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I just installed Ubuntu 12.04.1 on a laptop, but whenever I turn on my computer, it still boots to Windows and GRUB doesn't seem to be working at all.

My partition scheme is as follows:

  • /dev/sda1 - Some NTFS partition for Lenovo recovery or something labeled SYSTEM_DRV (this has the Windows boot flag on it)
  • /dev/sda2 - My NTFS Windows partition
  • /dev/sda3 - My extended partition containing:
    • /dev/sda5 - / partition, ext4, 20 GB
    • /dev/sda6 - swap partition, linux-swap, 3 GB
    • /dev/sda7 - /home, ext4, 450 GB
  • /dev/sda4 - Another partition that is useful for Lenovo recovery or something labeled LENOVO_PART.

The point is, I installed Ubuntu 12.04.1 according to this scheme via the LiveUSB environment, but whenever I turn on my computer, the motherboard BIOS screen is shown, and then it jumps right to Windows and GRUB is skipped completely.

What can I do to fix this?

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You probably installed grub to the thumbdrive, not the system drive. See what happens if you boot with the thumbdrive plugged in and update with results. – RobotHumans Aug 26 '12 at 21:10
  1. Boot to your live disk
  2. Open gparted
  3. Right click on /dev/sda5
  4. Click 'Manage Flags'
  5. Set the boot flag (same thing as the active flag in windows)

Grub should now load if it is actually installed on /dev/sda5

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