{SOLVED AND GREAT TUTORIAL}Two HDDs and two OSs

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
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WesternSlope
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{SOLVED AND GREAT TUTORIAL}Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

I have two drives and each drive boots it's own OS. Mint is the default in BIOS and If I want Win7 to boot, I have to start in BIOS and boot to Win7. Each OS was installed with only it's own drive hooked up. I hate to start with EasyBCD if I don't have to. I installed Win7 as UEFI and Mint as Legacy and I've heard that with the EFI partition and Windows that either wouldn't work.
Would either "sudo update-grub", or EasyBCD work?
Thanks
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Last edited by WesternSlope on Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Derek_S
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by Derek_S »

Hello WesternSlope - I think you had it backwards in your post. After looking at the screenshots you provided, it appears to me that Windows 7 on dev/sda is the one using MBR boot and Linux Mint on dev/sdb is the one using EFI boot. Note that Mint is the only one with a FAT32 boot/efi partition. Windows has only two NTFS partitions.

Can you describe what you have to do in order to boot between Windows and Mint? Do you have to keep changing your BIOS settings back and forth between EFI boot and CSM/Legacy boot each time? This would drive me crazy in no time. I have doubts that either EasyBCD or rEFInd will be a workable solution here, due to the fact you need to change your BIOS settings each time. Maybe another forum member can comment on this. (srs5694, are you reading this? I hope so.)

The only solution I can offer you is this: Re-install Linux Mint. (Probably faster to do it this way than to re-install Windows 7.) Do this by first using Gparted on your Linux Mint installation DVD to create a MS-DOS (aka MBR) type partition table on dev/sdb. Then reboot and enter BIOS. Set your BIOS to use CSM/Legacy boot. Last, reboot and re-install Linux Mint. If you do this with both hard drives connected to the system, when Grub is installed to the MBR area of dev/sdb, it should detect your Windows system on the other drive and include it in the Grub boot menu. The only other thing you might have to do is set dev/sdb with Linux Mint as the first device in the boot order in your BIOS settings when you are done with the Mint installation. Now you can leave your BIOS set to use CSM/Legacy boot and not have to change it.

An added bonus to using this approach: You are not disturbing the MBR area on dev/sda where Windows is installed. If you ever have any boot issues with Windows, you can unplug the Linux Mint disk from the system and use your Windows 7 installation media to fix the problem.
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WesternSlope
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

Thanks for coming back first of all. Whoops as usual. Windows 7 is on dev/sda and Mint is on dev/sdb sorry. I do have to keep changing the boot in BOIS and driving me nuts too. Are you saying to install Mint with both drives hooked up? No problem re-installing Mint. It's bare bones right now.
Thanks
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by Derek_S »

Hello WesternSlope - I think that re-installing Mint is the way to go here. It is certainly easier and faster than re-installing Windows, agreed? Just be sure to do the three things I described first: Use Gparted to create a MS-DOS partition table on dev/sdb. Then set the system BIOS to use CSM/Legacy boot. And have both drives connected to the system.

A word of caution: You will probably have to use the "Something Else" option when running the installer. You do not want to risk reformatting and overwriting your Windows installation on dev/sda!
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WesternSlope
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

Agreed with not having to re-install Windows. Using Gparted to create a MS-DOS partition table on dev/sdb sounds a little scary. You say "Do something else" and do a the creating of the MS-DOS partition table with Gparted, before I install? Would the boot partition there, or at the root "/" partition? And would I see the MS-DOS partition with the new install after setting the other partitions, or just not think about it? Huh... What did all of that mean? :D My side not yours.
Thanks
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Derek_S
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by Derek_S »

Hello WesternSlope - I will reply to this post later on. Right now I need to make dinner, then sit down and eat. I'll post back later with more detailed instructions for you. - Derek
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WesternSlope
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

Thank you Derek. I'll be waiting. :)
If not too much to ask can I get you to lay it out as:
1.
2.
3.
etc... type format? Kinda old here.
Thanks
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by Derek_S »

Hello WesternSlope - I'll lay this out step by step for you. If you have any questions, please refer to the step number in your reply. If you have a second computer, set the two machines up side by side so you can follow this as you proceed.

