a external HD for data storage, but I also want to install Ubuntu on it.
    How can I make this dualboot possible? I already have one partition for my data and I still have 10 GB unallocated space to create a ext3 file system for Ubuntu.
    My second question is how to convert a primary partition to a logical partition. Because everything my computer boots with the external HD plugged in, it won't get past the initial Intel logo. I think this is because the drive is set up as primary.

    Thanks for your help,

    -Demonon.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2009
  2. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    I'm going to assume you want to place Ubuntu on the external drive. First thing to do is wait. The latest version of Ubuntu is due out sometime this month. The beta is already available but I wouldn't advise you to install a beta your first time out.

    Once they release 9.04 download it and burn it to a CD. Or, if you don't want to wait, download 8.10 and burn it.

    Next, check to see if your BIOS allows you to boot from the external drive. If it does, I'd advise making it the first HD to boot. IOW, the boot order should be set to CD, external drive, internal drive. That way, if anything goes wrong with the install, then all you need to do is unplug the external drive and you are back to booting Windows.

    Once you have the BIOS set, plug in your external drive and boot the Ubuntu CD. Choose the first option in the menu and let boot. If it boots without problems, you can proceed by clicking the Install icon on the desktop.

    Because you set the boot order to see the external drive first, Ubuntu is going to see it as the main drive. It will see the partition you have been using for storage as the only partition on the drive and will offer you three choices. First choice will be to automatically resize the existing partition and use the space to create partitions for the install. The second choice will be to "Use the entire disk." This will delete the current partition and create new partitions for Ubuntu. The third choice will be to Manually configure the disk.

    If you are comfortable using a disk partitioner, then you can choose "Manual" and partition the drive yourself. You will need at least two partitions for Ubuntu. One mounted as "/" and one as "swap."

    Once you have chosen one of the above you can proceed with the install. Because you set the external as the first drive, the boot menu will be installed automatically in its MBR and not in the MBR of your internal drive. So, if you boot with the external drive plugged in, its MBR will be used and the Grub menu should apprear when you reboot. Ubuntu will be the first option in the menu and Vista should be the last. But if it isn't or something went wrong in the install, all you have to do is unplug the external drive and your normal Vista boot will occur.

    Good luck.
     
  3. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    I don't understand the question about the problem you are having booting now. Unless your BIOS is set to see the external drive as the first HD to boot, the logical vs primary on it should not matter. You should still be booting to your Vista drive. Please clarify this. And it is the "active" flag that is used to choose which primary partition to boot. But that is only if you have more than one primary partition on the FIRST HD.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  4. demonon

    demonon Guest

    My problem is that if I boot up my PC with the external HD plugged in, it simply won't boot. I will check out my BIOS to further investigate this.
     
  5. Shankle

    Shankle Registered Member

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    I would suggest you visit this site: neosmart.net/forums.
    I am triple booting and without their help I would not have been able to succeed.
    Good luck.
     
  6. demonon

    demonon Guest

    I will check it out, thank you.
    I don't have much time during the week and most of the time I catch up on wilders every weekend now and then. I guess I first will wait untill the next version of Ubuntu is out and I guess I will have enough knowledge about dualbooting by then.
     
  7. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    I don't understand how being "new smart" helps over being just plain "smart," but if they can explain it any better than I have, then, by all means, check them out.

    Edit: Sorry, this post was meant as a response to Shankle and his/her suggestion to check out neosmart.com
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  8. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    Then it is almost certain that your BIOS is set to boot from the USB drive, if it exist, rather than your internal HD.

    Different BIOS chips look at the drives in different manners. Your BIOS may be considering the USB drives as "removable media," IOW, in the same category as the floppy drive or CD drive, and booting to them, when they're found, prior to the HD.

    In other BIOS configurations, your USB drive is considered as just another HD and you will be asked to select which one is the first drivel.
     
  9. BJStone

    BJStone Registered Member

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    That second hard disk drive in the enclosure: does that have an OS on it besides the :
    If not, there's the problem: no OS to boot from...
     
  10. demonon

    demonon Guest

    Ok, I have another question.
    When Ubuntu asks me where to install GRUB, tdo I select my main windows partition?
    Because if I select to install GRUB to the USB HD, I simply see no GRUB menu.
    Even if my boot order is: CD, Removable Media, HD.
     
  11. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    I don't know about your BIOS, but in most, if you highlight HD and press enter, it takes you to a sub-menu to choose which HD to boot first.

    Unless your MB is out of the current mainstream, your BIOS should allow you to boot from the USB in one of three ways. By having "Removeable" ahead of the HD in the boot order, by having "USB ??" as one of the boot options or by having it in the "list" of harddrives and letting you select which harddrive to boot.

    If none of those options is available then the only one you have left is to install grub in the MBR of the primary drive. But you'd have a hard time convincing me that that is the case. Personally, I'd spend more time investigating the options in the BIOS till I found the one that caused the machine to boot from the USB drive.

    There are ways to restore the MBR if you need to do so. But with the problems you are having, unless you already know how to do that and have the needed CD or DVD handy, I wouldn't advise installing Grub to your Windows drive.
     
