Newbie dual-boot hell

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cebalrai
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Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by cebalrai »

I installed Mint first and then followed these directions per the forum posts here:

http://apcmag.com/how_to_dualboot_vista ... talled.htm

When I do so however, I get the option of Windows 7 and Neo Grub at boot. Windows 7 boots fine. When I select NeoGrub, I get the option of mint and Memtest. Selecting Mint gives me Grub Error 2: invalid file or directory. I copied the menu.lst into Neo Grub verbatim... can't figure out what's wrong.

Would anyone have any advice? :(

Here's my menu.lst:

Code: Select all

title		Linux Mint 8 Helena - x64 Edition, kernel 2.6.31-14-generic
root		(hd0,4)
kernel		/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-14-generic root=/dev/mapper/isw_bachajbfcc_ARRAY5 ro quiet splash 
initrd		/boot/initrd.img-2.6.31-14-generic

title		Linux Mint 8 Helena - x64 Edition, kernel 2.6.31-14-generic (recovery mode)
root		(hd0,4)
kernel		/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-14-generic root=/dev/mapper/isw_bachajbfcc_ARRAY5 ro  single
initrd		/boot/initrd.img-2.6.31-14-generic

title		Linux Mint 8 Helena - x64 Edition, memtest86+
root		(hd0,4)
kernel		/boot/memtest86+.bin
Dell XPS 1730 laptop
Core 2 Extreme @ 2.8 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, GeForce 8800 GTX w/SLI, RAID-0
Linux Mint 10 64-bit, Windows 7

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Txnca
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by Txnca »

Is this all a totally new install including the Mint install? If so, wipe it out and redo it, just load Vista first, then load Mint, Just don't use Vista to make your partitions. Here is a How-to I did on multi-booting; http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=45403

It will answer a lot of your questions and if not, then ask. As for Neogrub. This is the first I have read of it. From what little I read, which honestly wasn't much, was written by the same people who made EasyBCD, which from my experience isn't a great piece of software. Of course as I have read around here a lot, your mileage may vary. :D

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cebalrai
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by cebalrai »

Txnca wrote:Is this all a totally new install including the Mint install? If so, wipe it out and redo it, just load Vista first, then load Mint, Just don't use Vista to make your partitions. Here is a How-to I did on multi-booting; http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=45403

It will answer a lot of your questions and if not, then ask. As for Neogrub. This is the first I have read of it. From what little I read, which honestly wasn't much, was written by the same people who made EasyBCD, which from my experience isn't a great piece of software. Of course as I have read around here a lot, your mileage may vary. :D

Steve
Originally I had Win7 installed and used it to repartition to make space for mint. After I installed mint the partition for Windows was severely jacked up and unbootable. I used test disk but failed to repair it, and then reinstalled windows 7. Now I get no mint :(
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cebalrai
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by cebalrai »

So Grub2 needs its own dedicated partition??

In your example in that guide, which sda has the master boot record?

This all looks extremely complicated and drawn-out for someone like me. I have to follow a 5-step guide where one of the steps is to go and follow a 6-step guide??

Are you sure there's no easier way??? I don't think I'm going to be able to pull this off.... ugh..
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oldguy
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by oldguy »

Hi,
Using MINT is not that complicated. You have made your installation complicated. Do you have MINT installation CD with you?

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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by vincent »

I've never heard of Neo Grub either. I don't see why you can't just re-install Grub back into your MBR and be done with it...you do need your live CD on hand though.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Recov ... ingWindows
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by Biker »

cebalrai wrote:So Grub2 needs its own dedicated partition??

In your example in that guide, which sda has the master boot record?

This all looks extremely complicated and drawn-out for someone like me. I have to follow a 5-step guide where one of the steps is to go and follow a 6-step guide??

Are you sure there's no easier way??? I don't think I'm going to be able to pull this off.... ugh..
No, it doesn't need it's own "partition". However, Windows 7 is VERY picky about what gets installed on the MBR of the drive it resides on. I gave EasyBCD a try and immediately killed the ability to boot into Windows. Slapped the install CD in and repaired the MBR.

