Set MBR to GRUB for dual boot

Posted on 2012-09-10
Last Modified: 2012-09-15

My ultimate aim:

I bought a new laptop with Windows 7 installed and wish to dual boot it with Linux OpenSUSE 12.2.

Progress so far:

The drive on my new laptop was already partitioned as follows:
EFI System Recovery (200 MB)
Windows OS C: (~250 GB)
Windows DATA D: (~400 GB)
Windows Recovery Partition (25 GB)
So I used GParted to resize the DATA partition, leaving some 250 GB as 'unallocated'.
I booted to the OpenSUSE DVD and installed it on the unallocated partition.
Consequently, OpenSUSE created three further partitions from the unallocated space: root, home, and swap.


When I rebooted the computer it did not present me with a boot menu but instead booted straight into Windows.

I tried using EasyBCD to fiddle with the bootloader but it's claiming that "there are a total of 0 entries listed in the bootloader" (a problem that others seem to have had but with no solution). So that's of little help.

However, since fiddling around with EasyBCD, my computer now presents the Windows boot menu, giving me two options: boot into Windows 7, or boot into Microsoft Windows 7. Brilliant...

So the problem appears to be that GRUB hasn't been written to the MBR.

My question:

How do I get GRUB to work as the boot loader?

It might be relevant to note that in the boot options in the BIOS, the #1 priority is to use the 'Windows Boot Manager'.

Thanks in advance.
Question by:InteractiveMind
    LVL 10

    Assisted Solution

    by:Arman Khodabande
    Do you want the Grub to be your Bootloader or Windows 7 Bootloader?
    With EasyBCD you can add the Grub entry to the Windows 7 bootloader.
    Just Download EasyBCD Beta 180 from here. You must signup in the site to download)

    Then install easybcd and go to add new entry and select Linux. Then select Grub2 from the list, And it'll configure it automatically.
    If you want to write Grub to the MBR, there is a program called BOOTICE which does this for you easily.
    LVL 25

    Accepted Solution

    Although your solution would usually suffice, it didn't work for me. EasyBCD merely added a Linux entry to the Windows bootloader which then gave an error when I tried to load it. Bootice, however, was very useful in that it allowed me to cleanup the Windows bootloader.

    Fortunately though, I found this article:
    All I had to do was boot into recovery mode and run those few instructions to install GRUB to the MBR and now it works (for the time being, anyway). Hurrah!

    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    by:Arman Khodabande
    Good to hear that.
    But if you use the beta version of EasyBCD which I mentioned it would have corrected that problem. Because I myself had installed Backtrack Linux before, and I had this problem and after researching so much I understood that this feature (adding linux via Grub2) is only included in the latest beta version of EasyBCD. Of course it's included in previous versions but it only works in the Beta 2.2.180. After installing that I could boot to My BT linux easily via Grub2.

    Anyway I wish you good luck
    LVL 25

    Author Closing Comment

    I resolved my issue myself and have provided an explanation of how.
    Points to the expert, however, since his solution would no doubt work for most people.

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