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#1 2014-04-12 19:54:25

Duree
Member
Registered: 2014-04-12
Posts: 5

Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

Hello! I'm obviously new to arch and already fascinated about the wonderful documentation and community which really makes my life a whole lot easier.
However, I recently moved from Ubuntu to Arch following the Beginners Instruction from the Wiki and had problems setting up Grub bootloader.
It just wouldn't start anything even though I (at least as much as I know) followed the instructions. I set up a /boot partition etc. I decided to not bother myself much more with Grub and installed Syslinux, which works perfectly fine with my arch installation, but just won't load my Windows 7 (I don't need Windows 7, because I actually set up a Virtual Box for some essential Windows stuff I need to work with, but it's nice having the ability to log in once every while to do some gaming which I was not yet able to set up under Linux).

Here some information to work with:

Running a x86_64 machine, Windows 7 is also 64 bit.
My syslinux.cfg: (only the not working part)

LABEL OS_Install
        MENU LABEL Windows 7
        Com32 /boot/syslinux/chain.c32
        APPEND hd0 3

Information about my Windows Partitions:

sda1: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows 7/2008: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:  
    Boot files:        /BOOTMGR /BOOT/BCD

sda2: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows 7/2008: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:  
    Boot files:        /bootmgr /Boot/BCD

sda3: __________________________________________________________________________

    File system:       ntfs
    Boot sector type:  Windows 7/2008: NTFS
    Boot sector info:  No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block.
    Operating System:  Windows 7
    Boot files:        /bootmgr /Boot/BCD /Windows/System32/winload.exe

What gdisk /dev/sda p says:

   1            2048        26050559   12.4 GiB    2700  Windows RE
   2        26050560        26255359   100.0 MiB   2700  Windows RE
   3        26255360       293091327   127.2 GiB   0700  Microsoft basic data
   4       293091328       335034367   20.0 GiB    8300  Linux filesystem
   5       335034368      1447753727   530.6 GiB   8300  Linux filesystem
   6      1447753728      1464534734   8.0 GiB     8200  Linux swap

Labels are: (from sda1-6) BIOS_RVY, System, OS_Install, arch, home, swap

I hope I did not in some way destroy anything by making mistakes with installing grub and then installing syslinux.
I have also already tried many different things but just could not get it working, Trying to load Windows always gives me following error:

File: \Boot\BCD
Status: 0xc000000f
Info: An error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data.

I already downloaded a Windows Recovery Disk but it didn't work because of compitability errors. (even though it's the same version. don't ask me why it doesn't work).

Would be nice if you could help me a bit. I know there are some similar threads out there, but as I said already, they didn't solve my issue. Also I am familiar with the wiki page and many others. I really tried solving this on my own smile


ps: here a not really up-to-date boot-repair pastebin
http://paste.ubuntu.com/7213491/
note: I did this after I deleted the /boot partition on which grub was installed, but BEFORE I made new partitions for my arch and installed Syslinux. Just in case this might be some use.

Thank you for your response!

Last edited by Duree (2014-04-12 20:23:33)

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#2 2014-04-13 08:18:10

olive
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2008-06-22
Posts: 1,143

Re: Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

You use gdisk? Are you using Bios or UEFI? I think that windows does not recognise GPT partions in Bios mode. If you are using Bios, I think you should reformat your disk with MBR partitions or have a hybrid partition table (you will need to study gdisk for that). If it continues to fail, have a linux recovery disk, and set the boot flag on the windows partition to bypass syslinux completely. Reboot: the machine should boot in Windows directly, if that does not work, the problem is with Windows not syslinux.  If you are using UEFI, syslinux is still beta and cannot boot Windows, look at something like Gummiboot (very simple to configure).

