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View Full Version : [ubuntu] Booting from Second HDD on Dell Optiplex GX620



Monkadelicd
May 10th, 2011, 06:39 PM
I can't seem to find a setting to get my Dell Optiplex GX620 to boot from the second HDD.

It is detected and works fine(1 working NTFS partition, 1 ext4 Partition with Ubuntu 11.04, and 1 swap partition) but I can't boot from it.

I installed Grub2 to sdb3 (ext4 partition with Ubuntu installation) and my PC always boots straight to Windows without any boot loaders showing.

Does anyone know if I can use EasyBCD to add a Linux entry to the Windows boot loader? I have downloaded it and messed around a little but haven't made any changes to my MBR yet.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

oldfred
May 10th, 2011, 06:45 PM
I do not know about EasyBCD, supposedly it works.

Does your BIOS support choosing which drive is the boot drive. Only old systems that were IDE/PATA booted from primary master set with jumpers on hard drive or location on cable (cable select). Any BIOS that supports SATA drives has a way to boot a second drive. And do you have a one time boot key, mine is f12.

But to get booting from a second drive to work you have to install grub2's boot loader to the MBR of the second drive.

If you can boot into your system, you do not have to use LiveCD, but do need to get grub to remember where to reinstall on updates.

#reinstall from working (not liveCD) system - first find Ubuntu drive:
sudo fdisk -l
#if it's "/dev/sdb" then just run:
sudo grub-install /dev/sdb
#If that returns any errors run:
sudo grub-install --recheck /dev/sdb
sudo update-grub
#to get grub to remember where to reinstall on updates:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure grub-pc
#Enter thru first pages,spacebar to choose/unchoose drive, enter to accept, do not choose partitions
#To see what drive grub2 uses see this line - grub-pc/install_devices:
sudo debconf-show grub-pc

You do not install grub2 to a partition as it is less reliable unless you absolutely have to. Since you have 2 drives, install grub2's boot loader to the MBR of the second drive and change BIOS to boot that drive.

Monkadelicd
May 10th, 2011, 11:04 PM
My issue is how, if at all possible, to enable booting on a different HDD than the first one.

As far as I can tell there is no setting to choose. I can select bootable devices and set order but I can't select specific HDDs just onboard SATA HDDs.

oldfred
May 11th, 2011, 12:31 AM
If you have SATA drives there is a way. Some have it totally different BIOS entry - even on different page, and other have it when you select hard drives it opens another windows on which hard drive is first.

Monkadelicd
May 11th, 2011, 02:08 AM
In Dell's System Setup document the BIOS options are all explained. For some ridiculous reason there is no way to boot from anything other than the primary drive be it hdd or odd.

I know you would think that any computer with SATA support would allow you to choose but it's just not possible with the Dell BIOS on the GX620. It's just not dual boot friendly.

Is there another way to dual boot?

oldfred
May 11th, 2011, 03:38 PM
I just looked at a manual and it says f12 to boot USB and f2 to get into BIOS and BIOS has this:

Dell™ OptiPlex™ GX620
User's Guide

NOTE: These options appear as Drive 0 through Drive 3 for the desktop, mini tower, and small form computers and Drive 0 though Drive 5 for the ultra small form factor computer.

It almost looks like it is configured for one IDE and one SATA drive, but I did not read all the details. That could be an early BIOS, but you can only change boot order with SATA in BIOS as there are no jumpers.

Monkadelicd
May 12th, 2011, 01:27 PM
This is from Dell's Documentation:


Boot Sequence

This feature allows you to change the boot sequence for devices.
Option Settings



Onboard or USB Floppy Drive — The computer attempts to boot from the floppy drive. If the floppy disk in the drive is not bootable, or if no floppy disk is in the drive, the computer generates an error message.
Onboard SATA Hard Drive — The computer attempts to boot from the primary serial ATA hard drive. If no operating system is on the drive, the computer generates an error message.
Onboard IDE Hard Drive — The computer attempts to boot from the primary IDE hard drive, if applicable. If no operating system is on the drive, the computer generates an error message.
Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive — The computer attempts to boot from the CD drive. If no CD is in the drive, or if the CD has no operating system, the computer generates an error message.