How do I boot into Xubuntu after dual booting along-side Windows

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Problem :

I recently installed Xubuntu 14.04 from USB on a netbook running Windows 7. It installed fine, but before I restarted the machine, I removed the USB stick (out of habit). I couldn’t shutdown the live version properly then, but the hard disk installation of the OS apparently went just fine, so I didn’t think there would be any problems. I did a hard reset, but whenever the machine boots, it always goes straight to Windows, no grub menu.

Before I started messing with it, there were 4 primary partitions on the machine:

  • /dev/sda1 contains the windows installation (~100GB)
  • /dev/sda2 is just another non-system partition that’s being used by windows (~130GB)
  • /dev/sda3 contains some windows recovery stuff (10GB)
  • /dev/sda4 was a 16MB partition and I have no idea what it was for (gparted could not identify the file system – possibly some ASUS emergency browser thing).

For the installation, I freed up 40GB from /dev/sda2, deleted /dev/sda4 (a bit silly not knowing exactly what is was for, but I don’t mind) and created a new extended partition, which in turn contains 2 logical partitions (2GB swap and 38GB for Xubuntu installation/data).

Did the installation not complete because I didn’t shutdown the live installation properly? Do I have to manually install grub myself or did I forget to do something else?

Solution :

It turns out that I accidentally chose some partition other than /dev/sda as the location for the boot loader during the Xubuntu installation, and that was the reason why I never saw the grub menu at boot time. I re-installed Xubuntu with /dev/sda as the boot loader location and it works fine now.

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