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I have 2 different SATA drives in my PC, a 160GB and a 200GB. I'm unsure how to do this, and have a choice between them when I boot, any ideas? Is there a guide out there for this?

I installed XP on one, then ran Ubuntu on it as 'Install With' it just boots into XP, I then reformatted, and put them both on separate drives, and it does the same again. I then tried Win 7, then Ubuntu on the second; again, no show, can someone please lend a hand?

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You need to determine which drive takes priority in boot up. This settings can be visiable in BIOS.

If you don't to change BIOS,You need to install grub in that disk.

Say you have installed windows system on disk1 (160GB) and installed ubuntu on 200GB.

Now according to BIOS if disk1 is top list, ubuntu won't boot. As by default grub is installed in 200GB.

To correct it,

  • Boot up with ubuntu live disk/usb.
  • Install boot-repair.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair

Do a recommended repair. That should fix the issue.


  • Click on Advanced, Goto Grub-location
  • Change Place Grub to correct device .
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Your suggested correction breaks the Windows boot loader and you didn't even tell him how to make a backup. I doubt that's what he wanted. – LiveWireBT Jul 20 '12 at 20:42
@LiveWireBT please explain how it will break the windows? Since grub-repair will run update-grub automatically and detect windows installation too. – Web-E Jul 21 '12 at 4:32
You're telling him to install grub on the Windows disk which will overwrite the Windows boot loader. – LiveWireBT Jul 21 '12 at 11:03
Isn't standard when you have one disk and want a dual boot? Second thing grub doesn't overwrite windows boot loader. The MBR is re written. And boot-repair can write mbr for windows also. – Web-E Jul 21 '12 at 16:40
Please be careful, he has two separate disks. When the tool doesn't overwrite the Windows boot loader, then what do you think is this tool actually doing when it says it's rewriting the MBR? This tool may have a menu point for restoring a boot loader, but I doubt that the tool ships with all the Microsoft Windows boot loaders, which would very likely be a violation of Microsoft's copyright. Well, go on and promote the tool on every occasion, no matter if it actually fits. It can't do any harm, can it? – LiveWireBT Jul 21 '12 at 21:53

I am assuming that currently Win7 is in first drive and Ubuntu in second SATA drive , then while booting select the Boot menu from BIOS ( same as selecting the CD drive or Usb drivve when you install a new system) and select the Ubuntu Installed Drive to boot from.

In BIOS select your First boot device as Ubuntu installed SATA drive for easier access , which also avoids the manual installation of Grub Bootloader to Windows MBR.

Then after booting in Ubuntu run

sudo update-grub

Then from next reboot you will get the OS selection menu from GRUB.

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This is a very easy task to accomplish. Ubuntu's installer is configured to put the boot loader by default on the hard drive where you install Ubuntu. The boot loader is also configured to find other boot loaders and include them in the menu. You only have to make sure that the hard drive where Ubuntu is installed on is the first hard drive in the boot order.

Doing it this way will not touch the Windows boot loader, which means you could remove the Ubuntu drive and still can boot Windows. Installing the Ubuntu boot loader to the Windows disk of course will break this and is not recommended.

You can of course use tools like the mentioned boot-repair. But if you want to get things right I'd recommend reading the manpages, like the one for grub-install, and the Ubuntu and sometimes Arch Linux wiki pages.

The grub-os-prober, responsible for making Dual Boot configurations easy, can also be disabled, so that only Ubuntu related menu entries will be generated when running uptade-grub from terminal. Some other Linux distributions ship default configurations like these.

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