Notes on dual booting

A little while back, I signed up to be a Lego Universe Beta Tester (surely there has to be a networked game out there that parents and their kids can play together?!?). After lots of experimentation, I came to the following conclusions:

  • The game wouldn’t run under Wine or Cedega
  • The game wouldn’t run under the Windows Virtualisation environment VirtualBox (bit of a shame, VirtaulBox is coming along in leaps and bounds).
  • The game wouldn’t run on the most modern Windows Licence I had in the house (and it was probably OEM anyway, thus casting my usage of it into doubt vs the M$ EULA)

This made me a sad panda. After pretty much a decade of running my personal computing needs from various flavours of linux, and getting my PC gamer fix from Cedega, I was finally forced to revert back to a dual-boot system with a more modern Windows Licence.

So. Below are the salient details for my dual-booting Windows 7/Ubuntu 10.04 setup:

Two HDDs:

  • /dev/sda == Ubuntu device path for my “OS” HDD
    • /dev/sda1 == The Windows partition, formatted as a NTFS filesystem. It gets the very first because it’s too egocentric to seem to be happy living elsewhere.
    • /dev/sda2 == The Ubuntu partition, formatted as an ext4 filesystem, with the / mount point.
    • /dev/sda3 == the Ubuntu swap partition
  • /dev/sdb == Ubuntu device path for my “Data” HDD
    • /deev/sdb1 == the entire drive in a single partition, formatted as an ext4 filesystem, with the /home mount point.

Basically, I use the Ubuntu install disk to lay out the partitions as above (well, the Ubuntu install disk didn’t allow me to format the Windows partition as NTFS. I settled on FAT32), then install Ubuntu. Once that’s done, I install Windows, reformatting as an NTFS partition. This results in the MBR completely forgetting about Ubuntu, so I then reboot from the Ubuntu install disk, pop open a command-line terminal and follow the instructions for GRUB2 here.


Grub is now being invoked at boot time, and allowing me to choose between the two operating systems.


3 responses to “Notes on dual booting

  1. >With respect to the gaming bit, take a look at They cover most MMOs, regularly do reviews on all sorts. There are quite a few F2P MMOs out there, and quite a few that are fairly basic and brightly coloured. Though I'm not sure what one looks for in an MMO that parents can play with their toddler. I gave Free Realms a go last night for an hour or so. It's probably aimed at 10 year olds, but as my girlfriend has said, I'm a teenage girl trapped in a mans body (with regards to watching shows like Vampire Diaries).Also, I saw some mention of BSOD for your Windows installs a few days ago. Check out your SATA settings in the BIOS. Sometimes Windows is not a fan of the onboard SATA drivers, and BSODs result. (This is me parroting what the support engineers have mentioned at work).


  2. >Incidentally, what partition sizes are you using?


  3. >They're both 1Tb drives, so I just split the OS drive down the middle for about 500Gb devoted to each OS.As a very wise 80s commercial was apt to say "NOT SO SQUEEZY!".I see I'm going to have to edit the post though. FAT32 on the Windows partition isn't right (Ubuntu wouldn't allow NTFS sa an FS option when I split the partitions, but Windows was cool to go NTFS when I got to that point in the process).


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