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Boot Order When Dual Booting

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#1 KingdomSeeker


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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:48 AM

For a month or so I've been dual booting Linux Mint 16 and Windows 7 which is working great. My wife prefers to use Windows 7. Right now when the screen comes up to select which OS to boot Windows 7 is like the 5th choice down. Is there a way to make it the first choice as she often forgets to select 7 and it boots into Linux?

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#2 jonuk76


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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:32 PM

Here's how I've done it through the command line.


First we want to list the entries in the Grub menu so open a terminal and type:


grep menuentry /boot/grub/grub.cfg


This is the output on my current PC which dual boots Vista and Mint

jon@jon-OEM ~ $ grep menuentry /boot/grub/grub.cfg
if [ x"${feature_menuentry_id}" = xy ]; then
export menuentry_id_option
menuentry 'Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon 64-bit, 3.11.0-12-generic (/dev/sda5)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
menuentry 'Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon 64-bit, 3.11.0-12-generic (/dev/sda5) -- recovery mode' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
menuentry 'Memory test (memtest86+)' {
menuentry 'Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)' {
menuentry 'Windows Vista (loader) (on /dev/sda1)' --class windows --class os $menuentry_id_option 'osprober-chain-BC9CE4A39CE45982' {

We will need the exact name in Grub for the Windows boot loader, which in the case above is 'Windows Vista (loader) (on /dev/sda1)'


Next step is to edit the grub configuration.  We will use the Gnome text editor (gedit).  Type:


gksu gedit /etc/default/grub


It will contain lines looking like this:

GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`

You want to change GRUB_DEFAULT=0 (which means it will default to the first entry) to the Windows loader by name. This will ensure the change persists after any kernal updates etc.  So in my case I would change it to:

GRUB_DEFAULT='Windows Vista (loader) (on /dev/sda1)'

Once you have done this save the file, and exit gedit.


The last step is to update grub with the changes so go back to the terminal and type:


sudo update-grub


The next time you reboot it should default to Windows.

Edited by jonuk76, 06 February 2014 - 12:34 PM.


#3 K6567


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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:39 PM

There are a number of ways, but the one I find easiest is to install the program Grub Customizer. In Mint install the package;     sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer


*If you happen to be using KDE desktop as opposed to Cinnamon or Mate you may need to read this wiki https://answers.launchpad.net/grub-customizer/+faq/2469 

 * And if you are using LMDE (Linux Mint Debian) DO NOT install Grub Customizer.


Even though the program is easy to use, I suggest you Google a how to use, if you have any doubt about an action you're attempting to perform. You don't want to mess up your bootloader (GRUB)   Ex: http://lifehacker.com/5760551/grub-customizer-makes-it-super-easy-to-edit-your-linux-boot-menu


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