*Solved* Questions about my dual boot setup and ESP

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
Forum rules
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
User avatar
natch_gazziza
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:46 pm
Location: UK

*Solved* Questions about my dual boot setup and ESP

Post by natch_gazziza » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:58 pm

Soo my knowledge on this leaves a lot to be desired, I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. My understanding is that the ESP is a partition in which all the bootloaders for all the OS's on a system reside. I run a dual boot setup with Mint (obvs :D ) and Windows on separate drives, so I have two bootloaders, GRUB and Windows Boot Manager. I have to chain-load Windows because GRUB cannot boot windows directly. Just let me know if any of that is wrong. So when I had finished building my PC, I couldn't find any tutorial that told me how to set this up from start to finish so I kinda just stuck together a tutorial on how to dual boot Windows and Linux with a tutorial on how to install Mint with a UEFI motherboard, and hoped for the best. First I turned off all the stuff in UEFI settings I needed to turn off, then I booted from a live USB, then once in Mint (but not yet installed) I used GParted to create a GPT partition table and made a 300MB partition with flags "boot" and "esp" on my second drive, then I installed Mint by selecting "something else" and made my home partition and swap partition etc on my second drive. I don't remember it ever asking me where I wanted to install GRUB, but it looks like it is installed in /boot, which would mean it is on my second drive. Also I have a feeling that the ESP I made for my Linux drive isn't actually doing anything. It works fine, no problems there, but I realised I don't have any idea how to use Timeshift! Here are some screenshots, first off the two drives and their partitions https://imgur.com/a/k9hSEuE https://imgur.com/a/rFr0OjA, and here are the settings that Timeshift comes up with automatically https://imgur.com/a/vednUq6 and https://imgur.com/a/YJgRxrp . I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me if those are correct! Specifically, where should I restore /boot/efi to, and where to reinstall GRUB to. I asked this question on reddit a few days ago and the person who responded told me that GRUB is installed on the windows side, but because of the boot priority in the UEFI settings I'm not sure if that is correct.

Nicole
Last edited by natch_gazziza on Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
pbear
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2737
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:25 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Questions about my dual boot setup and ESP

Post by pbear » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:48 pm

Perhaps the most important thing to know is that the Ubuntu/Mint installer will use the first ESP it finds, regardless of what you tell it to do. There are a couple ways around this bug, but the important question is how you intend to manage which system boots. With separate ESPs, you generally would do that from UEFI, which can be a bit of a pain. Alternatively, you could install a boot manager called rEFInd. The simplest solution, though, might be to let Mint install its bootloader to the Windows ESP and manage boot of both systems with a single Grub.

Now that you understand about the bug, which of those options sounds most appealing to you?
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
If your problem has been solved, please edit the thread title.

User avatar
natch_gazziza
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:46 pm
Location: UK

Re: Questions about my dual boot setup and ESP

Post by natch_gazziza » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:37 am

Okay that is interesting, well in my experience it is always best to keep it simple where possible! The only issue is that if I install Mint to the Windows ESP, am I setting myself up for disaster when Windows decides to update every 2 weeks? So it sounds like that is the setup I already have, but on the Boot priority settings in UEFI, Ubuntu comes first before Windows Boot Manager. Thanks so much for the response.

Nicole

User avatar
pbear
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2737
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:25 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Questions about my dual boot setup and ESP

Post by pbear » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:20 am

The good news is you shouldn't have a problem with dueling updates. Per gm10, that's only an issue for MBR/BIOS, not UEFI. Be aware, what you have right now might be a split bootloader, part on the Windows drive and part on the Mint drive. Don't know whether that will be a problem for Mint update. I don't use dual boot, but recognized your ESP issue because it comes up in the similar context of full install to USB drive. Perhaps someone else can comment. Even if it's a problem, should be fixable. Anyhoo, taking stock, are you able to boot both systems? Have you run Mint update yet?
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
If your problem has been solved, please edit the thread title.

User avatar
natch_gazziza
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:46 pm
Location: UK

Re: Questions about my dual boot setup and ESP

Post by natch_gazziza » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:28 pm

what you have right now might be a split bootloader
That actually makes sense, because my windows ESP is mounted to /boot/efi, but theres a folder called "GRUB" in /boot, next to /boot/efi. Also, there are loads of other files like vmlinuz-4.15.0-58-generic in /boot. Thanks so much for the response! I'm just gonna do a fresh install and let Mint install the bootloader to my windows ESP, because I don't wanna have anything in my system that could cause issues in the future. I'll let you know how it went.

Nicole

*edit
Forgot to add, yes the system works great thank you (except for some issues getting ProtonVPN to work on the Mint side but I'm sure I will get it working soon). And I haven't tried running Mint update, is that a command? I tried googling it. But I have updated a lot of stuff in the couple weeks I have had this PC and it all works great.

User avatar
natch_gazziza
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:46 pm
Location: UK

Re: Questions about my dual boot setup and ESP

Post by natch_gazziza » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:39 pm

Yeah it works great now and I can restore from snapshots using Timeshift. You're right, I don't need to make an ESP for Mint, I can just install the bootloader to the Windows one. I still don't understand how it works but I'm one step closer I guess. Oh, and no more 40GB swap partition haha :lol:

Thanks hun! x
Nicole

User avatar
pbear
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2737
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:25 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Questions about my dual boot setup and ESP

Post by pbear » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:44 pm

Glad it's going well. Mint Update is a system maintenance tool. Appears as a shield icon in the lower right (the system tray). As far as I'm concerned, the installation isn't complete until you have run Update, which brings the ISO system up to current package status.

By the way, if you have any further questions, please mention which version and desktop you're using.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
If your problem has been solved, please edit the thread title.

Post Reply

Return to “Installation & Boot”