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Thread: Dual boot of openSUSE and windows 7 split equally over an SSD and an HDD

  1. #1

    Question Dual boot of openSUSE and windows 7 split equally over an SSD and an HDD

    Hi there and thanks in advance.
    I'm thinking of building a new computer (or having one built if I'm honest) for holding openSUSE and windows 7. The different thing for me, and the thing I couldn't work out how to find any info about is that I plan on having an SSD and an HDD.
    I've been running dual boot on a single HDD with XP and various susies for a few years now, so have experienced some of the joys/horrors of dual-booting.
    But this is what I'd like to do, and I just want to check there are no obvious issues to those more experienced than me:

    120GB SSD partitioned:
    SSD1 - 60GB - ntfs
    SSD2 - 60GB - ext4 (boot)

    1TB HDD partitioned:
    HDD1 - 500GB - ntfs
    HDD2 - 500GB - ext4

    As you might guess I want to put the OSs on the SSD and the home/document directories on the HDD.
    So, like I said, I'm not sure why or why not there might be problems with this. I know opensuse is intelligent enough to deal with most kinds of setups, but will Windows 7 handle being split over 2 out of 4 partitions?
    I guess I would plan to install Windows 7 from DVD, get that sorted, and then install openSUSE from DVD. I'm used to using GRUB so am happy to stick with that.
    Appreciate any thoughts on this.
    Thanks
    Ben

  2. #2

    Default Re: Dual boot of openSUSE and windows 7 split equally over an SSDand an HDD

    On 2013-10-03, bendare <bendare@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:
    > 120GB SSD partitioned:
    > SSD1 - 60GB - ntfs
    > SSD2 - 60GB - ext4 (boot)
    >
    > 1TB HDD partitioned:
    > HDD1 - 500GB - ntfs
    > HDD2 - 500GB - ext4
    >
    > As you might guess I want to put the OSs on the SSD and the
    > home/document directories on the HDD.
    > So, like I said, I'm not sure why or why not there might be problems
    > with this. I know opensuse is intelligent enough to deal with most kinds
    > of setups, but will Windows 7 handle being split over 2 out of 4
    > partitions?


    Your plan sounds very reasonable. Personally I'd make (at least) two changes:

    1. Have a separate swap partition on the SSD (with a total of 3). (I'd also have a separate 500MB /boot/ partition at
    the beginning of the SSD but out of habit rather than much else). The jury is out whether this really improves
    performance, but I'm just biased to the idea of partitioning swap memory separately.

    2. I wouldn't put /home/ on a separate hard drive. I'd would actually put a small /home/ partition on the SSD drive with
    symbolic links to your HDD partitions. This approach two advantages: a) You don't bork your Linux install if you need to
    change your large HDD. b) By keeping all data partitions on your HDD with an ntfs file system, they equally accessible
    from both operating systems.

    > I guess I would plan to install Windows 7 from DVD, get that sorted, and
    > then install openSUSE from DVD. I'm used to using GRUB so am happy to
    > stick with that.


    My usual approach to a dual boot is: partition -> format -> Install Windows -> Install openSUSE with GRUB Legacy. I'm
    toying with GRUB2 on-and-off, but must admit I find its complexity confusing.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dual boot of openSUSE and windows 7 split equally over an SSD and an HDD

    Further to flymail's comments, how much ram are you going to allow for? If it's a new motherboard it may be UEFI capable, which I would recommend using. If you going to have 8GB+ ram then put swap on the 1TB drive at the end as usage is unlikely...

    So something like;
    Code:
    sda1 - 260MB type ef00 /boot/efi (for windows and openSUSE)
    sda2 - 128MB type oc01 ms reserverd
    sda3 - 60GB type 0700 ntfs
    sda4 - Rest type 8300 ext4 (add discard to fstab options)
    
    sdb1 - ext4 openSUSE ~496GB
    sdb2 - ntfs windows data ~496GB
    sdb3 - swap ~8GB (depends on installed RAM)
    Having sdb1 for openSUSE at the beginning of the rotating disk should help it mount quicker under systemd, hopefully it's a 7K2 or 10K rpm 1TB drive?

    I'm also assuming you will look at SATA III drives?

    If you stick with a MBR option it would still be the same setup partition wise, except no sda2, but still create a /boot partition for openSUSE as flymail indicated.

