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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
EasyBCD to create dual boot with Win7?
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McNoobish


Joined: 19 Jul 2018
Posts: 10
Location: way out west in Western Mass

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jul 2018, 10:21    Post subject:  EasyBCD to create dual boot with Win7?  

Searching for "linux bootloader for windows 7" the first result was over here https://blog.famzah.net/2011/11/12/boot-linux-using-windows-7-boot-loader/ where it said to use EasyBCD.

Does anyone have experience with this EasyBCD? A search of the forums here produces many results buried in other named subjects but I'd rather start fresh.

p.s. I can boot the newest Puppy from a CD and most things seem to work very well. My boot drive is a 446GB SSD with 20% used for Win7, plenty of room left for Puppy.
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 11171

PostPosted: Fri 20 Jul 2018, 11:02    Post subject:  

Hmm I did try using easyBCD to boot linux but it steadfastly refused in spite of creating a valid entry and UEFI stuff disabled.
The same method booted XP without a hitch.

My usual method is normally to rename bootmgr to something else.... rename grldr to bootmgr,add a menu.lst then the windows 7/vista/8/9/10 mbr loads a linux menu.lst screen and in there you chainload the original but renamed bootmgr

To revert you simply rename the files....no need to tamper with any MBRs or windows BCD system.

mike
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2911
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri 20 Jul 2018, 11:18    Post subject:  

mikeb wrote:
Hmm I did try using easyBCD to boot linux but it steadfastly refused in spite of creating a valid entry and UEFI stuff disabled.
The same method booted XP without a hitch.

My usual method is normally to rename bootmgr to something else.... rename grldr to bootmgr,add a menu.lst then the windows 7/vista/8/9/10 mbr loads a linux menu.lst screen and in there you chainload the original but renamed bootmgr

To revert you simply rename the files....no need to tamper with any MBRs or windows BCD system.

mike


Kinda hate to say it, but over the years when I wanted to install a dual boot Linux, I downloaded the Debian live boot installer.

With the newer systems, I would make sure that you back up the system first (e.g. Clonezilla a copy off -- you can restore it right back on if it doesn't work).

Historically, Debian says "hey, you already have an operating system -- do you want me to set it up for dual boot?" Wink

And away you go, it will fix/repair the boot headers and MBR so it will work. Do some reading to make sure that it knows how to play with Win7 first. But otherwise, I'll bet that the Devs there have produced a good, solid project. It will want to resize/repartition the HDD for Linux.

When it gets done, you can just edit the boot menu and insert your own favorite Puppy Linux versions -- and even erase all of the Debian stuff if you want (also from the hard drive -- you don't need it once it's a bootable system).

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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2911
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri 20 Jul 2018, 11:28    Post subject:  

BTW, my solution for Win7 was to boot from an SD card, which then pointed at a directory on the Win7 partition. I didn't need to mess with the boot sequence, and it could read and write to the partition occupied by Win7. To boot Linux, insert the card. To boot Win7, pop the card out (or flash drive).

Warning:
This WON'T work with Win10. Win10 decides that any time any other operating system has touched (i.e. written) ANYTHING to that partition, that...for your convenience...that Win10 should delete all of those files, and spend a half hour scanning the partition for "errors" or "damage". A-holes...

I'm about to roll my laptop's Win10 upgrade back to Win7. Win10 is too heavy for the machine, and too obnoxious... I can go back to my old method, and leave Puppy on the internal HDD...

How I solved the problem with Win10 is I velcroed an external hard drive to the cover, and just plug it in (and force USB boot) when I want Linux. Unplug it to boot Win10 (booting Win10 is quite rare, actually).

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McNoobish


Joined: 19 Jul 2018
Posts: 10
Location: way out west in Western Mass

PostPosted: Fri 20 Jul 2018, 12:57    Post subject:  

Thanks, guys. This has just become more important to me because booting from my LiveCD is still working but then producing a RED ALERT box about getting short on memory space. The item to try to fix it, down in the "tray", brought up a box showing Zero available, with what looked possibly like sliders. But no go on sliding.

So then I burned the image to a freshly formatted 32GB flash stick. That stick had been a working PCLinuxOS install. But when I booted the Pup on it it threw a bunch of errors and prompted me to save a debug file (don't remember the exact name) but I have a new folder in my Win7 named zz_initrd_tmp with 4 log files in it. One odd thing is they're all timestamped as created at 7:53am but I didn't try the failed boot until maybe 11:53, suspiciously 5 hours from GMT. Should I start a new thread here, upload which log file? "sys.log" is the biggest by far.
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 11171

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul 2018, 10:32    Post subject:  

Side note...I can usually fit XP in the recovery partition of these bloatsystems lol.....

