Triple Boot OS - EFI/Booting Issues

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Triple Boot OS - EFI/Booting Issues

Postby CedarHawk » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:04 pm UTC

Hey guys.


EDIT:
Please read my second post.



First post, so please excuse me if this is wildly "off-kilter" in some way. I've done a lot of searching, but haven't been able to find a functioning fix yet. I did in fact post a thread over at the official Ubuntu forums a few days ago (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1923546), but with no responses as of yet...
So, this is my first experience with a Linux-based system. I don't go into things in total stupidity, I've tried to get a good idea of where to go for a few days now. Installed the latest version of Ubuntu with no problems.


I installed it on my iMac from around 2008-2009, which already had Windows 7 Ultimate running on a 140gb bootcamp partition. From a few sites I read, it was still possible to install Ubuntu without any major problems. What I wound up doing was using Disk Utility to further divide the primary partition (OSX).


Got onto the Windows OS, installed Ubuntu via dvd. Ran into no problems, Ubuntu works fine. I run into my issue when attempting to actually run the Windows OS.
When I start up via rEFIt, I select Windows, and GNU Grub starts up. Selecting Windows then leads to this:



Code: Select all
Windows Boot Manager

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."
3. Click "Repair your computer."

If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.

File: \Boot\BCD

Status: 0xc0000225

Info: An error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data.


(Enter to continue, ESC to exit)
This is totally unresponsive, only way to proceed is hard-restarting.
Now, I've tried booting from the install disc. The thing is, it still goes through GNU Grub, and when I attempt go fix anything via the recovery applications I'm told that a partition isn't selected. Even though I had to select, at rEFIt and GNU Grub.


When I'm at the recovery section and open up the command prompt, I've tried listing all available partitions, but it only shows two. One of nearly 1TB (original HD, shown without partitions), and one that's empty.






SO. I'm sorry for the extremely long-winded explanation, but if you need any more info please feel free to ask. I'm still extremely inexperienced with Ubuntu and Linux in general, so I apologize for any slowness on my part.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Last edited by CedarHawk on Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:02 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Issues with Ubuntu.

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:32 am UTC

CedarHawk wrote:Now, I've tried booting from the install disc. The thing is, it still goes through GNU Grub, and when I attempt go fix anything via the recovery applications I'm told that a partition isn't selected. Even though I had to select, at rEFIt and GNU Grub.

I can't help with all of this, because I have no experience with Macs or rEFIt, and I know that complicates this process. However, I can say that this shouldn't happen - if you're booting from an install disk, you shouldn't see the Grub menu, which exists on your hard drive. If you're seeing that menu first, then you're not booting from the disk.

I know that normally, at least with BIOS rather than EFI, the Grub bootloader is the first thing you see when booting the machine from disk, because the machine is directed there from the MBR. Also worth noting that sometimes the Windows install will overwrite the bootloader, which makes the machine unable to boot into Linux (or anything else) and most likely, fixing the Windows install will mean needing to reinstall Grub afterward. Windows isn't designed to coexist with another OS on the same machine, so Grub has to work around that.

I was under the understanding that using Bootcamp, installing Ubuntu on another partition should be more straightforward than what you've done here (needing to set up the partitions manually.) It sounds as if something got moved in a way that Windows isn't able to recognize. Like I said, though, I don't have any experience with EFI, so someone with that experience is going to have to chime in for instructions on how this should ideally be set up in the first place.
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Re: Issues with Ubuntu.

Postby CedarHawk » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:21 am UTC

Okay, so. It turns out I actually CAN boot up with the Windows disk.
It goes to the installation menu for Windows 7, I select Repair, it shows "system recovery options", says to select an operating system. Thing is, the Windows system isn't showing. I hit load drivers, and the Windows OS is just gone.


Only things left are a C drive labeled EFI (with almost nothing on it), and X drive labeled Boot (which is what I'm currently accessing).


Any ideas?
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Re: Issues with Ubuntu.

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:58 am UTC

Yuck. No. The Windows install disk boot should be able to read the partition table, regardless of the condition of the actual partitions. I'm not sure, from that description, that it's seeing the drive at all. What do you see in the partition table when you boot back into safety (OSX)?