    If you don't use windows a lot, then consider a VM for windows? and use the SSD for openSUSE

    My boot time with an OCZ Vertex4 on this dual core notebook 1.9GHz ;
    Code:
    
    systemd-analyze 
    
    Startup finished in 2872ms (kernel) + 1501ms (userspace) = 4373ms
    Disk layout
    Code:
    lsblk
    
    NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
    sda      8:0    0 119.2G  0 disk 
    ├─sda1   8:1    0   156M  0 part /boot/efi
    ├─sda2   8:2    0    30G  0 part /
    ├─sda3   8:3    0    80G  0 part /home
    └─sda4   8:4    0   9.1G  0 part [SWAP]
    This is my disk layout for dual secure boot, dual disk windows 8 and SLED 11 SP3;
    Code:
     lsblk
    NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO MOUNTPOINT
    sda      8:0    0  55.9G  0 
    ├─sda1   8:1    0   260M  0 /boot/efi (windows 8 and SLED)
    ├─sda2   8:2    0   128M  0 
    └─sda3   8:3    0  55.5G  0 / for SLED
    sdb      8:16   0 232.9G  0 
    ├─sdb1   8:17   0    10G  0 /tmp
    ├─sdb2   8:18   0   170G  0 /data
    ├─sdb3   8:19   0  12.9G  0 [SWAP]
    └─sdb4   8:20   0    40G  0 <-- windows 8
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE SLE, openSUSE Leap/Tumbleweed (x86_64) | GNOME DE
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
    please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dual boot of openSUSE and windows 7 split equally over an SSD and an HDD

    Hi,

    it's more than a year ago that I assembled a desktop computer myself, as you plan to do it now.

    After some backs and forths I finally managed to install a dual boot of windows 7 and openSUSE (then 12.1) on it.

    Hardware:

    I didn't use a SSD, but a HDD of 2 TB, which is the max size when you want to boot from MBR (not UEFI).

    I'm still very comfortable with that decision since the HDD is fast (a 7200 rpm model of Hitachi,
    see comment of malcolmlewis regarding the rate of rotation of the HDD),
    and I further still have plenty of space left.
    A 2 TB HDD usually isn't that much more expensive and the comfort of the additional space is worth the money.

    Further, I did choose a motherboard that didn't require the installation of an additional graphics card/adapter
    but is capable of running using the graphics of the intel core i5-2500 only.
    Since I'm not playing computer games I'm absolutely satisfied:
    all things run smoothly and fast (under windows and openSUSE),
    and I never had any trouble with graphics drivers for openSUSE (nor for windows) !

    "Ultimate" speed is one thing.
    Comfort while working is another.
    I preferred to spend a bit of money for silent fans (usually the large and slow ones)
    and a special rack for the HDD (with rubber strings).
    You almost don't hear my PC and I enjoy that every single day !

    Partitions:

    I installed win 7 first (which usually is recommended).

    During that the ms reserved partition (of win 7) is created automatically.

    For windows xp (which you seem to use until present) that may have been different,
    so you may not have understood why malcolmlewis in
    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Code:
    sda1 - 260MB type ef00 /boot/efi (for windows and openSUSE)
    sda2 - 128MB type oc01 ms reserverd
    sda3 - 60GB type 0700 ntfs
    sda4 - Rest type 8300 ext4 (add discard to fstab options)
    
    sdb1 - ext4 openSUSE ~496GB
    sdb2 - ntfs windows data ~496GB
    sdb3 - swap ~8GB (depends on installed RAM)
    had this partition.

    After having read a bit more on SWAP I further totally agree to
    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    If you going to have 8GB+ ram then put swap on the 1TB drive at the end as usage is unlikely...
    If your system starts to use swap it gets really slow.
    You should avoid that.
    Install enough RAM - and create the swap partition (that hopefully never is used) on the HDD.

    Your windows partition for "drive C:" on the SSD is only about 60 GB.
    Will that be enough?
    Maybe. But much windows software wants to store their data in just this "drive C:".

    Finally, I preferred to - besides the windows partitions ("C:" and "D:") - reserve space for 2 root partitions
    and 2 home partitions for openSUSE.
    By that I am able to install a new version of openSUSE in a root and a home partition that isn't actually in use,
    keeping the previous version of openSUSE and still beeing able to boot it, and, in addition, have a backup
    of my home partition.
    I enjoy that very much as well.

