Reading the beginners guide on installing grub2 on bios systems. I have two disks, an SSD, and a main HDD containing windows which seems to be using GPT even though after multiple different checks, I'm fairly certain this is a bios system (is this normal?).
Arch is going on /boot and / on the SSD with /home and /var on the HDD. I have a small (~10mb) unformatted region at the beginning of the SSD that I apparently need to turn into a BIOS Boot Partition. Gdisk complains and threatens to rewrite my GPT when I start the program and Gparted does not seem to offer an option to create any sort of BIOS Boot Partition (0xEF02) as per https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GRUB#BIOS_systems
What do I need to do to make this all work, preferably without destroying anything?
EDIT: updated title to make more sense
Last edited by 3mpach3r (2012-12-31 04:23:07)
How have you determined that you are using gpt? You have not actualy provided any really essential information that might help someone help you.
The system is using GPT under BIOS, though I was wondering if that is something I don't want to be doing when dual booting. Aside from that, I just need to know how to create the BBP
Have you read the notes on GPT from the example?
I have made a personal commitment not to reply in topics that start with a lowercase letter. Proper grammar and punctuation is a sign of respect, and if you do not show any, you will NOT receive any help (at least not from me).
What exactly does gdisk say?
Update: apparently the system is UEFI and I went ahead and followed the instructions from the UEFI page on creating UEFI bootable media however when I try to install grub, I'm getting an error "Couldn't open either sysfs or procfs directories for accessing EFI variables. Try 'modprobe efivars' as root. Installation finished, No error reported."
Additionally, even after reformatting the entire hard drive, gdisk is still throwing the same error "MBR: MBR only.....GPT: not present.....***Found invalid GPT and valid MBR; converting MBR to GPR format. Blah blah dangerous. Exit by typing 'q' if you don't want to convert you MBR.....***"
I was given a UEFI menu on boot that lets me chose to open a v1.0 console, a v2.0 console or UEFI boot the USB drive so I assume that the system is in fact running under UEFI. Additionally, Windows, when installed, created the MBR and GRP tables and GParted seemed to have no issues adding partitions to the GPT. Everything mounts and functions correctly even though there are 7 partitions (the MBR in the state described by gdisk would not allow this).
How do I get grub to install properly (that "no errors reported" bit is a little strange) and is the gdisk error significant in any way?
If you really want people to help you, you should stop ignoring their responses.
It would be helpful if you could give me an idea of what information would be useful l but sure, to answer your question about GPT, as I said, there are 7 working primary partitions on the drive (I can mount and edit data in all of them) which would be awfully difficult to do with a normal MBR (a normal MBR maxes out at 4 primary partitions or 3 and 1 extended partition). On top of that, cfdisk recognizes this and will not run (as it shouldn't). Gdisk is another story as you can see in the post above, however.
To answer DSpider's now largely irrelevant question (though through no fault of his/her own, as stated, I found out that this is a UEFI system), yes I did read it, I'm largely going off the beginners guide and while I've done this about a dozen or so times, this is the second time without the old install scripts and the first time on a non BIOS system.
If you're curious how I changed my mind on the UEFI thing, it turns out this system came with Windows 8 (it must be UEFI to meet M$'s specs). I also realized that even with a fresh disk, Windows 7 would always crate a UEFI partition (that I'm now trying to set up GRUB with) on its own and initialize the disk to GPT.
I was referring to post #5. Poor cfr is being totally ignored here.
I think it is pretty poor form to hold back any information with the expectation that others are going to try to prod and pry it out of you.
If you system is truly set up as UEFI, then you don't need the bios boot partition. If all these things you say are true, it sounds like your partition table is f*cked up. But you have two disks, so I am not sure of anything really. You have 7 partitions... thats great, but how are they arranged between those disks?
Some other things that are probably relevent... is this a laptop? Is this a desktop? Is the second disk an mSATA SSD and therefore installed as a cache? What disk are these errors coming from? ...I hope you might get my point by now...
In addition to what WonderWoofy said, the error you are getting regarding sysfs etc. means that you failed to modprobe efivars at all, failed to modprobe it before chrooting, failed to set up the chroot correctly or were not booted in EFI mode. Which of these applies is currently anybody's guess as is the actual set up of your disks absent the output from gdisk.
Please see the link in my signature for help in asking useful questions. The help you get is largely a function of the quality of the information you provide. We should not have to be asking you for this stuff and we should certainly not be having to ask you over and over for the same information. If you don't plan to provide it, fine. Just in that case stop wasting our time. (And yours but it is your time to waste so that's up to you.)
Ok, my apologies, I'll explain my situation more carefully. I've been messing with this for so long I'm forgetting everyone isn't seeing what I see.
I do know now that I don't need a BIOS boot partition and instead I need a UEFI partition which Windows (which is installed first) is creating on its own and I need to get grub to recognize(?)
As for the layout of the system, it is a laptop and in the end I want windows and arch dual booted. The HDD has the three windows partitions including the UEFI partition as well as / /booot /var and /home. Right now I'm leaving the SSD alone (pulling the system apart would be a pain but its an ultrabook so I think you're right about the SSD being mSATA) so there's nothing on it and will set it up as a flashcache later on if I can figure that bit out, but one step at a time. (also, it was set up with raid but I disabled it as windows wouldn't install with the stock setup)
Again, my apologies cfr, I'll try not to waste anyone's time from now on, especially not on a Sunday morning/night for those of you who are in Wales.
I did try modprobe-ing efivars after entering the chroot, I'll go back and try it without skipping the "Testing if you are booted into UEFI mode" (a rather large oversight on my part) and post the results.
Also, as I said, the error with gdisk you asked about:
Additionally, even after reformatting the entire hard drive, gdisk is still throwing the same error
MBR: MBR only ..... GPT: not present *** Found invalid GPT and valid MBR; converting MBR to GPR format. Blah blah dangerous. Exit by typing 'q' if you don't want to convert your MBR to GPT ***
The standard information: x86_64, intel i5 mobile 3rd gen, 8gb ram, 500gb HDD, 32gb SSD.
Thank you all for trying to help, I appreciate it.
Last edited by 3mpach3r (2012-12-30 17:11:50)
You need to modprobe efivars *before* entering the chroot. And testing is critical.
gdisk is basically telling you the drive is not GPT but MBR. You still haven't given the complete output from gdisk -l although if it is MBR the output from fdisk -l might be more helpful.
Last edited by cfr (2012-12-30 19:12:40)
Ok, I'm starting to think the gdisk error is a bug, when run from the arch disk it produced a clean output (MBR:protective, GPT:present) but when I ran it from a GParted iso, it was producing those errors. As you would expect, running fdisk -l from arch produces the error
WARNING: GPT detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.
followed by a listing of all disks on the system (but no partitions other than sdc, the thumb drive).
Running the modprobe before the chroot fixed the issue and the system is booting into both os's correctly. Thanks for you patience on this one, I appreciate it.
So all along you were using a gparted iso, and you didn't think to mention this?
Honestly it never occurred to me. I assumed both were using more or less the same utility versions so the results should be the same. Is it common to have issues with a separate iso?
You should always say if you are not using the standard Arch version of a utility because you could be using a different version or a version compiled with different options, against different libraries or for different architectures... If you say you are using gdisk, we will assume you mean gdisk from Arch or from the Arch install media. If not, that's relevant information and you should let people know.