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I am new to Linux and have tried to set up a dual-boot with Windows Vista and Ubuntu Linux using a disk partition. I have successfully partioned the disk with Windows on one partition and Linux on the other using the automatic partition function during the Linux installation. My problem is that I cannot boot from the Windows partition and I don't know enough to fix it. Please help.

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Last Post by vsss
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More information please. When you start up your computer, is an option to boot Windows listed anywhere in GRUB (the bootloader)? What is the output on the screen?

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No, the option to boot Windows is not listed when GRUB comes up. When I boot up it gives me the option to load Ubuntu normally, in recovery mode, or run a memory test if I hit ESC.

If it helps, Windows was loaded on the computer to begin with and the Linux installation came after. During the Linux installation I used the automatic partitioner and partitioned the hard drive into 2 even halves. I only know that Windows is on the other half because I used Disks Manager and I was able to see that all the Windows files are on one of the partitions.

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First of all, kick GRUB into command line mode by hitting 'c'. Then, see if entering the following lines do anything:
(I'm assuming that your Windows partition is the first one on the drive. If it's the second, replace the 0 after the first comma with a 1.)

rootnoverify(hd0,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1

Let us know if it works. If it does, I can show you how to edit your configuration file to add a Windows option.

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I've been having the same trouble as tringler, and have been following the advice. Unfortunately, I have still been unable to boot into vista. It had been mentioned how to edit conf file to add a windows option. could you explain that please?

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For a menu option to be any good, the commands it runs have to work. A Windows option in the Grub menu would use something similar to the commands listed above, so you should verify that the commands I posted work for you. What happens when you enter those into the Grub command line? Post any error messages you get.

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I tried the 3 commands:
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1
and go no error messages. Unfortunately, I'm one of those who installed Ubuntu onto a PC where Windows was installed onto a recovery partition :(
After the Ubuntu install, I installed Windows XP again, using the recovery CDs provided with the PC, but of course Ubuntu's grub config file didn't know that :)
Can anyone help me here?

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So what you're saying is that Ubuntu is still there, but the GRUB menu no longer shows up when your computer boots?

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So what you're saying is that Ubuntu is still there, but the GRUB menu no longer shows up when your computer boots?

Not exactly. What happened is that I damaged the partition table when rebuilding the PC OSes. I then ran Ubuntu setup to fix the partition table, creating a boot partition plus 1 other for Windows XP, and the remaining partitions for Ubuntu. I then restored XP using my recovery CDs. As the restore followed the Ubuntu installation, there were no entries in the grub menu.lst file for XP. After my last posting, I then reinstalled Ubuntu, and found that the following entries were automatically added to menu.lst :

<begin text quote>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
title Other operating systems:
root

# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-Linus OS
# on /dev/sda1
title Microsoft Windows XP Professional
root (hd0,0)
savedefault
makeactive
chainloader +1
<end text quote>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

After this, both Ubuntu and XP worked fine. I had also prior to the 2nd Ubuntu installation found that the rootnoverify, makeactive and chainloader commands, followed by the boot command, could be used to boot XP manually. I was *about* to insert that into the menu.lst file to fix the problem permanently, but while XP was booted up, I thought I'd use Norton Partition Magic to format the 2nd Windows partition. What a stupid idea that was! After that, grub exited with (I think) error 17 on bootup. This is why I installed Ubuntu for the 2nd time. Oh well, live and learn :)

So it's all good now, and I learned a bit about grub and dual-boot in the process. Thanks for the feedback, btw.

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