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Add TrueOS to multi-boot system (Windows 10, Arch, and Slackware)?

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I would like to add TrueOS to my system but it apparently does not support MBR only GPT.

requirements-for-dual-booting

Dual booting with TrueOS® has several requirements...An EFI or UEFI partitioning scheme. TrueOS® does not support the older MBR partition scheme...

 

My system has two hard drives:

sda = Windows 10

sdb = Arch and Slackware

7d1OOnwZ_t.jpg

 

In the "BIOS" it says "UEFI BIOS".

It is configured to boot from sdb and I am using Grub2 on an MBR disk.

 

My first thought was to convert Disk 0 with Windows to use GPT and then install TrueOS to data drive D:.

change-an-mbr-disk-into-a-gpt-disk

You can change a disk from MBR to GPT partition style as long as the disk contains no partitions or volumes.

But then I came across a couple of ways to do it without losing data.

convert-mbr-to-gpt-disk

 

Then I came across this: Dual_boot_with_Windows

Most of the linux bootloaders installed for one firmware type cannot launch or chainload bootloaders of other firmware type. That is, if Arch is installed in UEFI/GPT or UEFI/MBR mode in one disk and Windows is installed in BIOS/MBR mode in another disk, the UEFI bootloader used by Arch cannot chainload the BIOS installed Windows in the other disk. Similarly if Arch is installed in BIOS/MBR or BIOS/GPT mode in one disk and Windows is installed in UEFI/GPT in another disk , the BIOS bootloader used by Arch cannot chainload UEFI installed Windows in the other disk.

 

I think this is kind of what I was wanting to do: configure sda to use GPT and sdb to use MBR.

Use Grub2 to boot Arch or Slackware from sdb but still be able to get to Windows and TrueOS on sda.

 

My next guess would be to just use Grub2 on sdb to access Arch and Slackware leaving out Windows and TrueOS.

I would hopefully still be able to get to Windows and TrueOS by using the BIOS boot menu to boot from sda.

 

I would also need to figure out how to add TrueOS to Windows' boot loader.

 

If anyone knows for sure it will not work please let me know so I can stop wasting my time.

Or if you know of a way to simplify what I am trying to accomplish kindly clue me in.

I'm just trying to get my ducks in a row before I jump in.

 

Thanks

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Well, I had never heard of or used TrueOS but be prepared to lose your data when trying to convert from MBR to GPT. Most likely you will not be able to boot when you are finished with the "conversion". You will have more of a chance of it not working than it actually working. GPT and MBR are completely different and have different requirements.

 

One thing that comes to mind is the required separate /boot partition for UEFI/GPT.

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This looks rather difficult. If I really wanted TrueOS, I'd be thinking of backing up data and reinstalling everything from scratch with UEFI and GPT.

Maybe a virtual machine instead?

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This looks rather difficult. If I really wanted TrueOS, I'd be thinking of backing up data and reinstalling everything from scratch with UEFI and GPT.

Maybe a virtual machine instead?

 

I fully agree :thumbsup:

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I've converted a multi partitioned MBR system to GPT a few yrs ago, it is possible to do without loosing everything, though an image backup wouldn't hurt.

 

These are my notes:

 

## Run GParted to partition & format the USB drive with a msdos Partition table. ##
## Use GParted's View > Device Information to check Partition Table type.	 ##
## Use GParted's Device > Create Partition Table if Partition Table shows as GPT.##
## Or under Windows use:														 ##
## > diskpart		 * Run Command Prompt with Admin Rights.				 ##
## > list disk																 ##
## >....																		 ##
## > select disk 1	 * Note: disk nbr is the nbr of the USB disk			 ##
## > clean																	 ##
## > create partition primary													 ##
## > exit																		 ## 

 

hmmm Notes are for a USB drive, let me look some more.

 

 

 

Part of a Linux script:

## ==========
## Load MBR and build GPT from it
## ----------
OPT_LOADMBR="f"
build_gpt_fm_mbr() {
$GDISK_BIN $TARG_DISK << EOF
r
$OPT_LOADMBR
Y
m
t
ef00
i
w
Y
EOF
}

Course I don't know what script the notes are from. :'(

 

I'll keep looking. But the bottom line is it is possible to do.

Edited by Ed_P
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What you are looking to do is pretty complicated. Your best bet would be to convert all the disks to GPT and use a boot manager like rEFind to manage booting.

 

Here are a few bits of information you may find useful if you are set on your original idea.

 

https://askubuntu.com/questions/722263/will-uefi-boot-with-efi-partition-mbr-partition-table-work-instead-of-gpt?utm_medium=organic&utm_source=google_rich_qa&utm_campaign=google_rich_qa

 

https://superuser.com/questions/1081545/dual-boot-with-bios-and-efi?utm_medium=organic&utm_source=google_rich_qa&utm_campaign=google_rich_qa

 

https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/121753/use-some-efi-loader-to-boot-mbr

 

The rEFind home site.

 

http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/

 

Here are a few words from the creator of rEFind,

 

 

 

 

It's theoretically possible to use an MBR partition table in an EFI-mode boot; however, almost nobody does this, so it's poorly tested. Also, in my own (brief) tests with this method, it seems to produce more problems related to boot loader naming and NVRAM entries (as managed by efibootmgr in Ubuntu). Thus, it's not something I recommend. The saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" probably applies to your case -- you say you'd "like" to convert to EFI-mode booting, but you've provided no reason for this. In the absence of such a reason, I'd say it's inadvisable to do the conversion, since nothing's "broke."

Also, if you set up an EFI-mode boot from an MBR disk, I can't promise that future Ubuntu updates will like it. It's conceivable that the Ubuntu installer or update process would choke, possibly creating serious problems down the line. OTOH, it all might go just fine. That's part of why "untested" in this context translates to "you probably don't want to try this" -- there are just too many unknowns, both now and in the future.

That said, if you must do such a conversion, you can certainly try it with an MBR partition table. If you run into problems with NVRAM entries not "taking," you should then do an MBR-to-GPT conversion. Alternatively, you can just plan to do the conversion from the start. See my Web page on the subject for details. Note that partition table data structures are actually quite simple, and the conversion requires no changes to filesystems. Thus, the odds of a catastrophic failure are quite low. If you use gdisk, a problem is most likely to turn up when the program loads the MBR data structures and converts in memory to GPT. At this point, you'll be warned, or at least be told of the problem if you do a disk verification (v in the main menu), so you can abort the operation before writing anything back to disk. OTOH, no partitioning operation is entirely risk-free, and if a problem does occur, it can be catastrophic, so having backups is wise.

 

 

shareimprove this answer

 

 

answered Jan 18 '16 at 15:06

 

Rod Smith

 

 

:breakfast:

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I was wrong!! The notes and etc were for changing a USB drive not a hard drive. I was using a multi-partitioned system but working on a flash drive so the consequences were less if the procedure failed. But it did work, it converted a bootable FAT32 mbr drive to a bootable FAT32 GPT drive.

 

Whether the steps would work on a multi-partition hard drive I don't know.

 

Read about GDISK and the f parameter here: http://www.rodsbooks...disk/gdisk.html

Edited by Ed_P

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Thanks everyone for the information. I am going to go through it later this afternoon.

 

I have also been looking into windows 10 creators edition mbr2gpt.exe

which is supposed to be able to switch the drive without losing data.

 

Testing with the /validate flag worked successfully after deleting the (4th) data partition.

 

I'm just not positive if I have to use secure boot if I switch the windows drive to gpt.

The information I read said to swith from legacy to uefi in the bios.

 

Gonna do some more research.

 

Thanks

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Well, I had never heard of or used TrueOS but be prepared to lose your data when trying to convert from MBR to GPT. Most likely you will not be able to boot when you are finished with the "conversion". You will have more of a chance of it not working than it actually working. GPT and MBR are completely different and have different requirements.

 

One thing that comes to mind is the required separate /boot partition for UEFI/GPT.

 

TrueOS is a very polished BSD. TrueOS is to FreeBSD as Ubuntu is to Debian. TrueOS is also the distro developing the Lumina desktop, formerly forked from Fluxbox but now its own entity. I've got TrueOS in a VM and have been watching it and tinkering for quite some time. I really like the Lumina desktop...it's an impressive blend of lightweight, responsive, customizable, and feature-ful. Check it out and see if you don't agree SB!

