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In the process of setting up an encrypted Windows partition along with a dual booting Ubuntu, I have had to install the GRUB bootloader onto a partition /dev/sda1 instead of the MBR. In this setup /dev/sda1 is a Dell recovery partition.

It actually works fine believe it or not. I have written basic pointers.

To a point. On the system I was testing this on, I ended up with GRUB installed on two partitions, sda1 and sda2. Is there a way to remove the GRUB blockfiles from one of these?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You mean removing the grub boot sector so that it won't boot from it? It is just the first sector in your drive or partition.

Backup, be very cautious!

$ dd if=/dev/sda1 bs=512 count=1 of=sda1.bootsector.backup
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda1 bs=512 count=1
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Aha I think that's what I'm looking for. Am I right in thinking this should have no effect on the partition itself, as long as it is not windows (ie. Dell system recovery partition)? – Rqomey May 9 '12 at 16:02
yes, filesystems should not be using the boot block in any event. – johnshen64 May 9 '12 at 16:14
+1 for recommending to back it up before doing anything with it. I've seen people in IRC say "oops" then fight with it for a while. Definitely easier to say dd if=/home/user/backups/sda1.boot.bkup of=/dev/sda1 bs=512 count=1 and have it fixed. – Rob May 9 '12 at 16:35

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