Because Win7 is so flaky when messing with the MBR, I purchased an inexpensive USB drive to use strictly for Linux distributions. Grub gets installed to the boot sector of the USB drive. I then set the notebook to look for the USB drive first. If it's plugged in, the machine boots to Linux. If it's not plugged in, it defaults to Windows.
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vincent
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by vincent »

I dual boot Windows 7 and Linux Mint 8, with Grub in the MBR of my hard drive, and have had no problems booting into either OS. I don't see how Windows 7 is "picky" about the contents of your MBR in any way, other than the fact that doing a re-install of any version of Windows will kill Grub.
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dnmint
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by dnmint »

I have Toshiba NB205 Net-book. It came with Windows XP Pro.
1. I upgraded RAM to 2GB.
2.I installed Mint 7 (Gloria) by creating suitable partition for / & swap.
3. WinXP became picky.
4. I reinstalled Win XP thru the recovery disc ( made by me from the Net-book only)
5. All worked well
6. Upgraded Win XP to Win 7- leaving Gloria where it was. Only Win 7 got 70 GB like XP. No issue
Dual boot working fine..... via Grub 1.5
P.S. When Win XP became picky, contacted Toshiba Customer services... I was told the Net-book is so designed that it CANNOT dual boot. But mine does. So much for Knowledge- Service from Toshiba.

cebalrai
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by cebalrai »

vincent wrote:I've never heard of Neo Grub either. I don't see why you can't just re-install Grub back into your MBR and be done with it...you do need your live CD on hand though.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Recov ... ingWindows
Does Mint-64 use GRUB or GRUB 2? I assume 2?

So where am I installing the MBR to? The partition where Mint is installed, or?
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vincent
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by vincent »

Mint 7 and all previous versions of Mint use Grub Legacy. A fresh install of Mint 8 (all editions, including 64-bit) will include Grub 2 instead, but an upgrade from Mint 7 to Mint 8 will retain Grub Legacy.

As for the MBR...
A master boot record (MBR), or partition sector, is the 512-byte boot sector that is the first sector ("LBA Sector 0") of a partitioned data storage device such as a hard disk.
(from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record)

The MBR doesn't have to be installed...it's present on every computer, located in front of the first partition basically. Grub can be installed in either the MBR or the Mint's / partition (or /boot, if you have a separate /boot partition); installing it into the MBR replaces whatever was acting as the bootloader for your computer previously, most likely WIndows' bootloader, and is recommended in order to get all your operating systems working with relatively little fuss. If you want to keep your original bootloader, you'll have to instruct it to chainload to Grub on bootup, so that you can get into Mint, which can be somewhat complicated.
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cebalrai
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by cebalrai »

I attached a snapshot of my hard drive as seen from Windows 7's disk management tool. I guess the 71 mb partition in front is the MBR? It doesn't have a drive letter - it just says "Healthy OEM partition".

Those two partitions in the back are Mint and Mint's swap. I just can't boot them.

I don't really care about keeping Windows' bootloader. I just want something to actually work.
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Dell XPS 1730 laptop
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Txnca
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by Txnca »

cebalrai wrote:I attached a snapshot of my hard drive as seen from Windows 7's disk management tool. I guess the 71 mb partition in front is the MBR? It doesn't have a drive letter - it just says "Healthy OEM partition".

Those two partitions in the back are Mint and Mint's swap. I just can't boot them.

I don't really care about keeping Windows' bootloader. I just want something to actually work.
First, the 71MB partition isn't the MBR. It isn't going to show in Disk Manager.

Honestly reinstalling Mint will overwrite the MBR with GRUB2 which will find and load Windows 7 and Mint.

I've got three OSes running on my desktop and they are all booting through GRUB2. Windows XP Pro, Vista x64 and Mint 8 x64. You don't have to follow my partition plan, that was just so when I install or reinstall different distros I don't have to reinstall GRUB2. I just have to update it when I have finished installing the new OS.

Again the easiest thing for you to do is reinstall Mint 8. Make sure it installs Grub to the MBR when you do. That will find Windows 7 and it should chainload it. You might have to make Windows 7 the active partition, or in Linux speak, make it the boot partition. Vista x64 has to be the active partition as well for it to load. It doesn't seem to matter to Linux one way or the other.

Steve
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cebalrai
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by cebalrai »

Txnca wrote:
cebalrai wrote:I attached a snapshot of my hard drive as seen from Windows 7's disk management tool. I guess the 71 mb partition in front is the MBR? It doesn't have a drive letter - it just says "Healthy OEM partition".

