Cannot Triple Boot(OS X, Vista, openSUSE)

hi,

i’m trying to make my imac capable of triple boot.

the software i use are:

mac os x 10.5.8
win vista sp1
linux opensuse 11.2
and,
rEFIt
GParted

i used the diskutility to create 6 partitions.

1st. is for the EFI
2nd. is for mac
3rd. is for linux
4th. is for windows

i successfully installed the mac
also successfullu installed windows

but here came the problem

after using rEFIt & GParted, i found out that the GPT Partition Table is messed up. but MBR Partition Table looks all right.

So.

  1. how do i update or change the GPT Partition Table
  2. after installing opensuse, how do i set windows to “Active”
    some say can use fdisk, but, the “free fdisk”, and “fdisk” that came with os x dvd are different from the fdisk from microsoft.)

(so what command should i use to set windows active)
3each time i use gparted, it can be sync with rEFIt(GPT&MBR) - although GPT is wrong
but install linux(opensuse), the bootloader changes the EFI Partition Tables.

so it’s really confusing.

4.do know what went wrong, but each time after installing and running opensuse, it boots, then screen went totally bland.

5.i’m running x 10.5.8, but i cannot boot smoothly from my dvd drive, and i don’t know why.

Thanks in advance.

ed

I see only 4.

after using rEFIt & GParted, i found out that the GPT Partition Table is messed up. but MBR Partition Table looks all right.

You should not use GParted at all.

but install linux(opensuse), the bootloader changes the EFI Partition Tables.

That’s right. That’s why you should NOT install Grub in the MBR. you should select the bootloader location during setup and it has to be the bootsector of your Linux partition, not the MBR, or it will mess up the GPT partition every time.

4.do know what went wrong, but each time after installing and running opensuse, it boots, then screen went totally bland.

  1. First install OS X on your HD
  2. Shrink the OS X partition using Disk Utilities and create 2 partitions. The one for Windows has to be the last one (I don’t remember why)
  3. Install ReFIT
  4. Install Windows in the last partition
  5. Install openSUSE in the the second partition (the ReFIT partition doesn’t count). Do not install Grub in the MBR and do not create new partitions ( Don’t use gparted!)
  6. You won’t have a swap partition. So you will have to use a swap file under Linux.

You always boot with ReFIT. Windows might give some error messages. Dont’ worry! ReFIT will chainload Grub installed in your Linux partition.

The new Grub2 (shipped with Ubuntu Karmic)is supposed to be able to boot GPT (no need of ReFIT anymore). I haven’t try that yet.

hi,

i did not install the grub in the mbr.

the mbr is intact. only the gpt partition table is wrong.

(is there any way i could edit the gpt partition table?)

and the reason i used gparted is because i need a boot sofeware to edit the boot settings.

(btw, do you know how to boot back into windows after installed opensuse?)

and the last questions is that, each time after installing opensuse, the reboot just run a while, then there’s black screen.

so is it because the graphical card is not supported?

i checked, my computer is ATI.

last question, i tried to install rEFIt in the hidden EFI partition. but each time it said something like “i don’t have the authoraty to modify the files”.

thanks in advance.

On the blank screen you’re seeing after “the reboot”: are you sure the installer had finished: i.e do you get an OpenSUSE boot menu to launch the OS? If so, enter “3” (no quotes) on the boot screen to boot into runlevel 3. If that works, you have some kind of graphics card issue.

hi,

i’m pretty sure the loader was installed in the right partition. i saw the gurb menu. it loads a while. then came the black screen. i do not know if the reboot had finished running because i can not see.

if this is because a graphical problem, what should i do? i’m not very familiar with linux. so should i wait for openSUSE 11.3?

thanks.

Read my previous answer.

You don’t need GRUB to boot Vista. When you boot, you should see rEFIt and 3 icons respectively for OS X, Linux and Vista. If you choose Linux, it will chainload Grub (installed in the boosector of the Linux partition). Then you can use any boot parameter and boot any Linux kernel you like.

If you don’t see rEFIT when you boot but some blackscreen followed by Grub menu, you probably messed up your GPT with gparted and/or grub install.

I don’t know how to fix a GPT table. If it were just a ‘normal’ MBR, I would repare it with a disk editor or some partedit tool. On the iMac, I would reinstall everything in the order I described in my previous post, not worry about hidden partition, let rEFIt do its job and not use gparted at all. There may be other ways to get a triple boot on an iMac but that one worked for me.

