Author Topic: How to recover multiboot with Windows  (Read 1630 times)

Offline mundodisco

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How to recover multiboot with Windows
« on: February 17, 2015, 10:42:36 pm »
Hi everybody!

I hope someone can help me. I have just managed to install SparkyLinux 3.6 (xfce flavour) along with my Windows 8.1 installation (same hard disk). I had previously left unpartitioned space after primary Windows partition. During SparkyLinux setup, I created two partitions (one 4GB for swap, and one 28GB as primary for Linux, ext4). Apart from that, setup asked me for a partition at the beginning of the disk in vfat format (for grub I think, don't remember exactly), so I selected the one of 350MB Windows had created before the main large primary one. Installation finished without any issues, but... after restarting, bios couldn't find a bootable device. So I had to put the live cd again, and with the boot repair utility SparkyLinux has, I could repair (well, sort of) the boot issue. Now grub starts, SparkyLinux boots up, but I cannot select to boot with Windows. Primary windows partition is there, untouched, as I can see my files from SparkyLinux, but I don't know how to add the selection in grub.

I just only expect I was clear enough...and that some charitable soul is willing to help me ;-)
Thank you in advance!
GABRIEL
from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Online pavroo

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2015, 11:21:42 pm »
Hi
If you are logged in the Sparky installation, open xfce4-terminal from the bottom bar and try to fix it as root:
Code: [Select]
su
update-grub
If you see that the grub configuration found Windows - it's fine.
Reboot to check it out.
Nothing is easy as it looks.

Offline mundodisco

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 12:24:49 am »
Thanks Pavroo, but update-grub didn't find the Windows installation. This is the output of the command:
root@sparky-notebook:/home/gabriel# update-grub
Generating grub configuration file ...
Found background image: /usr/share/images/desktop-base/desktop-grub.png
Encontrada imagen de linux: /boot/vmlinuz-3.16.0-4-amd64
Encontrada imagen de memoria inicial: /boot/initrd.img-3.16.0-4-amd64
hecho

(the setup is in Spanish, that's why you see "Encontrada imagen" instead of "Image found" and "hecho" instead of "done").
Any other ideas?

Online pavroo

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 02:12:02 am »
It's difficult to say for me, I don't have much experience with EFI - on virtual machine only.
But, I am pretty sure the Boot Repair tool you run to fix it from Live system can't fix it.
It can fix GRUB on BIOS machines only and you have EFI for sure  (Win 8.1).
So I will send a message to MoroS - he has more experience with EFI than me. So be patient until next answer please.

 
Nothing is easy as it looks.

Offline MoroS

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 09:07:55 am »
Hi. This doesn't sound like a EFI-only environment. It looks more BIOS-like or at least BIOS-emulated (Windows 8.1 can still run on BIOS-based systems). We'll find out. First let's try to check what environment do you have. If that Sparky HDD installation runs fine, then we'll do everything from there.

First let's check if this really is an EFI setup:
Code: [Select]
ls /sys/firmwareIf you see an "efi" directory in the output, then it's EFI alright. If not, it still can be the "BIOS emulation" mode and we have to check the partition scheme:
Code: [Select]
sudo fdisk /dev/sdaSometimes there's no /dev/sda (SCSI/SATA hard drives). If that's your case, then you'll probably have a /dev/hda device (IDE/ATA hard drives). When fdisk launches press the "p" key (and ENTER), post the output here and then press "q" to exit fdisk without making any changes.

Other things you can check are: if you've got the "os-prober" package installed. If not, then you'll need it anyway, so you can do both things with a single command:
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get install os-proberAfter that you can try regenerating the GRUB menu manually:
Code: [Select]
sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfgYou can also post the output of that command here. If it mentions something about finding a Windows loader, then you should be set and can try to reboot. If not, then we'll be diagnosing the problem further.
There isn't a single thing that's impossible. Just the things that we don't yet know how to deal with. ;)

