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Old 01-27-2020, 09:24 AM   #1
LinDUX
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Registered: Jan 2020
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Distribution: Debian 10.2
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Smile Debian 10.2 Buster Install: UEFI - Unable to install GRUB in dummy. Executing 'GRUB-install dummy' failed.


Hi Gang,

Although I also worked at Sun Microsystems as Ian Murdock (the founder of Debian Project) did, I worked mostly with windoze systems afterward. But now, like for so many other windoze users, I can't go beyond W7.

After doing some research, I decided to opt for Debian, mainly because it is said to be stable and with lots of options in terms of packages (apps). I sure will be with both W7 and Debian in a dual boot system for the time being during this transition phase. And, hopefully, I will be able to install my W7 within a VirtualBox on top of Debian sometime later on, to minimize the threats from outside.

I fear I'll have a very steep learning curve ahead, though. But I love these kind challenges and, despite not being any tropical cool breeze, I'd rather face it than the dreadful M$ W10 and its descendants.

Going to the point:

My current system is a 64 bit W7 Pro OS, i3-4170 CPU @3.70 GHz, 16 GB RAM, and with the latest updates possible as of now (Jan 2020).

The original primary HD was a WD 500 GB, which I replaced by a 1.5 TB to make sure I have room enough for both OSs. A second NTFS formatted 4 TB data HD is installed with all my personal data, including Dropbox folder in auto sync setting. UEFI with BIOS legacy compatibility is setup in the UEFI-BIOS settings.

Before anything else I run a chkdsk /f (just to be sure W7 is in good shape), made a W7 Repair Disk CD, and the last thing before starting the Buster install I made an WindowsImageBackup, just in case, which was saved in the D: 4 TB data drive.

I started the install process using the latest debian-10.2.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso from a USB stick done with the latest rufus-3.8, and followed the recommendations set on the "Debian GNU/Linux Installation Guide-January 12, 2020".

By pressing F12 I get the menu where, among other options, I have the same USB stick listed twice: one regular and another one starting with UEFI. I chose the latter, as is the settings in my UEFI-BIOS setup, and I do not want to lose access to my 4 TB data HD.

As per the Installation Guide above (3.6.3 - Systems with UEFI firmware), I have never configured "secured boot", so no need to worry about disabling it.

The 1.5 TB HD has already the following W7 partitions:

#1 System Reserved 217 MB NTFS (System, Active, Primary partition)
#2 W7Pro 287.83 GB NTFS (Boot, Crashing dump, Primary partition)

Swap partition was set on the 2nd 4 TB data drive:

#3 partition of SCSI2 (0,0,0) (sdb) as swap

All others on 1st (sda) Logical 128 GB as ext4 each but:

#3 Primary 128 MB as ext2 for /boot
#5 Logical 256 MB as ESP for /boot/efi
#7 Logical 128 GB as xfs for /home

On the step Install the GRUB boot loader on a hard disk I got: Unable to install GRUB in dummy. Executing 'GRUB-install dummy' failed. This is a fatal error.

Next screen advises to boot manually with the /vmlinuz kernel on partition /dev sda6 and root=/dev/sda6 passed as a kernel argument.

But sda6 is my logical 128 GB / (root) ext4...

I was able to finish the install process, though, and upon exiting it, taken to the GRUB prompt:

Code:
grub> ls
(proc) (hd0) (hd0,msdos13) (hd0,msdos12) (hd0,msdos11) (hd0,msdos10) (hd0,msdos9) (hd0,msdos8) (hd0,msdos7) (hd0,msdos6) (hd0,msdos5) (hd0,msdos3) (hd0,msdos2) (hd0,msdos1) (hd1,gpt3) (hd1,gpt2) (hd1,gpt1) (hd2)
I know (hd0,msdos3) is my /boot partition. Following a hint I found here (didn't find anything similar anywhere else including Debian forums): "If you are in grub rescue mode, then run these commands to reconfigure grub:

Code:
set root=(hd0,msdos3)
set prefix=(hd0,msdos3)/boot/grub
insmod normal
normal
"

Which I did, but no output seen. And never had a chance to open a terminal and type grub-install/dev/sda, as advised...

Nothing else could be done, so I hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete. And the only thing I got was a blank dark screen saying "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key_" if trying to boot Debian... No W7 option to boot to, nothing at all...

So I inserted my W7 Repair Disk on the P4 Atapi driver to fix/recover the Windows Start Process and... Voila!... I was presented with the Windows Boot Manager to choose Windows 7 or Debian GNU/Linux-continue with install process.

At this point I booted Windows and I'm back to business as usual for the time being.

My questions are:

1. what I did wrong?

2. What am I missing?

3. Should I forget about UEFI / Grub install?

4. Forget my 4 TB data disk where swap partition is set up?

Your help on this very much appreciated.

Thank you so much for any advice and support to address this issue.
 
Old 01-27-2020, 12:19 PM   #2
yancek
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A default install of windows 7 will not be UEFI. If you install Debian UEFI, the Grub bootloader is not likely to be able to boot a Legacy windows install, AFAIK.
Did you install windows 7 yourself and is it UEFI or Legacy? Simple way to check is to boot the Debian live iso and from a terminal, run the command as root user: parted -l Check to see if you have an EFI partition already existing for windows. If not, install Debian in Legacy mode. Are both your drives GPT or mosdos.
 
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:17 PM   #3
mrmazda
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Mixing a MBR Windows installation with a UEFI Gnu/Linux installation on the same PC or laptop is a recipe for trouble. That appears to be what you've attempted. All operating systems need to be installed using the same booting type (MBR vs UEFI), unless on each boot to the other you have no problem with reconfiguring the PC/motherboard firmware to in order to make that choice.

