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

Guus Snijders gsnijders at gmail.com
Wed Sep 19 13:00:44 EDT 2012

2012/9/19 Robbie Smith <zoqaeski at gmail.com>:
> On 19/09/12 07:02, Guus Snijders wrote:
>> 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
>>> HP_TOOLS: 99 MB FAT32
>> [...]
>> 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?
[moving and deleting partitions]
>> I'm not sure where the bootloader fits in best in the scenario, but
>> that shouldn't be too hard.
> I can delete the recovery partition, as I've got the "recovery" (AKA factory
> reset) disks from HP under warranty. The HP_TOOLS partition is at the end of
> the disk, so in theory I can't add an extended partition before it, as
> extended partitions are meant to be the last in the table. Although on this
> Samsung netbook I've got an extended partition as the third (marked with *)
> of four primaries, so it seems to work:
> Using that as a guide I could set up the new laptop in a similar way.

Indeed. In fact an extended partition is just a "special" primary partition.
In theory a single (MBR) harddisk could just as easily have 4 extended

> It's a shame HP and Microsoft made it so difficult, and after this little
> episode I'm beginning to suspect that the real reason Microsoft is pushing
> Secure Boot is because UEFI+GPT makes it much easier to install multiple
> operating systems on a machine without conflicts, but Secure Boot will
> require an authorised and signed key, and guess who will control the key
> distribution…

I'm still not entirely sure what the real benefits of GPT are, but
that's another discussion.
That they made a it a bit more difficult; no argument there. I guess
they assume users never
touch the partition table anyway.

As for secure boot: Redhead/Fedora were working (or perhaps already
having) a secure
bootloader. It would't be too hard to install that and use it to boot
ArchLinux. ;)

mvg, Guus

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