  12. demonon

    demonon Guest

    I already have my HD + MBR backed up, so I think I can screw around and try stuff.
     
  13. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    An image of your Win disk/partition is always nice. Then you can nuke everything and restore in minutes...
     
  14. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    In an earlier post, you said that if you had your Ext HD pluged in, then Windows wouldn't boot. Now you say that you installed Grub on that HD but when you start the computer you don''t get the grub menu. You have me totally confused.

    If, when, you started your computer with the ext HD plugged in and it wouldn't boot, that would indicate the BIOS was setting it as the first HD. (hd0) So, if you booted the CD with the ext HD plugged in, you should have installed Grub in the MBR and it would have used the MBR on the ext HD.

    Then, if you removed the CD and started the computer with the ext HD plugged in, you should get the Grub menu. If you started it without the ext HD plugged in, it should boot Windows with no Grub menu.

    If, however, you had it install Grub to the "root" partition, then you will never get the Grub menu unless you make changes to the Windows boot loader to place an entry there to "chain" to that partition. Unless you are and expert, don't try it.

    Bottom line. In order to tell you where to go from here, we need to know where "here" is, and how you got here. IOW, how did you install Linux? Did you change the BIOS so the Windows would start even with the ext HD plugged in? Or did you leave it as it was? Because the BIOS settings tell the OS which drive's MBR to use when booting. But it also changes which drive is hd0 and which is hd1.
     
  15. demonon

    demonon Guest

    I am confused as well.

    I will wait until Ubuntu 9.04 final is released and then I will try again.
    I have 2 days of holidays in a week, so that's plenty of time to figure out what I did wrong and how to make this dual boot work.
     
  16. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    You need to clear up some of the confusion before you attempt another install. Before deciding how to install, you first have to know how your BIOS boot order functions.

    Have you made any changes in the BIOS at all? Do you know how to make BIOS changes? If so, what are your boot order options? If you don't know, its OK. There are other ways to get the job done. But we need to know how best to proceed.
     
  17. demonon

    demonon Guest

    Hello lewmur,

    first off all thanks for your effort.
    Second, yes, I know how to get into my BIOS and change my boot order.
    My boot order is set as the following:
    1: My CD/DVD Drive
    2: Removable (I hope this is my USB drive)
    3: Hard Drive
    4: Disabled

    I also set my order to boot first from USB ZIP and second one is floppy.
    Al though I don't have a floppy drive.

    I will get into BIOS and write down every option possible and report back.

    Regards,

    -Demonon.
     
  18. demonon

    demonon Guest

    Ok this is full picture:

    When I plug in my power cabel my computer won't get past the initial Intel logo (it won't load anything) if my external HD is plugged in.
    I have to plug it out and then my PC continues booting.

    The next time I shut down my PC and then boot again (without plugging in or out the power cabel) my computer boots up Vista.

    In my BIOS I can boot from 3 different sources and I can select whether to boot from other boot device.
    These are the options: removable, hard disk, SATA CDROM IDE, network and CD/DVDR (to boot from CD)
    My boot order is CD/DVDR > removable > hard disk

    My removable drive priority is set as following: USB-ZIP0 Generic usb disk first and floppy second (I have no floppy drive)

    Hard drive boot priority is set s following: SCSI-0 first and bootable add-in cards second.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2009
  19. demonon

    demonon Guest

    I tried to set my boot order as following:
    CD/DVD > Removable

    I selected NOT to boot from other devices.
    I got a message that said that there was no system to boot from.
    When in that specific boot order my system wouldn't go past a Intel logo when my HD was plugged in, I had to plug it in after the Intel logo.

    It's like my BIOS doesn't like Grub, although I explicitly stated that GRUB should be installed on my external HD; /hda/sde/
    Do you think I should have selected a partition instead of /hda/sde/?

    Regards,

    -Demonon.
     
  20. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    Try this. Take the "removeable" drive out of the boot order and make the HD second. Then, under the HD, change the add-in to first and SCSI-0 second.

    Then with the external plugged in, power on the machine. Let me know what happens.
     
  21. demonon

    demonon Guest

    I did like you asked, even when disabling boot from other devices there is no sign of GRUB.
     
  22. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    I didn't think there would be. I want to know what did happen. Did it just boot to Vista or did you get an error message? I either case, with that setup, will it boot the Ubuntu CD? All the way to the desktop screen, not just the boot menu?

    If so, we are making progress.
     
  23. demonon

    demonon Guest

    I already installed Ubuntu yesterday with GRUB installed on the external HD.
    With the external HD plugged in and with the BIOS configured like you asked Vista boots like it boots always. No extra screens, nothing.
     
  24. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    That's fine. We still need to get Grub where it belongs. You need to boot Ubuntu with the CD to do this. And you need to check a couple of things to see what's the best way to do it.

    Right now you have Grub installed in the root partition and we need to put it in the MBR of the external drive.
     
  25. demonon

    demonon Guest

    Ok, I will get my laptop booted up so I can follow your instructions.
    I will boot from the live cd now.
     
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