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Thread: Triple booting - Leap 15, Win 7 and Win 10 Using Grub2 (Some Issues)

  1. #1
    Peter_Abc NNTP User

    Default Triple booting - Leap 15, Win 7 and Win 10 Using Grub2 (Some Issues)

    I would like to highlight an issue I have been having updating the
    Windows OSes and how I work around it. I am using grub2 from Leap 15.0
    to control the multi-booting on a legacy MBR partitioned disk. On sda1
    is the system partition for windows, sda2 is win7-pro OS, sda3 is win
    10-pro OS and sda4 is an extended partition where I have my Linux
    partitions and 1 ntfs partition at the very end of it. Grub 2 is set to
    boot from the boot partition but in fact it sets the extended partition
    as active.

    From time to time win7 OS would refuse to complete its monthly update
    and win 10 has been doing same on a more regular basis (last 3 mths in a
    row). I end up setting (from within windows OS) the windows system
    partition (sda1) as active, reboot and all updates get installed without
    any issues. I then boot into super grub disk 2 from a bootable usb
    stick, pick my openSUSE OS and boot into it and reset my bootloader via
    yast2 and all is OK after.

    Unless someone knows an easier way to work around this issue, I think
    that is my fate - mucking around and wasting time.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Triple booting - Leap 15, Win 7 and Win 10 Using Grub2 (Some Issues)

    Yes, there's a way around this.

    I'll just outline it here. You can ask for more detail where needed. I don't know your level of knowledge, so better to wait for you to ask.

    On your Leap 15 system, you should have a file "/usr/share/syslinux/altmbr.bin".

    That's boot code for the MBR. It is actually 439 bytes long. You need to add one additional byte to make it 440 bytes long.

    I'm using that on a laptop. On that laptop, linux (the partition containing "/boot") is "/dev/sda5". And Windows 7 boots from "/dev/sda3".

    I created a byte containing 5 (hexadecimal 05, binary 00000101), and appended that to "altmbr.bin". I name the resulting file "altmbr-05.bin" to help me remember what is in that extra byte.

    I then wrote that to the MBR (first 440 bytes of "/dev/sda").

    I then set the active flag of the MBR to partition 3 (the Windows 7 partition).

    When I boot, that "altmbr-05.bin" as boot code will always boot partition 5, and ignore the active bit. So Windows thinks it is set to boot, but I actually get my grub2 boot menu.

    -----------

    There's actually another alternative that I have also used. You can have the system set to always boot Windows. But add an entry to the Windows boot manager that you can select to boot openSUSE Leap 15.0.
    openSUSE Leap 15.1; KDE Plasma 5;
    testing Leap 15.2Alpha

  3. #3
    Peter_Abc NNTP User

    Default Re: Triple booting - Leap 15, Win 7 and Win 10 Using Grub2 (SomeIssues)

    On 4/16/19 1:33 PM, Peter_Abc wrote:
    > I would like to highlight an issue I have been having updating the
    > Windows OSes and how I work around it. I am using grub2 from Leap 15.0
    > to control the multi-booting on a legacy MBR partitioned disk. On sda1
    > is the system partition for windows, sda2 is win7-pro OS, sda3 is win
    > 10-pro OS and sda4 is an extended partition where I have my Linux
    > partitions and 1 ntfs partition at the very end of it. Grub 2 is set to
    > boot from the boot partition but in fact it sets the extended partition
    > as active.
    >
    > From time to time win7 OS would refuse to complete its monthly update
    > and win 10 has been doing same on a more regular basis (last 3 mths in a
    > row). I end up setting (from within windows OS) the windows system
    > partition (sda1) as active, reboot and all updates get installed without
    > any issues. I then boot into super grub disk 2 from a bootable usb
    > stick, pick my openSUSE OS and boot into it and reset my bootloader via
    > yast2 and all is OK after.
    >
    > Unless someone knows an easier way to work around this issue, I think
    > that is my fate - mucking around and wasting time.
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Peter


    As I don't use the windows OSes for anything at this stage and I mainly
    boot into them once a month or once every few months, I had not noticed
    that Windows 10 does not shutdown when Grub2 is running the show. It
    restarts without any issue but shutdown option just brings up the login
    screen. I tested with the system (sda1) partition as active and it shuts
    down fine, no issues.

    Furthermore, I previously ran into some serious issues when doing a
    clean install of windows 10 from an iso (on a bootable usb stick) whilst
    system was controlled by grub2. It did not recognise the system
    partition and instead used the win 7 partition as the system partition
    and installed the boot files in there. I ended up doing a complete
    reinstall of everything windows from scratch with sda1 set as active.

