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Old 08-08-2014, 02:29 PM   #1
tymentide
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Install question HP 700-214 uEFI and MBR drives


Until recently, I've had no problems with dual-boot installation of Linux and Windows - that is, until purchasing this HP 700-214 box. I have searched the internet for answers to specific questions without any satisfactory answers.

Here's some details: I have two hard drives in this box: A two-terabyte(gpt)SATA hard drive, which has Windows 8.1 Pro installed. I also have a 500gb (MBR) SATA internal drive attached that I have partitioned for Linux - (a 16gbyte linux swap, a 100gbyte partition for Linux data, and a 385gbyte NTFS partition for Windows backup files. Secure boot is turned off. Legacy boot is turned on. I have attempted to "turn off" hibernation, apparently without success, since, when booting a "Live" Linux distribution (after a total shutdown of Windows), I'm unable to access the Windows 8.1 data drive/files.

My first question is: When installing Linux, where should I install GRUB: On the gpt main drive (and there are the usual four partitions on that drive)? Or the MBR drive?

If I'm attempting to install Linux on an MBR drive, why would I need to use a uEFI aware Linux distribution? Is that because of GRUB? How will installation of GRUB on that secondary MBR disk affect the Windows 8.1 boot process?

Do I need to perform a Clonezilla "save" of the Windows partitions on that primary drive -- just in case the Linux installation does not "work"?

I have been using this computer since February and do NOT want to take a chance on screwing up the Windows 8.1 boot/data drive. I have a recent total save of Windows 8.1 files and a total set of emergency install DVD's, however, I do NOT have a Windows 8.1 install DVD, although I DO have a Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade DVD.

I've found numerous suggestions concerning dual-booting Windows and Linux on the same hard drive, however, I haven't located any information on the installation of Linux on a secondary MBR drive with Windows on a primary uEFI/gpt drive.

If someone can point me in the direction of specific instructions on how to accomplish the dual-boot on this HP machine, I would be forever grateful.

Sorry if I became long-winded, but this is not an easy problem to describe.

Bill Powell
 
Old 08-08-2014, 10:16 PM   #2
Goobers
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Because MBR legacy vs UEFI is a BIOS setting, your whole system is either legacy or UEFI... Unless you want to constantly go into BIOS and swap the setting everytime.

Before reading your post, i wasn't sure if UEFI mode would allow MBR drives (mode vs drive), but it seemed to work for you in Windows.

In any case, with Windows in UEFI mode, you have to install Linux in UEFI mode also (I would recommend this). If you want Linux in Legacy mode, you'll have to swap BIOS mode evrytime you swap OS or wipe out Windows and re-install in Legacy mode.

As for GRUB or any UEFI supported bootloader, it will go into the EFI partition on the main drive.

I personally use elilo for Linux and rEFInd for the menu... I don't really need rEFInd, if I choose to use my BIOS "quick" menu for boot selection.
 
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:25 PM   #3
Ztcoracat
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Hi:

You mentioned:
Quote:
(a 16gbyte linux swap, a 100gbyte partition for Linux data
If your installing Linux on your '500 GB HDD' you only need 1-2 GB for the 'swap partition'.
Depending on what distribution you are installing you may want to just allocate the rest of the drive to the
/ EXT 4 journaling file system.

The installer that comes with the distribution that you are installing should automatically install the Grub bootloader for you- Unless you are performing another method of installation.
 
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:21 AM   #4
Goobers
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I set my swap partition to 32.9 GiB... and it'll be a TOTAL WASTE OF SPACE TOO!!! Or maybe I will make use of it in the future...?

The only reason I did that is pretty petty, it leaves me with exactly 200 GiB to spread among the remaining 3 partitions. A 50 GiB for root, (currently) a 50 GiB for backing up root via the dd command... and 100 GiB for home. BTW, I have 16 GiB of RAM.

Anyway, you never know what a person might need, so I would go with the other advice I've seen... "swap size DEPENDS on what is going to be done on that computer." While most things won't require a large swap file/partition... "most" is not "everything."
 
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:57 AM   #5
syg00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goobers View Post
Because MBR legacy vs UEFI is a BIOS setting, your whole system is either legacy or UEFI... Unless you want to constantly go into BIOS and swap the setting everytime.
Hmm, not sure about this. Once UEFI, always UEFI - regardless of what "legacy" options you turn on/off. At least with my most recent m/board purchase.
Other than that I agree - you have to install Linux as UEFI; it will probably insist. And depending on distro may insist on which-ever drive has the EFI partition - in the OPs case that would be the Win8 gpt drive. Each Linux distro (if you want more than one) will get a folder in the EFI partition, so your Win8 system/data should be safe.

Caveat - all my testing has been with Win7.

Edit: FWIW, I use grub2.

Last edited by syg00; 08-09-2014 at 12:59 AM.
 
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:07 AM   #6
Goobers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
Hmm, not sure about this. Once UEFI, always UEFI - regardless of what "legacy" options you turn on/off. At least with my most recent m/board purchase.
Other than that I agree - you have to install Linux as UEFI; it will probably insist. And depending on distro may insist on which-ever drive has the EFI partition - in the OPs case that would be the Win8 gpt drive. Each Linux distro (if you want more than one) will get a folder in the EFI partition, so your Win8 system/data should be safe.

