booting da win

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I have just started on Linux. Been playing around with the Mint Live. Liked what I saw. Took a plunge and bought a Hard Disk. Wanted to keep Mint and Win(7) on separate disks. Boot into whichever OS I wanted. Found a suggestion at the Mint forum against a post by a newbie who some 3 years back was in a similar dilemma. The suggestion was: he disconnect the Windows HD, install Linux (Mint) on his new HD, reconnect back the old HD with Windows. Apparently, on rebooting, GRUB would recognize that there was another OS and give the user a choice as to which he/she wanted to boot into.
Seemed neat so I tried it. Sadly, on rebooting, GRUB took me straight back to Mint Linux.
Is there a way to configure GRUB so that on booting, I get a choice? Usual dual-booting involves partitioning of the first disk and a change in its MBR right? But for the time being. I wished to keep my Win HD intact till I become more confident about my Linux ability.
To recap. I have Win 7 on HD1, Mint Linux on HD2. Default boot order is HD2.
 


KGIII

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In Linux, install boot-repair. Run it, let it do its default fix and it should take care of it automatically for you.

Obviously, the Windows drive will need to be connected to be recognized. But, boot-repair should do it for you all nice and automatically.

sudo apt install boot-repair

Then just run it from the menu.
 

stan

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Apparently, on rebooting, GRUB would recognize that there was another OS and give the user a choice as to which he/she wanted to boot into.
GRUB should have automatically recognized Windows as you described... IF you had left the Windows drive connected during the Linux install. Since you didn't, this should fix it:

1. Have both drives connected.
2. Boot into Linux.
3. Open a terminal and give this command: sudo update-grub
4. Give your password when prompted.
5. Reboot.

You probably did not see the GRUB menu when Linux booted before, but you should see it after the steps above. It's very plain and boring. You should have 10 seconds to use your down arrow key to select Windows (highlight Windows and hit Enter). Otherwise Linux will boot by default.
 
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stan

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Oh boy, this could be fun... or not. If you are bored, you might refer to an unsolved thread (here) that runs 5 pages. It is similar to your trouble, except Win 10 instead of 7, and Ubuntu instead of Mint. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, so most troubleshooting steps and fixes would apply to both.

The absolute simplest workaround is to just use your BIOS Boot Menu to choose Windows or Linux. Every computer is different (and we don't know what you're using) but it is usually one of the Function keys (F2, F10, F12) or the ESC key that you have to hit to call up the Boot Menu before Linux starts loading.

If you want to keep going and try to make GRUB detect Windows, it will be good to tell us the details of your computer... brand, model, etc... and especially details about the two hard drives. Are both HDD, both SSD, mixed HDD and SSD, NVMe? Is your BIOS settings set for UEFI or Legacy BIOS?

A fresh Googling this morning gives an idea we did not try in the other thread. Check out these articles (here and here). The basic idea is to run chkdsk on Windows and any other NTFS partitions (maybe a couple of times) to clear any disk errors that may be present. These errors may hinder Linux from properly detecting the drive and adding it to GRUB.

Maybe @KGIII or others will have some better ideas though. I don't want to drag you through another 5-page failure! :eek:o_O:oops:
 

KGIII

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Maybe @KGIII or others will have some better ideas though. I don't want to drag you through another 5-page failure!
Well, I know that there are numerous complaints that 'update-grub' sometimes doesn't work. So, I suggested boot-repair, which generally does work. I wonder if maybe they ran boot-repair wrong? I dunno...

Other than that, I don't dual-boot very much. In fact, I haven't dual-booted anything in years because I have no need for Windows. So, I just use virtual machines.

Which is a long-winded way of saying, 'Buggered if I've got any more good ideas.' They can do the report thing that boot-repair offers and then post that link in the thread.

Others here dual-boot (or go crazy and like 227 boot like Wiz). Maybe they'll jump in and help.

