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Old 12-02-2007, 01:18 AM
Default Dualboot 2 drives Ubuntu/Win

All of my home network & test machines, with the exception of 1 machine,
are from recycled boxes that I've manage to salvage. All are running
Because I also support customers, friends, & relatives, I also tend to
add a small (8Gb or so) drive with Windows (Win2KPro or Win2KServer,
WinXPPro etc) so that I can dual-boot. I may also do the same for a
machine whereby the customer/friend/relative already have a Windows
drive, don't want to lose it, and have a second drive for Ubuntu. Or, I
may move a preconfigured Windows drive to a better, faster, Ubuntu
machine for dual-booting.
The instructions are also handy if you just need to add a Windows
drive to configure without messing with the new/existing Windows MBR,
configuration on the Windows drive.

Here is I do it without repartitioning the Windows drive.
Note, the following is for a Gutsy machine with standard IDE hard drives
& also that you are using the Gnome desktop. If you have a SCSI or some
other drive, or are using KDE (Kbubuntu) I can't help you. The
instructions are also for those with limited linux/Ubuntu experience, so
yes, there are easier ways to do the instructions from the terminal etc.

1. *Get the docs, bios, and hard drive instructions for the target
machine and drives* (Google/Yahoo will do the trick). This is probably
the most informative part of this post as you really can screw things up
if you don't already have this information available.

2. On the target machine remove all but the primary hard drive.
Make sure that the drive jumpers are set for Master, *do not* use Cable
Select. Boot into BIOS (accomplished by F2 or some other F key
immediately at boot) & make sure that: 1) the drive is recognized, 2)
you have boot from CD. Note the drive model number from the BIOS
settings & write this down.

3. Format & install Ubuntu -- I *only* use the alternate CD as I tend to
work with slower, low memory machines and find LiveCD to be... we'll,
I'll just say that they don't work for me.

4. Once you have everything working in Ubuntu & are satisfied that all
patches are installed & working well, or in the case were you already
have an existing primary drive configured for Ubuntu, you are ready to
prep for the second drive. To do this:

a. Modify Grub to find the second drive.

From a termial (Applications|Accesories|Terminal) enter:

sudo cp /etc/fstab /boot/grub/menu.lst_backup
gksu gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

Scroll down to the bottom of the file and enter/modify the following:


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

# Non-linux OS on /dev/sdb1
title Windows XP
root (hd1,0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
chainloader +1

Save the file and exit. Note: If you have Windows 2000 etc, just modify
the title line to show whatever version you will have on the second drive.

From the terminal again:

cd /media
sudo mkdir /media/windows
sudo chown <yourusername> /media/windows

Note: your username <yourusername> will be the one after the @ mark in
the terminal, example: ubuntu@wally. So place wally in the sudo command:
sudo chown wally /media/windows

b. Modify fstab to recognize the second drive.

From the terminal again:

sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab_backup
gksu gedit /etc/fstab

Add the following to the fsab:

/dev/sdb1 /media/windows auto users,atime,auto,rw,nodev,exec,nosuid 0 0

Save the file & exit Ubuntu (Shutdown). Unplug the power cable from the

You are now ready to add the second drive. Warning!! *Always disconnect
the power cable from the computer when making any hardware changes*

5. Disconnect the cable disk controller cable & power from the Ubuntu
drive. Jumper the Windows drive to be Master (again - do not use Cable
select jumper settings). Boot into BIOS & make sure the drive is
recognized etc. Note the model number of the drive from the BIOS
settings and write this down. Continue to boot into Windows from the
drive to make sure all is working, or if a new install, go ahead and do
your new Windows install (see you in a few days :-).

6. Once you've determined that the Windows drive is working, shut down
the machine, disconnect the power cable & re-jumber the Windows drive to
Slave (note: on many drives just removing all jumbers will work, but be
sure to check with the jumper docs that you googled for a the start of

7. Connect the Ubuntu drive (still jumpered to be the Master) to the end
of the disk controller cable & connect it's power connector. Connect the
Windows drive to the disk controller cable - the second connector on the
cable & connect it's power connector.
Note: the standard hardware safety precautions apply - make sure that
you've not left the tire iron, screws, scredriver, on the motherboard &
you actually have the connectors safely & properly connected etc.

8. Connect the power cord back to the PC, fire it up & boot into BIOS.
Make sure that: 1) both drives are now recognized, 2) the primary boot
drive is the Ubuntu drive (remember when I instructed you to write down
the drive info?). Continue to boot the machine.

9. When the machine boots, it should boot to the Ubuntu drive & provide
you with the Grub menu. Hit the 'Esc' to view the grub menu & make sure
that you have the standard Ubuntu boot options plus the:

Other operating systems:
Windows XP

in the menu. Select the Ubuntu option and boot into Ubuntu. Your boot
should be normal & Ununtu should come up with an disk icon on the
desktop labeled 'windows'. That will be your second/windows drive.
Double click the icon, or use Places|Home Folder|windows to view the
drive. *Don't do anything to the drive, try to write to it yet, just
make sure that you can see it & the files on it. Now, exit Ubuntu (Restart).

10. When the machine reboots, hit Esc at the Grub menu and select the
Windows (Windows XP in this case) option and boot into Windows. The boot
should immediately start & boot into the Windows drive. If it doesn't
then you've messed up something in steps 1-9.

You can now dual-boot into either drive. You can also remove drive two
(Windows) and move it to another machine - the original MBR etc., has
not been modified, it does not have Grub on it, and it should work just
fine in whatever computer you put it in as long as you re-jumper it in
that other machine to be the primary drive.

If you do remove the second windows drive, go back and comment out the
added information that you put in /etc/fstab and /grub/boot/menu.lst, so
that they look like the following. You can uncomment if you need to add
another second windows test/dual-boot drive:


# /dev/sdb1 /media/windows auto users,atime,auto,rw,nodev,exec,nosuid 0 0


## title Other operating systems:
## root

## Non-linux OS on /dev/sdb1
## title Windows XP
## root (hd1,0)
## savedefault
## makeactive
## map (hd0) (hd1)
## map (hd1) (hd0)
## chainloader +1

Note: if you do not edit fstab & menu.lst it won't break your system,
but booting may be a little slower & you may notice error messages in
your logs when fstab can't find & mount /dev/sdb1 /media/windows.

That's pretty much it. I've done this on at least 10 machines (Dapper to
Gutsy) and it's worked for me every time (except when I've screwed
around with MBR's & partitions - all failures my own fault). Hope this
helps folks like Norman ("2 hard disks" thread) et al.


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