MBR and Vista

I’m just full of questions today. Well I just finished installing openSUSE 11.1 on a separate partition that I made in Vista. Now when I restart my computer it automatically defaults to opensuse. While I do love using opensuse most of my work programs are on vista. This isn’t a huge problem all i have to do is go down one to Windows, press enter, and everything is peachy. Sometimes tho I turn my laptop on and walk away and I would like windows to be the default. Sooooo all in all I want windows as my main, 5 seconds or change it, default. If someone would help me out, and explain in detail(im a noob lol) how to do this? Thanks

First you want to create a backup of menu.lst. Open a terminal.


sudo cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst.bak

Then you can edit menu.lst. If you’re in gnome


gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

If in KDE


kdesu kwrite /boot/grub/menu.lst

Near the start there is a line that says “default x”. Replace x with whichever choice you want, bearing in mind that grub counts from 0. Change timeout to 5. Save file, and you’re away.

so how do I know which one to replace x with?

This is what I got after sudo cp /bood/grub/menu.lst /bood/grub/menu.lst.bak

We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System
Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

#1) Respect the privacy of others.
#2) Think before you type.
#3) With great power comes great responsibility.

And this is what I got after the kde kdesu kwrite /boot/grub/menu. lst

Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Wed Feb 25 09:12:52 CST 2009

default 0
timeout 8
gfxmenu (hd0,6)/boot/message
##YaST - activate

###Don’t change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title openSUSE 11.1
root (hd0,6)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27.7-9-default root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9320320AS_5SX2LKNE-part7 resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9320320AS_5SX2LKNE-part6 splash=silent showopts vga=0x346
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.27.7-9-default

###Don’t change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows###
title Windows
rootnoverify (hd0,1)
chainloader +1

###Don’t change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
title Failsafe – openSUSE 11.1
root (hd0,6)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27.7-9-default root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9320320AS_5SX2LKNE-part7 showopts ide=nodma apm=off noresume edd=off powersaved=off nohz=off highres=off processor.max_cstate=1 x11failsafe vga=0x346
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.27.7-9-default

How do I know what to set in the default?

I have no idea what i’m doing right now lol

It was asking for your root password when it gave you the three rules - type it in, and it’ll do the copy.

Grub reads the entries in order, so you want the second entry, which grub thinks of as 1.

Change the lines right near the top to read


default 1
timeout 5

Don’t be scared. It won’t bite you (now that you have a backup). :slight_smile:

Awesome! Thank you so much. Saving one noob at a time… lol

No worries.

Hardly an old hand at this myself, so I know what it’s like. :slight_smile: