Triple boot problems: os x + win7 + LMDE (on pc)

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Triple boot problems: os x + win7 + LMDE (on pc)

Postby ciolo on Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:49 am

I'm trying to make this work, now i just screwed my boot partitions for the 2nd time, and i figured that maybe i should ask before trying again :D.

1. the easy question: is there any way to convince lmde when installing to put grub on /dev/sda4 (the "/" partition)? the guide i followed stated that this will work but it was made for ubuntu, who appears to allow this.

2. the detailed question:

So i installed osx first on the drive, everything ok. Then made a partition from osx for win7, rebooted and installed 7 on that partition, rebooted again and repaired the efi boot partition (with the chameleon/chimera bootloader as in this guide) and then i wanted to install Mint. But, there is a problem with Mint in a multiboot system - it doesn't have the option (when installing) to force-install grub on the "/" partition. So i didn't install grub at all (figured out that i will can do that later).

All installed ok, rebooted, (edit: used gptsync to repair something, as instructed on the osx guide) and the other bootloader didn't recognized Mint (of course) and then i downloaded Boot-Repair CD. Booted from the cd, choosed to install grub on /dev/sda4 and it told me that it was ok. Rebooted, but there was no entry on chameleon's menu. Now again on BR-cd i made the mistake to check the "repair filesystem" option. It did it's thing, and now i only have windows7 (the br-cd log is here).

So my questions are:

1. Is this mess reparable? Can i have all 3 systems back and running again?

2. i can do the install process again (3rd time now) but how can i tell mint to install grub at "/" and not on /dev/sda? Maybe there is an installation script that can bypass the default GUI-options? When i allowed LMDE to put grub on /dev/sda my windows didn't worked anymore.

3. Is there another way of making this work? Maybe to install LMDE first, or win7 first, or i don't know.. preparing the partitions before installing (now i guess they are hybrid mbr+guid)?

The thing is, i really want to have all 3 os-es on the same hdd (laptop) and i already lost 3days trying to make this work, so it's hard to give up now. Please help :?
Last edited by ciolo on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:02 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Triple boot problems: os x + win7 + LMDE (on pc)

Postby wayne128 on Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:22 am

There are many solutions to multibooting OSX, Win7 and Linux OSes, they are many posts in internet.
There are a few key issues
1. Master boot loader used
2. partitions used.

As it is , your situation seems to be
3. you are using GPT partition, not the older version of msdos partition, with this it might have some issue with grub/fdisk etc as reflected in your data from boot scripts.
4. you might not know which Master boot loader is going to be better to handle the job.

Too bad I have no experience multibooting osx since I do not have any hardware to play with.
But then you have OSX already bootable after installing it as well as after adding Win7, that says osx partition is already bootable. hopefully some of your 'repair procedures' did not harm osx partition. Or may be you just need to repair it so as it is bootable by its own boot loader.

As you have at least a working Win7, now lets try your luck first ( without reinstallation), this is simply trying a windows based boot loader as your Master Boot Loader.

To do this, boot into Win7 and run it, google and get into EasyBCD of NeoSmart, download its latest EasyBCD, read its instruction, install EasyBCD, run it, add entry for Mac and Linux, hopefully, assuming OSX partition remain bootable and Linux OS root partition is bootable, the EasyBCD should provide a quick solution to create the entry for you to boot all the 3 OSes.
Reboot and try select each OS ( you should see win7 like boot menu, very simple just few lines for you to select).


Edit, as you install LMDE on Linux OS, it use grub2, so when you add entry on EasyBCD for LMDE, you need to select Grub2.

On your question of installing Gurb to root partition,
I normally install Linux OS boot loader to its root partition, I do not have problem doing it on LMDE.

Since you did not install grub2 during LMDE installation, to catch up, actually it is quite straight forward, the procedure is
1. boot into Linux OS Live CD
2. mount the Linux OS installed partition, say it is at /dev/sda5
sudo mount /dev/sda5 /mnt
3. install grub onto /dev/sda5
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda5
if it says no error you are done, however if it complains and tell you to try --force, the command is
sudo grub-install --force --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda5
Last edited by wayne128 on Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Triple boot problems: os x + win7 + LMDE (on pc)

Postby ciolo on Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:39 am

wayne128 wrote:On your question of installing Gurb to root partition, actually it is quite straight forward, the procedure is
1. boot into Linux OS Live CD
2. mount the Linux OS installed partition, say it is at /dev/sda5
sudo mount /dev/sda5 /mnt
3. install grub onto /dev/sda5
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda5
if it says no error you are done, however if it complains and tell you to try --force, the command is
sudo grub-install --force --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda5


I tried easyBCD but it doesn't recognize my linux partition. Tried to fix the mbr, but now when i try to choose the osx partition it enters in a loop (it gives me also 2 choices - windows and osx). Now, i think the osx partition is damaged because i have a rescue boot cd "rboot le" that usually recognized all the partitions and allowed me to choose between osx/windows but now all i have is one option - neither osx or windows, it just appears a hdd icon - that points into win7.

