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I have given up on installing Ubuntu 12.04.01 for the sixth time. I finally got Windows XP to work again. So I blitzted the Ubuntu partition and the swap partition and was about to install the sixth try when it occurred to me that ought to ask how is is "supposed" to go. My installer will install Ubuntu on the Linus ext4 partition I created by hand in Windows on my C drive. But the installer keeps insisting on installing the OS on my D drive unless I intervene. So if I choose "do something else" it will accept installing Ubuntu on the C drive in the partition I previously created, but it insists on putting the "Device for boot loader installation" on the D drive. I can select a different drive at this point (where I could not with the "along side windows choice) but what drive to I choose??? It lists sda, sda1, sda5, sdb and sdb1. The five times before this all ended in disaster letting the installer choose. So I need human intervention. Where is the safe place to do this. The results from the previous attempts left me with only the Ubuntu that would boot, the boot to windows from the grub menu failed every time. Is there a better version of Ubuntu I can use? Is V12.04.01 messed up? My goal is still to use Wine on it to run PC programs. I would like to find a shell or skin or something that makes it seem like windows but have the security and power of Linux under the good. I have seen this type of system and it worked very well. I know I am getting long winded but I have been though at least four of the seven rings of hell already, so I want this install to be the last.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You should allow GRUB to be installed to sda which is your master boot record (mbr). If Windows will not boot from the GRUB menu entry at first, then select Ubuntu from the menu to boot. Once Ubuntu has loaded open a terminal and enter sudo update-grub. You will need to enter your password here to complete the operation. This command will have GRUB probe for all OSes on your machine including XP and will add them to your GRUB menu. Now when you reboot and select Windows from the GRUB menu, it should boot normally.

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Okay sda it is. I will try this again. I am curious as to the behavior of the installer. Is it possible for it to install the Ubantu software on the D drive and make it work? When I let it do this the very first time, I could not access the Ubuntu OS at all. Why would the installer make this choice? I have to assume the coder thought of the possibility that a computer might have more than one drive. As I am very new to this OS I do not understand a lot of what I am doing but I expected a more refined install process than is included with 12.04.01. –  Bob D Oct 9 '12 at 2:22
What state is your install in now? You can boot Ubuntu but not Windows correct? You may be able to save yourself the trouble of installing all over again if you can get into Ubuntu. –  matt davis Oct 9 '12 at 2:29
In Ubuntu's (and Linux's) defence your difficulties come from dual booting and a multiple hard disk situation, not necessarily from issues with ubuntu itself. –  Karthik T Oct 9 '12 at 2:40
The install is sitting with Ubuntu installed from the installer CD. The C drive has a newly created ext4 and swap partition. I had to remove the previous install and partitions to get the computer back where it was before I began this journey. As I stated the installer wants to install the OS on the drive if I just let it do so. I thought it should to on the C drive because it did not work when installed of the D drive. I was waiting to find out what drive the Boot SW should be placed. –  Bob D Oct 9 '12 at 2:44
If you can boot up Ubuntu then try "sudo update-grub" now and reboot. Then see if you can boot Windows. –  matt davis Oct 9 '12 at 2:52
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Is this set of installs your first experience with Ubuntu or Linux in general? If so i would recommend that you install using wubi. You should be able to just insert the disk while windows is running and let autorun install ubuntu as if its any other application. Its a lot simpler for you to try it out for the first time, rather than giving up due to frustration (you seem to have higher thresholds than most i know tho..)

Getting back to the problem at hand. It appears that you are using 2 physical harddisks, from the sda-sdb drives (C drive and D isnt clear since it typically refers to partitions and not necessarily drives). You should be able to follow matt davis's advice and force the installer to install in sda, any other option would render ubuntu unreachable since windows doesnt know what linux is...

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Thanks I am about to try this option and see what happens. I do not like giving up too easy, I know several people that use Linux every day so it must be able to be done. With all of you helping I am sure it will be a success. –  Bob D Oct 9 '12 at 2:47
OP has mentioned trying to install Ubuntu before in the very first sentence of the question. To that extent, your answer is in danger of being downvoted. Please edit your answer appropriately. –  user25656 Oct 9 '12 at 2:49
@vasa1 OP mentioned the string of 6 installs, my question if if this string of installs as a whole is his first experience.. since im guessing it happened at a stretch and not over a long period.. should be obvious enough. –  Karthik T Oct 9 '12 at 3:19
I hope I am not making a conflict, the installs I have been trying to do have been over the past four days. Lots of troubleshooting in between. My first question got "closed" before I got enough information to fix my problems. Apparently I need to ask only one question at a time. It seems the problems I have been facing have been multiple and parts of my questions get only one part but leave me with the rest. I just keep asking hoping to get all the parts solved. If the installer is doing what I asked, it is doing the procedure suggested by Matt Davis to allow grub to be on sda. We will see. –  Bob D Oct 9 '12 at 4:22
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