Offline mundodisco

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 01:32:38 pm »
MoroS,
first of all, thanks for your time and effort. As you said, it was not an EFI-only environment (I learnt that reading about disk structure -partitions that must exist- with a Windows 8 in EFI mode and GPT). The thing was, SparkyLinux installed in EFI mode (it created the EFI/debian/*.efi file in first partition), but there was not an EFI/microsoft/*.efi file).
Anyway, that is story right now, as last night I decided to start all over again. I had previously backuped everything so I installed Windows 8.1 from scratch, this time in EFI mode and secure boot enabled. Now there are several small partitions before the main primary one. And I lef 30GB of unpartitioned space in the last part of the disk, to create the Linux swap and root.
BUT... there's always a but... after having Windows 8.1 working again (as I have just mentioned above), I booted with SparkyLinux (v3.6 xfce) DVD with the intention of installing it along with Windows. The DVD booted just fine, the SparkyLinux menu appeared, I selected the first option to start the live CD and... nothing happens. I tried several times, waited for a long time...it just does nothing. And it is the same DVD I were using yesterday to install SparkyLinux and to repair grub (I mean, the DVD is just fine). I haven't tried the second live cd option (the one that says "compatibility" or something like that -I am just trying to recall, I am not seeing it right now), but just in case, I am asking you for your help and thoughts.

Thanks (AGAIN) for your time!
GABRIEL

Offline MoroS

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 01:40:39 pm »
...so I installed Windows 8.1 from scratch, this time in EFI mode and secure boot enabled...

'nuff said... ;)

Seriously though, Sparky does not support SecureBoot installations (no signed bootloader as of yet), so that's probably it.

If that's not if, then maybe you have something I call a "LiveCD KMS fu**-up" (yes, I gave it a name, because it's a constant show-stopper). You can check that by booting the LiveCD, editing the option you want to choose and adding "nomodeset":
1. If it's Syslinux  - by pressing Tab (you'll see a single- or double-line prompt) and adding it to the end of the line and pressing Enter to boot.
2. If it's GRUB (more likely in EFI mode) - by pressing "e" (you'll see something resembling a simple text editor) and adding it at the end of the line that starts with "linux" (kernel entry line) and pressing F10 to boot.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 01:42:10 pm by MoroS »
There isn't a single thing that's impossible. Just the things that we don't yet know how to deal with. ;)

Offline cynclida

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2015, 02:25:00 pm »
In the meantime I also tried to install dual-boot Sparky on a Windows 8.1 machine ...

The live-CD started after enabling Legacy-boot instead of UEFI in the BIOS/EFI-setup. But I didn't dare to install because I was afraid of losing access to Windows, which I need for work. I installed Sparky on a virtual machine.

Offline MoroS

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2015, 02:38:14 pm »
In the meantime I also tried to install dual-boot Sparky on a Windows 8.1 machine ...

The live-CD started after enabling Legacy-boot instead of UEFI in the BIOS/EFI-setup. But I didn't dare to install because I was afraid of losing access to Windows, which I need for work. I installed Sparky on a virtual machine.

What machine is it? It sounds like it's an EFI32-based system. If you don't know, then just post the model, so I can look at what it's specs are. If it's EFI32-based, then Sparky won't boot for the time being (EFI64 only). I've completed the configuration for EFI32, but I still have to update our tools, so we don't add support "by hand".
There isn't a single thing that's impossible. Just the things that we don't yet know how to deal with. ;)

Offline seppalta

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2015, 09:43:00 am »
I just bought an EFI system machine, Asus N76VJ-FA71.  My feeble attempts at getting a bootable Sparky Openbox installed have failed.  Anybody have a recipe?

Offline MoroS

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2015, 10:06:16 am »
I just bought an EFI system machine, Asus N76VJ-FA71.  My feeble attempts at getting a bootable Sparky Openbox installed have failed.  Anybody have a recipe?

What's the problem? EFI should be problematic only on machines with EFI32. The one you're mentioning most probably has an EFI64 firmware, so the x86_64 edition should be installable.
There isn't a single thing that's impossible. Just the things that we don't yet know how to deal with. ;)

Offline seppalta

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Re: How to recover multiboot with Windows
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2015, 01:42:10 pm »
"What's the problem?"  I was tired!   New day, no problem.  Sorry, MoroS.