Step 1.) If you haven't done so already, download a Linux Mint .iso file, do a MD5Checksum, then either burn the .iso to DVD or create a bootable USB flash drive using a utility like Unetbootin or Rufus. To download Rufus, see here: http://rufus.akeo.ie/

Step 2.) Have both hard drives connected to your system. Boot into your system's BIOS settings. There are three settings to make: a.) Make sure Secure Boot is disabled. b.) Make sure EFI boot is disabled and CSM/Legacy boot is enabled. c.) If you cannot boot from the DVD drive or a USB device by selecting them from a BIOS boot options menu during system boot, then put the correct device, either DVD drive or USB device, as the first item in the BIOS boot order. Now you can press F10 to save your changes and exit BIOS.

Step 3.) Boot from either the DVD drive or USB flash drive into a live session of Linux Mint. Then make your internet connection.

Step 4.) Here's the part you refer to as "scary". It's not scary as long as you pay strict attention to what you are doing. Start Gparted by going to Menu>Administration>Gparted. Once Gparted starts, take a good look at what it is showing you. You want to be sure that you have the correct device displayed before proceeding. You use the small tab in the upper right part of the panel to switch between devices, sda, sdb, sdc, and so on. Take note: Sometimes when you boot from a USB flash drive, it will take dev/sdb for itself and jumble the order of the other devices. Please pay attention here and be sure to select the device that you want to use to install Linux Mint. Be sure not to select your Windows hard drive or the USB flash drive by mistake! Once you are sure you have the correct device, go to the top of the panel and click "Device", then click "Create Partition Table". A new dialogue box will appear with a warning about losing all your data. The default is to create a MS-DOS (MBR) type partition table. This is what you want, just be sure that this is what is shown. Click "Apply". In a few seconds, the operation is completed and on the lower part of the panel you will see a single line showing the entire hard disk as "unallocated". Your new partition table is in place. Stay in Gparted, do not close the program.

Step 5.) Now you will use Gparted to create your new Linux Mint partitions prior to installing. You will create your root partition first. Start by right clicking the line marked "unallocated", then click "New". In the panel that appears, you must enter the size of the new partition and the file system you want to use. For your root partition 20480MB (20 GB) is fine. Select "ext4" as the file system. If you wish, enter "Root" as the partition label. Then click "Add". You will now see your new root partition displayed in the panel. Next, you can create your Linux swap partition. Again, right click the line "unallocated", then click "New". Select "Linux swap" as the file system. For the size, use an amount equal in size to your system memory. (2048MB=2GB, 4096MB=4GB, 8192MB=8GB; if you have a different amount, then calculate and enter it.) When finished, click "Add", and your new swap partition will appear in the panel. Next, you will create your home partition. Select "ext4" as the file system. If you wish, you can either use the entire space that is left on the disk, or you can choose to enter a size that will leave some unallocated space on the disk for another purpose. This is up to you. If you wish, you can enter "Home" as the label. Then click "Add", and your new home partition will appear. Now go up and click "Edit", then click "Apply All Operations". This is the step that actually creates your new disk partitions. Before exiting Gparted, there are two more things to do. Right click the line for Linux swap and in the new menu that appears, click "swap on". I do this before running the installer so that it recognizes the swap partition. The last thing is this: take one last look and write down the device labels (sdb1, sdb2, etc.) that are used for your root and home partitions, you will need this information when running the installer. Now you can close Gparted.

Step 6.) Now start the installation. Go through the initial steps. When you reach the "Installation Type" screen, go to the bottom and select the "Something Else" option. This will allow you to "flag" your root and home partitions so the installer recognizes them as such. On the next screen, Installation, you will see a small partition table. Start by finding the line for your root partition (remember what you wrote down?), click on it to highlight it, then go down and hit the "Change" button. On the small pop-up screen that appears, click the "Use As" button, and select ext4 as the file system. Next, check the "Format" box. Then click "Mount Point" and select " / " - the root symbol. You are done with root at this point and can click the "OK" button. Now find the line for your home partition line in the partition table, click and highlight it, then hit the "Change" button. Follow the same procedure you used for root, the only exception is when you select the "Mount Point", you will choose "/home" instead. Now root and home are "flagged" for installation. One thing remains here, go to the bottom of this screen and make sure that the appropriate device is selected as the "Device for boot loader installation". Make sure not to use any of the choices that contain numbers. Use sda, sdb, sdc, etc. as long as it is the same device where you installed Linux Mint (remember step #4?). Then click the "Install Now" button at the bottom of the page. Then it's a matter of filling in a few more things and letting the installer run to completion.

