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,
sda2. Is there a way to remove the GRUB blockfiles from one of these?