How to make both Windows and Linux happy on the same PC?

I’ve got very recently a PC upgraded with motherboard EVGA X58 FTW3 (CPU Intel Core i7 960 3.2 GHz; RAM 24 Gb). The primary operating system Installed on my PC is Windows 7 64-bit. The system is working OK.

Normally, before the upgrade, I used two operating systems on same PC, the other one being Linux, and till now that was not a problem. However after I got EVGA X58 FTW3 motherboard, I cannot get Linux runningon my PC as a second operating system. First I installed Linux SUSE 12.1 64-bit on another HDD of my systems, but Linux does not boot.

I suspect that could be the driver “Marvell” which is causing problems. Right now I run 7 HDD on the EVGA motherboard: six SATA 2 and one SATA 3. Half of that disc space I allocate for Windows, and the other half for Linux. When installing, Linux-GRUB boot loader generates a table of HDD’s in a special file boot sequence. Initially, after installing GRUB can not find the root of the boot drive, and then, after installation this sequence of drives in BIOS does not match the sequence of GRUB.

I tried to install Linux several times using following combinations: i) use all seven HDDs, ii) disconnected all the HDD apart from two of them - one for Linux and one Windows. Linux sometimes loads if I leave the DVD installation disk in the optical drive. GRUB can not boot the system and gives an “error 22”. I tried to load from Windows BCDedit with reference to the boot partition of Linux and vice versa - downloaded from the Linux GRUB with reference to the boot partition, Windows.

Nothing really helped! :frowning:

Could it be that the reason of the problem is the driver “Marvell”, which supports SATA 3? Is there any way to disable it? I would prefer to sacrifice one of my seven HDDs (the SATA 3 one), but to get the second operating system (i.e. Linux) running.

So basically the question is, how to install a second operating system (i.e. Linux) on a EVGA motherboard with X58 chipset?

Thank you very much in advance for any help.

Regards Dremu4ii.

You can install openSUSE onto any hard drive you wish. But there are a few things you must know to get this to work for you:

  1. openSUSE will by default load to your first boot drive, thus requiring a custom partition setup to use anything else.
  2. You must be able to select the second or other hard drive as the boot drive in your BIOS setup.
  3. In the Boot section of openSUSE Installation Summary, make sure the target openSUSE hard drive is listed first.
  4. Inspect the boot section to make sure all components of openSUSE are destined for the openSUSE hard drive.
  5. All Hard Drive Master Boot Records are blank at first. You must load Grub (recommended) or generic boot code into the MBR for the openSUSE install hard drive to boot.

Here is some basic info on Partitioning:

Thank You,

Was Windows preinstalled? Does this mb have - and use - UEFI BIOS? Could you boot a Linux live CD and post the output of

sudo /sbin/fdisk -l

I tried to find out if your mb has an UEFI BIOS (it probably has if it’s new), but that’s the kind of information they like to keep secret.

Hi, jdmcdaniel3.

  1. I booting the first Linux, recording GRUB to the MBR, and referred to the root partition of Linux. A second operating system prescribed in the boot menu GRUB - Windows 7.

It does not help.

  1. I booting the first Windows 7 (utility BCDedit), recording in the root partition to boot Linux.

It does not help too.

Usually finished restoring MBR, overwriting the saved copy of it from 512 bytes.

Thanks for the link, will try to use your advices.

Regards, Dremu4ii.

Hi, please_try_again.

No machine was “naked” and no operating system was not.

My motherboard EVGA X58 FTW3 has normal BIOS, and not UEFI.

Regards Dremu4ii.

Still a fdisk -l would help even if nothing on the drive.

BTW if mixing Windows and Linux it is best to install Windows first. Much easier since Windows will mess with the MBR

That should make things a lot easier. But did you try to boot a live system? How does it work? And what do you see (fdisk -l) ?

In your original message you indicated you where loading openSUSE to a second hard drive. My instructions were related to that fact if this is what you are doing. When you talk about a Windows 7 boot disk, nothing it installs can be used by openSUSE and nothing in the Windows 7 boot partition that BCDedit could see will be used or effected. Windows 7 normally creates two partitions, one small around 100 MB, a primary partition, marked active and NTFS in type that boots Windows 7 and contains the Windows Boot Manager. Don’t mess with the partition. The main Windows 7 install will be the second partition, a primary one, often the rest of the disk and NTFS in type. Most people will NOT get in trouble if you install openSUSE to the Windows hard drive where its partitions are located if you do not modify Windows 7 before hand and use the default openSUSE installation. If it is your intention to install openSUSE to the Windows 7 partition, you might want to do the following before hand:

  1. Backup any important data such as My Documents from Windows to a separate disk like a DVD, or USB drive or external hard drive you will not be using in the openSUSE installation.
  2. Uninstall anything not being used in Windows but do not just delete it. Always use the Windows uninstall application to remove unneeded applications.
  3. Do a disk cleanup to clear out all temp files that might exists.
  4. Defrag your Windows Partition.
  5. It OK to try and shrink your Windows partition before hand, but leave any free space unused as openSUSE knows how to use it.
  6. Come here and ask any questions you may have before you attempt to do the openSUSE installation.
  7. Always use the suggested openSUSE installation plan if you otherwise don’t understand what it says and you have followed all of the other suggestions first.

Thank You,

Seems supported: EVGA X58 i7 (Motherboards) - Linux Hardware Compatibility List

Yes. Linux KDE LiveCD_64 booting and working “OK” on my machine.

The command “fdisk -l” see below

This command displays all seven of my hard drives.

Regards Dremu4ii.

Hi, jdmcdaniel3.

Thank you very much for your advice, however the situation is slightly different in fact.

First, the 100MB partinioning which Windows does, has not been a “secret” for quite a while already. And second, I have enough disc space with all my seven hard drives so there is no need for Windows & Linux to share same partinioning.

I wanted to install the two operating systems on separate hard drives, and yesterday I successfully did it!

How I managed to do that:
The Marvell chip, which controls the SATA III, messes up the sequence of hard drives booting in BIOS, to which (sequence) GRUB was set up during Linux installation. And therefore during the first start up of the operating system, the GRUB boot loader could not correctly identify its boot partition and kept sending me the “error 22” message. So now I have sorted it out.

So that’s the issue to be addressed when installing Linux on a motherboard with SATA III controlled by the Marvell chip.

So I’ve managed to solve my problem, thank you all very much!

Regards Dremu4ii