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How to make GRUB listed all the OS's when Linux box starts

Posted on 2004-11-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-15

On a PC, I installed 3 OS: Win2000, Win XP, and Linux RedHat Enterprise.

I started installing Win2000 first, then Win XP, and install Linux the last. I selected GRUB as the boot loader when installing Linux. When the PC starts, GRUB lists the OS in the following orders:
-- Linux ...
-- DOS

And then if we choose to start DOS, it will lead us into the normal start screen of Windows OS that lists:
-- Window XP Professional
-- Window 2000 Professional

My questions:
Is it possible for GRUB to list directly all the OS in the order: Linux, Win XP, Win 2000, when the PC starts
If it is possible, how I update the GRUB boot loader so that it lists the OS to start in that way.

Thanks for any help,


Question by:rfr1tz
  • 2
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 12621113

   No, as I know. Because You have 2 Windows OSs and ntldr (NT loader) handle the Windows XP and Windows 2000 selection.
And Grub just call ntldr when you select DOS. But the other way, you can use ntladr as the first loader then you can have 3
selection menu. Please check the following URL:


LVL 12

Assisted Solution

paullamhkg earned 400 total points
ID: 12622992
I think you can, as long as you know the partition # of your 2 windows you can add entry into your grub.conf

below is the example of grub.conf with 2 windows

# Sample boot menu configuration file

# Boot automatically after a minute.
timeout 60

# By default, boot the second entry.
default 1

# Fallback to the first entry.
fallback 0

title Windows 2000
unhide (hd0,0)
hide (hd0,1)
hide (hd0,2)
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

# For booting Linux
title  Linux
root (hd0,7)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.2.17 root=/dev/hda8 video=matrox:vesa:261

title Windows XP
hide (hd0,0)
hide (hd0,1)
unhide (hd0,2)
rootnoverify (hd0,2)
chainloader +1

you will have 3 OS selection in the startup manual, also if your grub already seat on the MBR, it's hard to change to make use of the nt boot loader.
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

wesly_chen earned 600 total points
ID: 12632066
Say you have disk layout as follow:
Windows 2000  C: partition   (hd0,0)
Windows XP     D: partition   (hd0,1)
RedHat Enterprise Linux  /dev/hda4   (hd0,3)

1. Copy c:\ntldr, c:\ntdetect.com, c:\boot.ini to d:\
    Those 3 files are hidden, so you need to go to "Control Panel"--> Folder Options --> View and
    "Show hidden files and folders"
    "Hide protected systems files"

2. Edit c:\boot.int   ( do "c:\> attrib -r -s -h c:\boot.ini" in command prompt )
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\Windows="Microsoft Windows 2000" /fastdetect

3. Edit d:\boot.ini  ( do "d:\> attrib -r -s -h d:\boot.ini" in command prompt )
boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\Windows="Microsoft Windows XP" /fastdetect

4. Boot into RedHat Linux, edit /etc/grub.conf
splashimage=(hd0,2)/grub/splash.xpm.gz    <=== (hd0,2) may vary, leave your original setting untouch

title Red Hat Linux (2.4.20-e.49)     <=== kernel version may vary, leave your original setting untouch
     root (hd0,3)    <=== / partition may vary, leave your original setting untouch
     kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-e.49 ro root=/dev/hda3   <=== kernel version may vary, leave your original setting untouch
     initrd /initrd-2.4.20-e.49.img    <=== kernel version may vary, leave your original setting untouch
title Windows XP
     rootnoverify (hd0,1)     <=== may different
     chainloader +1
title Windows 2000
     rootnoverify (hd0,0)    <=== may different
     chainloader +2
==========For more details about grub.conf, please check this URL:




Author Comment

ID: 12639926
Hi all,

Thanks so much for the details of the solutions you provide to help.
I really appreciated it.


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