Stability OF Dual-Booting Linux/Windows These Days?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by chrome_sturmen, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    For those of you guys who are dual-booting linux with windows, how is the stability? Back in some years past when I'd try to set up a dual-boot windows/linux, I always managed somehow to bork the bootloader somehow, and wound up having to reinstall windows. Is it the same lately or has a dual-boot become solid enough to set up without worry of losing a windows install?

    Or is it more about virtual machines these days?

    thx
     
  2. accessgranted

    accessgranted Registered Member

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    Hi, in my experience dual booting Windows and Linux is a cinch. Install Win first; backup your system on an external USB Disk or Stick in case something should go wrong (Clonezilla is the best IMHO); install Ubuntu (best Linux installer and works on all hardware systems, so you may want to rehearse your installing skills with Ubuntu before trying with other distros's installers) beside Windows; the Grub boot-loader set up during Ubuntu's installation lets you easily choose between one system or the other at each startup of your computer. I suggest Ubuntu 14.04 LTS for a start.

    Cheers
     
  3. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    Very nice suggestion indeed.
    I dual boot Windows 10 x64 Enterprise with Ubuntu 14.04.4 AMD64 LTS on all 3 of my computers. Both OS were installed in UEFI secure boot mode, and they work smoothly without any glitch.
     
  4. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    It is easy these days compared to 10 years ago. Grub has an easier time booting Windows than Windows BCD has booting Linux but both can be done. I do it the hard way with hand edited BCDs loading a Grub boot sector. I usually do initial installs on a separate disk and then clone the system partitions onto the disk I'm actually going to use so I don't have to worry about what the installation program does to the disk structure. Windows installation can also mess up things too.
     
  5. ellison64

    ellison64 Registered Member

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    Ive always used easy bcd to boot windows with linux.Usually have windows installed first then linux after.Sometimes bootloader can get messed up,but sticking the windows recovery disk and choosing automatic repair has always fixed it for me to get back into windows without reinstalling.I usually then just reinput and save the linux entry in easy bcd and alls well again.You can also image all the partitions anyway.
     
  6. boombaby

    boombaby Registered Member

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    Hello, Any...

    I too have chased the "dream" of dual-booting - although now it's often called multi-booting (because many Users have multiple O/S's on their systems).

    However, I might be a little different to many, because I have been a Windows User for ages, namely Windows98. That was until I discovered the pleasures of using Windows2000. I have an old PC, low MEM, and an old SiS graphics card - none of which are a problem with Win2K. Win2K is a fast, stable, configurable, utilizable O/S. Freeware for it abounded.

    However, the Company decided to stop support for their O/S (and there might be sound reasons for that) so many Software Producers decided they would no longer support it either. Recently I had trouble surfing with Opera (12) and that has lead me to look beyond - to Linux. [There is nothing wrong with Win2K. It flys! I defragged it once (in 12 years) to try out "defragging" but it made no difference. It just kept going and going! However, the freeware producers and websites stopped supporting it.]

    So my multibooting experience - after trying-out many bootmanagers - came from (primarily) Ranish Partition Manager and XOSL. They are brilliant! However, when I decided to move to larger disks they (RPM & XOSL) couldn't engage the "boundaries" of the extended address space. Then by accident (if my recollection is right) I discovered the joys of Linux GRUB (viz Grub 0.97) and it's capability to boot Windows too. It has a wonderful, configurable and EASY approach to booting that is difficult to match (certainly on "free" stuff). With it you can boot anything - easily.

    So, here's the "thing" for me using Linux. Due to Windows experience I ONLY work at the GUI level. I rarely try to do Commandline (CLI) in Linux; it's far too complicated.


    So... ...to my multiboot. Here's my setup:-


    DISK-1 < contains GRUB in MBR >

    Prim-1 FreeDOS (hidden; contains MENU.LST)
    Prim-2 Windows-2000 (old workhorse being left behind)


    DISK-2 < contains GRUB in MBR >

    Prim-1 FreeDOS (hidden, contains MENU.LST copy) AND PuppyLinux TAHR-6
    Prim-2 Extended
    Log-1 PuppyLinux or other (tried LegacyOS et al)
    Log-2 Swap
    Log-3 Linux Mageia-5 (main workhorse now)
    Log-4 PClinuxOS (32-bit not upgradeable on my PC - and removed)
    Log-5 spare (actually several "spares")
    Log-6 DATA (Linux)
    Log-7 DATA (Win)


    With this configuration I have tested hundreds of distros and versions. [I have even unplugged DISK-1 then substituted DISK-2 as master - without a hitch. Why do that? Well (believe it or not) at install some distros dream up imaginary partitions because there's a second disk (they're not expecting), or won't recognize there's a second disk at all - so I just set them up as "single master" then change back later.]

