viking777 wrote:You have to install one version of grub to /dev/sda or you will never get anything to boot - ever!
This isn't entirely true. In fact, you seem to be aware of at least one exception....
If mint is the only distro you have on the machine then it has to go on /dev/sda. If you have another boot loader already on /dev/sda (not counting windows) then you could install to the partition, not otherwise.
In the BIOS boot scheme, one boot loader sometimes chain loads to another, so as you say, a boot loader in /dev/sda can chain load to a boot loader in /dev/sda1 (or elsewhere). In fact, contrary to what you wrote, Microsoft's boot loader can do this job -- you just need to adjust the boot flags on your disk so that the partition that holds GRUB is marked as bootable and the Windows partition is not
marked as bootable. This type of configuration is uncommon with GRUB 2, though; it's usually
installed to the MBR (typically /dev/sda). This is quite different from saying that it must
be installed to the MBR.
Another exception is EFI-based computers, which don't use boot code in the MBR at all; they use files stored on the EFI System Partition (ESP). Although most existing computers don't support EFI, most new
computers do, so it's important to acknowledge their existence and determine if somebody asking a question has such a system. To that end: beirapadua, how old is your computer? Did it come with Windows pre-installed, and if so, what version? Please post the output of "sudo parted /dev/sda print" from a Linux emergency disc. This information will help us determine whether you need to install a BIOS boot loader or an EFI boot loader.