Dual Boot openSUSE 13.2 with Windows 7

Hi all,

Im a totally newbie here so please bear with my basic doubts.
Ive been meaning to learn and get hands on Linux a long time now and decided to dual boot my new desktop.
openSUSE looks to be very stable and easy to use for newbies like me .

So finally I decided to install 13.2 on my machine and encountered with many issue during the partition phase.

I made an extended partition sda4 and split it in:-

sda5 30 GB ext4 /
sda6 122 GB ext4 /home
sda7 8GB swap

This is the most common partition I found in the guides.
When I try to accept this I get a couple of warnings:-

  1. With your current setup,your openSUSE installation will encounter problems while booting, because you have no FAT partition mounted on /boot/efi.
  2. With your current setup,your openSUSE installation will encounter problems while booting, because the disk on which your /boot partition is located does not contain a GPT disk label.

Additional Information:

The BIOS mode is UEFI
Secure Boot is enabled
Fast Boot is enabled.

Can anybody please help me here with a step wise guide.
Thanks in advance.

For a UEFI system, you also need to mount the EFI partition at “/boot/efi”.

You can use the EFI partition that Windows is using. The installer just creates a directory there with a few files for booting.

If you are not sure what is the EFI partition, then post the output from:

# parted -l

The error messages should go away once you have the EFI partition mounted as “/boot/efi”

Note that if this machine is EFI and I assume Windows is installed EFI you must boot the install media as EFI

Must use grub2-efi boot code also.

But you said you made an extended. extended does not exist on GPT formatted disks. It only can be made on legacy formatted. disks. So is this a legacy or EFI system and how is it partitioned old MS or new GPT partitioning???

So you need to know what type of BIOS and in what mode the other OS is installed

If the partitioning is the old MSDOS partitioning then we assume Windows was installed in legacy mode and you can/must have an extended partition and must boot the install media in legacy mode (if and EFI BIOS)

I think maybe you are following old out of date instructions.

Thanks for the prompt reply and sorry for the confusion.

I assumed(which turned out to be wrong), since my MB supports EFI, the OS might be EFI installed.

So the scenario is that Windows 7 is installed in Legacy mode.

So what should be my next plan of action?

Do I need to disable UEFI and/or Secure Boot and/or Fast Boot from BIOS?
How show I partition the disk and get rid of the warnings to correctly dual boot the machine?

Thanks in advance.!

It is best to stick with legacy mode. Otherwise you would need to reinstall Windows.

Boot the opensuse installer in legacy mode, and things should then work as you expected. You might have to disable UEFI support in the BIOS.

I don’t think secure-boot is enabled in your BIOS. As far as I know, Windows 7 cannot use that. The messages you saw (and reproduced in the first place), were because you booted the install media in UEFI mode, and because the typical install setup in that case is to install secure-boot support for opensuse.

So I disabled UEFI in BIOS and booted the openSUSE installer(USB stick).
Went on and partitioned as

sda5 30 GB ext4 /
sda6 122 GB ext4 /home
sda7 8GB swap

I again received a warning :-

With your current setup, your openSUSE installation will encounter problems when booting, because you have no FAT partition mounted on /boot/efi.
This will cause severe problems with the normal boot setup.
If you do not know exactly what you are doing, use a normal FAT partition for your files below /boot/efi.

My question: Do I need to create another partition for /boot/efi or need to manipulate 350MB System Reserved NTFS partition to create an entry for openSUSE?

PS: Sorry for my noobish queries, but Im pretty new to Linux world.

If installing in legacy mode you do not need or want an EFI boot parttione.

In the installer is it wanting to install grub2-efi or just grub2? You want grub2

Did you create or now use the extended partition to install those new partitions??

At the installers first menu do you have option along the bottom? if not then you are in EFI mode not legacy.

Unfortunately the EFI BIOS’s are not all implemented the same. So it is hard to guess about yours. There generally is a key used at boot to select a boot menu this allows you to choose what kind of boot. You need to find the manual for your machine. Perhaps on the makers web site. On mine the BIOS start up screen shows the option though it does go by quick.

Thanks, It was booting in EFI mode due to my BIOS setting.

Now making everything to Legacy mode did the trick and I managed to go past the partition phase.

Now in Installation settings Menu under Booting there are following options:

Boot Loader Type : GRUB2
Status Location : /dev/sda4(extended)
Change Location:

  • Do not install bootcode into MBR (install)
  • Do not install bootcode into “/” partition (install)
  • Warning: No location for bootloader stage1 selected. Unless you know what you are doing please select above location.

Order of Hard Disks: /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, dev/sdc

So Do I need to install bootcode in MBR??? Just clicking on the install would do the trick?
I think this should be the final hurdle in the installation process.

Thanks in advance.

This is a bug in 13.2; it ignores extended partition when displaying summary (code is fixed in Tumbleweed). Your system is set to install boot block on extended partition. This allows easy switch between Windows and openSUSE by just toggling active flag in partition table and the least intrusive for existing Windows installation.

So it wont show me the menu of installed OSs and let me select Windows / openSUSE???

It will if “Probe Foreign OS” is enabled.

So can I install bootcode in MBR and enable “Probe Foreign OS”???
Will it successfully dual boot the machine with the boot menu for Windows 7 and openSUSE???

Thanks in advance!

It will work, but if you put grub into MBR then Windows may have problems with some updates and or overwrite the code and break Linux boot. It is not all that hard to fix but you do have to know how. Leaving generic code in the MBR and installing grub to the extended will keep Windows happy and if for some reason it decides to take over simply changing the boot flag will but grub back in charge. Shouls not matter which way it is done for adding Windows to grubs boot menu. If per chance grub does not see Windows after boot it can be corrected from the Yast -boot loader menu

So all I need to do is install bootcode in “/” partition and enable Probe Foreign OS in Yast?

Im just being extra cautious coz I dont want to mess my Windows installation.

Could you please provide a step wise guide?

Thanks for all the help guys, really appreciated!

Thanks alot everyone for your support.

I managed to dual boot my machine finally!