I've just installed Ubuntu 12.10 on my /dev/sda3 partition. During installation I specifically requested the boot loader to be installed at /dev/sda3. Why didn't the installation put the stage 1 loader to the first sector of the partition? I wonder if it's a bug or an intended feature. The reason I am doing that is that I want to preserve the MBR and have Windows use its own boot loader instead of GRUB. I tried to make a multiboot using EasyBCD 2.2, but whatever I do, when it tries to boot Ubuntu it ends up displaying a blank screen or GRUB command line interface. So I decided to help EasyBCD by ripping the first 512Byte from the first sector of the partition and give it to EasyBCD for loading.
Update: Here is how I solved the problem. Booted with LiveCD and mounted my /dev/sda3 partition to /media/ubuntu and mounted my ntfs partion to /media/win Forced bootloader onto the partition with: grub-install --force --boot-directory=/media/ubuntu /dev/sda3 Ripped the first sector of /dev/sda3 with dd if=/dev/sda3 of=/media/win/sda3_boot.bin bs=512 count=1 Rebooted to windows and used bcdedit.exe to create a Ubuntu entry pointing to sda3_boot.bin This worked, so I have my windows MBR intact and use windows boot loader to switch between the OSs.
The question still remains: why Ubuntu installation bypasses installing bootloader to the specified partition.