View Full Version : [ubuntu] Tripple boot problem. Vista XP & ubuntu. ATT: caljohnsmith and others

February 11th, 2009, 04:12 PM
Hey hey.

Ive moved overseas and bought a new laptop with vista. This is very hard because my vista is in german...and im not!

Ive done half a days worth of research on the topic and found alot of information but not in the correct 'order' to fix my problem. Ive found people have had a similar problem when installing in the order of XP, vista, ubuntu. but i have the order vista, XP, ubuntu.

I have a similar problem to the last half of this;


... i think. And i need some help.

I wrote ATT: caljohnsmith and others in the title as i was really impressed by the help given by these people.... it was very Ubuntu of them! good to see. Now i plea to there (and others) good spirits for my problem!!

So i have vista preinstalled and i installed XP (problem riddled itself), and then ubuntu 8.10.

prior to installing xp and ubuntu i modified the partitions in the vista disk management. this went haywire for some reason and i find i have a very messy partition table. I created space where i wanted ubuntu but during the install this space was labelled with 'unusable'. So to install ubuntu i resized the xp partition and found that it has made a ext3 partition within the XP partition... so now i cant even delete the XP partition and start again! grrr.

Now i boot up and grub gives me options for ubuntu and vista. no XP.
but when i select the vista option it actually boots into XP.

Like in the thread specified... i think i need help with boot sectors and boot management but this is a little above my complete understanding.

Ill post the same text outputs as in the thread i mentioned and i hope someone that understands it better than i do can help me.


February 11th, 2009, 04:23 PM
So in terminal i typed

sudo fdisk -lu

and got result

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 2048 3074047 1536000 27 Unknown
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 * 3074048 143861735 70393844 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 246945792 322455903 37755056 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4 322456680 488392064 82967692+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5 322456743 354233249 15888253+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6 354233313 482833574 64300131 83 Linux
/dev/sda7 482833638 488392064 2779213+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

So using gparted i figured out;

sda1 is the wierd eisa config partition for vista
sda2 is vista os
between sda2 & 3 is 49GB of unallocated space (the space the ubuntu installer said was unusable)
sda3 is the 'data' partition which was preloaded with vista
sda4 is the original XP partition that was converted to ext3
sda5 is the XP ntfs within sd4
sda6 is the ubuntu partition within sd4
sda7 is swap

attached is a screenshot of gparted. this might explain things better than i can.

After using this command

cd ~/Desktop && wget 'http://home.comcast.net/~ubuntu_grub/boot_info_script.txt' && sudo bash boot_info_script.txt

i get this output

============================= Boot Info Summary: ==============================

=> Grub0.97 is installed in the MBR of /dev/sda and looks on the same drive
in partition #6 for /boot/grub/stage2 and /boot/grub/menu.lst.

sda1: __________________________________________________ _______________________

File system: ntfs
Boot sector type: Windows Vista
Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
Operating System:
Boot files/dirs:

sda2: __________________________________________________ _______________________

File system: ntfs
Boot sector type: Windows XP
Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
Operating System: Windows Vista
Boot files/dirs: /boot.ini /bootmgr /Boot/BCD /ntldr /NTDETECT.COM

sda3: __________________________________________________ _______________________

File system: ntfs
Boot sector type: Windows Vista
Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
Operating System:
Boot files/dirs:

sda4: __________________________________________________ _______________________

File system: Extended Partition
Boot sector type: -
Boot sector info:

sda5: __________________________________________________ _______________________

File system: ntfs
Boot sector type: Windows XP
Boot sector info: According to the info in the boot sector, sda5 starts
at sector 63.
Operating System: Windows XP
Boot files/dirs:

sda6: __________________________________________________ _______________________

File system: ext3
Boot sector type: -
Boot sector info:
Operating System: Ubuntu 8.10
Boot files/dirs: /boot/grub/menu.lst /etc/fstab

sda7: __________________________________________________ _______________________

File system: swap
Boot sector type: -
Boot sector info:

=========================== Drive/Partition Info: =============================

Drive sda: __________________________________________________ ___________________

