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I have a work laptop with Windows 7 installed using Check Point Full Disk Encryption. The HDD was dying, so I installed a larger SSD and copied the contents of the old HDD over to it using dd. So far so good - Windows loads correctly, and tells me it's living on a 320GB partition of a 480GB drive.

Now I thought I'd try to be clever. I wanted to try out Ubuntu on this machine as well. I already had an Ubuntu installation on a 120GB external drive, so I copied this onto the unused partition of my new drive (again using dd). Using a Live USB image, I can see that this has worked - the files are all there. I followed the instructions here to set up GRUB2. But it boots into the GRUB 'rescue prompt' and won't let me boot into Windows or Ubuntu. I guess I've overwritten the MBR, where the encryption software resides. I can restore this from the original HDD. So how do I set up GRUB to allow me to boot (encrypted) Windows or Ubuntu?

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First you may want to make a backup of those (pretty sure you said you did, but just double checking). Next, you can try to disable the encryption, install grub, then re-encrypt the Windows partition. Otherwise, you probably shouldn't use grub. What should you use I hear you ask? There are two options, you can either press your boot key and move to the Ubuntu partition, or you can add a MBR within Windows. There are tools that allow you to do so, that way you have Windows handle the boot process in order to boot into Ubuntu rather than grub handle where to boot.

  • Not sure why this was downvoted - it sounds sensible. I like the sound of "press your boot key and move to the Ubuntu partition" - can I do that without having a bootloader? I think re-encrypting the drive will overwrite GRUB, leaving me back where I started. – benshepherd Dec 17 '14 at 9:24
  • Yeah. It depends OEM to OEM but it's often F9 on boot up. You can do so without GRUB as it's part of BIOS (or EUFI) – Crutchcorn Dec 17 '14 at 11:03
  • It's a Toshiba Portege. I can boot from a different device (CD, USB, SD card, network) by navigating a little icon-menu, but there's no option for booting from a different partition of the hard drive. F9 doesn't seem to do anything. – benshepherd Dec 18 '14 at 12:19
  • You may have a different key. Check what button you need to press to get this menu. However, not all bios handle partition by partition boot. – Crutchcorn Dec 27 '14 at 12:57

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