Installer shouldn't be able to install grub on ntfs partitions
bigduppy at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 19 04:49:34 UTC 2009
I always use the advanced options in the installer to install grub to the root partition of the distro I'm installing. Since I'm dual booting with windows, I then use grub4dos to boot into linux. This gives me a quick and easy method to restore the ability to boot linux after a Windows re-install since all that is required to set up grub4dos is to copy a file (grldr) to the Windows boot partition and edit Windows startup menus to launch that file.
Today I did an installation that had a weird partition table. The entries were:
/dev/sda1 * 1 1275 10241406 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 1276 7476 49809532+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5 1276 6024 38146311 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6 6025 7269 10000431 83 Linux
/dev/sda7 7270 7476 1662696 82 Linux swap / Solaris
Notice, no sda3 or sda4. When I chose the advanced options during install, I was given the option of installing grub to sda, sda1 (Microsoft Windows XP Professional), sda5 or sda6. Since I was expecting the Linux partition to be sda4, I got confused and thought that sda6 must be the swap partition (dumb me) so I installed grub to sda5. This has made my NTFS partition inaccessible with no easy way to correct this mistake.
The installer is smart enough to know that grub can't be installed to swap space so, the swap partition is not offered as an option for installing grub. From today's experience NTFS partitions are not suitable for installing grub so they should not be offered as options either. IMHO Ubuntu's installer does a fine job of saving users from themselves and this little extra check would take that protection one step further.
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