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Ubuntu not on boot menu after wubi install


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Bakaro's Avatar
Bakaro Bakaro is offline
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24-Apr-2012, 01:45 PM #1
Ubuntu not on boot menu after wubi install
I have a Windows XP SP3 with only one hard drive. I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 10.04 using Wubi Installer. It installed, but Ubuntu doesn't appear on my boot menu, just WinXP. What am I doing wrong?
My computer is a Dell 2400 with Intel Pentium Processor and I have only 1 Gb memory and 40 Gb hard drive
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24-Apr-2012, 02:39 PM #2
Hi and welcome,
First off could you please double check that it has installed? Wubi installs should show up as a programme if - in Windows - you go to Add or Remove Programmes. If it has installed it should be listed there.

Thanks.
Richard.
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24-Apr-2012, 02:57 PM #3
It was installed. It was in the programs list & the files were in Disk C. I had earlier did the same with Ubuntu 11.10. Both were installed but neither showed up on desktop nor boot menu so I uninstalled them using Add/Remove.
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24-Apr-2012, 03:17 PM #4
Hi,
Thanks for the update. Are they both uninstalled now or is 10.04 hopefully still there now? I'm puzzled by this as I've done wubi installs before without problems (9.04 though).
Did you do the wubi install from an .iso that you downloaded and burned to CD or did you use wubi.exe method here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/windows-installer

I might be off line for a couple of days but with this info others may be able to help.

Richard.
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24-Apr-2012, 03:58 PM #5
I've uninstalled both of them. The 11.10 came from the Ubuntu.com site you mentioned and the 10.04 came from sourceforge. They were both downloaded and installed, they just don't appear on my screen or on the boot menu for some reason.
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25-Apr-2012, 02:47 PM #6
I reinstalled Ubuntu 11.10 and it did the same thing. No Ubuntu on boot menu or desktop. I found an ubuntu forum site where another person had exactly the same problem as mine to a tee. The helper stated that wubi evidently didn't download or install the boot manager which is why it's not appearing anywhere. He stated that one had to manually enter Ubuntu on the boot list in the startup & recovery settings in computer properties. When I go to the Edit list, Ubuntu is not listed. I would have to go in and enter a new coommand which would add Ubuntu to the list. However, I'm not comfortable with doing this- too new to the game. Can someone tell me if this might be the cause and the solution to my problem? Thanks for the help so far.
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26-Apr-2012, 04:22 PM #7
I have to declare that I have never used Wubi which I thought is a programme "within" a MS Windows to install a Ubuntu Linux without going through the normal "dual boot" way. Therefore to me the Ubuntu installed with Wubi should be just a "guest" within a "host" much like a virtual machine. The host here is the MS Windows Xp.

If I am wrong then hopefully others may step in to correct my interpretation of Wubi as some seem to think it can offer a boot menu of some sort.

What I can advise on is the normal or standard route of install an additional operating system, be it a Linux or a BSD or a Solaris system.

Every operating system should be arranged to install inside its own partition. It is the installer of the new system to arrange the dual boot and every Linux can do it automatically if you allocate a partition for its installation.

Linux uses ext2 or ext3 or more recently ext4 filing system and cannot operate inside a NTFS partition. If it does then it will be in a compressed form. To operate it the user must expand it and put everything in the memory (plus a swap area temporary in the hard disk). Thus technically it is quite challenging to ask a boot loader to pick up a compressed file and run the Linux system as a boot loader is a very small program. The program that does this task is normally the Linux kernel.

Therefore the standard way, which is very similar to install a MS Windows, is to create a partition first with some unallocated hard disk space, say about 10 to 15Gb will be ample. Since you can run a Linux on a CD so it is best to run a Ubuntu (on a CD) to create the required partition. This is because a partition created by a Linux is always Type 83 natively suitable for Linux(Xp uses Type 7). Every Linux installer can recognise it and will ask your permission to put its Linux there.

If you follow this route and also permit the installer to put its boot loader in the MBR then you will find a fully workable duel boot system immediately after installation.

Booting is very simple in Linux or in every operating system. Basically every operating system has its own boot loader. For Xp it is called NTLDR. For Ubuntu Linux it is Grub2. Every boot loader resides in its system partition which has a reserved area for it. The boot sector is not part of the filing system. It is always the operating system's own boot loader to boot its master but one boot loader can boot another boot loader. The MBR is the first sector for controlling the booting. You can nominate any boot loader to go to the MBR. It is your god given right.

Therefore if you want to play around booting more than one system you must install Ubuntu in its own partition so that it can have a formal residence for its boot loader. For a virtual machine it is the host system that gets booted and the guest systems are called inside the host within the host filing system. Therefore as a rule the boot loaders of the guest systems are not fully operational.