Last edited by olive (2014-04-13 14:18:50)

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#3 2014-04-13 11:43:29

Duree
Member
Registered: 2014-04-12
Posts: 5

Re: Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

Thank you for your answer. Yes I do use gdisk, gpt partitions and Bios. And I think you are right, that windows can only recognise GPT partitions with UEFI. So is reformatting my disk to MBR the only way to get it working? I would rather not have to install Windows again. The Windows Installation came with the Laptop and I think if I completely delete it I would have to buy a new one, since I have no recovery media or anything available (and I'm defenitely not gonna do this).

This thing with the hybrid partition table: wouldn't I have to reformat the ones for windows to MBR anyways?

Can gummiboot boot windows from BIOS and a GPT partition or is that a Windows problem?

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#4 2014-04-13 12:04:28

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: Asteroid B-612
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 3,944
Website

Re: Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

From man gdisk:

Upon exiting with the 'w' option, gdisk replaces the MBR or  disklabel  with  a GPT. This action is potentially dangerous! Your system may become unbootable, and partition type codes may become corrupted if the disk uses unrecognized type codes. Boot problems are particularly likely if you're multi-booting with any GPT-unaware OS.
[...]
      *     If  Windows  is  to  boot from a GPT disk, a partition of type Microsoft Reserved (gdisk internal code 0x0C01) is recommended. This partition
              should be about 128 MiB in size. It ordinarily follows the EFI System Partition and immediately precedes the Windows data  partitions.  (Note
              that  old  versions of GNU Parted create all FAT partitions as this type, which actually makes the partition unusable for normal file storage
              in both Windows and Mac OS X.)

Gummiboot is for booting in EFI mode from an EFI system partition; according to your partition data, windows is not booting up in EFI mode...


_0_
__0
000

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#5 2014-04-13 14:17:50

olive
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2008-06-22
Posts: 1,143

Re: Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

Duree wrote:

Thank you for your answer. Yes I do use gdisk, gpt partitions and Bios. And I think you are right, that windows can only recognise GPT partitions with UEFI. So is reformatting my disk to MBR the only way to get it working? I would rather not have to install Windows again. The Windows Installation came with the Laptop and I think if I completely delete it I would have to buy a new one, since I have no recovery media or anything available (and I'm defenitely not gonna do this).

You do not have any recovery disk at all? How the hard drive was formatted when you purchased the laptop? I think that if you are in BIOS mode; the only way to get it working is to have a mbr partition table. gdisk is able to expose some of the gpt partitions as mbr partitions without reformatting (you can only have 4 mbr partitions, conversion from/to extended partition is not supported). Look at http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/hybrid.html

Duree wrote:

This thing with the hybrid partition table: wouldn't I have to reformat the ones for windows to MBR anyways?

gdisk can do it non destructively.

Duree wrote:

Can gummiboot boot windows from BIOS and a GPT partition or is that a Windows problem?

No it can't. Gummiboot if for UEFI only. No tool will be able to boot Windows in Bios mode from GPT partitions. The problem is with Windows which refuses to see gpt partitions when it is booted in Bios mode; there is nothing the bootloader can do.

Last edited by olive (2014-04-13 14:19:31)

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#6 2014-04-13 19:30:06

Duree
Member
Registered: 2014-04-12
Posts: 5

Re: Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

I have read the instructions and information on that page and I think I will go and try the Hyrid partition table with gdisk, altough the headliner of the infopage seems kind of repelling

Hybrid MBRs: The Good, the Bad, and the So Ugly You'll Tear Your Eyes Out

According to your answers, Gummioot is proably not what I am looking for. I can't work on it right now, but when I get home I will try setting up Syslinux to boot the hyprid Windows MBR. Seems like a couple hours of trying to not trash anything.

I am scared.

olive wrote:

You do not have any recovery disk at all? How the hard drive was formatted when you purchased the laptop?

There was probaly some sort of recovery media with it when I purchased it, but I am afraid it will take me longer searching for it then trying a different approach. Besides, I would still have the problem that I can't boot Windows with the GPT under BIOS. So I guess it's not the end of the world if I trash my Windows installation, but it would be more comfortable if I managed to avoid it.

