Dual Boot for Vista Beta 2 and Linux Using GRUB

This is an update for an earlier article I wrote on getting Vista and Linux to dual boot. I received some feedback about that article, particularly that the solution I outlined was not working for some people. So today I tried it again – this time with Vista Beta 2 and Ubuntu 6.06 on a VMWare platform, emulating 2 IDE drives and a x32 platform.

To my surprise, everything worked right out of the box:

  1. Install Vista on the first drive. Note that I did not hae the second drive installed at that time, so Vista did not have any opportunity to modify the MBR of that drive.
  2. Install Ubuntu from the Live CD. Ubuntu will automatically install GRUB on the MBR for the first drive, but since GRUB cannot figure out the file system type for the Vista partition, it will simply not create any entries.
  3. Reboot after the Ubuntu installation and edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst file. For your reference, here is what you need to add:

    title          Windows Vista (Beta 2)
    root           (hd0,0)
    chainloader    +1

    I also recommend changing the default timeout from 3 seconds to something more reasonable (maybe 15 seconds?).

Interestingly enough, even though GRUB was not able to identify the Vista partition, Linux mounts it with no problems (although I have not really tested this functionality – but you can definitively see your files).

After that, all should work. If you run into any problem, please drop me a line at work at beuchelt dot com.

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