Those two partitions in the back are Mint and Mint's swap. I just can't boot them.

I don't really care about keeping Windows' bootloader. I just want something to actually work.
First, the 71MB partition isn't the MBR. It isn't going to show in Disk Manager.

Honestly reinstalling Mint will overwrite the MBR with GRUB2 which will find and load Windows 7 and Mint.

I've got three OSes running on my desktop and they are all booting through GRUB2. Windows XP Pro, Vista x64 and Mint 8 x64. You don't have to follow my partition plan, that was just so when I install or reinstall different distros I don't have to reinstall GRUB2. I just have to update it when I have finished installing the new OS.

Again the easiest thing for you to do is reinstall Mint 8. Make sure it installs Grub to the MBR when you do. That will find Windows 7 and it should chainload it. You might have to make Windows 7 the active partition, or in Linux speak, make it the boot partition. Vista x64 has to be the active partition as well for it to load. It doesn't seem to matter to Linux one way or the other.

Steve
I originally had Windows installed first and then Mint second. After I installed Mint, Windows was unbootable. But I'm willing to try again.

How do I make sure Grub installs to the MBR when I reinstall Mint? Where am I going to tell it to put Grub?

Also, after I do this how do I make Windows 7 the active/boot partition?

Thanks again in advance for your help!
Dell XPS 1730 laptop
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Txnca
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by Txnca »

cebalrai wrote:I originally had Windows installed first and then Mint second. After I installed Mint, Windows was unbootable. But I'm willing to try again.

How do I make sure Grub installs to the MBR when I reinstall Mint? Where am I going to tell it to put Grub?

Also, after I do this how do I make Windows 7 the active/boot partition?

Thanks again in advance for your help!
I think that Windows 7 was unbootable the first time due to the change to it's partition.

When you are reinstalling Mint, when you see a button in the bottom right of the screen, click it and it should give you the option to install it to the MBR. Just make sure that it is checked.

To make sure that the Windows partition is the active partition, download this http://sourceforge.net/projects/gparted ... o/download and burn it to a CD. I used a rewritable. Boot with it and when it comes up it will check your drive(s) and then stop and show a partition map. Click on the Windows partition and then find the menu entry to make it the boot partition. Then click the do it check mark and it will make it the boot partition. That should fix you right up.

Steve
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by Biker »

vincent wrote:I dual boot Windows 7 and Linux Mint 8, with Grub in the MBR of my hard drive, and have had no problems booting into either OS. I don't see how Windows 7 is "picky" about the contents of your MBR in any way, other than the fact that doing a re-install of any version of Windows will kill Grub.
It's possible that it may be machine specific. I'm using a Toshiba notebook, and Win 7 is not on the first partition of the hard drive (came that way). Any attempt (using LILO or GRUB) to write to the MBR of the hard drive causes Windows to throw a hissy fit and refuses to boot after that. I attempted to get a drive caddy for the second drive bay on the notebook, but it seems Toshiba no longer carries them. **sigh** Soooooooooooooo, second option was to get a USB hard drive and just use that for the various Distro's I play with.

It actually works out better this way for me. I set the notebook to look for the USB drive first in the boot order list. So if the drive is plugged in, it's a Linux boot. If the drive isn't plugged in, it's a Windows boot.

With the addition of Mint to my list of Distro's. I'm gonna need a larger USB drive. :mrgreen:
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cebalrai
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by cebalrai »

Biker wrote:
vincent wrote:I dual boot Windows 7 and Linux Mint 8, with Grub in the MBR of my hard drive, and have had no problems booting into either OS. I don't see how Windows 7 is "picky" about the contents of your MBR in any way, other than the fact that doing a re-install of any version of Windows will kill Grub.
It's possible that it may be machine specific. I'm using a Toshiba notebook, and Win 7 is not on the first partition of the hard drive (came that way). Any attempt (using LILO or GRUB) to write to the MBR of the hard drive causes Windows to throw a hissy fit and refuses to boot after that. I attempted to get a drive caddy for the second drive bay on the notebook, but it seems Toshiba no longer carries them. **sigh** Soooooooooooooo, second option was to get a USB hard drive and just use that for the various Distro's I play with.

It actually works out better this way for me. I set the notebook to look for the USB drive first in the boot order list. So if the drive is plugged in, it's a Linux boot. If the drive isn't plugged in, it's a Windows boot.

