38 comments on “[TUTORIAL] Multiboot OpenElec & Windows Without Linux Install

  1. Hi,did everything you said…… There is a screen asking me to choose either winxp or openelect…… Xp works but when i choose openelect nothing happens…… If i press tab to edit I can see the bootloader for elect set for the storage drive….Please advise

  2. Btw,when i open the openelec file there are many directories like 3rd party
    My question is :do you have to copy these directories into BOOT as well….

    Question no.2 do i copy the openelect files into Storage or Boot…… I ask this because when i open the boot entry for openelect i get “append boot=label=boot=disk=label=storage quiet

    Please get back to me……….

  3. In the openelec file, there is a folder called “target”. Within it, you should see 4 files like kernel and system along with their .md5 counterparts. Copy those files to the root of the BOOT partition. When I mean root, I mean at the very base of that partition. No directories need to be copied to the BOOT partition.

    Nothing needs to be done in the STORAGE partition, since openelec will handle it.

    The openelec entry for append should go as “APPEND boot=LABEL=BOOT disk=LABEL=STORAGE quiet”

    • Ok, if you’re in windows, delete the openelec stuff from your usb stick and make a new folder “OPENELEC” with the files from the target folder. This includes “KERNEL, KERNEL.md5, SYSTEM, SYSTEM.md5”. These are the files that must be at the root of the BOOT partition.

      Since this already seems like a mess, let’s start from the beginning by starting at Step 2: Creating partitions. Except this time, all we need to do is reformat the BOOT and STORAGE partitions as EXT3. Be sure to reapply the boot flag to the BOOT partition.

      Keep following the guide from there and you should be fine. If you’re getting errors like “cannot write file”, then try it as root.

      I updated the guide to reflect this problem you might be having. Also, please take a look at the source link I provided in my post for additional guidance. In case you missed it, here’s the link.

      Openelec forum tutorial You can pretty much follow that guide 95% all the way through as long as you know how to navigate Slitaz as noted in my tutorial. Let me know if you have any additional problems or solutions.

  4. Earlier,i got an error “cannot copy:read only directory” could this be because of the chmod command

    Btw,what do you mean try it as root??????
    Ok,I will try it tonight…..

  5. what exactly are you trying to copy over? You can try the chmod 777 command as root, since I don’t think the normal user has privileges to do so.

    When I mean root, you login as root within the terminal.

    $ su
    password: root

    Now you are root.

  6. Hi,
    thanks for the help…………
    It was a hardware problem…….(does not work on 10 year old computers >:P)
    Though it did work on the HPCOMPAQ PRESARIO CQ40……..
    Thanks 4 all the assistance…..This is way faster than XBMC live 🙂
    I’ll recommend to my friends….
    Thanks AGAIN

  7. sunflizz, thanks. your tutorial is the best – works for the first time, but what should I change in extlinux to openelec run itself after eg 5 seconds?

  8. Hi,

    Many thanks for the guide.

    Is there a way to add a timer to this to automatically boot Openelec after say 10 seconds.


  9. i don’t what I am doing wrong but i cannot get past $ cp /media/disk/BOOTLOADER/* /media/BOOT/

    i get message cannot stat /media/disk/BOOTLOADER/* no such file or directory

    i can see the usb stick which is called disk mounted at /media/disk in file manager?

    the usb contains the folder bootloader as per instructions

    on thing before all your lines in $ but after i type su this changes to # at end of line ?


    • You are in su when your “$” turns into “#”. Keep in mind that filepaths are case-sensitive so type the folder path exactly as you see it in your usb stick.

      i.e. /media/disk/bootloader

  10. Hi
    I’m on W7, an a think your tuto is best best for dualboot openelec

    I have two questions:

    First, OE work good, but 7 don’t want to boot (no kernel image)
    can you help me ?

    Secd, is there any way to install grub?
    Cause the os chooser is so ugly, and i would like to install another one, like BURG.

    Thanks you.

  11. Hi,
    just the quick one.
    The tutorial is great, however I did sth much easier.
    After install openelec and then win7 I used small tool Easy BCD .
    It is simply and run under win7 smoothly for me, all I had to do is to add partition 1 (system partition for openelec) in menu and save it:)
    Sorry, I am noob in Linux and those all terminal scripts/typing is just a magic so was looking for easiest way

  12. hi so I’ve gone wrong somewhere.. can’t load win7 anymore when usb is out (getting: No bootable device — insert boot key). Can anyone pls help?

  13. i finally got it to work but when i try to boot into winxp it says cannot get disk parameters what should i do

  14. another problem i was having was that when i mounted my BOOT partition it was not /media/boot/ but /media/cdrom/ once i found out that was happening it was smooth sailling. I found out where my mount point was by going back to gpart after i mounted BOOT partition

  15. I need a help.
    To this command line everything’s ok: $ dd if=/media/BOOT/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda, but after I get an error message.
    dd: can’t open ‘/media/BOOT/mbr.bin’ no such file or directory
    What’s happened? Where is the missing mbr.bin?
    I note, your syslinux download link does’nt work any longer. I have to download syslinux bootloader from another site.

