Dual booting with W7

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Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:59 am

Hi :)

I've installed Mint about two weeks ago. I didn't try to boot with Windows 7 for a while.
Basically, I'm keeping Windows for gaming.

So.. hm. Four days ago (or something like that), I wanted to play some SoaSE. So.. yepp. Booting Windows... nah, doesn't work. :)
"invalid EFI file path". Pretty common, huh? :twisted:
I didn't really bother and just installed Mint (it's only recently I learned about UEFI and what pain in the ass it can be :twisted:).

The laptop came with Windows 7 pre-installed (=no secure boot, I suppose).
Two 1TB HDDs.

And here's the biggest problem:
The laptop did not come with a recovery CD, and the recovery partition is broken! (I should just remove it if it doesn't work anyway...)
So fixing Windows loader is the only option I have.

I asked around on Ubuntu forums, but we didn't really solve the issue, even after the thread spanned to 4 pages.

The laptop is an Asus N76VZ (don't know if it matters).

Here's a log of boot-repair
http://paste.ubuntu.com/5611902/
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby viking777 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:22 am

You have windows efi boot files on your esp so Refind should be able to boot those for you. I say should because it seems to work well for quite a few people, although not for me, but it must be worth a try.

There are massive amounts of information about how to obtain and use it on this site http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/ and there are dozens of posts on this forum about it as the writer is a member of the forum and regular contributor.

You are probably best obtaining it on a usb key or cd first just to see if it can boot your windows efi files. If it does you can install it and use it all the time.

Sadly you already know how much of a menace Uefi can be and very few people understand it. I managed to get rid of it completely from my computer and revert back to legacy bios booting, others (those who have the option) simply switch it off and install everything in 'legacy'mode, but in your case you can't because you would need to reinstall Windows in that mode as well and you don't have the disk :(

Otoh you could try this tutorial here: viewtopic.php?f=42&t=121912 it relates to Win 8 but I am sure that will make no difference.
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:46 am

Speedy response, huh? :roll:

I've already seen the rEFInd site, but I didn't take a serious look at it (but I will now)
I'll read the thread too.

No CD and a broken recovery partition (since the day one)... and add
UEFI problems on top of that. Talk about luck. :mrgreen:

Oh and by the way, this thread (viewtopic.php?f=42&t=121912) means that I'd have to reinstall Mint correct?

Hm.. how do I go about backing up settings / drivers and etc. ?
...
Drivers...
and just little tweaks I found on the net.
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby viking777 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:11 am

Speedy yes, useful, that is debatable :lol:

Having had a bit more time to think about it, the tutorial I linked to starts off with a working Windows installation, and you don't have one so I guess that avenue is pretty well a waste of your time
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:20 am

Well... fair enough. And I don't expect to be spoon-fed. :)

I'll try rEFInd and see if it works.
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:14 am

Well, that didn't work out.

It shows Windows as boot option in the menu, but when I select it, what loads is not the *correct* Windows.
In actuality it's the broken recovery partition which after loading for a while returns to GRUB.

It's just the same as it used to be without rEFInd.
So... I'm back to square one.
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby viking777 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:19 pm

Sorry it didn't work, in fact I am sorry for anyone that suffers from Uefi, but I don't know any fixes (apart from getting rid of it). Wait a while and you may well get a reply from srs5694 who is the chap that wrote Refind, maybe he can tell you why it doesn't work for you, I doubt anybody else can.

Edit. While you are waiting, does refind notice any of these boot options /bootmgr /Boot/BCD /Windows/System32/winload.exe ? and if so have you tried booting from them? I don't know if the software is actually capable of working with any of those, but if it sees them it is worth a try.

I should add that I don't use Windows at all, so I don't know which of those three is the actual windows boot loader or even why you have three options there.
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:30 pm

Nah, only one boot option.

It's ok, I'll wait.
I wanted to quit gaming for a long time anyway. :p
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby viking777 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:31 pm

I had another look at your boot-repair log and it seems to me that your problem is with windows in that it appears to be installed to /dev/sda3 but that installation is detected as a windows recovery partition (and you seem to have more than one of those).

