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Thread: Installing BT4 Triple Boot Question

  1. #1
    Junior Member Polorboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Installing BT4 Triple Boot Question

    Hi everyone, yes I did search the forums. For several weeks actually and I have tried to follow the install instructions for a dual boot system with Windows Vista. For some reason I can not get it to work. However, I am trying to do something that is not covered for some reason in the tutorials I have read. I am trying to get a triple boot system. I have already installed Vista and Ubuntu 9.04 (just installed that today). I tried using the grub boot loader that Ubuntu uses but for some reason Vista still does not like to be loaded from Grub and will give me tons of errors when I try to. I found another solution, it is a program that actually allows you to edit the Windows Vista Boot loader and add entries for other OS's. It has worked wonderfully with Ubuntu. I installed Ubuntu and loaded grub onto the partition that Ubuntu is on, not the MBR. I have had to reinstall Windows and fix the MBR so many times now I do not want to have to do it again. Either Ubuntu will properly add Vista to grub and Vista will give me tons of errors when I try to load it, or grub does not see it and will not add Vista for some reason. Anyway I finally got Vista and Ubuntu to play nicely. I already made a EXT3 partition to put BT4 on, and made a Linux swap space, 4 gigs of RAM so swap is 6.5 Gigs space. All of the tutorials I have seen assume that your going to use multiple partitions for boot, root, and the swap. I just want to put BT4 on one partition and use the swap I already made. I do not want to use LILO if at all possible. I would like to use grub if I can. From what I have seen on the BT4 live cd it looks like Grub is there also. At least it tells me it is already installed when I try to install it from the console. I am a IT student and I also work part time in the IT office at my school. I went to my Network Admin, he is kind of like a linux guru in our office, and asked him if I was doing things right based on the tutorial I had. He wanted to know why I was using LILO, and said he wouldn't help unless I used grub. So, I went to our CIO, also knows a ton about linux. He helped me out a bit but we could not get BT4 to load after doing the install. LILO was giving us errors. Anyway, so, I would like to use grub, install it only on the partition that BT4 is going to be on, and only use one partition for BT4 and the swap I already made. The partition is /dev/sda4. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have been trying to get this to work for weeks now and I am getting nowhere. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    Well if your post was even semi legible I would try to help however it is not.

  3. #3
    Good friend of the forums
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    pure@hate is right.

    Install windows. backtrack. Install ubuntu. edit ubuntu grub to load all of them.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Polorboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    Sorry about that, it was late when I wrote that and I wasn't sure how to explain it.

    I am trying to install Vista, Ubuntu, BT4 all on the same hard drive. I have Vista and Ubuntu already installed and working. I have a third primary partition setup to put BT4 on, a EXT3 type. I already have a swap space for Ubuntu setup and want to use it for BT4. Each OS has one partition, Vista is on the largest, 250gig, Ubuntu and BT4 are both on roughly 50 gig partitions, and 6.5 gig are in the swap.

    How can I get BT4 onto a single partition and configure grub to be loaded only on the partition that BT4 is on? I am using a program called EasyBCD to configure the Vista bootloader to load the linux boot loaders. It is backward I know, but if I do it with Grub Vista will not work. It crashes when loaded and gives me tons of errors. What are the commands to load BT4 to one partition only, no boot partition. Also how do I tell it where the swap is so it can use it? And, how do I get grub loaded onto the partition that BT4 is on? I hope that is more understandable.

