I have a Windows partition with safeboot (not my choice, of course)

I've managed to dual boot Linux on it (lots of juggling the MBR around to be able to install grub)

I have, of course, all the keys and passwords used to access my safebooted data via the usual ways.

I can boot into grub, select the safeboot MBR image, unlock it, and back on grub select Linux instead of Windows... if that does help in any way to access the data...

my disk layout is

  • sda1, boot (grub), NTFS, safeboot
  • sda2, extended partition table
  • sda5 ext3 (with a dump of the safeboot image on sda1 before grub)
  • sda6 swap

Do I have any hope of easily accessing the partition under Linux?

this extends on, but I can't even upvote there with no reputation yet. How to mount Safeboot encrypted Windows partiton in Ubuntu

  • I doubt this is possible. I'm interested in this myself... could you share how you successfully dual booted? I'm trying to do this at this very moment and think my solution will be to have sda1=safebooted win 7, sda2=linux, sda3=truecrypt. Then I'll keep data on sda3 and access with both linux/win 7. So far I don't know how to get dual boot setup, though. Could you assist or point to your method (if it's on the web somewhere)?
    – Hendy
    Apr 15, 2011 at 18:53
  • @Hendy, make a copy of your safeboot mbr using dd. then point install linux on another partition and let it overwrite the safeboot mbr with it's own. then simply create a new grub entry pointing to the file you saved with the old safeboot.mbr
    – gcb
    Apr 18, 2011 at 10:00
  • @gcb: thanks -- I ended up using EasyBCD which added an entry for Linux, which loaded the grub bootloader I installed to a partition (not MBR). For your method, I'm guessing I would do dd if=/dev/sda of=safeboot.mbr bs=512 count=1, but where do I put that file? In the /boot/grub folder? And what does the grub entry look like, exactly? chainloader +1 and then some reference to safeboot.mbr? Thanks!
    – Hendy
    Apr 19, 2011 at 19:34
  • @Hendy save on any partition grub can read, and "chainloader (hd0,5)/safeboot.mbr" you will boot that one, authenticate and get back to grub (it's your MBR) from there you select the regular windows chainloader +1
    – gcb
    Apr 19, 2011 at 21:45
  • @gcb: quite interesting. I had no idea it worked like that. Not sure if it matters, but my installation of SafeBoot does not require authentication at boot. I don't know how they configure it, but it appears encrypted when trying to fiddle with it via fdisk or gparted or the like, but never asks for a password at BIOS/boot time. I boot straight and uninterruptedly to my Windows logon. Perhaps they configure it to use a keyfile of some sort? If I don't have to authenticate in the first place, would I be able to "authenticate and get back to grub" as you suggest?
    – Hendy
    Apr 20, 2011 at 5:17

2 Answers 2


This article and its comments seem to treat your problem :
HowTo on SafeBoot-ing a dual boot machine: (MasterBootRecords and Partition Tables)

Another one is : Dual boot with Windows when SafeBoot is installed.

Unfortunately I don't have the environment to test this on.

  • Those are very good write ups about what i did to get to that state... i confess i did much without knowing the details, just the overall idea, of everything involved... nice to see that i did the right thing as my steps are pretty much the same as the 1st link... but nothing there helps me to fetch files from the encrypted partition. :( the last one even suggest a truecrypt volume to share data, but it still requires booting into windows/linux... i'm trying to avoid exactly that.
    – gcb
    Dec 11, 2011 at 5:14

no. It's not documented anywhere and no one took the time to reverse-engineer it.

if proven to be a standard encryption application, then opening up with the right keys may be trivial, but i couldn't locate any effort to that end. maybe because of the low user-base for safeboot

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