I will let you know about my progress. Thank's already.

@Head_on_a_Stick:
The man of gdisk didn't really help a lot. Mainly because I did not really understand what this supposed me to do.

Last edited by Duree (2014-04-13 19:32:52)

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#7 2014-04-13 19:32:18

clfarron4
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2013-06-28
Posts: 2,162
Website

Re: Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

Duree wrote:

What gdisk /dev/sda p says:

   1            2048        26050559   12.4 GiB    2700  Windows RE
   2        26050560        26255359   100.0 MiB   2700  Windows RE
   3        26255360       293091327   127.2 GiB   0700  Microsoft basic data
   4       293091328       335034367   20.0 GiB    8300  Linux filesystem
   5       335034368      1447753727   530.6 GiB   8300  Linux filesystem
   6      1447753728      1464534734   8.0 GiB     8200  Linux swap

Labels are: (from sda1-6) BIOS_RVY, System, OS_Install, arch, home, swap

Don't you want to be booting from /dev/sda2? It looks the right size for a Windows 7 boot partition. It also has the SYSTEM label, often used with Windows 7 boot partitions.

Last edited by clfarron4 (2014-04-13 19:33:39)


Claire is fine.
Problems? I have dysgraphia, so clear and concise please.
My public GPG key for package signing
My x86_64 package repository

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#8 2014-04-13 19:37:19

Duree
Member
Registered: 2014-04-12
Posts: 5

Re: Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

clfarron4 wrote:

Don't you want to be booting from /dev/sda2? It looks the right size for a Windows 7 boot partition. It also has the SYSTEM label, often used with Windows 7 boot partitions.

I think you are right, but I have already tried booting from /dev/sda2, same result. I guess the problem really is that Windows can't boot from GPT.

Last edited by Duree (2014-04-13 19:37:44)

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#9 2014-04-29 17:51:00

Duree
Member
Registered: 2014-04-12
Posts: 5

Re: Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

I followed the instructions on http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/hybrid.html and got stuck at the point where I am supposed to select my partitions which I want to convert.

Type from one to three GPT partition numbers, separated by spaces, to be
added to the hybrid MBR, in sequence: 1 2 3
Place EFI GPT (0xEE) partition first in MBR (good for GRUB)? (Y/N): y

Whatever I do next it always seems to only convert the first MBR and extents it till the last sector of the Hard Drive.
If I press "y" at:

Unused partition space(s) found. Use one to protect more partitions? (Y/N): y
Enter an MBR hex code (EE is EFI GPT, but may confuse MacOS): 0a

It creates another one that uses up all the space till the end of the Hard Drive.

So I either get:
1. EFI GPT partition
2. *27 partition

or

1. EFI GPT partition
2. *27 partition
3 *whatever partition

but it does not seem to be possible to convert my first 3 partitions to MBR, have the first sectors of my Hard Drive the Boot MBR (so 4 all together) PLUS leave my other Linux GPT partitions alive.
Any Suggestions on what I am doing wrong or could this be a bug? I used the latest Arch Live CD gdisk.

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#10 2014-05-01 16:06:59

ilkyest
Member
From: Brazil
Registered: 2010-02-13
Posts: 261

Re: Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

If windows is installed on first partition of your harddisk, this is the issue

APPEND hd0 3

try manuall editing syslinux (if I remember, type "e") and use hd 0 1

although.... windows 7 "likes" create a 100mb partition, where windows put his boot files.

Post here your "lsblk". I think it's the problem

Last edited by ilkyest (2014-05-01 16:08:31)

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#11 2014-05-01 18:08:29

the.ridikulus.rat
Member
From: Indiana, USA
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 765

Re: Windows 7 won't boot from Syslinux

@Duree: Convert back to MBR using gdisk http://rodsbooks.com/gdisk/mbr2gpt.html , Converting from GPT to MBR section

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