Disk /dev/sda: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xfc5c1ce5

Partition Boot Start End Size Id System

/dev/sda1 2,048 3,074,047 3,072,000 27 Unknown
/dev/sda2 * 3,074,048 143,861,735 140,787,688 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 246,945,792 322,455,903 75,510,112 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4 322,456,680 488,392,064 165,935,385 f W95 Ext d (LBA)
/dev/sda5 322,456,743 354,233,249 31,776,507 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6 354,233,313 482,833,574 128,600,262 83 Linux
/dev/sda7 482,833,638 488,392,064 5,558,427 82 Linux swap / Solaris

blkid -c /dev/null: __________________________________________________ __________

/dev/sda1: UUID="066688D46688C641" LABEL="WinRE" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda2: UUID="24928C68928C4072" LABEL="Vista" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda3: UUID="1EF49024F48FFFE7" LABEL="Data" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda5: UUID="5640FD5340FD3A77" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda6: UUID="b5e80f34-9440-49b7-b107-05602a8b1828" TYPE="ext3"
/dev/sda7: TYPE="swap" UUID="dbad0e9f-2520-46ce-be17-e4f555615cf9"

=============================== "mount" output: ===============================

/dev/sda6 on / type ext3 (rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro)
tmpfs on /lib/init/rw type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
/proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
varrun on /var/run type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
varlock on /var/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev,mode=1777)
udev on /dev type tmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=620)
fusectl on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
lrm on /lib/modules/2.6.27-7-generic/volatile type tmpfs (rw,mode=755)
securityfs on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
binfmt_misc on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
gvfs-fuse-daemon on /home/jon/.gvfs type fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon (rw,nosuid,nodev,user=jon)

================================ sda2/boot.ini: ================================

[boot loader]


default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOW S

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

=========================== sda6/boot/grub/menu.lst: ===========================

# menu.lst - See: grub(8), info grub, update-grub(8)
# grub-install(8), grub-floppy(8),
# grub-md5-crypt, /usr/share/doc/grub
# and /usr/share/doc/grub-doc/.

## default num
# Set the default entry to the entry number NUM. Numbering starts from 0, and
# the entry number 0 is the default if the command is not used.
# You can specify 'saved' instead of a number. In this case, the default entry
# is the entry saved with the command 'savedefault'.
# WARNING: If you are using dmraid do not use 'savedefault' or your
# array will desync and will not let you boot your system.
default 0

## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout 10

## hiddenmenu
# Hides the menu by default (press ESC to see the menu)

# Pretty colours
#color cyan/blue white/blue

## password ['--md5'] passwd
# If used in the first section of a menu file, disable all interactive editing
# control (menu entry editor and command-line) and entries protected by the
# command 'lock'
# e.g. password topsecret
# password --md5 $1$gLhU0/$aW78kHK1QfV3P2b2znUoe/
# password topsecret

# examples
# title Windows 95/98/NT/2000
# root (hd0,0)
# makeactive
# chainloader +1
# title Linux
# root (hd0,1)
# kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 ro

# Put static boot stanzas before and/or after AUTOMAGIC KERNEL LIST

## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

## ## Start Default Options ##
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
# kopt=root=UUID=b5e80f34-9440-49b7-b107-05602a8b1828 ro

## default grub root device
## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
# groot=b5e80f34-9440-49b7-b107-05602a8b1828

## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. alternative=true
## alternative=false
# alternative=true

## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. lockalternative=true
## lockalternative=false
# lockalternative=false

## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
## alternatives
## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
# defoptions=quiet splash

## should update-grub lock old automagic boot options
## e.g. lockold=false

## lockold=true
# lockold=false

## Xen hypervisor options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenhopt=

## Xen Linux kernel options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenkopt=console=tty0

## altoption boot targets option
## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
## altoptions=(recovery) single
# altoptions=(recovery mode) single

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
## howmany=7
# howmany=all

## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
## e.g. memtest86=true
## memtest86=false
# memtest86=true

## should update-grub adjust the value of the default booted system
## can be true or false
# updatedefaultentry=false

## should update-grub add savedefault to the default options
## can be true or false
# savedefault=false

## ## End Default Options ##

title Ubuntu 8.10, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic
uuid b5e80f34-9440-49b7-b107-05602a8b1828
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic root=UUID=b5e80f34-9440-49b7-b107-05602a8b1828 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic

title Ubuntu 8.10, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic (recovery mode)
uuid b5e80f34-9440-49b7-b107-05602a8b1828
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic root=UUID=b5e80f34-9440-49b7-b107-05602a8b1828 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic

title Ubuntu 8.10, memtest86+
uuid b5e80f34-9440-49b7-b107-05602a8b1828
kernel /boot/memtest86+.bin