I’m quite sure your ATI is supported. It’s easy to find out anyway.

hi,

the ati driver is included? then why every time the first reboot always comes the blace screen?

bte, i checked the rEFIt, and it showed it’s a 64-bit version. so i went to their website and download again. and it’s stil 64-bit.

thanks.

hi,

what software should i use to reboot the windows after installing opensuse?

thanks.

Sorry, but I don’t understand this at all.

Do you want to reboot your machine into Windows?

If so, simply click on reboot and hold it until the options appear and select Windows, or reboot and select Windows from Grub.

Regards,
Barry.

hi,

what i meant was that:

install mac os x first.
then install windows - now you can click the option key to select to boot into mac.

then install opensuse - windows will not be “activated”. or both windows and linux are “activated”.(according to the partition utilities)

so you’ll need a way to boot back into “windows”. to set-up the partition tables and the boot-up options.

i do not know what partition or boot utilities to use so i can make windows viewable from the mac boot menu again.

thanks.
thanks.

Hi,

I’ve only ever dual-booted with Windows, so I can’t help with whatever you have to do with osX, but if the dual boot was working, I would have thought both would be added to the GRUB menu when you installed openSUSE.

Windows has always been in the GRUB menu when I’ve installed Linux alongside Windows, having said that, openSUSE 11.1 is probably going to be the last time I have a Windows partiton. :slight_smile:

Regards,
Barry.

but after installing the linux, the windows selection will disappear from the boot selections.

This hasn’t been my experience, and certainly isn’t the usual behaviour. I’ve only ever experienced Windows installs using their bootloader and not letting you get to Linux, not the other way round.

But I doubt it’ll be too much work to add it back to the GRUB menu, I’m sure one of the more experienced guys will be able to guide you with this.

Maybe you’ll find some helpful information here: HowTo Boot into openSUSE when it won’t Boot from the Grub Code on the Hard Drive.

Regards,
Barry.

Don’t worry about the ATI driver. This is not the cause of your black screen.

bte, i checked the rEFIt, and it showed it’s a 64-bit version. so i went to their website and download again. and it’s stil 64-bit.
thanks.

it’s ok.

rEFIt !
as shown on that picture

That’s what you should see when you boot before any ATI driver comes into action.

rEFIt is the boot manager used on the iMac to triple boot OS X, Windows and Linux. There may be other solutions, but certainly not openSUSE Grub, which cannot boot GPT (unless it has been patched to do so by the openSUSE team. That, I don’t know).

If you insist on booting an iMac with Grub, you should install Ubuntu. The Grub version shipped with Ubuntu is supposed to boot GPT. But I’ve never tried that and I cannot help.

Please reread my first post in this thread, where I already explained what to do and in which order.

then install opensuse - windows will not be “activated”. or both windows and linux are “activated”.(according to the partition utilities)

I’m sorry to repeat that … but do not play with other partitioning utilities on the iMac!

so you’ll need a way to boot back into “windows”. to set-up the partition tables and the boot-up options.

You do what you want. But that’s the surest way to black screen.

i do not know what partition or boot utilities to use so i can make windows viewable from the mac boot menu again.

iMacs use Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) and not BIOS. So the boot utility you’re looking for (and already found) is called rEFIt. Once you have installed Os X, resized the OS X partitions in order to create two other partitions, respectively for Linux and Windows and installed rEFIt, you already have all you need to boot Windows and Linux. Don’t manipulate the MBR with partitioning tools, because the iMac doesn’t have an MBR, it’s just faked for the purpose of booting Windows.

but mine is a 32-bit computer…

rEFIt can only gptsync. you can’t use it like free fdisk.

and i had problem adding rEFIt to the hidden EFI partition.

so i didn’t install rEFIt at the first. i just use it to gpt-sync and boot.

thanks.

You’re making things more complicated as they are. Juste install rEFIt the normal way, as described here. Don’t put it in the hidden partition! If the rEFIt version can not run on your iMac model, I’m quite sure OS X will complain and refuse to install it. In this case (only) you’ll have to think about another solution.

So …

  1. Install OS X as you would do normally.
  2. Resize you OS X partition with disk utilities
  3. Create 2 partitions. The last one will be for Windows
  4. Install rEFit just the simple way
  5. Install either Windows or Linux. I don’t think it does really matter. I’m quite sure I installed Windows first.
  6. Don’t manipulate the mbr with partitioning tools neither in Windows nor in Linux.

That’s all. I don’t know if you can use more than one partition for Linux. That would mean creating the equivalent of logical partitions with gparted and … probably messing up the GPT. Honnestly I don’t know. So I did not and used a swap file instead of a swap partition.