    << I know some will want to say "Why? Why don't you use this, that or the other (modern) gizmo?" - but the above does the job for me NOW so I have settled on it. However 32-bit hardware support is NOW becoming the issue and it looks like I will eventually have to move on - AGAIN. Blast! >>

    So, why all the multibooting? Well, when I decided to have a multi-boot setup it was due to the end-of-life of Windows2000 (way beyond it actually, 2014), and I decided to try Linii (Linuxes?) side-by-side with it. As it turned out, my old SiS graphics card created a problem because SUPPORT for it was dropped from many distros. This lead me to trial hundreds of them to find one that works (properly) - ie Linux Mageia-5.

    This multiboot setup has enabled continued use of the working system while trialling (hundreds of) other distros - without a hitch. (I know some will frown, but - hey - it's an adrenalin rush living on the edge!)


    Regards,
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I've never had Grub in the MBR.

    In my Legacy mode computer I have many Windows OS and Ubuntu. All are independent, don't share files or see each other. BIBM is the boot manager.

    In my UEFI mode computer I have Win8, several Win10 and Ubuntu. All are independent, don't share files or see each other. I have restore scripts to manipulate the single EFI System partition to manage booting and hide OS.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  8. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    Brian - I tried giving bibm a try - during the installation, bibm couldn't find a place to install itself. I had created a small 25 mb partition to use for it but it didn't work. I tried the options "have bibm automatically choose where to install" and the "create partition automatically" and I think I tried "use a shared partition" nothing worked.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks guys for the replies btw *puppy*
     
  9. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    Because some distros have issues with installing Grub in a system partition's boot sector, I usually image the MBR with the DD command, install Grub in the MBR, image it, and then restore the original MBR. Then I edit the BCD to load the Grub MBR image to boot Linux in the boot menu. I usually have around 3 Oses sharing a data partition. I use a small utility called Bootice to edit BCDs. It can also image MBRs and boot sectors. In computers that I have Windows 10 in, I use the Windows 7 boot loader. It is much faster and simpler.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    chrome_sturmen,

    First, how to install BIBM. Install it to unallocated Free Space. You only need 8 MB.

    To install Ubuntu using BIBM...

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=279
     
  11. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    Brian I think maybe the problem could be, that when I boot bibm, the installer considers the usb flash drive I put the installer on, as hd0, and my drive in the laptop as hd1. I could go ahead and make that unallocated space on the flash drive but then it would install onto that right? I will go pick up a few blank cds sometime soon if that's what needs to be done and install from a cd
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    chrome_sturmen,

    Apologies, I'll update my tutorial. Yes, the BIBM UFD is seen as HD0. But you and I know the real HD0 is what BIBM calls HD1. So the tutorial should read (when using a UFD)...

    INSTALL
    Boot from the BIBM boot disk and click Cancel
    Click OK to enter maintenance mode
    Click Partition Work and make sure you have at least 8 MB of Free Space on HD1 (Free Space inside an Extended Partition doesn't count)
    Resize the final partition 8 MB smaller if you don't already have 8 MB of Free Space.

    BIBM will install to the 8 MB of free space on what we know is HD0. When you boot BIBM after it is installed on the HD, that HD will be called HD0.
     
  13. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    There is already 25mb unallocated space on the drive (between c: partition and D: data partition)
    but i'll give it a shot- thanks for your time & help
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    That's fine.
     
  15. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    I would like to express my appreciation to Brian K for taking the time to patiently help me (via pm) get some kinks worked out, to get BIBM installed properly - thanks alot *puppy*
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    No problem. BIBM is my favourite app. It lets me have 21 primary partitions on my SSD and almost all are OS.

    Edit... 22 primary partitions. I just added another TBOS OS.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  17. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    I was gonna give opensuse a try - but during install, the partitioner proposed to chop my hard drive into 3 or 4 partitions (home/swap etc) totally ignoring that there was a windows installation there. Maybe better to install it to it's own disk *puppy*
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    OpenSUSE can be installed on HD0 along with BIBM and various other OS. But not in the way you attempted to install.
     
  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I just installed openSUSE to a test computer. On HD0 I have...

    WinXP
    Win7
    Win8
    Win10
    Ubuntu
    openSUSE

    They all work.
     
  20. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    are you using bibm multi os feature? are those installed into the same partition?
     
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I think the multi OS feature was popular in Win98 days. I've never used it.

    On the above HD I had 8 primary partitions. The BIBM partition, the 6 OS above and a Linux Swap partition. The OS were independent and any OS could be deleted without affecting the others. BIBM supports over 200 primary partitions per drive so if your computer has 4 large HDs you could have over 800 primary partitions. But does anyone need 800 OS? Not really.
     
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