I currently have a dual-boot (well, sort of) set up with Mint 19.1 and Windows 10 Pro on a laptop with (1) HDD and (3) SSDs. Over the last few months as I've bought the SSDs and installed them, I've moved Windows from one drive to another, installed Mint a couple of times, and the result is a bit of a mess. Now I'm trying to sort it out so I can install Trident OS as a third boot option and sort out my GRUB menu so I can use it to boot into any of the three without having to touch UEFI/BIOS options.
To this end, I went about gathering some info and after running a series of System Settings (UEFI/BIOS) and boot experiments, this is what I found out:
In the UEFI/BIOS > UEFI Hard Disk Drives BBS Priorities, I have four options to boot from:
- Windows Boot Manager (P4: KINGSTON)
- ubuntu (P2: HGST)
- ubuntu (P4: KINGSTON)
- #1 boots straight into Windows 10
- #2 to #4 all bring up the GRUB menu.
Another thing… According to gparted (see below) there are only two EFI system partitions associated with Linux:
- sdc2, and
Also, gparted shows that:
- P4: KINGSTON is sdd, and
- P2: HGST is sdc.
The GRUB menu has five options:
- mint 19.1 (boots Linux)
- mint advanced options (boots Linux)
- Windows on sdc2 (Windows-based repair mode)
- Windows on sdd2 (Windows-based repair mode)
- System Setup (UEFI/BIOS)
The odd thing about this is that both sdc2 and sdd2 are fat32 partitions mounted to /boot/efi under Linux and because of this, I’d guess they have nothing to do with Windows repair/recovery. Yet, this is how GRUB sees them.
And also, how could both possibly be mounted to the same mount point (/boot/efi)?
And because Windows 10 is installed on sdd4 (see gparted output below) I would have thought its boot loader would be somewhere on that drive as well, but now I’m thinking it must be on either:
- sdb1, or
gparted Drive Info
- sda1 = linux mint (116gb)
- unallocated space I’m reserving for Trident
- sdb1 = Microsoft reserved (15gb)
- sdb2 = ntfs (mounted as ~/Data) 465gb)
- sdc1 = ntfs (Microsoft Recovery partition) (499mb)
- sdc2 = fat32 (/boot/efi) (100mb)
- sdc3 = Microsoft Reserved (16mb)
- sdc4 = ntfs (mounted as ~/DataBU) (931gb)
- sdd1 = ntfs (Microsoft Recovery partition) 94mb)
- sdd2 = fat32 (/boot/efi) (78mb)
- sdd3 = msftres (16mb)
- sdd4 = ntfs (mounted as ~/WinSys) (223gb) (NOTE: This is also the partition that boots into Windows 10 Pro)
- go ahead with the Trident installation and see what new confusion its boot loader/menu brings, or
- scrape it all down to metal and start over (which I'm not keen on).
- Most importantly, is there any point to cleaning up this mess or should I just find the right tool(s) to figure out what's doing what and get on with life?
- Elsewhere in this forum, I read about boot-repair. I'm guessing this will help me sort out how to do a triple-boot system, but will it help me figure out which EFI partition(s) are booting Mint and which of those pesky Microsoft Reserved partitions boots Windows 10 (non-recovery)?
- Is boot-repair the best tool for the job, or should I look elsewhere?