Once Ubuntu has been installed in its own partition you can use either NTLDR or Grub2 to carry out the dual boot. The former needs about 5 times more work to set up if you do it yourself. However just about every Linux can arrange the dual boot automatically without you lifting a finger if you install the Linux the "standard" way and not using Wubi.
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26-Apr-2012, 06:11 PM #8
Quote:
If I am wrong then hopefully others may step in to correct my interpretation of Wubi as some seem to think it can offer a boot menu of some sort.
OK, if you insist, you are wrong. I haven't used Wubi to install Ubuntu since about 09.04 or 09.10, but the deal is that when you are booted to Windows you see a folder containing a large mysterious file and in Add/Remove Programs you can uninstall Wubi (doing so will not only uninstall the little program but will delete the large mysterious file and revert the boot menu to how it used to be).

However, when you turn the machine on, or restart, you are presented with a "dual boot" menu that looks pretty much what you'd expect as if you had installed Ubuntu in its own partition. Not exactly the same, 'cause you don't have all that extra kernel stuff and memory test, etc., and Windows will be the default boot. But, it is a dual boot menu. If you boot to Ubuntu the "hard drive" appears to be just whatever size you allocated when you installed Wubi in Windows.

With the benefit of hindsight and experience with actual dual boot menus I guess that the menu is really the one that belongs to Windows, but Wubu has added an extra entry.

Why that menu is not showing up for Bakaro is beyond me.
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26-Apr-2012, 06:48 PM #9
TerryNet,

Fair enough.

The standard method of NTLDR (or bootmgr of Win7/Vista) to duel boot a Linux is to make a copy of the Linux partition boot sector, or the first sector of the Linux partition, inside the "C" drive. NTLDR will then load that boot sector which will in turn load the kernel identifiable by a hard-coded hard disk address.

Thus Wubi can potentially arrange an equivalent sector, which is 512 bytes, to do the similar thing. It will be hard to track down any error because everything will have to be in binary I think.

Small distros like Puppy can also reside inside a Fat partition doing similar sort of act. Wubi is one that I know does everything in a NTFS partition for Ubuntu. It is supposed to simplify things for the Windows Users but as a Linux user I find it counterproductive as the OP case has shown.

The only way to use the full function of an operating system is install it properly by giving it a place of permanent residence in the hard drive so it can have its own filing system, own boot loader, own access to Internet using the same hardware, ability to mount and dismount partitions of other operating systems etc. Working as a guest system inside a Host is a half way house and is only good as an introduction for giving the user a taste of what it is like of the true article.

To me it is important to know Linux does not call a partition like Xp. Every operating system has its own convention and that is half of the fun. A user also will have an uphill struggle to learn the ownership of the filing system between a guest and a host.
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27-Apr-2012, 10:59 AM #10
To save everybody a bunch of time, I'm only trying to use ubuntu thru Wubi install to get familiar with it and not install it as a "permanent" system. I went ahead and uninstalled it for the third time despite knowing what the problem was. I never intended to install it as a separate system on my hard drive.
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27-Apr-2012, 11:26 AM #11
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Originally Posted by saikee View Post
TerryNet,

Fair enough.

The standard method of NTLDR (or bootmgr of Win7/Vista) to duel boot a Linux is to make a copy of the Linux partition boot sector, or the first sector of the Linux partition, inside the "C" drive. NTLDR will then load that boot sector which will in turn load the kernel identifiable by a hard-coded hard disk address.

Thus Wubi can potentially arrange an equivalent sector, which is 512 bytes, to do the similar thing. It will be hard to track down any error because everything will have to be in binary I think.

Small distros like Puppy can also reside inside a Fat partition doing similar sort of act. Wubi is one that I know does everything in a NTFS partition for Ubuntu. It is supposed to simplify things for the Windows Users but as a Linux user I find it counterproductive as the OP case has shown.

The only way to use the full function of an operating system is install it properly by giving it a place of permanent residence in the hard drive so it can have its own filing system, own boot loader, own access to Internet using the same hardware, ability to mount and dismount partitions of other operating systems etc. Working as a guest system inside a Host is a half way house and is only good as an introduction for giving the user a taste of what it is like of the true article.

To me it is important to know Linux does not call a partition like Xp. Every operating system has its own convention and that is half of the fun. A user also will have an uphill struggle to learn the ownership of the filing system between a guest and a host.
I think you may still misunderstand a bit about exactly how WUBI works with Windows.

It is completely independent of Windows. It has its own "drive", direct access to all hardware, and runs exactly as it would if it had been installed directly to a bare hard drive. Windows is not involved in it at all, except for the installation.

