Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This is my system topology:

Disk #1  (SATA Internal) 
      C: D: (Windows 7 Ultimate)
Disk #2  (SATA Internal) 
      E: (Windows Backup)
Disk #3  (eSATA External)
      H:  I:   (Other windows data)
      /dev/sdc3  Linux Swap
      /dev/sdc4  Extended partition
      /dev/sdc5  Linux /

So, I originally had there Ubuntu 8.1 from years ago but never got to use it. Now I used the Ubuntu 12.04 Live CD to install on that same location (That live CD takes a century to boot on a 6GB Intel i7 system...).

The installation went fine, I selected it to install on /dev/sdc5 but it never asked me for any boot stuff, where I wanted to install Grub or whatever it is that it uses nowaways (I come from the LILO days when it always worked :-)

So, yet again I can't access my new Linux installation. I have to wait a century to boot the "Live" CD and it allows me to see my new installation but I can't do anything with it.

I tried the approach of this blog post. Copied the linux.bin of /dev/sdc5 into C: and used the BCDEdit steps to declare the new OS.

So when I boot I see the Windows Boot menu and select Linux and after than I only get a black screen with a blinking cursor on the upper left. I can boot into Windows though.

So, perhaps it didn't install the boot code on /dev/sdc5? I used this setup years ago booting from Windows with a BIN file:

dd if=/dev/sdc5 of=/mnt/share/C/linux.bin bs=512 count=1

I am very reluctant to run GRUB because years ago I did and it wiped out my Windows boot sector and took quite some effort to recover it and be able to boot Windows again.

I have been trying to install GRUB on a blank USB stick but I can't find anything clear enough. My system does NOT have a floppy.

So can someone give me some ideas about how to get control of my Ubuntu 12.04 installation?

share|improve this question

That blog post requires that you first install a boot loader to to /dev/sdc5. The Ubuntu installer always installs grub to an MBR. If Windows is still coming up at boot, then you must have chosen to install it to one of the other disks. Go into your bios and tell it to boot from the other disk and you should get the grub menu where you can choose which OS to boot.

share|improve this answer
Then perhaps it installed it (without telling or asking) to the MBR of the eSATA disk (/dev/sdc). Will check on that. Gave me quite a scare because the system was then not booting at all after I changed the 'boot' flag on that eSata disk. – Lord of Scripts Jun 25 '12 at 15:10

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.