Step 7.) After installation, you might have problems. If you find that you cannot boot at all or boot straight into Windows, you have to go back into your system BIOS settings and put the disk where you installed Linux Mint as the first item in the boot order (remember step #2?). If you find that you boot straight into Linux, or if Windows does not appear in the grub boot menu, then let it boot into Mint. Open the terminal and enter "sudo os-prober". See what the results are. If both Windows and Linux appear in the output, then enter "sudo update-grub". This should make the necessary changes to grub. Post back if you have problems at this point, or at any point in the process. Take your time and concentrate on what you are doing, and you should have no problems.
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WesternSlope
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

Wow Derek... This is a top notched tutorial! Right to the point and even understandable by me. Old age has it's toll and I'm no youngin. For starters, I want to thank you for the thorough explanation of each step. I'm going to start the new install tomorrow with my other system and nailed to this page for reference as I go and will definitely get back to you and how it went, or where I might need help. And for an ending...
Thank you, so much again!
WesternSlope
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

Step 5. Once you are sure you have the correct device, go to the top of the panel and click "Device", then click "Create Partition Table".
I put the DOS partition in and saw nothing, but then you said all I'd see is unallocated, so I figured it was going ok.
I have a problem here. Do I create an Extended partition and put the /root, home and swap in it, or do I make a Primary partition for each? I created an extended for all and that didn't work. All I have is time. Kinda reminds me of The Rolling Stones - Time is on my side (1964) for now. Anyway I'm stuck here.
Thanks
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by Derek_S »

Hello WesternSlope - Once you have selected the correct device - please be sure of this first - then click "Device", then click "Create Partition Table". The default is MS-DOS, so you don't have to change anything, you only need to click "Apply". Did you do this?

You do not have to concern yourself with extended or logical partitions in this case. Your are only creating 3 partitions on this drive, so all of them can be primary.
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WesternSlope
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

Yes on the ms DOS. One more thing I was confused on what partition do I want the boot partition? /boot, or /home?
On my way and thanks again.
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Derek_S
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by Derek_S »

Hello WesternSlope - You do not want to create a boot partition on a MS-DOS (MBR) disk. On a system using MBR partitioning/MBR boot, the system boots using information stored in the MBR area of the drive, which is the first 512 bytes.

This is why I mentioned that when you perform the installation, do not install grub to any partition with a number such as sda1, sda2, sda3, etc. You want to install grub to the MBR area of the disk, which is described as sda.

But please pay attention here: The disk that you are now partitioning is where you want to install grub. So while you have the correct disk selected in Gparted, please take note if it is sda, sdb, or sdc. This is where you want to install grub.
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WesternSlope
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

This is what I mean. I really get messed up here. Right now I have Gparted up and looking at /dev/sda which is the Win7 drive. So you want me to add the ms-DOS MBR to it, or ms-DOS MBR to /dev/sdb?
Sorry
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by Derek_S »

Hello WesternSlope - O.K., now I have a better picture of what you are looking at. If sda is where Windows is installed, then DO NOT install grub there. You want to install grub to sdb, which is the device you are formatting to install Linux Mint. When you run the installer and get to the point where it asks where to install the bootloader, choose dev/sdb. NO NUMBERS after sdb, just sdb. Understand?
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WesternSlope
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

Alright. :) Now this old guy can understand what you are saying. /dev/sdb it is.
Thank you
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

I know you say "Something else", but this is the first time I have seen Install Mint alongside Windows 7. I'm either do it right, or wrong. I'll stick with "Something else" :wink:
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by Derek_S »

Hello WesternSlope - You made the right choice, use "Something Else". If you chose to "Install alongside Windows 7", you would be installing Mint alongside Windows on dev/sda instead of on dev/sdb.
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WesternSlope
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

Gotcha. It's doing it's thing now.
WesternSlope
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Re: Two HDDs and two OSs

Post by WesternSlope »

Derek_S wrote:Hello WesternSlope - You made the right choice, use "Something Else". If you chose to "Install alongside Windows 7", you would be installing Mint alongside Windows on dev/sda instead of on dev/sdb.
I'll have to remember that when there is only one HDD.
Thanks
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