One suggestion I would make is to maybe edit the topic title to reflect the problem more specifically (EFI / Bootcamp) to see if you can get someone with some experience with this in on the conversation. Not all Ubuntu users have dealt with this - I don't even dual boot, myself - and the problem isn't specific to Ubuntu.

Edit: When you say that you booted into Windows to install Ubuntu, should I assume then that you used the Wubi installer?
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Re: Triple Boot OS - EFI/Booting Issues

Postby CedarHawk » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:16 am UTC

In response to your edit, I booted into Windows to install Ubuntu into its own partition. I didn't use the wubi installer, Ubuntu isn't "inserted" into Windows in any way. I created a partition using disk utility on the OSX side. I then booted into Windows and installed Ubuntu onto that partition that I'd created.



I'll check the rest of what you said ASAP.
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Re: Triple Boot OS - EFI/Booting Issues

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:50 am UTC

Okay, so I'm reading through the documentation, here, and it seems like you've done this correctly. A couple of corrections from before:

* I referred to Bootcamp, but we're using rEFIt. Even if you originally set the dual boot up using Bootcamp, I guess it's not involved now.

* The EFI partition you were seeing from the Windows side belongs to OSX and is definitely on the disk, so the Windows installer was definitely seeing the hard disk. Still baffled by this, and the fact that it wasn't seeing the other partitions, which points to possible problems with the partition table.

* You're almost definitely, absolutely, with certainty, going to have to remove Ubuntu, remove Windows, reinstall Windows, then reinstall Ubuntu. When you get around to installing Ubuntu, you shouldn't need to boot into Windows as a part of that process - just boot from the DVD.

* I was worried that the MBR had been overwritten, but if you're seeing the rEFIt menu before the Grub menu, then the MBR is still pointing to rEFIt as intended and Grub is installed on the Ubuntu partition. You would have selected that during the Ubuntu install. (This is different from the usual arrangement on Windows / Linux dual boots, where the MBR points directly to Grub. If your machine were booting directly to Grub, we'd have to repair rEFIt, too, but apparently, that, at least, is easy to do.)

* I thought the problem was actually in the order of the partitions, of all things, but you seem to have that right, too. According to the documentation, there's a magic order to this; both the order in which the OSs are installed and the order of the partitions on the disk. (This is natural, since Windows is again not really meant to be used this way and isn't making anything easy on you.) It has to go EFI, OSX, [Linux of your choice], Windows. But since you broke up the OSX partition to create the Ubuntu partition, you have that layout.

I think, though, that adding the partition changed the designation for the Windows partition from Windows's point of view, even though it still starts from the same point on the volume. Now that you have the partition layout, reinstalling Windows, then Ubuntu, should probably fix it.

I think the incorrect information was the bit where someone suggested you could do this after the fact. What I'm seeing from the Wiki page is that changing anything about the magic order makes something break. At least, of course, OSX doesn't break permanently.
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Re: Triple Boot OS - EFI/Booting Issues

Postby Mezentine » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:04 pm UTC

Sorry to bump something this old but this is literally exactly the issue I'm having. As far as I can tell the problem with installing things in the EFI, Mac, Linux, Windows order is that (at least with the Ubuntu version I'm using) a small partition is created at the top of the partition table for Grub. This wouldn't be a problem except that Windows 7 doesn't understand GPT it seems, and so when I then go to install Windows the partition table editor tells me that I have the "maximum number of partitions" (Grub, EFI, Mac, Ubuntu) since it thinks I can only have four "Primary" partitions. This is if I install Windows after Ubuntu.

If I install Windows before Ubuntu then I get the exact scenario laid out by the OP, error message and all. Does anyone have any insight?
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Re: Triple Boot OS - EFI/Booting Issues

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:16 pm UTC

Mezentine wrote: As far as I can tell the problem with installing things in the EFI, Mac, Linux, Windows order is that (at least with the Ubuntu version I'm using) a small partition is created at the top of the partition table for Grub.

By default, yes, and you don't want this. In the installer, there's an option to define the partitions manually and decide where to install Grub. As I think we briefly touch on above, you want Grub installed within the partition you're using for Ubuntu.

And remember, partition the disk first and install Windows before Ubuntu, but Windows has to be in the fourth partition.
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