2 Drives Vista and OpenSuse

I am a newbie to Linux. I have a question regarding Vista on 1 drive and OpenSuse on another drive. Here is my situation. I have an HP XW4400 workstation. I have the following installed:

Drive 1: Vista with SP2 (Completely updated)

Drive 2: OpenSuse 12.3 (Fresh Install with no further updates)

I would like to select the OS before the computer chooses it for me. I have used Easy BCD before but it didn’t seem to work for me. I would give it another try if someone tells me how to configure it. If I use Easy BCD, do I install Easy BCD on Vista or Linux? I know in the past when I try to Easy BCD with WHS 2011 and OpenSuse, it screwed up WHS 2011.

Would I be better off using Easy BCD or changing a setting in GRUB?

on my motherboard F10 key can be used to choose boot device. Since you have the OSes on separate sisks you can choose the relevant boot device and boot to a particular OS.

Thanks for the response. So, you are suggesting for me to hit F10 each time I want to boot off of either Vista or Linux? So, if I am currently using Vista and I want to use Linux, I would have to “restart” the computer then hit F10 to use Linux? That is not what I had in mind.

This really depends on what you know better and what you are more comfortable with. I would prefer grub, but then I have never even seen Easy BCD.

As I am new to Linux, I would not be familar with GRUB. Easy BCD is a boot manager modification tool used to change the boot loader. If you think GRUB would be better for me to use then explain what I have to do in order to achieve what I want?

Anyone else care to jump in to help me out. I have one member suggesting to use GRUB but I need some more information on how to change GRUB so I am given a choice of OSes.

When installing openSUSE, ensure that you disable(and disconnect) the other drive and set it(the drive for openSUSE) as primary. During the installation, openSUSE selects Grub2 be default. You must ensure that easyBCD has been disabled before the installation. Once the installation has finished reboot to see the Grub2 menu.

Next, reconnect the the drive with Windows as primary and the second drive as your secondary. Upon reboot Grub2 will detect the other operating system. If for some reason it doesn’t detect it, boot to openSUSE and then open konsole or xterm and type in:**
su - grub2mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg**

thenshutdown -r now

That will detect all operating systems on the two drives. You can also use Yast → System → Boot Loader to select which operating system is set as the default boot OS.

Follow Up

To view click on the following two links to view the Yast Boot Loader screenshots. You also adjust the resolution of the boot menu during boot up under Console resolution.

Yast Boot Loader Options

Yast Boot Loader Settings

grub2 should detect Windows and automatically add menu entry to start it. Did not it happen?

Thanks for the valuable information. I have one another question, when I boot into Vista, and I am at the desktop, I want Vista to recognize the Linux Drive. I want to be able to READ and WRITE to this Linux drive without corrupting Linux. Under Disk Management, Vista will see the partitions but it doesn’t assign a drive letter.

What Linux tools should I use to get Vista to recognize the drive and have complete access to the filesystem?

There is not totally reliable way. Windows does not play nice with others.

might try 3 Ways to Access Your Linux Partitions From Windows

Anyone? Any suggestions on any tools that I can use in Vista?

Did you explore gogalthorp’s options?

Yes, I resolved the issue using some Linux tools so I am all set with access the Linux partitions while I am using Vista.

I am still having the problem with the computer giving me the option of which OS to choose. Let me recap my situation.

Drive 1 (Primary) is Vista

Drive 2 (Secondary) is OpenSuse 12.3

On this particular computer, there are 4 SATA ports. Dark Grey (Vista drive), Red (SATA DVD drive), Blue (Linux drive), and one other color. The computer wants to automatically boot to Vista. Perhaps I need to change the Port colors.

If I disconnect the Vista drive, Linux will boot while it is connected to the Grey port. I have tried the GRUB 2 setting but it doesn’t matter.

Ok to boot to grub (Linux) you need to have that as the primary or at least some other control setup. So Grub must be on the boot drive. I don’t think we know if you have a BIOS or a UEFI set up. It make a real difference.

So I assume a MBR so install Grub to the MBR of the boot drive. This will boot to grub and you can chose the OS to boot.

It get more complicated if you have UEFI instead of a BIOS.