I've never tried using an MBR boot disk with UEFI booting. Whether it's a good idea, or even possible, I have no idea.

Swap is a non-issue here.

My preference is that when UEFI is offered by the BIOS, use it alone, and stick with GPT partitioning. There's less opportunity for one OS to disrupt booting the other. With GPT, there's no futzing over whether a partition is primary or logical.
 
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:20 PM   #4
LinDUX
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Registered: Jan 2020
Location: FL
Distribution: Debian 10.2
Posts: 6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
A default install of windows 7 will not be UEFI. If you install Debian UEFI, the Grub bootloader is not likely to be able to boot a Legacy windows install, AFAIK.
Quote:
Simple way to check is to boot the Debian live iso and from a terminal, run the command as root user: parted -l Check to see if you have an EFI partition already existing for windows.
Yeah, I just figured that out... I checked by going to cmd:

Code:
C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit /enum
...
path                    \bootmgr
description          Windows Boot Manager
...
Also running msinfo32.exe shows SMBIOS Version 2.7

Quote:
Are both your drives GPT or mosdos.
/dev/sda is MSDOS and /dev/sdb is GPT. Any issue with that?...

Quote:
Did you install windows 7 yourself and is it UEFI or Legacy?
I myself installed W7, but not sure what was the reason behind of not going to UEFI mode at that time few years ago...

Quote:
If not, install Debian in Legacy mode.
So as long Debian has access to the entire 4 TB /dev/sdb as well without Grub, no need to install it, right?...

It's a home small business setup, and W7 has access to the entire 4 TB /dev/sdb...

And as to my present Debian install, should I start from scratch again or just Resume / Continue with the current install process bypassing the Grub install dummy?...

Thanks a lot!
 
Old 01-27-2020, 02:38 PM   #5
LinDUX
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Registered: Jan 2020
Location: FL
Distribution: Debian 10.2
Posts: 6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
Mixing a MBR Windows installation with a UEFI Gnu/Linux installation on the same PC or laptop is a recipe for trouble. That appears to be what you've attempted. All operating systems need to be installed using the same booting type (MBR vs UEFI), unless on each boot to the other you have no problem with reconfiguring the PC/motherboard firmware to in order to make that choice.

I've never tried using an MBR boot disk with UEFI booting. Whether it's a good idea, or even possible, I have no idea.

Swap is a non-issue here.

My preference is that when UEFI is offered by the BIOS, use it alone, and stick with GPT partitioning. There's less opportunity for one OS to disrupt booting the other. With GPT, there's no futzing over whether a partition is primary or logical.
Thanks mrmazda!

So as long both OSs (W7 and Buster in my case) are installed using same booting type MBR with UEFI Mobo setting with CSM in order to have access to my 4 TB /dev/sdb as I do have right now in W7, then I am fine. Is that what you mean?...

Besides, would it be worth using a tool like AOMEI to convert to GPT / UEFI?... Not sure when or why or if will I need to make the switch...

Thanks a lot.
 
Old 01-27-2020, 03:00 PM   #6
mrmazda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LinDUX View Post
So as long both OSs (W7 and Buster in my case) are installed using same booting type MBR with UEFI Mobo setting with CSM in order to have access to my 4 TB /dev/sdb as I do have right now in W7, then I am fine. Is that what you mean?...
Yes, but don't mingle issues. Access to the 4T isn't a part of the boot process if it doesn't contain required boot code or an ESP partition. Once boot is complete, it's up to a booted OS to determine whether and how to access it.

Quote:
Besides, would it be worth using a tool like AOMEI to convert to GPT / UEFI?... Not sure when or why or if will I need to make the switch...
There is no "need".

I don't use Windows more than a few hours per year, time spent mostly allowing it to keep itself updated, so have not seriously considered the viability of such a conversion. IMO, keeping all internal disks on the same competent newer scheme is a prudent course of action. Whether a conversion tool's results would be any better or worse than a fresh new installation I can't say.
 
Old 01-27-2020, 07:17 PM   #7
LinDUX
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2020
Location: FL
Distribution: Debian 10.2
Posts: 6

Original Poster
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
Yes, but don't mingle issues. Access to the 4T isn't a part of the boot process if it doesn't contain required boot code or an ESP partition. Once boot is complete, it's up to a booted OS to determine whether and how to access it.

There is no "need".

I don't use Windows more than a few hours per year, time spent mostly allowing it to keep itself updated, so have not seriously considered the viability of such a conversion. IMO, keeping all internal disks on the same competent newer scheme is a prudent course of action. Whether a conversion tool's results would be any better or worse than a fresh new installation I can't say.
@Yancek and @MrMazda, I followed your advice and here am I typing from Debian! No hassle, no hitch, not a hiccup. Working like a charm!

The only thing is, when trying to access 4TB /dev/sdb, it asked for root credentials. I entered it and the response was in a red text that I have no right to access it, but allowed me to access /dev/sdb anyways... I went in and out a few times trying to reproduce the issue, fortunately to no avail. Perhaps I'll have to reboot and or log out and back in again to repro...

I can't understand how stupid I am to forget this basic detail about setting W7 for UEFI. Sure both OSs' boot info have to be in the same page (I mean standard / pattern) for consistency across the board...

Again, thank you thank you thank you so much for your invaluable help!

You're awesome! Kudos to you!

May God bless you!

Warm and best regards!
 
  


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