    Ok, so I have been working on this most of the day today and I have successfully copied the files over to my /dev/sda4 partition. This is the instructions I have been following and trying to change to work with my setup:

    Installation - Dual Boot

    This tutorial assumes that you have:
    1.) A working installation of Microsoft Windows on your machine.
    2.) You have booted that machine from a BackTrack4 USB or CD/DVD.
    1. Unmount the hard drive

    • BackTrack automatically mounts your hard drive during normal boot at /mnt/hda1 or /mnt/sda1 depending on your drive technology. You can verify this by executing the 'df' command: root@bt:~# df

      <...output truncated...>
      /dev/loop6 129792 129792 0 100% /mnt/live/memory/images/pentest.lzm
      /dev/loop7 16896 16896 0 100% /mnt/live/memory/images/root.lzm
      /dev/loop8 2816 2816 0 100% /mnt/live/memory/images/sbin.lzm
      /dev/loop9 579072 579072 0 100% /mnt/live/memory/images/usr.lzm
      /dev/loop10 55552 55552 0 100% /mnt/live/memory/images/var.lzm
      /dev/hdc 873842 873842 0 100% /boot
      /dev/hdc 873842 873842 0 100% /mnt/hdc
      /dev/hda1 8377864 2133928 6243936 26% /mnt/hda1

    • Unmount the drive: root@bt:~# umount /mnt/hda1

    2.) Resize the drive
    root@bt:~# qtparted

    • The command launches a gui. Select the drive you'd like to resize (in our case the drive is /dev/hda).
    • A graphic will appear on the right-hand side of the screen labeled 'hda1.' Right-click on hda1 and select 'Resize.'
      • This launches a second gui with a green 'partition graphic' on top and numbers on the bottom.

    • On the 'partition graphic,' click on the right-hand vertical green line and drag to the left until you've selected the new size of the NTFS partition.
      • Recommend at least 6GB for BackTrack4, but it would be better to use more.

    • Click OK
    • Select File --> Commit
    • It will warn you about saving data and resizing active partitions. You've already signed your death warrant anyway. No guts no glory! Click OK
    • Exit qtparted.

    3.) Create the BackTrack partitions

    • Now, set up your Dual-Boot Partitions

    4.) Copy over files
    root@bt:~# mkdir /mnt/bt
    root@bt:~# mount /dev/hda4 /mnt/bt/
    root@bt:~# mkdir /mnt/bt/boot
    root@bt:~# mount /dev/hda2 /mnt/bt/boot
    root@bt:~# cp --preserve -R /{bin,dev,home,pentest,root,usr,boot,etc,lib,opt,sb in,var} /mnt/bt/

    (this could take up to 10 minutes)

    root@bt:~# mkdir /mnt/bt/{mnt,tmp,proc,sys}
    root@bt:~# chmod 1777 /mnt/bt/tmp/
    root@bt:~# mount -t proc proc /mnt/bt/proc
    root@bt:~# mount -o bind /dev /mnt/bt/dev/
    root@bt:~# chroot /mnt/bt/ /bin/bash
    5.) Edit lilo
    root@bt:~# nano /etc/lilo.conf

    6.) Edit just the first line in fstab so your file looks like this:
    root@bt:~# nano /etc/fstab

    /dev/hda4 / reiserfs defaults 0 0 # AutoUpdate
    proc /proc proc defaults 0 0 # AutoUpdate
    sysfs /sys sysfs defaults 0 0 # AutoUpdate
    devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0 # AutoUpdate
    tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0 # AutoUpdate
    7.) Execute lilo and reboot
    root@bt:~# lilo -v
    root@bt:~# exit
    root@bt:~# reboot
    You will see a message about adding BT4, but should not see any errors.
    That's it! When your machine reboots, you should see a LILO screen with the options of BT4 and Windows.
    I changed these lines:

    root@bt:~# mkdir /mnt/bt
    root@bt:~# mount /dev/hda4 /mnt/bt/
    root@bt:~# mkdir /mnt/bt/boot
    root@bt:~# mount /dev/hda2 /mnt/bt/boot
    to this:

    root@bt:~# mkdir /mnt/bt
    root@bt:~# mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/bt/
    root@bt:~# mkdir /mnt/bt/boot
    root@bt:~# mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/bt/boot
    and I follow the rest of it the way it is written. I get to the end of the 4th step and stop.
    I do not want to install LILO to be my primary boot loader. I already have the Vista boot loader working correctly to boot Vista and Ubuntu.
    In the EasyBCD program, from windows, I added the BT4 to the boot loader and told it to install NeoGrub to the partition. When I boot into it I get the grub loader configuration screen. At least that is what I think it is. I have been doing some reading and I have to tell it where the boot is, where the root is, and more importantly where the kernel is. I booted into Ubuntu and got the uuid number by using a gui grub configuration program and had it look at that partition. I am pretty sure I have all the info, except maybe where the kernel is located, and I just need to know how to put it all together to get BT4 to boot. I tried putting a link to the page I was looking at but I guess I can't yet. So, I had to paste the whole thing in here.

