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  1. #1

    How to install/Dual boot with one of the bios/EFI "in between" rigs?


    Im assuming I probably can't, and any code i write is going to have to wait until I can afford another PC for that purpose(porting)... but I'd REALLY enjoy dual booting between linux on my laptop. I'm SUPER experienced with linux, BSD, etc, but I Have one SPECIFIC problem with this laptop.

    You see, this laptop is one of the 'in betweeners' before full EFI bootloaders came out, where its like, half bios, and half EFI. and the MINUTE the windows bootloader notices that ANYTHING has changed, it reports an error and will not boot. I dont remember what error, so I cant really report that. I think it had something to do with not being able to load from the right place I dont remember... and im saying this happens AFTER I boot into the windows partition, because the actual bootloader is in the EFI or something, its not something simple like it not being listed on the bootloader, needing a bootdisk, etc.

    Every time I try to do this, I end up with a non-working windows partition IMMEDIATELY, and I Have to wipe the HD and use a backup to set the hard drive 1:1 with what it was to begin with...

    seeing as I cant install windows fresh, I cant even bother trying to back everything up and move it that way either. I've tried several bootloaders actually, and found one that SEEMED to work, like 2 times - only when I ran it off the disk, and when I installed it to the HD, it refused to load windows

    that time it was something that installed to the EFI directly, and left GRUB intact for linux when I chose linux as well. This did not work because it overwrote the windows EFI most likely.

    I suppose I may be able to use a boot disk, but honestly, Im afraid that even touching the partitions on this thing will set it to freak out on me... Not to mention the DVD drives broke, and my external ones slow :P.

    but seriously... I'll take ANY advice on this... but I wanna make sure my current partition is as safe as possible before even attempting a procedure seriously in thought (then I will want to do it, rush to do it, and f*** everything).

    this is a gaming rig too, btw, and thats why its so important to have windows. Id literally use Linux for absolutely any other application, all the time... so its kinda sad...

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Have you considered running Linux in a virtual machine under the Windows host? VirtualBox works well for that (and is free).
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  3. #3
    I wanted to actually run it native too, at any time I didnt want to play a game... for terms of software development alone that solution works... but i prefer linux for general purpose browsing, etc...

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  5. #4
    I dont believe I ever tried using a bootdisk... is it possible for me to take away space from my second HD, install fedora or slackware on it or something, and NOT interfere with the EFI at all? i.e. no bootloader installed on the computer, no recognition of the second OS, and use a boot floppy/dvd/cd to override the bootloader without windows getting it's panties in a bunch?

    I know that whenever I tried to dual boot it definitely did not work...

    I will be making a second system image now that I upgraded the win7 partition to ultimate(I did not pay, elite haxxor right here ahhaha) so that way I have a backup just in case, and As much as I dont want to ruin everything again, I can always try it this way...

  6. #5
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    There are several ways to approach this...

    1) Simplest method for dual boot: Change the BIOS to "legacy" boot, reinstall Windows, then install Linux. The downside is that this requires a Windows reinstall.

    2) To keep the existing Win install, you can install an EFI-aware Linux distro. There are a few, but be prepared to learn about EFI and work through issues that arise.

    3) Leave Windows alone, install VirtualBox, and run Linux as a VM. VBox has a "full screen" mode where you will have the monitor's full resolution. The performance difference is also negligible - the VM performance will be 85-95% of native speed. (To optimize, simply make sure Windows does not have any active applications.)

    4) Boot from a Linux Live distro *or* install Linux to an external HDD. Depending on the distro and your HW, this may require changing the BIOS to legacy boot, but you can change it back to EFI before booting Windows again.

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