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Old 04-16-2014, 09:46 AM   #1
dracolich
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dual boot Slackware + Win7


Hello, I have been searching here and Google for an answer to this but have not found an answer that works for me. I recently upgraded my WinXP partition to Win7 Enterprise 32-bit, installed without the 100MB system reserved partition. I always had LILO installed in the MBR with XP, but when LILO is in the MBR now Win7 fails to boot, just a blank screen with blinking cursor. Is the problem in my lilo.conf or the lack of the system partition or something else? As a workaround I have LILO on the Linux partition and using EasyBCD to add Slackware to the Windows boot menu, but I would like to boot to LILO again. Below is cfdisk of sda where Win7 and Slackware are installed, followed by my lilo.conf. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Code:
Disk Drive: /dev/sda
                       Size: 250059350016 bytes, 250.0 GB
             Heads: 255   Sectors per Track: 63   Cylinders: 30401

    Name        Flags      Part Type  FS Type          [Label]        Size (MB)
 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Primary   Free Space                           1.05*
    sda1        Boot        Primary   ntfs                             42081.46*
                            Pri/Log   Free Space                           6.26*
    sda5                    Logical   vfat                            127903.11
    sda6                    Logical   ext2                             80067.49*
Code:
boot=/dev/sda6
lba32
compact
prompt
#timeout=100
ramdisk=0
root=/dev/sda6

#Normal VGA mode
#1024x768x16
vga = 791
#872=1280x800x24
#vga = 872
#VESA framebuffer console mode 1024x768x256
# vga = 773

# End LILO global section
# Begin Linux OS entries

image = /boot/bzImage-3.12
	label = Linux-3.12
	read-only
	append = "irqpoll"

image = /boot/vmlinuz
	label = Linuz-3.10.17
	append = "irqpoll"
	read-only

# End Linux OS entries
# Begin Windows menu entry

other = /dev/sda1
	label = Windows7
	table = /dev/sda

# End Windows menu entry
 
Old 04-16-2014, 12:20 PM   #2
DaiWu Bonsai
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System-reserved contains:

/boot
/system volume information
-bootmgr
-BOOTSECT.BAK

Yes you need it to boot windows if i'm not mistaken. But i could be wrong.

Cheers.
 
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:38 PM   #3
tronayne
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When I did this some time ago, I had to fully install Win7 (with its defaults) then install Slackware (as with WinXP). Win7 seems to need that system partition no matter what. Dual-booting worked but other (Windows, of course) problems arose and I decided to abandon dual-booting completely. There may be a way to fix that missing partition, but, sorry, I don't know what it might be.

I wiped the drive clean, installed Slackware, installed VirtualBox and installed Win7 in that, with a 90-some GB partition for virtual machines to live in (Win7 really needs at least 20 GB to be useful, more is better, a separate drive for virtual machines is even better). Given that I don't have much use for Win7 (Stamps.com, Turbotax, Acrobat Reader, Firefox are the only things installed in it), I kept it about 30 GB virtual and left enough room for additional virtual machines. Oh, yeah, I did license Uniblue Registry CleanKit (Win7 has registry problems all the time); worth the $20 to not have problems.

That works. Lilo is a happy camper booting Slackware, life is good, VirtualBox starts up, Win7 loads and goes quickly (it takes about a minute to boot 64-bit Win7, YMMV), runs just fine, shuts down quickly, life is good.

From my experience with Win7, you really have to install and get it working first (in a sufficient-sized partition), then cut down the size of it to something reasonable, then install Slackware in the disk space you've freed from Windows' deadly grip. There's a utility in Win7 that you can use to reduce the size of the partition to make space for Slackware. Win7 eats three partitions, you can use logical partitions to install Slackware in a dual-boot system.

With the availability of VirtualBox (and other virtual systems), why bother with dual-booting? You can run large Win7 virtual machines, they run fine, no fuss, no muss.

Hope this helps some.
 
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:52 PM   #4
enorbet
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Greetz
I'm not sure about Enterprise Edition but all other editions do NOT require the (sometimes hidden) partition. I have Win 7 dual booting with just
this entry in lilo
Code:
 
other = /dev/sdaFoo
label = Win 7
 
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:00 PM   #5
TobiSGD
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No version of Windows needs that boot partition per se. It is only needed for special cases, for example if you use the BitLocker Drive Encryption to encrypt your Windows partition.
I dual boot with Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (without that boot partition) and have this entry in my lilo.conf:
Code:
other = /dev/sda1
  label = Windows
  table = /dev/sda
Since you have laready restored your MBR to the Windows bootloader I would just try it again and see if it works now.
 
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:06 PM   #6
Nh3xus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
No version of Windows needs that boot partition per se.
I second this.

I'm dual booting Slack 14.1 along with Windows 7 pro and I don't need this so called "System Partition".

When it comes to Windows, just make sure that the system drive e.g C:\ is on a primary partition.

Otherwise, Windows wont boot.

You issue with Lilo is surprising me since the command :

Code:
 # lilo -v
usually finds the Windows partition and add the relevant boot entry on its own.
 
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Old 04-16-2014, 03:55 PM   #7
DaiWu Bonsai
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I was under the impression system-reserved was needed for expanding start-up files and MS Recovery Environment.
 
Old 04-16-2014, 05:16 PM   #8
dracolich
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Thank you all for the informative replies. Win7 Enterprise is working perfectly without the system partition. I will try LILO again, as TobiSGD suggests, and hope it works. And maybe without the 'table =' line as in enorbet's example.

tronayne, I do use VirtualBox and have had a Win7 vm for a while. That is how I became comfortable with it enough to replace XP. I need to keep a Win installation for a few games, some student stuff and sharing the pc.

If all else fails I can continue using my EasyBCD setup. lol
 
Old 04-16-2014, 08:30 PM   #9
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaiWu Bonsai View Post
I was under the impression system-reserved was needed for expanding start-up files and MS Recovery Environment.
Just to avoid any misunderstandings, while OEMs that pre-install windows often create a recovery environment to avoid both shipping optical media and tech calls, this is not the same as the one often created by simply installing Win 7 from such media onto a hard drive. With sufficient backups even the OEM one can be deleted but it would void your warranty, if that matters. There is no penalty for either not creating one or removing one (properly) from a self installed system.
 
Old 04-16-2014, 08:43 PM   #10
DaiWu Bonsai
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Understood, thanks for clearing that up...
 
Old 04-17-2014, 09:28 AM   #11
dracolich
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I just reinstalled my lilo to mbr and everything is working well now. I left out the 'table = /dev/sda' line, not sure if that makes any difference ... probably not. When selecting Windows from lilo, it booted to the menu I had setup using EasyBCD. I then edited the bcd menu, removing the Slackware entry and disabling the timer/wait, so now it boots straight into Windows. Makes me wonder if somehow using EasyBCD repaired a missing or damaged config. Anyhow, my lilo + Slackware + Win7 is working properly now. Thank you all.

Last edited by dracolich; 04-17-2014 at 09:31 AM.
 
  


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