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  1. #1

    Hard drive boot order change.

    is it possible to change the boot order of hard drives?
    I`ve got two 250gb sata hard drives on my pc and i can`t figure how to change the boot order without physically switching the data cables inside the case.I`ve been into the bios and it won`t let me switch the order there.
    In one of harddrive I've installed UBUNTU 8.0.4 and other having UBUNTU 10.4. I am assuming I need to change grub/menu.lst file, but I am not sure exact syntex.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    If you want to boot on ubuntu 10.04 is not enough to change the default in grub, physically switching is really too much
    This is good for grub < 2
    Grub >= 2

  3. #3
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    I`ve been into the bios and it won`t let me switch the order there.
    There is no option under a boot or other tab in BIOS to set drive priority?
    That would be very unusual.

    What is your current status? Did you just install Ubuntu 10.04? Are you able to boot it? Can you boot Ubuntu 8.04? Ubuntu 10.04 uses Grub2 which is very different from Grub Legacy which came with 8.04. There will be no menu.lst file in the newer Ubuntu. I would suggest you read the links posted above and alos check the link below which is a tutorial on Grub2 with a link to Grub Legacy:

    GRUB 2 bootloader - Full tutorial

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  5. #4


    You could use Gparted (LiveCD is available) to change the "bootable flag" from one partition to another. Be sure to have it set to a partition which has an MBR to point to some grub or Windows bootloader.

    Make sure there are no other drives with the boot-flag on except the one you wish to use. I had the issue once that the order of these changed (for some reason) and it took me quite some time to find out what was wrong...

  6. #5
    Firstly, what make/model of PC?

    Secondly what OS are you running?

  7. #6
    Linux Newbie previso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    What motherboard on your system? Is it a weird thing like Dell or HP or Acer?

  8. #7
    Shinystar, this can only be done through the bios. I'd suggest googling for something like "setup biosname boot order". It's got to be in there, unless you have a buggy version. The may call it something other than "boot order". Good luck!

    I can't believe that so many posters in this thread didn't read the original post. Had they done so they would not have suggested grub, gparted or asked what OS the OP is using. Each of these resides on a particular hard drive.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by previso View Post
    What motherboard on your system? Is it a weird thing like Dell or HP or Acer?
    Haha, "weird thing"- all of the above have accessable BIOS boot order settings...I actually have one of each!

  10. #9
    Yours may differ from the OPs., but I'm seure they all have that feature. How else do you install an OS?

  11. #10

    Wink USE F-9 or F-12

    Many new computers allow you to change the boot order momentarily by pressing one of the Function keys while booting.
    At work I press F9 but at home my computer uses F12.
    See your user manual for your particular model.

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