Monday, December 13, 2010

How to Change the Default OS on a Dual Boot System

Okay, not a lot of people will have interest in this, but of the few who might, and for my own good, I'm going to document this.

I recently got a new computer that came with Windows 7. I like it well enough, but I really like the Ubuntu and had wanted it on my next computer. I was initially planning on buying a computer without an OS so I could put Ubuntu on it, but then I found this great deal of a computer that came with Windows 7. So, here I am with a computer with Windows 7... and I still want Ubuntu, so I decided I'd just do a dual boot system. The dual boot thing was working just fine, expect that the default OS was Ubuntu and since my webcam (Microsoft lifecam) doesn't work with Ubuntu, I wanted the default boot to be Windows 7 until I get a webcam that will play nicely with both operating systems.

To change the default boot means to change the GRUB. And here's the best instructions I have found on how to do it: You have to get into the terminal in Unbuntu, type in some fancy commands and change the boot order number, but It's all well written. It worked for me... and when I get a good webcam, I'll be changing the boot order again, probably back to Ubuntu... But that's a topic for a whole "nother" post: Windows7 vs Ubuntu. :)

Feb 03 2011 Update:
My boot order changes worked great until my Ubuntu system updated and a new kernel was downloaded. The new kernel goes in the GRUB menu, the old one doesn't get replaced, so it pushes everything in the GRUB menu down. I figured this was going to be a mess to stay on top of. (One reason why Ubuntu isn't quite for everyone yet.) But, I found a hack that will be easy for me to keep on top of my GRUB menu. Ubuntu Tweak. And use these directions to clean up old kernels you don't want. The nice thing about Ubuntu Tweak is that it won't let you accidentally remove the kernel you are using because it doesn't list the current kernel on the list of kernels available to delete. Works for now.

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