You are not logged in.

#1 2021-03-08 18:22:30

Isukali
Member
Registered: 2021-03-08
Posts: 4

[SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

Alright, so I've spent all of last weekend practicing Arch Linux installs. I used a practice machine that has Bodhi Linux on it and was figuring out how to dual boot Arch Linux with it for practice. I have learned a lot when it comes to partition tables and drives management. I have learned how the inner packages and base files of a system work together to actually provide an operatable and clean system. It's been a great learning experience and now I am ready to move on to the next stage. I will try to dual boot Arch Linux on my main machine! But before I do so, I want to clear up a few things since my main machine has a different environment than the test computer. To begin with, I will be dual booting with Windows 10, preferable using the GRUB bootloader (more on that later). On the machine, I have an SSD of 250GB which has Windows on it and about 20 GB free (C:/ drive). I also have a hard drive of 2TB (D:/) for storage, pictures, software, games, etc that. I plan on partitioning the hard drive and giving Arch about 200GB (E:/). I currently have 1.04TB free on the hard drive. Furthermore, I will be using the UEFI/GPT partitioning system to install Arch Linux. At this point, I have a few questions:

- From what I have read, Windows 10 comes with an EFI partition of 100MB. I know it is recommended to use the very same EFI partition for Arch, however, since Windows is installed on my SSD, will the EFI partition be, for lack of a better word, "compatible" with my Arch system which will be on a partition of the hard drive? In short, the ESP for the Arch will be on the SSD and the root partition will be on HDD. Will this work?
- Will I be able to format the 200GB into ext4 while the Remaining 800GB on my HDD remain NTFS? If so, will I be able to access the 800GB NTFS partition on the HDD through Arch since this is where I store most of my files?
- If it is not possible to use the EFI on the SSD from HDD, how does dual-booting work with two EFI partitions, on separate drives? How will GRUB allow me to launch from either Windows or Arch and give me the options for each in the boot menu?

Sorry if my post doesn't meet some guidelines, this is my first post on the forums - not sure if I should have posted this in the Installation category or Newbie Corner! I know I am asking a lot of questions but I just want to make sure I don't somehow mess up my main machine. I will of course be making backups, but even then, I want to be careful. When I was practicing on my test machine, I ended corrupting both file systems of Bodhi and Arch multiple times because I was making novice mistakes on the partitioning stage! However, I was able to overcome all challenges and successfully set up a dual boot between two Linux distros! It's time for Windows. It's time for my main machine. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Last edited by Isukali (2021-03-11 16:33:38)

Offline

#2 2021-03-08 18:42:29

Slithery
Forum Moderator
From: Norfolk, UK
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 4,299

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

Isukali wrote:

- From what I have read, Windows 10 comes with an EFI partition of 100MB. I know it is recommended to use the very same EFI partition for Arch, however, since Windows is installed on my SSD, will the EFI partition be, for lack of a better word, "compatible" with my Arch system which will be on a partition of the hard drive? In short, the ESP for the Arch will be on the SSD and the root partition will be on HDD. Will this work?

Yes. One EFI partition for all OS's is the recommended method.

- Will I be able to format the 200GB into ext4 while the Remaining 800GB on my HDD remain NTFS? If so, will I be able to access the 800GB NTFS partition on the HDD through Arch since this is where I store most of my files?

Yes.

One thing to think about is the whether 100MB will be big enough for your EFI partition, it may be very tight. If you are reinstalling Windows first then I recommend making it 512MB when installing windows...
https://www.ctrl.blog/entry/how-to-esp- … setup.html


No, it didn't "fix" anything. It just shifted the brokeness one space to the right. - jasonwryan
Closing -- for deletion; Banning -- for muppetry. - jasonwryan

aur - dotfiles

Offline

#3 2021-03-08 18:51:02

nunopenim
Member
From: Portugal
Registered: 2021-03-06
Posts: 17

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

Isukali wrote:

- From what I have read, Windows 10 comes with an EFI partition of 100MB. I know it is recommended to use the very same EFI partition for Arch, however, since Windows is installed on my SSD, will the EFI partition be, for lack of a better word, "compatible" with my Arch system which will be on a partition of the hard drive? In short, the ESP for the Arch will be on the SSD and the root partition will be on HDD. Will this work?

Yes, just one EFI partition for the whole machine. However, I personally would feel more comfortable if the EFI partition was around 500MB though.

Isukali wrote:

- Will I be able to format the 200GB into ext4 while the Remaining 800GB on my HDD remain NTFS? If so, will I be able to access the 800GB NTFS partition on the HDD through Arch since this is where I store most of my files?

