I have Ubuntu 12.04 installed and updated on my external hard drive, and I want to be able to access my internal hard drives via Ubuntu. One of the internal hard drives has windows 7 on it and the other is a 1 TB hard drive for my main storage. I can't figure out how to access my other hard drives while in Ubuntu.

Also, is there anyway to make it so that if I don't have my external plugged in it boots straight into windows 7 but if I plug it in it gives me a boot option to go between both without having to click f11 to go into boot menu?

Thanks for the help! :)

  • Please split this into two questions: one on accessing additional hard disks (the answer to which you should be able to google) and one about installing a boot manager that will ignore missing external disks and boot straight into windows or, if present, allow you to choose from boot options on internal and external disks.
    – DrSAR
    Apr 19, 2013 at 20:02
  • please, could just answer either of them mainly the harddrive problem please Apr 19, 2013 at 22:41

2 Answers 2


As an answer to your first question, you should be able to access your internal hard drives by mounting them in nautilus. You can do this by opening up 'files', then clicking on the partitions on the left panel.

For your second question, there is no way to do this as far as I know. This is by design of the boot system, as if you install GRUB onto your hard disk it will either always expect Ubuntu to be plugged in, or it will always boot straight to Windows. There is unfortunately no way to give an option besides going into the BIOS boot menu by using f11.


BUT if the other OS partition is a internal disk (different disk or partition) You can get grub to add it to the boot menu!

Here are my notes..

# Is a different OS visible? os-prober linux-boot-prober /dev/sda2

# Add to grub boot menu on current OS /boot partition grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg grub2-install /dev/sda

# Setup grub boot on other root partition (mounted) grub2-mkconfig -o /mnt/alt/boot/grub2/grub.cfg # grub2-install --root-directory=/mnt/alt /dev/sda

# List entrys and there menu number sed -e '/^menuentry/!d' -e "s/[^']('[^']').*/\1/" \ /boot/grub2/grub.cfg | cat -n

# reboot to new OS (menu 5 from above) (once only) grub2-reboot 5 # <-- simple vs ,--verbose grub2-reboot 'Fedora release 24 (Twenty Four) (on /dev/sda2)' grub2-editenv list reboot

PS: you can even install a newer OS on the other partition without booting disk or usb. But that is another question!

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