I also did the grub-install, right after installing lmde without grub and apparently it worked. After that, the osx bootloader recognized the linux partition but when i booted into linux all i had was a GRUB> command prompt. That's why i tried Boot-Repair.
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Re: Triple boot problems: os x + win7 + LMDE (on pc)

Postby nairbv on Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:26 am

wayne128 wrote:On your question of installing Gurb to root partition, actually it is quite straight forward, the procedure is
1. boot into Linux OS Live CD
2. mount the Linux OS installed partition, say it is at /dev/sda5
sudo mount /dev/sda5 /mnt
3. install grub onto /dev/sda5
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda5
if it says no error you are done, however if it complains and tell you to try --force, the command is
sudo grub-install --force --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda5


I booted from a live cd,
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
(takes a long time, and this doesn't work for me without the upgrade)
i mount /dev/sda1 on /mnt/wherever
i reinstall grub as described in this post.
yay, reboot and things work.... but.............

I've done this TWICE now in two weeks. I'm afraid to do any more apt-get upgrades or install new packages because I don't want to have to do it again. What's going on??? I don't even know what triggers this problem.
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Re: Triple boot problems: os x + win7 + LMDE (on pc)

Postby äxl on Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:08 am

nairbv wrote:I booted from a live cd,
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade


Why?

I've done this TWICE now in two weeks. I'm afraid to do any more apt-get upgrades or install new packages because I don't want to have to do it again. What's going on??? I don't even know what triggers this problem.


You're saying it works a week and after upgrade it doesn't anymore?
I guess the problem is when you get a new version of grub it calls
update-grub
and doesn't recognize your other OS.
I usually use supergrubdisk (http://www.supergrubdisk.org/super-grub2-disk/) if I have a problem with booting. I believe there is an option to make things lasting ...
My Linux history: Ubuntu 10.04 - 10.10 - LMDE 201109 - UP4 My sources.list/preferences

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Re: Triple boot problems: os x + win7 + LMDE (on pc)

Postby nairbv on Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:51 am

äxl wrote:
nairbv wrote:I booted from a live cd,
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade


Why?


Which part? Because my computer won't boot... a live CD was my only bootable media.
I did an update and upgrade because the version of grub-install available on my live CD was older and, I don't remember what the error was, but there were errors when I tried to run it.

Eventually I figured out that instead of upgrading grub on the live CD, I could chroot into my installation and just run the version of grub-install I had there. This saves some time but I still hope I don't have to do it again.

äxl wrote:You're saying it works a week and after upgrade it doesn't anymore?
I guess the problem is when you get a new version of grub it calls
update-grub
and doesn't recognize your other OS.
I usually use supergrubdisk (http://www.supergrubdisk.org/super-grub2-disk/) if I have a problem with booting. I believe there is an option to make things lasting ...


I don't have any other OS installed. Yeah, I guess when I do an upgrade something in grub gets screwed up, but I've only got LMDE on here. Part of my problem is just that it's repeatedly trying to upgrade a large number of packages repeatedly.

It could have been something to do with my sources.list, I changed my sources.list to reflect UP4 and had set my apt/preferences as in: viewtopic.php?f=141&t=76928#p447869 , but didn't have debian.linuxmint.com in my apt/preferences.
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Re: Triple boot problems: os x + win7 + LMDE (on pc)

Postby äxl on Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:07 pm

nairbv wrote:Eventually I figured out that instead of upgrading grub on the live CD, I could chroot into my installation and just run the version of grub-install I had there. This saves some time but I still hope I don't have to do it again.

A successful chroot. :D :thumbsup:
I don't have any other OS installed.

Sorry, that happens when you post your problem in other people's threads. ;)
My Linux history: Ubuntu 10.04 - 10.10 - LMDE 201109 - UP4 My sources.list/preferences

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