Jump to content

Triple Booting Guide

3 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

As I said in another post I finally got triple booting working and am posting my method in case it helps anyone else. I am rather new to this so I might not be much help on some questions.


I did this using two hard drives, one already had Leopard on it using this guide.


1. Boot up into Leopard.

2. Open Disk Utility, select the hard drive you want to use and click "Partition". Select "1 Partition" under "Volume Scheme". Select "Options..." and select "Master Boot Record". Click Apply.

3. Shutdown your computer.

4. Open up your computer (if you have to) and disconnect your main Leopard hard drive, Vista doesn't like it :thumbsup_anim: . (I'm sure there are other ways to get around this but I could find any that worked for me. Vista just refused to install with it connected.)

5. Boot up Vista DVD.


6. Format entire drive as NTFS.

7. Install Vista.

8. Boot into Vista to see if it installed correctly. Update it if you are going on a three hour tour.

9. Boot up Ubuntu DVD. Select "Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer"

10. Open the partition editor from the menu: "System>Administration>Partition Editor"


11. Now you are going to create four new partitions. Master Boot Record will only allow four primary partitions, Vista already takes up one and we need four more so one of the partitions will need be an extended partition (which we will then create two partitions from. An extended partition counts as a primary partition, but the partition itself can then be subdivided)). Here is how I did it for a 160 GB drive:

a) Click on Vista's space and shrink it down to 100GB.

b ) Click on the empty space in the picture and then click "New." Create a primary partition, shrink it down to 25GB (for Leopard) and leave it unformatted.

c) Click on the empty space again, and click new. Create an extended partition, shrink the space down to 10GB (for Ubuntu and swap), unformatted.

d) Click on the empty space again, and click new. Create a primary partition, size is what's left, about 20GB (to transfer files between all OS's), format it to FAT32.

e) Click apply

12. Shutdown computer.

13. Reconnect main Leopard hard drive and boot into it.

14. Open Disk Utility.

15. Click on the second partition (the 25GB for Leopard one) on the target drive (the one that will have Vista, Leopard and Ubuntu on).


16. Click on the "Erase" tab, beside "Volume Format:" select "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)", type in the name of the drive (like LeopardTestPartition), click the "Erase..." button. While you are here you can rename the FAT32 partition to something (like FREEHD, it will be in all caps though ).

17. Install Leopard as you normally would (or use a restore image).

18. Obtain a copy of "pc_efi_v80". In the folder, move a copy of "boot_v8" to the FAT32 partition. If you are using this guide you might want to copy this to a text file and stick it in there too.

19. Shutdown

20. Disconnect main Leopard hard drive (I suggest doing this to prevent you from accidently overwriting your bootloader on your main Leopard hard drive while installing Ubuntu :) )


21. Boot into Ubuntu DVD and select "Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer."

22. Open the partition editor again: "System>Administration> Partition Editor"

23. Select the extended partition you created (the 10GB one). Select New.

24. Make the partition a logical partition, shrink it down to something like 9.5GB formatted to ext3.

25. Select the leftover space in that partition you just clicked on and select swap.


26. Install Ubuntu. At the "Prepare disk space screen" Click "Manual" and select the ext3 partition. Double click on it and next to boot select the "/"

27. Continue until you get to the "Ready to install" screen. There click "Advanced..."

28. Make sure "Install boot loader" is checked and the device is (hd0) ***This is where you can screwup your bootloader if you have another hard drive connected***

29. Click Install

30. Restart. You should come to a screen where you can select what to boot from. Vista should be there on the bottom, but for now select the first option, Ubuntu.


31. Once you are logged in, in the menu bar go to "System" and select the FAT32 volume to mount it.

32. Then in the menu bar go to "Applications> Accessories>Terminal"

33. Type "sudo" then drag the copy of "boot_v8" to the terminal followed by a space then "/boot" and hit enter. This copies the file from its current location to the boot folder (boot) on the hard drive (/).

34. Now you have to edit a file called menu.lst (/boot/grub = "file system">"boot" folder>"grub" folder). In the terminal type "gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst" (without the quotes) and hit enter.

35. Once the file is open scroll to the bottom and type:

"title XXXXXXX

kernel (hd0,4)/boot/boot_v8"

where XXXXXXX is whatever you want to call it; what you want to show up in the bootloader screen, something like "MacOSX Leopard Hard Drive 2". For the kernel section, the hard drive id ((hd0,4) = hard drive 0, partition 4) that you use in the menu.lst for Leopard has to be the partition where the "boot_v8" you installed is located (so your Ubuntu partition).

Here is what the bottom of mine looks like:

## ## End Default Options ##

title Ubuntu 8.04, kernel 2.6.24-16-generic
root (hd0,4)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-16-generic root=UUID=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-16-generic

title Ubuntu 8.04, kernel 2.6.24-16-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd0,4)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-16-generic root=UUID=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-16-generic

title Ubuntu 8.04, memtest86+
root (hd0,4)
kernel /boot/memtest86+.bin


# This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
# ones.
title Other operating systems:

# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda1
title Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

title Mac OSX LeopardHD2
kernel (hd0,4)/boot/boot_v8


36. Hit save. And exit that window.

37. In the terminal type "exit"

38. Restart and you should be able to select from all three operating systems. B)


Additional help:

Ubuntu identifies partitions as sda1, sda2, sda3, etc. (sata drive "a" partition 1). Grub, the name of the bootloader you are using, identifies drives as (hd0,0), (hd0,1), (hd0,2), etc (hard drive 0 partition 0). If you get confused about what corresponds to what here is a quick guide:

Ubuntu starts counting hard drives with the letter "a", and partitions with the number "1".
So a second hard drive will be "b", a second partition will be  2. Grub starts counting hard drives
and partitions at "0". So the first hard drive or partition will be "0" the second will be "1".

sda  =  hd0
sda1 =  hd0,0
sda2 =  hd0,1
sda3 =  hd0,2
sda4 =  hd0,3

sdb  =  hd1
sdb1 =  hd1,0
sdb2 =  hd1,1
sdb3 =  hd1,2
sdb4 =  hd1,3



I did all this from memory so if you see any errors please let me know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had only one hard disk. It already had Windows Vista. How to triple-boot Vista, Mac and Ubuntu 8.04?

Can i install ubuntu with wubi inside Vista? Does Ubuntu detect Mac OSX automatically??



Once you install Leopard, your Window's bootloader will be overwritten. Once you install Ubuntu, Leopard's bootloader will be overwritten. I would install Ubuntu last for this reason. Also Ubuntu does not detect Leopard automatically. You have to manually enter the entry in the menu.lst.


I also suggest getting a second hard drive for backup. You can encounter a lot of problems trying this stuff. I've screwed up Vista pretty bad a few times and had to reinstall it, and it goes a lot faster if you have backup images of your drives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...