[arch-general] Wanted: advice dual-booting Arch and Windows 7 on new laptop

Guus Snijders gsnijders at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 17:02:39 EDT 2012

2012/9/18 Robbie Smith <zoqaeski at gmail.com>:
> Hi everyone
> TL;DR: I've just bought a new HP Pavilion g6-2103ax, and I'm having
> difficulties trying to figure out how I can dual-boot it with Windows 7
> (which was preinstalled).
> Windows *still* defaults to using MBR partitions, and even though the system
> is UEFI, HP have used some trickery somewhere to make it boot from BIOS. To
> make matters worse, the disk table already has four partitions:
> Windows C drive: ~ 450 GB NTFS
> HP Recovery partition: 18.5 GB NTFS

Hmm, i'd guess that the recovery partition is bootable, so it's best
not to modify it too much. The HP_Tools partition is probably just a
data partition (and not a very interesting one, but ymmv).
First of; do you have (or can you create) a recovery disk in case all
goes wrong?

There might be a way to repartition the drive without losing features:

1. Resize the Windows "C" partition to free up space. Either
defragment first or use windows's diskpart utitility.
2. move (don't delete!) the recovery partition next to the resized
Windows partition.
Now the tricky part:
3. either create an image of the tools partition or write down the
*exact* sectors it's using and the partition type number.
4. create a new extended partition in the free space, size: all available.
5a. create a logical partition using the type and sectors written down
at step 3 OR
5b. create a logical partition of the same type and size as written
down at step 3 and restore the image to this part.
6. If you used step 5a, move this (new!) logical partition to the
beginning of the free space. This is important for Windows drive
letters (not sure).
7. Use the rest of the extended partition to create your Linux partitions.

I'm not sure where the bootloader fits in best in the scenario, but
that shouldn't be too hard.

When you boot up Windows after all this, you might want to delete the
driveletters it will probably create for the Linux partitions to avoid
accidentally formatting them ;).

Hope that helps.
Note: this is just theoretical. It might work or it might not work...


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