Windows Boot Manager does not show Linux OS

Asked by John Lethco

I want to have a dual boot Windows XP and Ubuntu 12 system. I have installed an external USB disk which I plan to use for the Ubuntu OS and leave the Win XP OS where it already resides on the internal IDE drive.

I have Windows XP installed on my IDE hard disk. Windows Disk Management console shows this drive as 'Disk 0' with 2 partitions: the 1st partition is the 'recovery' partition of 8GB NTFS format marked 'Healthy (System)', the 2nd partition is the 'Windows (C:)' partion of 67GB NTFS and is marked 'Healthy (Boot)'

I partitioned the external USB hard drive and Windows Disk Management console shows it as 'Disk 1' 49GB NTFS Healthy.

I used the Wubi installer and installation procedure found at:

Everything seemed to go fine, but when I rebooted there was no option to select the Ubuntu OS ... like the Wubi instructions and illustrations said there would be. I've searched but cannot find either a question that fits my particular symptom or an answer(s) that indicate why Win XP doesn't show the Ubuntu OS as a boot choice.

My understanding is that Windows Boot Manager ignores other OS's, but the boot.ini file does allow you you to edit it to specify other OS's ...

If the boot.ini file specifies multiple OS's must they all be flavors of Windows (NT/XP/7/VISTA) or can foreign OS's like Ubuntu also be specified as choices in the Windows boot.ini file?

Can anyone advise how I get Windows XP Boot Manager to include other OS's ?

Many thanks !

Question information

English Edit question
Wubi Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Last query:
Last reply:
Revision history for this message
actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :

Seems thast if you open c:\boot.ini and add the line:

C:\Wubildr.mbr = "Ubuntu"

It should be used.

Revision history for this message
John Lethco (john-lethco) said :

The wubi program already edited my boot.ini file to include the line you showed above.

Here is my boot.ini file contents:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\wubildr.mbr = "Ubuntu"

My next steps are:

1. re-install GRUB and re-write the MBR to point to GRUB. Hopefully GRUB will recognize both OS's and allow me to choose either Win XP or Ubuntu
2. Might have to do a dedicated single OS Ubuntu system :(

Revision history for this message
bcbc (bcbc) said :

Don't install grub with Wubi, it doesn't work and will just stop Windows booting.

Why do you need Wubi if you have an external drive? You can install directly on the external, place Grub on the Externals MBR (not the internal), and then set the external to boot first. After that, when the external is plugged it, it will give you Grub menu to boot either Ubuntu or Windows, and when the external is unplugged it will boot straight to Windows. That's what I would do instead of messing about with Wubi. (Then you can also boot your external from any PC, whereas with Wubi you're tied to the one you installed on).

Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask John Lethco for more information if necessary.

To post a message you must log in.