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Is it not possible to point Grub2 at a Windows8 install at this time?

I have Win8 on the first hard drive and ubuntu10.10b64 on the second. I use the bios to switch OS at boot time.

I have tried a couple times to get them both in Grub2 but for some reason had to reinstall Win8 the first time and restore ubuntu the second time. No idea what happened to Windows but I screwed up the syntax in Grub2 the second time and could not edit anything with the CD.

I've seen different versions of the grub.d file to add the windows entry.

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I have installed Windows 8 together with Ubuntu 11.10 on one hard drive in my laptop and it works fine, just as it did before with Windows 7.

My drive is partitioned like this:

  • Partition 1: Swap
  • Partition 2: Ubuntu
  • Partition 3: Home
  • Partition 4: Windows

This layout has already 4 primary partitions, so the Windows installer can't do its default 2 partition install. That default 2 partition installation of Windows might be why you can't setup a proper chainloader entry in grub for Windows easily. This has been an issue at least since Windows 7 I think. I remember that there is a workaround which involves copying some files from Windows' boot partition to the root of the Windows partition or the boot folder, but you should instead reinstall Windows with only one partition. I just had to reinstall grub afterwards from the live CD with the following commands:

sudo mount $Ubuntu_Partition /mnt/
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sdX
sudo update-grub

$Ubuntu_Partition is your Ubuntu partition. If you have a boot partition you need to mount that too (to /mnt/boot). sdX is the harddrive where Ubutntu is installed on. Use commands like fdisk -l to find out where Ubuntu is installed.

Back in Ubuntu run sudo update-grub again OS prober should have found something like "Windows Recovery Environment". That's my experience installing the Consumer Preview of Windows 8. Using a separate drive should not be any different, since the OS prober scans all attached drives, it just seems to have difficulties with the 2 partition default layout. So make sure you install Windows in one partition only.

Method 3 of the following guide might be the easiest way to achieve a one partition install:

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Well grub has to be installed on the primary partition, no matter what. This is because thats the partition that is checked for boot loaders. Now, I think that you should take a look at the grub commands and grub rescuing methods. Take a short read at the link [1], it may be what you are looking for.


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Grub is on a primary partition and when I set the bios for booting from the second drive where it is located it will boot ubuntu fine. The trouble I'm having is building a correct chainload (I think?) for Windows 8. – Mike Case Jr. Oct 18 '11 at 3:37
When I messed up the grub it wouldn't allow me to ctrl-x, ctrl-c or esc out which is why I ended up having to restore to get back where I am. – Mike Case Jr. Oct 18 '11 at 3:44
I should have written down the response I was getting during the failure but I lacked the patience and decided to just restore. – Mike Case Jr. Oct 18 '11 at 3:47
Reading the thread/question "Dedicated GRUB2 Partition and Windows 8" I get the impression Windows 8 can't be started from grub2. – Mike Case Jr. Oct 18 '11 at 3:56
Anyone out there have a successful Dual Boot Dual HDD Win8 Ubuntu10.10 installation? – Mike Case Jr. Oct 19 '11 at 20:24

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