  4. #4
    Peter_Abc NNTP User

    Default Re: Triple booting - Leap 15, Win 7 and Win 10 Using Grub2 (SomeIssues)

    On 4/16/19 3:06 PM, nrickert wrote:

    Thanks for your informative reply and it is good to know that there some
    options I can consider. But I have never read any warnings about these
    issues before and I am quite disappointed that no prominent warning has
    been given to Linux users like myself.


    > Yes, there's a way around this.
    >
    > I'll just outline it here. You can ask for more detail where needed. I
    > don't know your level of knowledge, so better to wait for you to ask.


    At this stage I don't have a lot of time or energy to tackle this right
    now. I have some serious health issues (dealing with cancer and the side
    effects from treatment and surgeries) but maybe I can try later on in
    the year if my health permits.

    My technical knowledge is not very advanced and would be way below of
    that of the experts and system admins that frequent these forums but I
    can do a few things that a complete novice would think that I am an
    "expert" at. I have been multi-booting for 20 plus years, mainly using
    boot managers in the early days and grub/grub2 in the last 12+ years. I
    have used openSUSE since I ventured into Linux and I can manage the
    routine administration of a basic desktop system reasonably well. I use
    commercial software tools for partitioning and backups from Paragon and
    Acronis and Super Grub2 Disk for boot recovery.

    Lastly, if my health permits I will call upon you for some guidance in
    trying the first option. The second option I would not like to use as I
    have Win 10 controlling win 7 in dual boot option and it is very
    irritating to use. When I boot up I get the option to boot either Win 10
    or win 7 and choosing Win 7 restarts the PC instead of booting directly
    into it, as Grub2 does.

    Cheers,
    Peter

    > On your Leap 15 system, you should have a file
    > "/usr/share/syslinux/altmbr.bin".
    >
    > That's boot code for the MBR. It is actually 439 bytes long. You need
    > to add one additional byte to make it 440 bytes long.
    >
    > I'm using that on a laptop. On that laptop, linux (the partition
    > containing "/boot") is "/dev/sda5". And Windows 7 boots from
    > "/dev/sda3".
    >
    > I created a byte containing 5 (hexadecimal 05, binary 00000101), and
    > appended that to "altmbr.bin". I name the resulting file
    > "altmbr-05.bin" to help me remember what is in that extra byte.
    >
    > I then wrote that to the MBR (first 440 bytes of "/dev/sda").
    >
    > I then set the active flag of the MBR to partition 3 (the Windows 7
    > partition).
    >
    > When I boot, that "altmbr-05.bin" as boot code will always boot
    > partition 5, and ignore the active bit. So Windows thinks it is set to
    > boot, but I actually get my grub2 boot menu.
    >
    > -----------
    >
    > There's actually another alternative that I have also used. You can
    > have the system set to always boot Windows. But add an entry to the
    > Windows boot manager that you can select to boot openSUSE Leap 15.0.
    >
    >



  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Triple booting - Leap 15, Win 7 and Win 10 Using Grub2 (SomeIssues)

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_Abc View Post
    Lastly, if my health permits I will call upon you for some guidance in
    trying the first option.
    Maybe I'll leave a link here. When I first started using that method (in 2015), I posted about it on my blog:

    Generic boot code

    I have been happily using that method ever since. That blog post gives a bit more detail than I provided above.
    openSUSE Leap 15.1; KDE Plasma 5;
    testing Leap 15.2Alpha

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    U.S Midwest just West of the Mississippi River
    Posts
    588

    Default Re: Triple booting - Leap 15, Win 7 and Win 10 Using Grub2 (Some Issues)

    I don't know if this is pertinent, but I do what the OP wants(I think).
    I installed EasyBCD in Windows 10, and set it up to load Win 10 and Win 7.
    From the grub menu I choose Windows 10 on sdx, and it opens a Windows boot manager. From there I pick either Win10 or Win 7.
    Note> of late I rarely go into either of the windows as MS has fubar'd them to the point of non-usability IMO.
    HP Compaq desktop Leap15.1 Win10, Win7
    Toshiba laptops Leap15.1 & Win10, HP AiO Win10.
    I can now print with openSuSe Leap! Can Scan now, could be better!!
    I can backup my iPod and iPad with Windows, can't with Linux.(Will get there someday!)

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