Yes, however you might need to install the ntfs-3g package.


Check my GitHub here: github.com/nunopenim

Offline

#4 2021-03-08 18:52:31

bernd_b
Member
Registered: 2013-07-30
Posts: 118

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

Isukali wrote:

I know I am asking a lot of questions

Yes, at least I am confused.

I try to start here:

Isukali wrote:

Will I be able to format the 200GB into ext4 while the Remaining 800GB on my HDD remain NTFS?

If the ntfs partition is already there, you cannot format 200GB of it into another file system.
You would have to resize the ntfs parition so that the desired 200 GB remain without belonging to the ntfs partition anymore. But no one will make a bet for you I guess.

If you have a backup of your files, I consider it to be more easy to repartition the hard drive (content wil be deleted by doing this), and install arch. If it boots, you can copy back your backup and explore howto boot windows from the chosen linux boot loader, see arch wiki e.g.

But just my 2 cents.

Offline

#5 2021-03-08 19:09:02

Isukali
Member
Registered: 2021-03-08
Posts: 4

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

Slithery wrote:
Isukali wrote:

- From what I have read, Windows 10 comes with an EFI partition of 100MB. I know it is recommended to use the very same EFI partition for Arch, however, since Windows is installed on my SSD, will the EFI partition be, for lack of a better word, "compatible" with my Arch system which will be on a partition of the hard drive? In short, the ESP for the Arch will be on the SSD and the root partition will be on HDD. Will this work?

Yes. One EFI partition for all OS's is the recommended method.

- Will I be able to format the 200GB into ext4 while the Remaining 800GB on my HDD remain NTFS? If so, will I be able to access the 800GB NTFS partition on the HDD through Arch since this is where I store most of my files?

Yes.

One thing to think about is the whether 100MB will be big enough for your EFI partition, it may be very tight. If you are reinstalling Windows first then I recommend making it 512MB when installing windows...
https://www.ctrl.blog/entry/how-to-esp- … setup.html

Will I be able to resize the EFI partition on the SSD without messing anything up? I have 20GB of free space on the SSD so I should be able to do that right?

Offline

#6 2021-03-09 09:42:22

nunopenim
Member
From: Portugal
Registered: 2021-03-06
Posts: 17

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

Isukali wrote:

Will I be able to resize the EFI partition on the SSD without messing anything up? I have 20GB of free space on the SSD so I should be able to do that right?

It depends on where the free space is. If you have your drive like:

[100 MB EFI] [XX GB Windows' C:\] [20 GB Free]
You wont't be able to expand your EFI partition.

However if you have your drive like:

[100 MB EFI] [20 GB Free] [XX GB Windows' C:\]
You can expand your EFI partition.

Last time I used windows (back in Windows 7 days) you needed 3rd party tools to move your partitions, and then you would need to mess with BCD Edit. I don't know if things got better meanwhile, if the Windows disk utility lets you move the partitions now and because EFI implementation in Windows 7 was a bit wonky.


Check my GitHub here: github.com/nunopenim

Offline

#7 2021-03-09 09:47:40

V1del
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-16
Posts: 12,672

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

100MB is plenty if you opt for a boot loader that doesn't require the initramfs to be on the ESP as well. With GRUB or refind you can keep the kernel images on your linux root and GRUB itself isn't going to take more than a few KB of space. So there wouldn't be an inherent need to resize or move the EFI partition.

Offline

#8 2021-03-09 10:57:20

starquake
Member
Registered: 2013-05-03
Posts: 13

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

I had a machine with dual boot for a while. It took me multiple times to set it up correctly. I also accidentally nuked my Windows partition once, so make sure you have a backup.

I used this wiki page:https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Dual_boot_with_Windows

I had to do it multiple times before I understood all the intricacies involved with Dual Booting. Also my motherboard had a buggy UEFI implementation and it kept losing boot items that were not windows. So I used the --removable flag as described here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GR … on_methods

Good luck!

Offline

#9 2021-03-09 13:48:55

Neonvieh
Member
Registered: 2015-01-01
Posts: 8

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

Some general rules I follow for my Installations are (in no particular order):

  • Keep a Backup of your files.

  • Do not try to resize/move the windows installation Partition.

  • I almost always try to start from a clean install although my current main machine has a arch install still going from 2017 and i migrated that a few times.

  • I find it easier to first only  create the partitions for Linux (in my case 1 ext4 partition and 1 EFI partition without installing Linux, then let Windows create its required Partitions itself and finally instal Linux with a bootloader/manager.

