booting M$ Windoze from another physical drive

most of the modern installers that come with common Linux distros nowadays are always able to add an entry into your GRUB or LILO boot menu that let’s you boot into an existing Windoze install after installing Linux. if your Linux and Windoze are on the same drive, the menu entry is straightforward.

sometimes, you just have one too many drives on your box and being primarily a Linux user, you’d want this drive to be the primary master.

it’s common knowledge that Windoze won’t boot if you have it as a slave. i don’t know how true this is today however. but i’ve really experienced such a problem — Windoze just won’t boot as a slave drive.

i’ve read a lot of GRUB tutorials on adding a Windoze entry to your boot menu and most doesn’t deal with this particular thing.

the trick here is very simple if you only read the GRUB manual. use the “map” command to virtually swap drives. the system is then fooled into thinking that your Windoze drive is the primary. then you can go on and boot into the latter smoothly.

mapping is simple. somewhere in your GRUB menu configuration file, preferably the one for Windoze, you just add the following lines:

map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)

where hd0 is the primary drive and hd1 is primary slave. adjust if neccessarry the numbers after the letters “hd.”

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Notice: This article was published on August 1, 2006 and the content above may be out of date.