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Well, I had never heard of or used TrueOS but be prepared to lose your data when trying to convert from MBR to GPT. Most likely you will not be able to boot when you are finished with the "conversion". You will have more of a chance of it not working than it actually working. GPT and MBR are completely different and have different requirements.

 

One thing that comes to mind is the required separate /boot partition for UEFI/GPT.

 

TrueOS is a very polished BSD. TrueOS is to FreeBSD as Ubuntu is to Debian. TrueOS is also the distro developing the Lumina desktop, formerly forked from Fluxbox but now its own entity. I've got TrueOS in a VM and have been watching it and tinkering for quite some time. I really like the Lumina desktop...it's an impressive blend of lightweight, responsive, customizable, and feature-ful. Check it out and see if you don't agree SB!

 

Thanks, I may give it a go in virt-manager.

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Current state:

 

I used Windows' mbr2gpt to covert from mbr to gpt.

Rebooted into the firmware and changed from legacy bios boot to uefi (secure boot disabled).

 

Installed TrueOS in the free space on the drive with Windows and it installed successfully.

And I did check the option to install rEFInd.

 

However, I'm not seeing a way to get into TrueOS.

It boots straight to Windows.

 

If I enable the compatability support module I am also able to

boot into Arch and Slackware on the second drive using MBR.

 

Going to attempt switching them over to GPT as well.

 

Now I need to figure out why I can't get into TrueOS.

 

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Try Grub2Win. It's a Windows app that installs grub2 and creates grub2 menus. Supports Windows XP to Windows 10.

 

mbr2gpt looks like an interesting app. :)

Edited by Ed_P

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I managed to get rEFInd installed from Windows and I can now get into TrueOS.

I just can't seem to get out on the internet just yet.

 

Now I need to get the network workinig in TrueOS and

convert Arch and Slackware to use GPT.

 

Slowly making progress

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Well done.

If it helps at all I installed rEFind on the EFI partition. That is 100 MB and I have used 70 MB leaving 30 Mb's free. I am dual booting with Windows and Arch. Several Live USB distros use rEFind and they have all worked nicely with my setup.

I am impressed that you are managing to boot with both MBR and GPT :worthy:

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Current progress:

 

I managed to convert the drive with Arch and Slackware to GPT using the Arch wiki.

Slackware appears to have come through unscathed but something got messed up

with Arch and it would only boot to emergency mode. Scanned the drive with testdisk

which appears to have corrected the issue.

 

I'm now quad booting with Windows 10 and TrueOS on one drive and

Arch and Slackware on the other all configured for UEFI/GPT.

 

I still have not got the network working correctly in Trueos.

I can only get out as far as the local routers.

 

Now I need to learn more about rEDInd so I can make some

changes to the boot line so it picks up the updated intel microcode

and works with an initrd.

 

Still making progress. Thanks for all the pointers.

Cheers

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Current progress:

 

I managed to convert the drive with Arch and Slackware to GPT using the Arch wiki.

Slackware appears to have come through unscathed but something got messed up

with Arch and it would only boot to emergency mode. Scanned the drive with testdisk

which appears to have corrected the issue.

 

I'm now quad booting with Windows 10 and TrueOS on one drive and

Arch and Slackware on the other all configured for UEFI/GPT.

 

I still have not got the network working correctly in Trueos.

I can only get out as far as the local routers.

 

Now I need to learn more about rEDInd so I can make some

changes to the boot line so it picks up the updated intel microcode

and works with an initrd.

 

Still making progress. Thanks for all the pointers.

Cheers

 

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/REFInd#refind_linux.conf

 

That section has info on microcode stuff. :breakfast:

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And we're off...

 

H4yt8kVC_t.jpg

 

 

 

Blimey that looks great. How did you get two backdrops ? :drooling:

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And we're off...

 

H4yt8kVC_t.jpg

 

 

 

Blimey that looks great. How did you get two backdrops ? :drooling:

 

I think that is one wallpaper

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It is one pic that I got from here:

http://www.fullhdwpp...s/four-seasons/

 

For some reason I read this

 

I'm now quad booting with Windows 10 and TrueOS on one drive and

Arch and Slackware on the other all configured for UEFI/GPT.

 

and thought you had a different background for each drive and had somehow managed to show them together as one. :w00tx100:

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