  • Use Grub (or similar) as a Bootloader/Manager to handle Linux and Windows

  • Time synchronisation needs to be changed afterwards

  • Make sure that windows fast boot is disabled. Otherwise partitions which are used by both operating systems might fail to mount correctly

  • I also try to physically separate data Partitions and OS/other system partitions (such as UEFI) in  case that a operating system fails. Unpplugging the data-device is a safe way to not mess it up in the installation phase. (Spoken with experience sad )

I have not done a MBR installation in a long time so the above text is only concerning UEFI installations. MBR is even more prone to moving /resizing partitions. I would suggest to always choose UEFI over MBR if given the choice.

Last edited by Neonvieh (2021-03-09 13:50:45)

Offline

#10 2021-03-10 04:45:56

bmataram
Member
Registered: 2020-05-11
Posts: 5

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

Greetings,

You probably want to check this channel redacted
There's a lot of examples and tutorial how to install arch linux dual booting with windows.

Hope it helps.
Cheers...

Mod edit: Removed Youtube reccommendation -- V1del

Last edited by V1del (2021-03-10 08:07:58)

Offline

#11 2021-03-10 08:09:51

V1del
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-16
Posts: 12,672

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

Please don't link to third party guides. They are not supported here and will lead to a lack of understanding on what has been done.

Offline

#12 2021-03-11 08:12:19

Mikle_Bond
Member
Registered: 2021-03-10
Posts: 4

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

I have a similar setup on my laptop, so here are some quirks I found.

First, Windows installation creates Microsoft Reserved Partition (well, at least Windows 7 and 8.0 did that), and maybe a Recovery Partition. Windows doesn't assign a drive letter to them. So, your setup might be a bit different from what you think. I would recommend booting from any LiveCD/USB and looking more precisely at your drives' layouts before going any further. Even though it was said, that "no meaningful data is stored on MSR," the last time I tried to move this partition to a different place on a drive the Windows broke, and I had to restore it to the same place as before.

Next.

Isukali wrote:

- If it is not possible to use the EFI on the SSD from HDD, how does dual-booting work with two EFI partitions, on separate drives? How will GRUB allow me to launch from either Windows or Arch and give me the options for each in the boot menu?

Having several EFI partitions on different drives should not be a problem. This is the usual situation, e.g. when you are trying to boot from a USB drive in UEFI mode. If there are several EFI partitions, the boot order specifies which entry and from which partition to use. After UEFI loads that entry, it is completely up to that loader to do whatever it can/wants.
If you set GRUB to be the default, it should be able to chainload anything from any drive. Including other EFI entries from other EFI partitions.
Though, the life is simpler with a single ESP.

Now, a bit offtopic, here's my setup. I've had an HDD with Arch and Windows, and later I added SSD and migrated Arch together with EFI partition to it.

# lsblk -o NAME,SIZE,PARTLABEL,PARTTYPENAME
NAME           SIZE PARTLABEL                    PARTTYPENAME
sda          119.2G                              
├─sda1         512M ssd_efi                      EFI System
└─sda2       118.7G ssd_cryptroot                Linux filesystem
  └─ssd_root 118.7G                              
sdb          931.5G                              
├─sdb1           1G hdd_efi                      EFI System
├─sdb2          68G hdd_root                     Linux root (x86-64)
├─sdb3         128M Microsoft reserved partition Microsoft reserved
├─sdb4        79.9G Basic data partition         Microsoft basic data
├─sdb5          70G hdd_home                     Linux filesystem
├─sdb6          12G hdd_var                      Linux filesystem
├─sdb7           4G hdd_swap                     Linux swap
├─sdb8         500G Microsoft basic data         Microsoft basic data
└─sdb9           5G Microsoft basic data         Microsoft basic data

You can see that sdb3 MSR partition I was talking about, resting in the middle of the HDD.
The old Arch root partition is still present as sdb2 as an additional fallback option.
I use systemd-boot, and it loads Arch kernel from sda1, and has an old entry for Windows Boot Manager from sdb1 (I guess it is one of auto-entries, picked from EFI variables). Your setup will probably be simpler, as GRUB will be loading Windows from the same EFI partition.

Offline

#13 2021-03-11 16:33:21

Isukali
Member
Registered: 2021-03-08
Posts: 4

Re: [SOLVED] Proper way to dual-boot install Arch Linux with Windows

Thank you to everyone that helped! I was able to successfully dual boot Arch Linux ( After about 4 repeated installs smile )! I'll be posting more questions in the future.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB