Dual Boot from second Hard Drive (Grub not in MBR)

Asked by TerryS

I want to install Ubuntu 6.06 on a second hard drive, and I don't want to have grub installed in the MBR of the first hard drive; I've read if Grub is installed in MBR of the first HD there may be problems should I deceide to later remove Ubuntu. If I install Ubuntu on the second hard drive, and point Grub to laod there also (possible?), is there any otehr way to make the system prompt which OS to load? (other than making the second hardrive the Master and the WIndows drive the slave)

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Ubuntu grub Edit question
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Earl Malmrose (earl) said :

Not an easy task, but doable. Check out this HOWTO: http://users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/p9.html

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Robb Munson (r.munson) said :

Ive tried that, I am even an advanced user, and ive failed, so I wouldnt recommend that to a "newbie" or new user! but....its worth a shot...back up your data first please!

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faisal (faisal-niaz) said :

As far I understand, you get the option of installing Grub to a location of your choice with the 'alternate' CD of Ubuntu, and not the Desktop CD.

When you use the 'alternate' CD and reach this option, select the partition you are installing Ubuntu to as the target partition for Grub, add Windows to list of OSes available to Grub (if not already detected by Ubuntu) and make this partition as the active partition so the computer boots off this partition instead of Windows' partition. (most newer computers can boot off a secondary disk, though you may have to check some settings in the BIOS).

I have done the above quite a lot of times with other Linuses (Redhat, Suse, Mandrake), but not with Ubuntu. So, try this at your own risk, though I think this is a pretty general option of Grub and Grub in Ubuntu need not be different. But remember you may only find this option in the 'alternate' CD. And don't forget to backup important data before taking any risk.

If you let Ubuntu to install Grub to MBR, and then in future you format the Ubuntu partition for any reason without uninstalling Grub, then Windows will not boot, and you will have to fix MBR to fix Windows. This is the reason that I never install Grub or Lilo on MBR.

Good Luck to you.

P.S.: in case the MBR gets corrupt, you can try an old DOS command fdisk /mbr. I hope it still works. I don't remember when I used last time, but I think it doesn't require you to have DOS partitions, because MBR is not a partition table.

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