With the following setup I get a blinking cursor after installation:

Windows 7 64bit installed in first SSD (not UEFI, using MBR) Installation of Ubuntu 12.04 64Bit on gpt partioned disk seems to work without problems but does not boot. It stops with a blinking cursor.

I used the partitioning scheme described here.

Partitioning scheme:
    sdb1 efi boot partition fat32
    sdb2 root btrfs
    sdb3 home btrfs
    sdb4 swap

Is it possible to mix uefi BIOS with MBR and gpt when using two separate SSDs? I tried grub2 into a MBR as well but it would not install there...

1 Answer 1


If Windows is installed to and booting from an MBR-partitioned disk, then that means that Windows is booting in BIOS mode. On most computers, it's very awkward to switch between boot modes, so if Windows is booting in BIOS mode, it's best to install Linux in BIOS mode, too. My suspicion is that you have instead done an EFI-mode installation of Ubuntu. There are at least two ways you can proceed:

  • Wipe your Ubuntu installation and re-install in BIOS mode. The trick will be to boot the installer in BIOS mode. The problem is that different EFI implementations provide different controls for how to set a CD's boot mode (BIOS vs. EFI), so I can't provide step-by-step instructions for this; you'll just have to study your firmware options or the computer's/motherboard's manual.
  • Boot your installer into BIOS mode, or use a BIOS-mode rescue system such as SystemRescueCd, and use it to install a BIOS version of GRUB. This will go best if you create a BIOS Boot Partition, which is a ~1 MiB partition in which GRUB stores some of its code. (You can carve it out of your /dev/sdb1, which will be useless if you follow this route.) There are plenty of online guides describing how to re-install GRUB to a non-booting system, but I don't happen to have any URLs handy, so you should do a Web search.

Note that Linux is perfectly happy to boot from a GPT disk in BIOS mode, although Windows can't do this. Also, some firmware implementations have problems with this setup, so it's conceivable you'll run into difficulties if you try to follow it. (These problems can usually be overcome by setting the boot flag on the MBR's 0xEE partition using fdisk.)

  • Thank you for the answer. You assume right that windows is booting in bios mode. I tried the first solution but the installer aborted with an rather unspecific error message that grub would not install.
    – Björn
    May 31, 2012 at 20:49

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