    Creating partitions:

    I don't see a real difficulty in that you want to create "drives" "C:" and "D:" of windows 7 on
    different physical drives (the SSD and the HDD).

    openSUSE won't have any difficulties either.

    Booting:

    malcolmlewis suggested UEFI booting.

    If you would use windows 8, I would suggest the same.

    But you're about to use windows 7 (which I would prefer as well).

    In that case you just can not UEFI boot - reason:

    At the time I installed my system, openSUSE 12.1 was out,
    but already that on my desktop PC was able to boot in UEFI mode.

    The contrary was true for windows 7 - and just this stands in the way !

    If you first set up UEFI booting for your PC using openSUSE,
    windows 7 will refuse to install !

    Trying to get windows 7 (not 8) to UEFI boot, on the other hand,
    won't create a maintainable setup.

    Windows 7 has not changed since then!

    And if you want to know a bit more about these difficulties that I had,
    have a look at the quite lengthy thread
    http://forums.opensuse.org/english/g...-efi-bios.html
    which was written while I made different attempts to install a dual boot of windows 7 and openSUSE 12.1 on my newly assembled PC.

    Good luck
    Mike

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    Default Re: Dual boot of openSUSE and windows 7 split equally over an SSDand an HDD

    On Thu 03 Oct 2013 09:26:05 PM CDT, ratzi wrote:
    <snip>

    In that case you just can not UEFI boot - reason:

    At the time I installed my system, openSUSE 12.1 was out,
    but already that on my desktop PC was able to boot in UEFI mode.

    The contrary was true for windows 7 - and just this stands in the way !

    If you first set up UEFI booting for your PC using openSUSE,
    windows 7 will refuse to install !

    Trying to get windows 7 (not 8) to UEFI boot, on the other hand,
    won't create a maintainable setup.

    Windows 7 has not changed since then!

    And if you want to know a bit more about these difficulties that I had,
    have a look at the quite lengthy thread
    http://tinyurl.com/89m24yj
    which was written while I made different attempts to install a dual boot
    of windows 7 and openSUSE 12.1 on my newly assembled PC.

    Good luck
    Mike
    Hi
    I've had no issues with getting windows 7(8) to boot in UEFI with SLE
    or openSUSE?

    I think the real issue is the UEFI implementation on the hardware which
    is the main issue. I overcome this (since I don't use windows much) is
    to ensure that efibootmgr -n XXXn is run on halt to set openSUSE (or
    SLE) to be the next OS booted..

    In saying that, getting a UEFI system to boot, even if you have to
    manually browse to an efi file is a lot easier than fixing a corrupt
    mbr...

    --
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    openSUSE 12.3 (x86_64) GNOME 3.8.4 Kernel 3.7.10-1.16-desktop
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Dual boot of openSUSE and windows 7 split equally over an SSDand an HDD

    Hi Malcolm !

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Hi
    I've had no issues with getting windows 7(8) to boot in UEFI with SLE
    or openSUSE?
    I'm not talking about openSUSE with respect to problems booting in UEFI mode.

    Windows 7 vs. windows 8 makes a big difference with respect to UEFI booting.

    I had real problems to install windows 7 on a system booting in UEFI mode,
    or to install windows 7 as the first OS on my HDD in UEFI mode.

    But on the other hand, I didn't have any problems at all to install and boot
    openSUSE 12.1 in UEFI mode (already that version !)

    Best wishes
    Mike

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    Default Re: Dual boot of openSUSE and windows 7 split equally over an SSDand an HDD

    On Thu 03 Oct 2013 11:26:02 PM CDT, ratzi wrote:


    Hi Malcolm !

    malcolmlewis;2589257 Wrote:
    > Hi
    > I've had no issues with getting windows 7(8) to boot in UEFI with SLE
    > or openSUSE?


    I'm not talking about openSUSE with respect to problems booting in UEFI
    mode.

    Windows 7 vs. windows 8 makes a big difference with respect to UEFI
    booting.

    I had real problems to install windows 7 on a system booting in UEFI
    mode,
    or to install windows 7 as the first OS on my HDD in UEFI mode.

    But on the other hand, I didn't have any problems at all to install and
    boot
    openSUSE 12.1 in UEFI mode (already that version !)

    Best wishes
    Mike


    Hi
    I put it all down to hardware in my experience, I have three systems at
    present UEFI capable, bootable and with cavets;

    HP Probook 4525s (circa 2011)
    Windows 7, openSUSE or SLE UEFI booting only works via manual selection
    of the EFI file. I use it solely to boot SLES now.

