I had Windows 7 and 8 on a hard drive, then I decided to try Xubuntu, and installed it on a separate hard drive.

Then I tried using EasyBCD, but Windows doesn't recognize Linux partitions. Additionally I removed the drive with Windows while installing Xubuntu, just in case...

So, how can I add it to the boot list?

  • since they are on different drives, you'll have to choose in BIOS which drive to initialize first and that will be the drive that loads the OS. Or you can use something similar to parallels. – Simply_Me Aug 14 '14 at 22:36
  • @Simply_Me What are paralels? And I currently have the Windows drive chosen, but to use Xubuntu I need to open the BIOS and force boot from a drive. – someonewithpc Aug 14 '14 at 22:46
  • that's correct, changing boot sequence in BIOS will allow you to choose OS. Parallels is a virtualization solution for multiple OS boot (among others); mainly used on Apple, but similar products exists for PC as well. – Simply_Me Aug 14 '14 at 22:53

For dual boot with separate hard drives, you'll have to change the booting sequence in your BIOS.

For example, if Win8 is on C drive, and Xubuntu is on D drive. If BIOS boots up C drive first (before D drive) then your computer will load Win8.

Furthermore, simplified solutions exist via third party companies such as Parallels.

  • Xubuntu doesn't label the drives and changing the order doesn't help, I want to see the menu and choose. And Paralles runs a VM, or something similar, rigth? – someonewithpc Aug 14 '14 at 22:54
  • @someonewithpc yes it's as virtualized environment. This might be helpful – Simply_Me Aug 14 '14 at 22:57
  • @someonewithpc I don't think you'll see a menu because it's on different drives to begin with. As far as I'm aware, only virtualization software will give you such option. – Simply_Me Aug 14 '14 at 23:00
  • No, it kind of defeats the purpose of using Xubuntu; The point is to use Blender, because Linux systems manage memory better than Windows. So using a VM-like solution won't work, because I need all memory to be available. – someonewithpc Aug 14 '14 at 23:04
  • So, if it was on the same drive it would work fine? Even when I have both win7 and 8, can I install yet another OS? – someonewithpc Aug 14 '14 at 23:06

It doesn't really matter that they are installed on separate drives, but if you are using grub2 then that will be the bootloader for all of the operating systems. You need to configure grub to 'know' what each of your operating systems is and which partition it is on. This is accomplished by using the update-grub command, which automates the process of updating /boot/grub/grub.cfg. I am assuming that you already have grub2 installed, since you tagged your post with that.

First, create a bootable USB or CD in case you render your system unable to boot to Xubuntu after reinstalling your Windows drive. You have probably already done this in order to install Xubuntu in the first place.

Read this Ubuntu wiki page to determine if any special factors apply to your system.

After you put your windows drive back in, you may experience the problem that the system boots straight to Windows and does not offer a grub menu to boot to Xubuntu. This is because you have a boot partition on each drive. Follow this or this to repair your grub to be the boot partition. Then:

  1. Boot into Xubuntu.
  2. As root, run update-grub. This should automatically detect your Windows partition and add it to the boot menu.
  3. Reboot, and you should see a menu offering which operating system to boot.

If you have problems, make sure you have made some kind of bootable media first so you can repair. Post your issue back here along with the output of fdisk -l and the contents of /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

  • I didn't tag it with Grub2, @Simply_Me did. How do I install it? And then run sudo update-grub? – someonewithpc Aug 14 '14 at 23:14
  • How to install it depends on your hardware setup and configuration. Boot into linux and post the output of sudo fdisk -l. To use grub you will need a /boot partition. The easiest way to do this might be to wipe your existing Xubuntu and reinstall if it is still fresh. If you have already done some work configuring Xubuntu and don't want to start over, you need to repartition so that you can create a /boot partition. Check link for how to install grub. – JKav77 Aug 14 '14 at 23:58
  • And yes, once grub is installed and the partition it is installed to is the default boot partition, sudo update-grub will create the boot menu as you described. – JKav77 Aug 15 '14 at 0:00
  • If I install it with the windows drive plug in, does it do that automatically or something? – someonewithpc Aug 15 '14 at 9:59
  • grub can automatically create your boot menu. I think your issue revolves around getting grub installed. Without more information about your partitioning setup, it is hard to advise you further. – JKav77 Aug 15 '14 at 11:45

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