Grub MBR an enigma

Thorny thorntreehome at
Sun Mar 29 14:20:22 UTC 2009

On Sun, 29 Mar 2009 07:55:48 -0500, allen meyers posted:
> I have no problem creating live CD'S and depending on the OS being
> installed or the presence of other OS where to put grub and how to
> answer the MBR question is elusive as all get out to me at least.

I assume you mean when you're installing from some live CD. Well, it has
been my experience that different distros ask that "MBR question" in
different ways and often with somewhat different meaning. I have seen
people confused by this issue many times and often they end up not being
able to boot or only to be able to boot to the last distro installed.

In the old days we often used a separate boot partition (I still do, I'm
an old guy). I never have to rewrite the MBR part of GRUB when I install a
new OS for a multi-boot. However, I do have to manually edit my menu.lst
for the new OS. That's not a problem for me but can be problematic for
inexperienced users who need to rely on automagic.

You probably need to understand a little more about GRUB. The relationship
of the bootloader in the MBR which "hands off" to the rest of GRUB on a
partition. This is because these days, GRUB won't all fit in the limited
amount of the MBR section of a drive.

You might want to study this online document and then ask some specific

> I more then likely end up not being able to boot until I put in gpated
> and remove what appears to be one too mant boot on flag on a given
> partition. Could someone point me to an explanation

I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean by boot on flag.

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