Caveat - all my testing has been with Win7.

Edit: FWIW, I use grub2.
You can switch to legacy by wiping out all GPT partitions, killing the GPT data structures (z command in gdisk, expert commands), then going into BIOS and switching that to legacy... and proceed to create MBR partitions and install.

That's assuming want the whole system as legacy. If you want to have both, you will be creating TWO complete systems inside... one drive (not partition, but the WHOLE drive) will be MBR, another drive will be GPT. And while the UEFI side will see the MBR drive... I wouldn't recommend this as it can still potentially screw up the MBR. And of course, the legacy side won't see the GPT drive.

Pick one... stick with it.

EDIT... I just realized something... my desktop Windows is currently installed with the BIOS in legacy mode (according to msinfo32 anyway), but I have four, 3TB drives installed, each giving me 2.73 TiB of space. So... I guess legacy can see GPT drives, but not the OS installed on it. Going into Legacy mode of my laptop ends with no bootable OS found.

Last edited by Goobers; 08-11-2014 at 05:42 PM.
 
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:11 PM   #7
tymentide
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Solved but not attempted as yet

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I'm still mulling over the various possibilities, so I haven't tried, as yet, to actually try the Linux install.

I think the first and foremost goal is to save all my data on the Windows 8.1 install -- just in case the Linux install does something "weird" to the Windows boot area.

As for the swap file size: Since I have 12gbytes of RAM, I thought that the 16 gb would be a "reasonable" size for any Linux distribution -- although I know that I'd never possibly run any program to use that much swap space. (Note that on previous installations on various computers, I never allocated more than 2 gbytes for swap and never had a swap "problem".) When "one" has almost 2.5 terabytes of disk storage, then 16 gigabytes doesn't seem that terribly much.

Once I finish saving the data, I plan on installing ONE of the following distributions: Ubuntu 14.04; Sabayon 14.08; Ultimate 4.2; ROBOLinux 7.5.6; or PCLinuxOS 2014.07 -- all 64 bit editions. I'm thinking that Ubuntu, because of its uEFI features, would be the best one to initially try out. In the past, I've clung to one distribution, since I did not know enough about multiple Linux distribution installation to take the "plunge" -- and I still don't know how to accomplish that task. I have two computers (Pentium IV's) that are set up to triple boot: Linux, Windows XP and Windows 98. That combination is enough to "keep up with" by themselves.

Again, thank you all for your suggestions and help. Off I go into the wild blue yonder! (Ex-USAF here).
Bill Powell
 
Old 08-11-2014, 05:31 PM   #8
Goobers
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With UEFI, it's pretty nice... it doesn't need to mess with the bootloader of Windows or Linux distro.

While you might have an issue if you attempt multiple booting of different versions of the same distro (Slack 14.1 vs future version of Slack, say Slack 15), you shouldn't have a problem if you want different distros altogether (ubuntu vs slack). They generate their own folder in the EFI partition (I have an EFI, Windows and Slackware folders in mine). Each folder has their bootloader and that's what the BIOS looks for in UEFI mode and you select which one, it'll go straight to it. The problem is, it doesn't use version names to differentiate (Slack 14.1 vs 15). Hum... I wonder if it would still work if you manually change the name of the current one (change /efi/Slackware to /efi/Slack14.1 or so)

However, I won't even suggest that you skip doing the backup, even knowing that... backing up is a good habit to keep. I don't do it myself normally, because I don't have anything I consider that critical (at the moment).
 
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:29 PM   #9
tymentide
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Cool Still too many unknowns

I've re-read the comments and suggestions to my original question, however, I'm still very hesitant to attempt installing Linux on this HP computer. Why? Because I am unsure what will happen when I install Linux on that second, (MBR), hard drive. The latest comment said that GRUB will be located on the uEFI partition. But, which one? There are four partitions on this two-terabyte drive: Windows, (C); Recovery image (D) and two other "hidden" partitions. Yes, the drive is uEFI.

Since this is my main computer, I cannot afford to botch Windows 8.1 Pro's system in "hopes" that I'll be able to successfully switch between Windows and Linux after the install. I can use Clonezilla to save the entire hard drive, however, I also have a fear that, if something goes awry, I'd not be able to restore Windows 8.1 to where it is right now. There are just too many unknowns for me to proceed.

My trepidation is in line with another thread I recently ran across concerning fears of "newbies" attempting dual-boot because of various problems caused by the "new" uEFI drives and GRUB.

Last edited by tymentide; 07-28-2015 at 02:55 PM.
 
Old 11-13-2015, 04:33 PM   #10
tymentide
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I marked this as "unsolved" because I still haven't attempted putting Linux on this machine. The source of conflict is concerning the uEFI partitions and where Grub2 would be installed. There are four partitions: two of them are "hidden"; then there's the main Windows drive "C"; and the "Recovery" partition drive "D". As stated above, I have created three partitions on the second drive -- a swap partition, an ext3 and a Microsoft storage drive. Where would grub2 be installed? I have set the switch to "Legacy" boot. Does that make any difference in the installation of Linux?

Perhaps the answers are already listed above, but my confusion is still very prevalent. I refuse to take a chance on messing up this, my main computer, without knowing exactly what will happen when trying to install Linux.
 
  


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