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Thread: Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

  1. #1
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    Question Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

    Having fun installing OpenSuse 42.3 and getting GRUB where I want it.

    My PC is older (BIOS) with 2 SATA disks.

    Disk 1 (sda) holds the O/S's and software, Disk 2 holds data

    If I boot from Disk 1 I go straight to Windows which is fine. Essentially the boot on this disk is as Windows install left i
    If I boot from Disk 2 I get GRUB from OpenSuse 42.2 and I can boot various Linuxes (excepting rebuilding GRUB misses some out) or Windows and this is how I want it.

    In previous installs I just tell the installer to use the MBR and since BIOS has put Disk 2 first it's always gone in there as desired. But with 42.3 it doesn't seem to want to install to MBR of Disk 2. Playing with options suggests it may go to MBR of Disk 1 but that isn't what I want.

    I simply want to put GRUB into MBR of Disk 2 nice and easily as before so if BIOS boots from Disk 2 I get GRUB, if from Disk 1 I go straight to Windows which is handy for those silly Windows updates with several reboots.

    I really don't understand EFI/UEFI or other. It's an older PC (Core i7 720 or something like that), it all works fine so far.

    Any ideas, especially if it sorts the issue with GRUB in 42.2 that doesn't see other Linux's properly (that's in another thread but no working solution yet.)
    - Custom built core i7 720, 18GB RAM, nVidia GT1030 Asus Xonar D2X, OpenSuse 15.2 and Tumbleweed 64bit

    He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that he cannot loose - Jim Elliot

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

    Your system is NOT an EFI system, thus don't bother your mind with any thoughts about it.
    Henk van Velden

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    Default Re: Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

    Quote Originally Posted by tweetiepooh View Post
    I simply want to put GRUB into MBR of Disk 2 ...
    I'm looking at the installer screen right now.

    After going through most of the setup steps, there is a summary screen. Click on "Booting" near the top of that screen.

    On the next screen, look for "Edit Disk Boot Order" (near the bottom left). Click on that.

    You can move disks up and down. Arrange so that disk 2 (probably listed as "/dev/sdb" is at the top in disk boot order.

    Then select MBR for installing boot -- you can do that on the same screen, just check the box for "Boot from Master Boot Record". And you should be set.
    openSUSE Leap 15.3; KDE Plasma 5.18.6;

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

    I have a multiboot setup on an older system and I have grub installed in the mbr of my 3rd disk as well as in the root partition
    it's rather simple from the grub setup just select the disk and partition where grub goes to
    the thing is I stopped doing full installs years ago I just do live upgrades but I am sure that this is possible just read the partition and boot options carefully
    you should also keep in mind that the mbr of your boot disk (the disk can be changed in bios) is bootable or else you might wonder what happened
    personally I use EasyBCD for my win7 disk bootpart for my old xp disk and grub for my LEAP disk
    yes I have 3 OS's on 3 hard drives and each have their use their own boot code in the mbr of their disk

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

    Quote Originally Posted by tweetiepooh View Post
    In previous installs I just tell the installer to use the MBR and since BIOS has put Disk 2 first it's always gone in there as desired.
    Select "Custom Boot Partition" and give name of your device for the second disk. It is better to use long persistent /dev/disk/by-something name as /dev/sda may change after reboot. It is not quite convenient during installation where you cannot easily copy-paste, indeed.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    I'm looking at the installer screen right now.

    After going through most of the setup steps, there is a summary screen. Click on "Booting" near the top of that screen.

    On the next screen, look for "Edit Disk Boot Order" (near the bottom left). Click on that.

    You can move disks up and down. Arrange so that disk 2 (probably listed as "/dev/sdb" is at the top in disk boot order.

    Then select MBR for installing boot -- you can do that on the same screen, just check the box for "Boot from Master Boot Record". And you should be set.
    It just doesn't work.

    If boot order is sda then sdb it does work and I can see it will install to MBR of sda (not desireable).
    If boot order is sdb then sda I can't select to install to MBR - I can tick box in the config screen but the summary shows red warning and not installing at all.

    If I could get my 42.2 install to see the 42.3 or even the Tumbleweed (it must have once since the current menu has entries for older kernels) then I think I could boot to 42.3 then work the GRUB install from there where I can cut/paste.

    I'll attach some photos when I receive them.
    - Custom built core i7 720, 18GB RAM, nVidia GT1030 Asus Xonar D2X, OpenSuse 15.2 and Tumbleweed 64bit

    He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that he cannot loose - Jim Elliot

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

    Quote Originally Posted by tweetiepooh View Post
    It just doesn't work.

    If boot order is sda then sdb it does work and I can see it will install to MBR of sda (not desireable).
    If boot order is sdb then sda I can't select to install to MBR - I can tick box in the config screen but the summary shows red warning and not installing at all.

    If I could get my 42.2 install to see the 42.3 or even the Tumbleweed (it must have once since the current menu has entries for older kernels) then I think I could boot to 42.3 then work the GRUB install from there where I can cut/paste.

    I'll attach some photos when I receive them.
    Photos

    [IMG] [/IMG]

    - Custom built core i7 720, 18GB RAM, nVidia GT1030 Asus Xonar D2X, OpenSuse 15.2 and Tumbleweed 64bit

    He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that he cannot loose - Jim Elliot

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    Default Re: Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

    Click to change option if not what you want

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    Click to change option if not what you want
    It doesn't work.

    If I select to use sdb then clicking on install next to MBR doesn't do anything. If I go into the options and tick MBR then save I get the screen for sdb first above.

    Note software etc is all going to sda it's just boot to MBR on sdb. It has always worked in past as you state.
    - Custom built core i7 720, 18GB RAM, nVidia GT1030 Asus Xonar D2X, OpenSuse 15.2 and Tumbleweed 64bit

    He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that he cannot loose - Jim Elliot

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Install GRUB to MBR on second disk

    Quote Originally Posted by tweetiepooh View Post
    It doesn't work.

    If I select to use sdb then clicking on install next to MBR doesn't do anything. If I go into the options and tick MBR then save I get the screen for sdb first above.

    Note software etc is all going to sda it's just boot to MBR on sdb. It has always worked in past as you state.
    it has also worked for me I can even change/re-install grub from a running system
    but seeing how LEAP 15 is out I'd say try it with the new release
    may I ask what does sdb hold?
    to install the mbr in sdb that hdd has to be mbr formatted not gpt
    I don't get it why are you putting grub on a disk that doesn't hold the OS if you install the OS on sdba put grub on it and change boot disk priority in bios to boot from sdba
    in the past I use to put a copy of grub on a floppy drive just in case but other then that I always put grub on the mbr of the disk that I install the OS to if that hdd houses multiple OS's I put grub on the root partition of that disk
    this way I've been able to boot multiple OS's from multiple disk loaders

    edit
    an Core i7 720 is not an "older PC"
    by older PC's I regard those that can boot from mbr only as your is a newer machine check bios if efi is turned off and check how your hard drives are partitioned if they're gpt partitioned you can't install grub in mbr as mbr does not exist you might need to repartition (or convert) your hard drives from gpt to mbr
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...to-an-mbr-disk
    afaik there is no way to convert a gpt to mbr without data loss (ie full formatting)
    Last edited by I_A; 25-May-2018 at 12:25.

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