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I am using an HP dv7 computer with a 1TB drive with Win7 and a new 120GB SSD that I intend to run Kubuntu on for my physics stuff. I am having trouble installing GRUB though.

I first created two partitions on the SSD: main (111GB) and swap (9GB). Then, using Kubuntu boot USB (clean formatted with new iso and good md5sum), I tried to install on Manual to reduce the chance I'd screw up my Windows. I really really don't want to screw up my Windows. I set main (sdb1) as / and swap (sdb2) as swap, leaving all of sda as Do Not Use, and set it to install the bootloader to sda, which is where the Win7 MBR should be.

However, after almost completing the install, it gives me a pop-up of:

Unable to install GRUB in /dev/sda

Executing 'grub-install /dev/sda' failed.

This is a fatal error.

Grub installs fine if my SSD is in sda, but then my windows doesn't work because my motherboard can only boot to "Internal Notebook Drive", also known as sda, and sda is always C, which windows needs to be in to work. So my SSD must be sdb.

What reasons might cause this? Is my methodology sound, and how can I improve it? What other info would be helpful in diagnosing the problem?

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If your 1 TB drive is partitioned using GPT instead of an msdos partition table, then you need to create a 1 MiB bios_grub partition to install grub on that drive. If you look in /var/log/syslog, you should see a more detailed error message explaining what went wrong.

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How would I go about finding syslog? I don't have a working linux install yet. – Traceless Feb 26 '14 at 0:49
@Traceless, it is on the live cd. Check it after installing grub fails. – psusi Feb 26 '14 at 0:50
I've found a syslog when using the "try Linux" portion of the boot usb, but it doesn't show anything related to the install after I've tried installing within the "try Linux" section. It only shows timestamps associated with the booting. Any other places I might find it, or run it in some sort of verbose mode? – Traceless Mar 11 '14 at 18:35
@Traceless, there should be tons of things about the install there. – psusi Mar 11 '14 at 18:48

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