    HP ProBook 4430s (circa mid 2012)
    Only boots to openSUSE, had to ensure it uses the bootnext flag else it
    just says no os due to the poor uefi implementation. I need to install
    gummiboot which should sort this out and skip grub2.

    HP 2000 Notebook (circa late 2012)
    Windows 8, SLED 11 SP3 secure dual boot. Again have to set the bootnext
    flag, else it boots direct to windows 8. Then need to select the efi
    file to boot into grub2 to boot SLED.

    --
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    openSUSE 12.3 (x86_64) GNOME 3.8.4 Kernel 3.7.10-1.16-desktop
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Dual boot of openSUSE and windows 7 split equally over an SSD and an HDD

    Hi Malcolm

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Hi
    I put it all down to hardware in my experience, I have three systems at
    present UEFI capable, bootable and with cavets;

    HP Probook 4525s (circa 2011)
    Windows 7, openSUSE or SLE UEFI booting only works via manual selection
    of the EFI file. I use it solely to boot SLES now.
    You mean you have to select the OS and the UEFI mode through BIOS setup or BIOS boot menu?

    I would have been perfectly happy if that had worked for me.
    I tried to setup such a system using a windows 7 64bit installer DVD.

    My motherboard of Dec.2011 is an ASUS P8H67-V (Rev 3.0 with then new Intel H67 chipset)
    with ASUS EFI BIOS (EZ MODE).
    That motherboard does well support this.
    So with respect to my desktop PC I don't really believe in a problem that is related to hardware
    (see below).

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    HP ProBook 4430s (circa mid 2012)
    Only boots to openSUSE, had to ensure it uses the bootnext flag else it
    just says no os due to the poor uefi implementation. I need to install
    gummiboot which should sort this out and skip grub2.

    HP 2000 Notebook (circa late 2012)
    Windows 8, SLED 11 SP3 secure dual boot. Again have to set the bootnext
    flag, else it boots direct to windows 8. Then need to select the efi
    file to boot into grub2 to boot SLED.
    Can it be that on notebooks the situation is worse?

    To summarize my experience from
    http://forums.opensuse.org/english/g...-efi-bios.html
    (same link as in a previous posting):

    At one point I finally managed to install windows 7 in UEFI mode from the DVD.
    But that created a weird partition table of type 'gpt_sync_mbr'.
    Not even with the partitioner of windows 7 itself have I been able to add
    new partitions then (there was plenty of space left !).
    And adding a partition using the partitioner of openSUSE 12.1 made the system unbootable.
    It seems that a HDD with that kind of partition table could only be modified
    by windows 7 during installation (of course I don't know about openSUSE 12.3
    which didn't even exist as factory version then).
    This clearly was a problem of the software.

    On the other hand, after creating a GPT on the HDD,
    at least in my case, windows 7 refused to install.
    OK, it is a bit of time ago and I made so many installs of windows 7 and openSUSE 12.1 then,
    that I can not swear that I made no error
    (i.e. forgot to boot the windows 7 installer DVD in UEFI mode after having created a GPT).
    But I made more than one attempt, so ...

    If the system has more than one HDD then things are easier,
    because windows 7 can then be installed in UEFI mode on one of these
    by letting windows 7 take that whole disk and create its 'gpt_sync_mbr'.
    The other disk can then be used by openSUSE, which when installed
    in UEFI mode will create a standard GPT.
    please_try_again obviously ran such a system, see his output of parted in post #33
    (http://forums.opensuse.org/english/g...ml#post2463771)
    of the thread mentioned above.

    I finally gave up with UEFI and switched back to conventional booting using MBR and
    legacy GRUB (not even GRUB 2).

    Still I had to delete the UEFI boot entries from the memory of the motherboard that persisted,
    which is only possible after booting in UEFI mode .......

    My system runs fine now.

    Best wishes
    Mike

  9. #9

    Thumbs up [SOLVED] Re: Dual boot of openSUSE and windows 7 split equally over an SSD and an HDD

    Thanks guys, there's some really helpful stuff here. Will have to digest it, particularly when I actually get my hands on the machine...
    But definitely thanks for the thought put in.
    Last edited by bendare; 07-Oct-2013 at 14:46. Reason: Change title to solved

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