And yes windows has become progressively hostile to anything else existing...

And yes sounds like a separate thread issue.

Mike
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McNoobish


Joined: 19 Jul 2018
Posts: 10
Location: way out west in Western Mass

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul 2018, 13:14    Post subject:  

mikeb wrote:

And yes sounds like a separate thread issue.


Thanks Mike.
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rerwin


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1903
Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul 2018, 13:30    Post subject:  

Lin'N'WinNewB works for me on my Windows7 and Vista PCs. You are in control of everything. Copy some files and run Windows' BCDedit program as directed, set up your menu.lst entries and it just works.

http://www.icpug.org.uk/national/linnwin/step00-linnwin.htm

On bootup, you see a choice of Windows 7 or grub4dos, but you can actually specify (with BCDedit) "Puppy Linux" or anything else instead of the grub4dos text that lin'n'win suggests. The choice defaults to Windows -- I have not figured out how to make Linux the default (as I could with XP).
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2911
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul 2018, 11:33    Post subject:  

mikeb wrote:
Side note...I can usually fit XP in the recovery partition of these bloatsystems lol.....

And yes windows has become progressively hostile to anything else existing...

And yes sounds like a separate thread issue.

Mike


Recover partition?... Wink

Backup the drive, clone the active XP partition and make the rest go away... A single, tidy partition for XP (you need to do backups, as the recovery is gone -- but think about how often you use the recovery partition -- do you really need it?).

Other nice thing about XP, is that the old LinNWin is trivial to install.

Need to try the version for Win7 (once I roll this beast back to Win7). At the moment, I'm running from a USB HDD velcroed to the lid (running Puppy, of course). I suspect that Win10 would have a conniption if I attempted to do any sort of dual boot... Thanks for the note, Rerwin!

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ICPUG

Joined: 24 Jul 2005
Posts: 1305
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon 30 Jul 2018, 11:36    Post subject:  

rerwin wrote:
Lin'N'WinNewB works for me on my Windows7 and Vista PCs. You are in control of everything. Copy some files and run Windows' BCDedit program as directed, set up your menu.lst entries and it just works.

http://www.icpug.org.uk/national/linnwin/step00-linnwin.htm

On bootup, you see a choice of Windows 7 or grub4dos, but you can actually specify (with BCDedit) "Puppy Linux" or anything else instead of the grub4dos text that lin'n'win suggests. The choice defaults to Windows -- I have not figured out how to make Linux the default (as I could with XP).


Hi Rerwin,

To make the Linux the default at the time of following the Lin'N'Win instructions for Windows 7 it is simply a matter of executing the following additional command in the command console

bcdedit /default {Grub4DOS UUID}

If you are doing it retrospectively, like you would be, then these instructions work:

Click the Windows Orb, (Start Menu), and select All Programs

Now select the Accessories folder

Right click the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator

You will be asked if you want to allow the Windows Command Processor program to make changes to the computer.
Click the Yes button.

A Command Prompt window will appear with the cursor flashing next to
c:\Windows\system32>

Have a look at what the BCD contains now by typing the following carefully, including spaces, followed by the enter key:

bcdedit /v

You are looking for something like this:

Real-mode Boot Sector
---------------------
identifier {e25f890c-2d84-11df-b4a8-d580eb35e514}

The identifier in curly brackets is the Grub4DOS UUID

Type the following carefully, including curly brackets, spaces and upper case letters, followed by the enter key.
Remember to substitute your identifier for {Grub4DOS UUID}!

bcdedit /default {Grub4DOS UUID}


Provided you have typed the instruction correctly, you will be told the operation was successful.

Next time you boot your PC the choice of operating system highlight will be on 'Boot using Grub4DOS' and this will be selected as default after the timeout.

You can always revert back to Windows as default by checking 'bcdedit /v' for something like this:

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {e25f8909-2d84-11df-b4a8-d580eb35e514}

and using THIS identifier in the command

bcdedit /default {Windows Boot UUID}

Hope that helps.

ICPUG (author of the Lin'N'WinNewB project)
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rerwin


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1903
Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed 01 Aug 2018, 12:52    Post subject:  

ICPUG,
Thank you for those instructions. Worked out fine.

I also wanted to change the description from the generic one. After reading the help listings (bcdedit /?) I successfully updated it by:

bcdedit /set {Grub4DOS UUID} DESCRIPTION "Puppy Linux"
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