# This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
# ones.
title Other operating systems:

# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda2
title Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)
root (hd0,1)
chainloader +1

=============================== sda6/etc/fstab: ===============================

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
# /dev/sda6
UUID=b5e80f34-9440-49b7-b107-05602a8b1828 / ext3 relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
# /dev/sda7
UUID=dbad0e9f-2520-46ce-be17-e4f555615cf9 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0

=================== sda6: Location of files loaded by Grub: ===================

232.0GB: boot/grub/menu.lst
232.0GB: boot/grub/stage2
232.0GB: boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic
232.0GB: boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic
232.0GB: initrd.img
232.0GB: vmlinuz

My goal is to leave all the partitions as is (as strange as they may be) and change the boot managment so i can boot all three OS's from grub.

I hope this makes sense to someone!


February 11th, 2009, 05:01 PM
It looks like you have a couple of issues currently preventing you from booting Vista and XP separately from Grub, but they should be fixable. Here's some of the things I notice about your setup:

Since you installed XP to a logical partition (sda5), XP put its boot files in your Vista partition and also modified the Vista boot sector to boot XP's "ntldr" boot file rather than Vista's "bootmgr" boot file.
Your XP sda5 partition boot sector will also need fixing since you want to boot XP directly from sda5.

I would recommend following meierfra's excellent XP/Vista/Win7 tutorial (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=813628) about how to boot XP from a logical partition, and also in that tutorial you will find how to fix your Vista partition so that it can boot independent of XP. If you have any problems, I would suggest posting to that thread, because meierfra can help you sort out any problems with XP/Vista better than I can. Good luck and let me know how it goes though.

February 12th, 2009, 12:01 PM
So i followed that tutorial you recommended. I must say... it is very good. I got through it with minor adaptations until the rebuild vistas boot sector. the only vista disk i had was the recovery disk.... in my atempt to follow the tutorial with it, the disc ended up wiping my hdd. so bye bye all OS's.

Looks like i have to start again! Which isnt so bad... hopefully ill be able to make the partition table a bit neater now.

I'll let you know how i go.

Thankyou very much for helping me!


February 12th, 2009, 02:50 PM
Sorry to hear your Vista Recovery CD wiped your HDD, but unfortunately that's quite common with OEM recovery CDs. Just as a small suggestion, when you go to reinstall XP after Vista again, I would recommend giving XP its own primary partition, and also I would recommend "hiding" the Vista partition so that XP does not put its boot files in the Vista partition nor modify its boot sector. You can hide an NTFS partition by doing:

sudo sfdisk -c /dev/sda <partition number> 17
And replace <partition number> with the partition number, so to hide sda2 would look like:

sudo sfdisk -c /dev/sda 2 17
Then once you are done installing XP, you can unhide Vista by doing:

sudo sfdisk -c /dev/sda <partition number> 7
Anyway, good luck and let me know how it goes.

February 12th, 2009, 03:08 PM
hmmm interesting. Ill definetely give that a go.

Can this be done with a live cd? just asking because i know xp takes over linux when installed.

last time i installed xp i had no drivers at all. not even ethernet ones.... im going to do a websearch for toshiba drivers first to see if its even worth installing xp.


February 12th, 2009, 03:09 PM
Yes, you can do those commands from a Live CD. :)

February 12th, 2009, 03:22 PM
Cool. Ill give it a shot tomorrow and let you know!!



February 14th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Ok... So i reinstalled vista (yes i shuddered),
Then hid the partition with the code you provided,
Intalled xp (with another shudder),
Xp took over the boot flag and mbr... but in its own partition this time!!
Then i installed ubuntu.

Installation went as normal and everything seems to be fine! I can boot into all 3 OS's from grub. with no problems as yet.

Im not sure if xp is on a primary or logical. Last time it went logical because i already had too many primarys. i just let the installer do its thing and it seems to be all good.

Many thanks for all your help!!! The hidden partition code did the trick!

long live ubuntu!


February 14th, 2009, 02:45 PM
That's great news, Jon, glad to hear all your OS installations went smoothly and you can boot them all separately now; cheers and enjoy Ubuntu, XP, and Vista. :)