    Any know if I am doing this right? I doubt it because I still can not boot into BT4. Any help would be great.

  5. #5
    Junior Member imported_painter13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    I have a compaq laptop which I successfully did a triple boot on... Vista, WeakNet Linux Version 2.0 Beta, BT4.... In that order. I'm at work right this minute, but later when I get hm. I'll be glad to help through you out... Let me know.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Polorboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    I haven't had a chance to check back here in a while, but if you can still help me out I would appreciate it. I have not been able to configure Grub to load BT4. I have the files copied over to the partition that I want it installed on, I just need to tell the boot loader it is there. I am not using Grub or Lilo as the main boot loader, I am using the Vista boot loader. I use a program called EasyBCD to configure the Vista boot loader. I just want to know how to install/configure Grub on the partition that BT4 is on, so I can tell Vista where to look for it. It works fine for Ubuntu, I told Unbuntu to install Grub on the partition it is on, not the MBR. I do not want to install either Grub or Lilo to the main MBR, that is where I am having problems configuring it. Every tutorial I have read tells you how to install to the MBR and wipe out windows.

    Hmm, I am reading over my posts and I know they do not read good. I guess the problem is that i don't know what to ask for help with. When I boot into the partition that I have BT4 installed on (from my windows boot loader) I get a grub prompt. I guess I would need to know where the kernel is located to start.

  7. #7
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Hello Polarboy,
    I thought your post was quite legible.. maybe because I have been having the exact same problem
    I have xp, ubuntu 8.04 and now I want to install BT 3 and continue to use grub. I don't know how far you've progressed yet but I could use your (or anybody elses) help on here. I have just paritioning my harddrive but haven't started installing BT3 yet as I thought I'd look over at some of the issues that people are facing before I get started. But I think now I'm going to ahead and try it anyway. I'll post here what happens. Let me know how its working out for you.
    Good luck.

  8. #8
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Triple boot


    Ok I had to do this today so this is how I did it,

    1) Installed Vista to the harddrive (used the whole drive)

    2)Installed BT4 using the partition tool created ext3 partition and a swap area.

    3)Installed Ubuntu 9.04 and used the option to use the largest free space on disk. this used the same swap as the BT4 partition by default.

    4) Edited menu.lst file to my own preference

    I now have


    I hope this helps someone.

  9. #9
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Clarification

    Please bear with me... Backtrack enabled my entry into the world of Linux.

    That said, I have been experimenting with a persistent install of BT4 on usb and dual booting Ubuntu and Windows. I was hoping that someone with expertise could guide someone like myself in adding BT4 as the final install on my laptop's hd.

    I read the part about installing Windows, Backtrack, and Ubuntu; in that order. But was hoping that was not the only way. If it is I will do that, but I just wanted to avoid having to install more than one operating sys in one sitting.

    Can I just copy the BT4 files to a partition and modify grub, is it that simple?

    Thanks, and sorry for still struggling up the learning curve.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator lupin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by DnBsmurf View Post
    Can I just copy the BT4 files to a partition and modify grub, is it that simple?
    Install to a new partition and modify grub. I havent tested it personally, but the installer might do all of the work for you. If not use the installer to install to a new partition and modify grub manually.
    Capitalisation is important. It's the difference between "Helping your brother Jack off a horse" and "Helping your brother jack off a horse".

    The Forum Rules, Forum FAQ and the BackTrack Wiki... learn them, love them, live them.

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