View Full Version : [ubuntu] Ubuntu/Windows 7 on seperate hard drvies.

April 6th, 2012, 07:02 PM
Hello, I decided to try out Ubuntu. So I did some researching and came to the conclusion that I wanted to install Windows 7/Ubuntu on separate hard drives. So I dug out an old hard drive, unplugged the hard drive with Windows on it and installed Ubuntu 11.10 on the second hard drive.

I found a tutorial about editing the /boot/grub/menu.lst file so that grub recognizes the Windows bootloader and lets me choose between the two. After I installed Ubuntu I attempted "sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst" but there was no such file and it created a blank document. I added

title Windows 7
root (hd1,0)
chainloader +1

to the menu.lst file, saved it and restarted as the tutorial stated. This did not work, and my computer directly booted into Ubuntu without giving me an option of choosing operating systems.

The output of "sudo fdisk -l" is:

Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x2bd2c32a

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 63 80324 40131 de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 * 81920 30801919 15360000 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3 30801920 1785229587 877213834 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda4 1785231358 1953523711 84146177 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 1785231360 1946583039 80675840 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 1946585088 1953523711 3469312 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00079b6c

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 * 2048 471638015 235817984 83 Linux
/dev/sdb2 471640062 488396799 8378369 5 Extended
/dev/sdb5 471640064 488396799 8378368 82 Linux swap / Solaris

The 1 terabyte hard drive is the one that contains the Windows installation, and the 250gb is the one that contains Ubuntu. The only way for me to "dual boot" is to physically change the position of the hard drives by switching up their connectors.

I have tried changing the parameters of
root (hd1,0) to (hd1,1), (hd1,2) etc. And I have tried (hd0,0) , (hd0,1) etc.

I haven't been able to find any up to date tutorial on how to accomplish this, as they all state that modifying the menu.lst file will work.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

April 6th, 2012, 07:07 PM
The tutorial you found is old, about grub1. Ubuntu since 9.10 uses grub2 which doesn't use menu.lst.

Boot ubuntu and delete the menu.lst you created. After that in terminal simply run:
sudo update-grub

That will detect all OSs and create entries in the boot menu.

You said you installed on separate disks. What are the linux partitions on /dev/sda?

Also, to boot grub2 from your ubuntu install you might need to change the boot priority in BIOS and use the 250GB disk before the 1TB disk.

April 6th, 2012, 07:14 PM
Thanks. I am not sure what those Linux partitions are . I unplugged the 1TB drive when I installed Ubuntu, I don't recall installing anything before. Is there a way to reclaim those partitions?

Would physically switching the hard drives be sufficient for giving the 250gb priority, or will I have to change the settings in the BIOS? I can boot into Windows/Ubuntu by switching the hard drives now.

April 6th, 2012, 07:57 PM
I've got the dual booting working now, thanks for the help.

April 6th, 2012, 09:32 PM
Well, it's up to you. I always prefer the BIOS way, but you might wanna use the motherboard Boot Menu during boot (all latest motherboards have them), or another approach.

Yes, you can reclaim those partitions. In windows open Disk Management, select them, and delete them one by one (if you are sure you have no important data there). Then simply create new ntfs partition from that space, or expand the last existing ntfs partition to take that space.

April 6th, 2012, 09:51 PM
Thanks for the help.