With the addition of Mint to my list of Distro's. I'm gonna need a larger USB drive. :mrgreen:
I think this might be part of the problem for me. The first partition in my image above is some Dell diagnostic tools. The second partition is the system restore, which will reinstall Windows to crumby 32 bit Vista (I upgraded to Windows 7). The third partition is the main Windows partition. 4th is Mint, 5th is Mint swap.

So with this in mind, where should I install Grub if I reinstall? In the Windows partition (3rd one), or somewhere else?
Dell XPS 1730 laptop
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by Lantesh »

cebalrai wrote:I originally had Windows installed first and then Mint second. After I installed Mint, Windows was unbootable. But I'm willing to try again.
I had the same issue at one point. I was re-installing both Windows and Mint. I installed Windows 7 on the first partition, and then Mint 8 x64 after. Installing Mint broke Windows 7's ability to boot. My solution was to then use the Windows DVD to put the Windows boot loader back on the MBR. That got Windows working again. I then booted the Mint live CD and re-installed GRUB2 back to the MBR. After that everything worked.

cebalrai
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by cebalrai »

Txnca wrote: When you are reinstalling Mint, when you see a button in the bottom right of the screen, click it and it should give you the option to install it to the MBR. Just make sure that it is checked.
Steve

Okay so I'm reinstalling Mint right now. The box is definitely checked, but you didn't mention the other part.... In the 'Advanced Options' window during installation it's asking me to choose device for boot loader installation.

Here are my options:

ARRAY Linux device-mapper striped (372.6 GB)
ARRAY 1 Dell diagnostic tools
ARRAY 2 Windows restore partition
ARRAY 3 Windows 7 (loader)
ARRAY 5 Linux swap

Or I could create a new partition.

Which one should I choose? :?
I think I picked Windows 7 (loader) last time and everything got so severely jacked up that not even the Windows CD repair program could fix it.

Thanks
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Linux Mint 10 64-bit, Windows 7

cebalrai
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Re: Newbie dual-boot hell

Post by cebalrai »

Txnca wrote:
cebalrai wrote:I attached a snapshot of my hard drive as seen from Windows 7's disk management tool. I guess the 71 mb partition in front is the MBR? It doesn't have a drive letter - it just says "Healthy OEM partition".

Those two partitions in the back are Mint and Mint's swap. I just can't boot them.

I don't really care about keeping Windows' bootloader. I just want something to actually work.
First, the 71MB partition isn't the MBR. It isn't going to show in Disk Manager.

Honestly reinstalling Mint will overwrite the MBR with GRUB2 which will find and load Windows 7 and Mint.

I've got three OSes running on my desktop and they are all booting through GRUB2. Windows XP Pro, Vista x64 and Mint 8 x64. You don't have to follow my partition plan, that was just so when I install or reinstall different distros I don't have to reinstall GRUB2. I just have to update it when I have finished installing the new OS.

Again the easiest thing for you to do is reinstall Mint 8. Make sure it installs Grub to the MBR when you do. That will find Windows 7 and it should chainload it. You might have to make Windows 7 the active partition, or in Linux speak, make it the boot partition. Vista x64 has to be the active partition as well for it to load. It doesn't seem to matter to Linux one way or the other.

Steve

I did what you suggested and nothing worked.

I reinstalled Mint with the MBR to HD0. Grub 2 did not find Windows, so now I'm locked out of Windows again. I tried running startup recovery off the Windows disk, but is says there's no problem.

Then I tried your suggestion about burning the gparted ISO to disk and booting off of it. I got to the original menu, when when I selected gparted, it failed and gave me all kinds of errors such as:

Begin Mounting Root File System

hda: cdrom_decode_status: status=0x51 (Drive Ready Seek Complete Error)
hda: cdrom_decode_status: status=0x40 (Last Failed Sense=0x04)
possibly failed opcode
(then nothing happens)

I verified that the burn was good and I tried two CD drives.

The mint user guide says that Grub will find Windows and dual boot automatically for me. Why isn't this happening?

I remain in dual boot hell. Anyone have any advice? :cry:
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Core 2 Extreme @ 2.8 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, GeForce 8800 GTX w/SLI, RAID-0
Linux Mint 10 64-bit, Windows 7

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