Also, maybe they have a mix of UEFI and Legacy, with Windows being in Legacy mode and Linux in UEFI mode. I've not got a clue how to fix that.
 

stan

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Well, I know that there are numerous complaints that 'update-grub' sometimes doesn't work. So, I suggested boot-repair, which generally does work.
Hmmm. My (limited) experience with boot repair hasn't been very good, although it does produce an informative pastebin file. Well, we all learn by different experiences... that's a good thing. :)


Other than that, I don't dual-boot very much. In fact, I haven't dual-booted anything in years...
Me too... virtual machines and a separate computer altogether for Windows. I still need a couple of programs that demand Windows. I hate Windows 10 with a passion, but it is seldom used.


Also, maybe they have a mix of UEFI and Legacy, with Windows being in Legacy mode and Linux in UEFI mode. I've not got a clue how to fix that.
Yeah, that can be a problem. It was one of the things we were trying to iron out in the other thread, but I don't think it was fully resolved. It looks like we stalled trying to convert MBR to GPT. Not sure that was the solution... just another step in the process.


Others here dual-boot (or go crazy and like 227 boot like Wiz)
@wizardfromoz is a genius with multi-multi booting. But what REALLY makes him a genius is that none of those 227 is Windows! ;)
 

Vrai

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I have just started on Linux. Been playing around with the Mint Live. Liked what I saw. Took a plunge and bought a Hard Disk. Wanted to keep Mint and Win(7) on separate disks. Boot into whichever OS I wanted. Found a suggestion at the Mint forum against a post by a newbie who some 3 years back was in a similar dilemma. The suggestion was: he disconnect the Windows HD, install Linux (Mint) on his new HD, reconnect back the old HD with Windows. Apparently, on rebooting, GRUB would recognize that there was another OS and give the user a choice as to which he/she wanted to boot into.
Seemed neat so I tried it. Sadly, on rebooting, GRUB took me straight back to Mint Linux.
Is there a way to configure GRUB so that on booting, I get a choice? Usual dual-booting involves partitioning of the first disk and a change in its MBR right? But for the time being. I wished to keep my Win HD intact till I become more confident about my Linux ability.
To recap. I have Win 7 on HD1, Mint Linux on HD2. Default boot order is HD2.
This is exactly how I install Windows and Linux. Two hard drives, disconnect the one while installing on the other.

What works for me is to run grub update after logging into my Linux installation. It will pick up the Windows install and add it to the Grub menu.

And - perhaps most importantly - the Windows boot loader does not get touched at all.

Easy-peasy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

stan

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If it is anything like Debian (that's all I have tried) I reinstalled GRUB with the Debian installer, I didn't use any special tool, I started the procedure from the USB media and followed his instructions:
The OP said (post #4) that he reinstalled Mint. So he got a fresh new GRUB then, and it boots Linux as it should. But it still did not detect Windows and create a boot selection for that OS (which it should).

@Vrai - absolutely! I followed the same steps in the other thread with a fresh dual-boot install on two hard drives, and it worked just as expected, and as you describe. But when it doesn't work, it can be a bugger of a problem sometimes... until we finally find the correct solution(s). I'd sure like to have better info for folks who are having this trouble.

I guess it's up to @old_man_and_the_linux to decide. Pursue the problem further? Or settle for using the BIOS Boot Menu to launch Windows? And to confirm... you can launch Windows from the Boot Menu, right?
 

digitard

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I had a fresh Debian install too and I fixed it that way, no spesial tools, I tried them and fail. I suggest to repeat only the procedure of detecting and reinstalling GRUB not reinstalling the OS.

redo = the panacea of computer science
Only in computer science we do the same thing over and over and a different result it's actually possible. In any other case it's stupid.
 

wizardfromoz

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(or go crazy and like 227 boot like Wiz).
I heard that, David.

@wizardfromoz is a genius with multi-multi booting. But what REALLY makes him a genius is that none of those 227 is Windows! ;)
You're on my Christmas Card list.

Not mentioned here so far is:

Support for Windows 7 (EOL - End Of Life) was 1 year ago today/yesterday depending on where you are in the world. The OP might want to consider his options and get a secure Windows before he makes any further decisions, or else use Mint to mine the Windows partitions and save data.

@old_man_and_the_linux welcome to linux.org :)

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

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