WUBI's basic purpose is to allow people to try Ubuntu without committing to it fully, and without making any major changes to their systems, which would include loss of recovery on most modern machines because the proprietary MBR that allows booting the recovery partition would be lost.

Windows creates a virtual drive in the form of a large file for Ubuntu. That drive is then formatted with Ext3fs and partitions are created on it for swap, etc. just as they would be on a hard drive. When Ubuntu boots, it boots completely normally save that it is running from that virtual drive, similar to booting from a read/write iso file. The obvious advantage is that it can be easily uninstalled if someone wants to get rid of it, returning everything to the way it started.

So, it is not in any way a "guest" in a Windows host. Windows only function here is to create the virtual drive for its residence. In fact, after installation, Windows could be removed and Ubuntu still booted so long as that virtual drive remained intact.

WUBI, and other programs like it, is a boon to getting people to try a Linux-based OS. Many are afraid to partitioning (and sometimes with good reason), and in any case, they want the most painless way of getting a look without risking everything else. I have not really been able to understand why you opposed WUBI in past posts, but now it appears to me that it may have been based on a misunderstanding. It is a gateway for new users, and I think it is a good bridge until they decide they want it permanently.

My hope is that you may actually come to support WUBI as a gateway, even if without enthusiasm.
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Last edited by Elvandil; 27-Apr-2012 at 11:38 AM..
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27-Apr-2012, 11:33 AM #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakaro View Post
To save everybody a bunch of time, I'm only trying to use ubuntu thru Wubi install to get familiar with it and not install it as a "permanent" system. I went ahead and uninstalled it for the third time despite knowing what the problem was. I never intended to install it as a separate system on my hard drive.
If WUBI is not adding that entry, it only needs to be added to the boot menu, as you surmised. We just need someone to tell us what to add. I think EasyBCD will come in useful for this.

Which WUBI are you using? Are you using the one that comes on the Ubuntu CD or one that you downloaded?

EDIT:
Here are the precise instructions on how to add Ubuntu to the bootloader using EasyBCD.

Last edited by Elvandil; 27-Apr-2012 at 12:02 PM..
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27-Apr-2012, 02:58 PM #13
Thanks Elvandil. It seems like you understood what I was saying. I'll try your suggestions and see if I can follow them.They are a little clearer than the solutions I had found online. Thanks again.
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27-Apr-2012, 04:49 PM #14
Elvandil,

I often label a virtual system as a guest inside a host because the OP confirmed it was a file inside a Windows partition. If Wubi creates a virtual machine for the Ubuntu then it is hard to say it isn't a guest system. A host to me by definition is one that can install other virtual machines inside it. Is the Ubuntu installed by Wubi able to run say another MS Windows inside it?

I differ a bit on partitioning as it is the basic knowledge of using a hard drive. Such knowledge is vital to anyone playing with more than one operating system in a PC. The general problem seems more to do with a pre-vista/Win7 user doesn't know a partition can be shrunk. If one can shrink a partition to create space then having more partitions is not a big deal. The partition system we are now using originated from the Dos so it is hardy something that is complicated. Every operating system conforms to the MSDOS partition table so knowing how each partition is called by different operating systems to me is a very basic knowledge.

The MBR is also a general misconception too. If a user installs say 10 operating systems each system can have its own boot loader inside its root partition, no different than a MS Windows. Every boot loader can be selected to be in the MBR and every operating system has function/program to this sort of thing. It is just a "common" area every operating system can claim for usage. The MBR functionality does not change in the new GPT partition table too.

I agree Wubi has its place in bridging the gap between the Windows and Linux users but it seems difficult to diagnose its fault when thing goes wrong. With many free virtual machines variants being offered I thought Wubi's role would have been diminished. May be someone could step in to explain the difference between using Wubi and virtual machine to install a Ubuntu, say one available as a part of Win7.

Last edited by saikee; 27-Apr-2012 at 04:58 PM..
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28-Apr-2012, 12:52 AM #15
Yes, WUBI can run VirtualBox or VMWare inside it since it is running exactly the same as any installed version except from a virtual drive. And as I mentioned, Windows could then be removed and it would not affect Ubuntu so long as the virtual drive remained intact. That is why I say that Windows is not the "host" since Ubuntu can run without it. It is only in aiding the installation that Windows is involved.

Since Ubuntu is not running in a VM but as a true dual-boot, virtual machines are not a substitute for WUBI for those that want a true dual-boot with Windows and Ubuntu and want to run Ubuntu natively on a machine. The only difference between WUBI and the usual dual-boot is that Ubuntu is running from a file rather than directly from the hard drive, and Ubuntu in WUBI must be chosen from a dual-boot menu at boot time.
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