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Old 05-13-2014, 05:47 PM   #1
SaintDanBert
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UEFI and GPT(GUID) and BIOS and drives and partitions


I have a new i7 tower. It has the following brand new drives:

/dev/sda -- 500 GB solid state drive (for system boot)
/dev/sdb -- 1TB SATA HDD (for win-dose stuff)
/dev/sdc -- 1TB SATA HDD (for linux stuff)
/dev/sd? -- other SATA (for project and media files)
...
/dev/sd? -- other SATA (for project and media files)
I want to enable GPT(GUID) so that I don't have to play the 4x-primary, extended+logical partition dance that is the old MBR approach. Therefore, I believe that I must enable UEFI in the BIOS. Do I understand this correctly?

I want to dual-boot with win-7. I understand that there are some hoops to jump through and a goat or three to sacrifice to enable GPT install and boot for win-7. Do I understand this correctly?
I don't want anything to do with win-8.

I want to boot from the SDD instead of from an HDD for obvious reasons, but I don't want win-7 to consume the entire solid-state drive as win-dose %SYSTEMDRIVE%. Also, I know that I must install win-dose before I install Linux ... so that the Linux installer does the right things establishing the boot loader configuration. I'm not a win-dose wizard. Can I install win-7 directly to /dev/sdb or is the first-controller+first-drive restriction still in place?
NOTE -- My first attempt at configuration of this system "failed". I described my troubles here: http://"http://www.linuxquestions.or...e-4175503997/".
Thanks for the help,
~~~ 0;-Dan

Last edited by SaintDanBert; 05-13-2014 at 05:50 PM.
 
Old 05-13-2014, 08:30 PM   #2
syg00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert View Post
I want to enable GPT(GUID) so that I don't have to play the 4x-primary, extended+logical partition dance that is the old MBR approach. Therefore, I believe that I must enable UEFI in the BIOS. Do I understand this correctly?
No - it is possible to have GPT without UEFI.

Quote:
I want to dual-boot with win-7. I understand that there are some hoops to jump through and a goat or three to sacrifice to enable GPT install and boot for win-7. Do I understand this correctly?
I believe only the commercial Win7 Ultimate will boot from GPT. I got a OEM copy when I recently had a box built, and was never able to get Win7 (Ultimate) to boot from GPT disk (er SSD).
Quote:
I want to boot from the SDD instead of from an HDD for obvious reasons, but I don't want win-7 to consume the entire solid-state drive as win-dose %SYSTEMDRIVE%. Also, I know that I must install win-dose before I install Linux ... so that the Linux installer does the right things establishing the boot loader configuration. I'm not a win-dose wizard. Can I install win-7 directly to /dev/sdb or is the first-controller+first-drive restriction still in place?
You don't need to install Win7 before Linux, but take it from me, in a situation like yours (mine was extremely similar), it makes life a whole lot easier.
When you point the Win7 installer to the second drive, it will install the running system there, but install the boot code on a small partition on the SSD. This is UEFI or not. I then simply copied all that code to the partition on the second drive, and converted the SSD to GPT and installed a couple of Linux distros. *IF* you have a non-Ultimate Win7, I suspect you can simply make the SSD GPT and Win7 will ignore it - but then you'll have to install Win7 to an MBR formatted disk.

Clear as mud ?.
 
Old 05-13-2014, 08:43 PM   #3
syg00
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In relation to the first question, some more food for thought.
It seems on the latest motherboards current Linux installers (certainly Mint) will recognise the UEFI BIOS even if you think you've turned off all the appropriate options in the BIOS. Then they insist on GPT for the disk. I consider this an error in the Linux installers.
Makes life difficult if you have a Windows that won't install on GPT.

Last edited by syg00; 05-13-2014 at 08:47 PM. Reason: typo
 
Old 05-15-2014, 10:50 AM   #4
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
...
It seems on the latest motherboards current Linux installers (certainly Mint) will recognise the UEFI BIOS even if you think you've turned off all the appropriate options in the BIOS. Then they insist on GPT for the disk. ...
This might be exactly what is going on with my configuration. How do I find out more about this?
As far as win-7 goes, this page http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...=vs.85%29.aspx reports as follows:

Can Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008 read, write, and boot from GPT disks?
Yes, all versions can use GPT partitioned disks for data. Booting is only supported for 64-bit editions on UEFI-based systems.
Note that one must have a 64-bit edition of win-7 to boot. This restriction makes sense given that GPT(GUID) partitions have much larger sizes of everything. Larger sizes require larger numbers. Larger numbers require more integer bits, thus 64-bit edition of win-7.

Smelling a solution not too far away,
~~~ 8d;-/ Dan
 
Old 05-15-2014, 11:05 AM   #5
SaintDanBert
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Follow-up
I found the following article: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI. It talks about linux (*buntu) install and boot on UEFI systems. Reading through the article, they reference this Bug 1024383 if Grub menu shows Windows but win-dose will not start.

I took a look at the bug report and it has the title update-grub generates only BIOS based menu entries for Windows, even on UEFI systems. The bug report text says, in part:
...
It appears that GRUB creates BIOS/mbr entries when it should be UEFI/gpt type entries.
*********************** WORKAROUND **************************
either boot Windows from the (EFI) BIOS menu, or add valid Windows entries via Boot-Repair.
***************************************************************
...
I'll see what happens running boot-repair and report back.

Follow-up:
I did not find "boot-repair" of any sort in my Mint-15 repositories. I suspect it is part of some package that I have not identified ... yet. More later.

More Follow-up:
I found the following article Boot-Repair -- Ubuntu Community Wiki that details how to obtain and install boot-repair and what it does. There is also discussion of other related utilities like boot-info.

You can learn more about Boot-Repair the project at Boot-Repair on Sourceforge.


~~~ 8d;-Dan

Last edited by SaintDanBert; 05-15-2014 at 02:26 PM.
 
  


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