I just installed debian on my computer which has windows 8 from before (has 2 hds installed debian on the storage hd), however it booted straight into windows 8 without loading grub or anything. What can I do to get the choice between windows and debian at start up?


@user11177 probably you are missing grub. Are you running UEFI? Anyway take a look here.

To install grub:
Getting the System to Boot

Here is a terse summary. For details, see section 4.

    Boot your system using a "live CD" or "live DVD".

    Open a shell window and become root: sudo su

    For clarity, let’s discuss things using the shell variables $partition and $device. An example might be: partition=/dev/sda6 ; device=/dev/sda

    You need to know which partition holds the Linux system you want to boot. If you remember this, define $partition and $device accordingly, and skip to the next step. If you need to figure it out,

        get a list of disk devices: ls /dev/sd? /dev/hd?
        look at each such device: cfdisk $device or fdisk -l $device

        Look at the partition sizes and partition labels to find the partition that you want to boot. Define $partition and $device accordingly.

    Create a mountpoint: install -d /mnt/radicula

    Mount the partition containing your Linux: mount $partition /mnt/radicula

    Reinstall grub: grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/radicula $device

    Beware: You want to install grub on the device (e.g. /dev/sda). If you install it on the partition (e.g. /dev/sda6), the grub-install program won’t complain, but the results won’t be what you wanted.

That’s probably enough to get you going. If you want to give it a try, shut down the live CD system, eject the CD, and reboot in the normal way from your favorite device (/dev/sda in the example).

If you want to improve your chances, you can do a little more work before rebooting.

    If the Live CD system has a /boot directory, move it out of the way: mv /boot /xxxboot

    Put the target system’s boot directory in its place: ln -s /mnt/radicula/boot /

    Back up the existing grub control file, namely grub.cfg (for Grub Version 2) and/or menu.lst (for Grub Version 1). If both exist, back up both of them. cd /boot/grub ; cp grub.cfg grub.cfg#1 ; cp menu.lst menu.lst#1

    Update the grub control file: update-grub.

    Note that in Grub Version 1, update-grub writes the file menu.lst, whereas in Grub Version 2, it invokes grub-mkconfig to write the file grub.cfg.

Now you really should be ready to shut own the Live CD system, remove the CD, and reboot in the normal way.

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