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Triple Booting Vista, OS X, and Ubuntu advise needed

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I've got my harddrive partitioned as follows

sda1 NTFS (Windows Vista)

sda2 HFS+ (OS X)

sda3 Fat32 (files)

sda4 Extended

sda5 ext3 (Ubuntu)



LinuxMint 5.0 (Ubuntu 8.04)

OS X 10.4.9 (Uphuck)

Windows Vista (Home Premium)



Vista was installed first, then Ubuntu was installed, then OS X. All had boot loaders installed to the master boot record. After installing Ubuntu I made a backup of the MBR. At that point in time I could boot into both Vista and Ubuntu.


After installing OS X the only OS's I could boot into were OS X and Ubuntu, Vista would refuse to boot; I made another copy of the MBR.


As a test I installed a copy of grub into the boot sector of sda5 (Ubuntu's boot volume), using diff I compared it to the copy I made of the MBR before installing OS X and it is identical.


The OS X loader will load up grub, but Vista refuses to boot after being chainloaded from grub. If I restore the backup I made of the MBR before installing OS X I can still boot into Vista. This makes me think that Vista checks the MBR everytime before booting.


I've tried using the chain0 Darwin loader to boot up OS X from grub by copying it to my boot folder in Ubuntu and chainloading it with the grub entry

root (hd0,4)
chainloader /boot/chain0

but it fails with a chainload error.


I really don't want to start over from the beginning as I seem to have the basics put together already.


What would be the best way for me to be able to triple boot Ubuntu, Vista, and OS X without having to swap MBRs when ever I want to switch between being able to use Vista or OS X?

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I have a triple boot that works perectly well.


I've set the MBR to load grub and then grub loads everything I want (windows, linux or OSX). in order to do that, under ubuntu type 


sudo grub-install hd0


then add the lines for vista and osx in the /boot/grub/menu.lst


For vista you should have something like


title Windows NT/2000/XP

root (hd0,0)



chainloader +1




and for OSX you should type (modify with the correct partition numbers of course)


title Leopard

root (hd0,1) 


chainloader +1



It loads darwin and then osx


It works perfect on my computer try and tell me! :thumbsdown_anim:

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Thanks for the idea. I tried it but if failed with an HFS+ Partition error, which I'm guessing is because there is no boot loader in the boot sector of the OS X partition...

What order did you install your OS's in? Also, who's installer for leopard did you use?



I'd try writing the OS X booter loader from the MBR to it, but I'm afraid it would corrupt the partition...

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The situation is a bit more complicated for me, that's probably why it did not work like for me. I have two hard drives: one with Vista, XP and Leopard, on this one the mbr launch darwin (I installed with Kalyway 10.5.2, but I don't remembe if I set GUID or MBR i think it was GUID..)

On the second disk there's grub and some linux OS. I set the bios to boot the second HD and grub is able to load darwin, vista or XP (and linux of course).

If I set the bios to boot the first HD then it boots darwin.

I use grub to load everything because it's easy to configure, it's only one config file. I think Vista uses a modified grub for dos that is hard to configure, you could try what phantom8 told you I never tried (that's too dark for me :rolleyes:).

I have had once an HFS+ partition error I don't know why but I rebooted and it disappeard..

Check which partition is flagged boot (you can see/change it with gparted under linux)

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