As you don't have a windows repair disk maybe something like this would help: http://www.windowsreinstall.com/winre/c ... #Downloads

I don't know if that is going to be efi compatible or not, but it seems to be free so may be worth a try (there are others about, that is just the first on I found).

As repairing windows will inevitably break linux then EasyBCD may be worth looking at, it now has a new version that is definitely efi compatible and again it is a free tool (if you choose the right download). Its purpose is to boot linux partitions from a windows tool (so you are not using grub, you keep the windows boot loader). It has very extensive documentation here: http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

You need version 2.2 for efi compatibility.

If you install that after recovering windows you should be able to add Mint to the EasyBCD boot loader in a couple of clicks and then you will have both of them back again. A lot of 'ifs' in that though.
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:23 pm

There's just one Recovery Partition. The second one appeared after I ran Boot-Repair for the first time.

To be honest, that page looks rather fishy. (Its terrible design is not doing it any favor; no offence.)

A lot of 'if' but still better than nothing.
That's a lot of useful information.

Suppose I should back up all the stuff I have on my Mint installation (I'd hate to recompile Qt again), just in case.

Will report tomorrow. Thank you again. :)
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby darkomano on Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:23 pm

http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

You need version 2.2 for efi compatibility.


Can you confirm efi compatibility ?
Can you really add a Mint entry in BCD (on GPT/UEFI) ?
Have you done any dual boot on EFI/GPT ?
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby viking777 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:07 am

darkomano wrote:
http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

You need version 2.2 for efi compatibility.


Can you confirm efi compatibility ?
Can you really add a Mint entry in BCD (on GPT/UEFI) ?
Have you done any dual boot on EFI/GPT ?


I successfully removed the last traces of Efi from my machine earlier this week :D :D :D :D :D So I can confirm nothing.

However I can read.

http://neosmart.net/blog/2012/announcin ... more/#more
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:26 am

Hm.. I can't make that usb bootable.

Tried using ms-sys to no avail.
The USB stick doesn't even appear as boot option in BIOS.
Grrrrrr , UEFI is driving me mad
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby wayne128 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:45 am

SimonNoob wrote:Hm.. I can't make that usb bootable.

Tried using ms-sys to no avail.
The USB stick doesn't even appear as boot option in BIOS.

Grrrrrr , UEFI is driving me mad


:mrgreen:
One of my kids' laptop, Samsung, had similar issue: that is, USB does not even appear...
It is UEFI capable..

What I did was to disable 'fast boot'.... then USB flash or USB drive will appear and will boot anything I throw in.. I think that laptop want user to boot fast thus they probably skip checking USB as boot devices.
perhaps check to see if you can find a way to disable 'fast boot'.
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:49 am

It is shown if, say, I burn Mint with Startup Disk Creator to the USB.
But whenever I tried something Microsoft, it wasn't shown.
My BIOS is a Microsoft-hater :D

Or I'm doing something wrong.. :p

PS: I already looked for fast boot, didn't find it.
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby viking777 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:55 am

Imho, unetbootin is the only reliable tool for making bootable usb disks, the alternatives are just flaky at best.

However, I am not really sure what it is you are trying to put on the stick except it is something to do with Microsoft.
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:05 am

As an aside, I've found this:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... 4ad4710d90

So.. if nothing works, I'll just use that.
Since that guy is a community moderator, then I suppose that it's perfectly legit.

Or maybe I should just screw my W7 partition, and get Galactic civilizations 2 (Steam client under wine is terri-bad tho) running properly under wine. :roll:

Will respond later ~
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby viking777 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:12 am

I know precisely zilch/nada/nothing about games, but even I know that Steam is available on Linux now, so it doesn't have to be run under wine any more.
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:15 am

DirectX game.
So, yeah, wine is a must.

But never mind that, I've gone off topic. :p
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Re: Dual booting with W7

Postby SimonNoob on Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:17 pm

I've opted to re-install Windows 7 completely.
I've used these ISO-files.

I can confirm that Easy BCD works.

Thanks for the help, viking. :)
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