First time Arch install, though technically I've done it about 3 times in the last couple days :0)

Trying to dual boot with an existing Windows 7 partition, which is almost working, with one small caveat. I've been following the process on this page in the Arch wiki and my partitions are pretty much laid out as described in the article:


Grub isn't loaded on the MBR, but it's installed to the /boot partition which I have set as the "active" partition. This works.

But, after I boot Windows 7, subsequent boots go directly to Windows since it seems to set itself as the active partition. Has anyone else experienced this, or know how to resolve?


  • I should also mention that if I DO install grub to the MBR, it seems to cause a BSOD in Win 7. =/ – Dygerati Nov 11 '11 at 18:12
  • Had similar problems with Linux Mint (Ubuntu derivative) and Windows 7 dualboot, although not with Mint/XP dual boot. Apparently, as you said, Windows 7 "takes control" of MBR or other booting features when it shuts itself down. And, as a tip, Super Grub Disk can help to get you unstuck when things go very out of control and you cannot boot anything. – heltonbiker Nov 11 '11 at 18:35
  • Thanks for the tip, sounds like a disk I should keep on hand! – Dygerati Nov 11 '11 at 19:41

In Windows, use bcdedit (requires UAC-elevated admin) to

REM This will output a GUID, {long-string-of-hex-characters}
bcdedit /create /d GRUB /application BOOTSECTOR

REM Now, assuming you've copied GRUB's stage1 to C:\grub.bin
bcdedit /set {GUID} device partition=C:
bcdedit /set {GUID} path \grub.bin

REM Make it selectable in the WINLOAD menu
bcdedit /displayorder {GUID} /addlast

The GRUB stage1 can usually be found in a file in your Linux system as /lib/grub/i386-pc/stage1 or similar; it will also be the first 512 bytes of the partition you installed GRUB to, if you did not install to MBR.

  • Won't have a chance to try this until tonight, be it certainly sounds right! Thanks! – Dygerati Nov 11 '11 at 19:41
  • For some reason or another this solution didn't quite work for me. There's a similar step-by-step in the article I already posted. Just go to: wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GRUB#Dual_booting_with_Windows – Dygerati Nov 12 '11 at 3:32

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