    • Tommy,

      Use the command as follows: $ sudo extlinux -i /media/BOOT/.

      I actually found that using “sudo” with all the command works like a breeze… 🙂

  16. Hi, thanks for the excellent article; however, I’m having the error no system disk when I reboot!
    I’ve followed the instructions to the letter (several times!!!) but still I get this error and cannot boot into Windows 7 or Openelec.

    Can you help?

    • I’m sorry but I no longer maintain this tutorial, but there is a similar one on the openelec forum/wiki.

      On Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 10:13 AM, Sunfizz wrote:


  17. Hello …

    My mission is a triple boot on an older PC. Windows XP, alongside Android 4.2.2 and openELEC, booting from the old Grub menu.lst which comes with Android.
    As I’ve seen here, openELEC must being installed completely bootable with sysLinux, so I decided to install openELEC first as one and only bootable system, which works….
    After that I used the Gparted bootable CD to bring the openELEC partions to the end of the disk, resize the STORAGE partition to make room for Windows XP. Before install Windows XP I rebooted the system and it still starts perfectly with openELEC. Now I installed Windows XP and offcourse booting openELEC was no more possible, but no worry !!
    At least I installed Android to be compatible with my phone and for playing around with Android.
    Now I got a dual-boot Android – Windows XP, from the old Grub that comes with Android.
    Where I was hoping for, was the easy way of manual editing the menu.lst and add a menuentry for openELEC to have the triple boot complete …. The openELEC-item becomes now visible in the old Grub-menu but won’t start openELEC. I got error-messages 15 or 19 whatever I try ….
    In my opinion it’s only one small step to have it all working and that’s the right text-commands in the menu.lst from the old Grub which work for Android, but not for openELEC.
    The partitons are:
    – /dev/sda1 for Windows XP
    – /dev/sda2 extended partition
    – /dev/sda3 Sstem partition for the main openELEC
    – /dev/sda4 Storage partition for openELEC
    – /dev/sda5 Android (which starts perfect from the Grub bootmenu)
    – /dev/sda6 NTFS the Windows Documents partiton

    Now my question is; what to type into the old Grub menu.lst so it will boot openELEC ??

    My main goal is to have a simple and cheap computer for my old dad and maybe I can build more of these systems for other elderly people ….

    All the video’s I tested on this older machine are playing flawlessly and without any frame-dropping while openELEC is the most beatifull interfaced HTPC application. It’s my dream to get it working in a triple-boot menu. So please help me with the solution ….

    Thanks !!

    Bert van Tol
    The Netherlands

  18. This what I have in menu,lst
    Windows XP and Android, both are booting perfectly.
    But all the openELEC entries don’t work ….

    root (hd0,3)

    title Windows XP
    rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    chainloader +1

    title Android-x86 4.4-r1
    kernel /android-4.4-r1/kernel quiet root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 video=-16 SRC=/android-4.4-r1
    initrd /android-4.4-r1/initrd.img

    title Android-x86 4.4-r1 (Debug mode)
    kernel /android-4.4-r1/kernel root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 video=-16 DEBUG=2 SRC=/android-4.4-r1
    initrd /android-4.4-r1/initrd.img

    title Android-x86 4.4-r1 (Debug nomodeset)
    kernel /android-4.4-r1/kernel nomodeset root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 video=-16 DEBUG=2 SRC=/android-4.4-r1
    initrd /android-4.4-r1/initrd.img

    title Android-x86 4.4-r1 (Debug video=LVDS-1:d)
    kernel /android-4.4-r1/kernel video=LVDS-1:d root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 video=-16 DEBUG=2 SRC=/android-4.4-r1
    initrd /android-4.4-r1/initrd.img

    title openELEC mediaspeler
    kernel /KERNEL
    initrd /KERNEL

    title OpenELEC.tv
    root (hd0,3)
    kernel /KERNEL boot=LABEL=SYTEM disk=LABEL=STORAGE quiet

    title openELEC mediaspeler
    linux /KERNEL boot=/dev/sda3 disk=/dev/sda4

    title openELEC
    set root=(hd0,3)
    linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda3 ro queit splash
    initrd /initrd.img

    title openELEC mediaspeler
    set root=(hd0,3)
    kernel /KERNEL
    initrd /initrd.img

    Thanks !!

    Bert van Tol
    The Netherlands

  19. Hi,

    will the above guide work for single manual install of openelec ver 6.0.1 on single large 4TB hard drive

    i would like to just install openelce on new 4TB with 3 partitions namely system, storage and DATA ( for all my music and movies )

    appreciate your help in getting this working.


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