EasyBcd 2.2 and GPT discs.

#1
I have had quite a bit of experience with mult-boot systems on older MBR systems.
I had a quad boot system working perfectly Win7, XP, Vista and Ubuntu12. (I needed Vista, XP for legacy reasons)
Everything was backed up with “Paragon Backup and Recovery”.
The Disc was using the older MBR boot method.
Then my computer packed up – an uneconomic to repair M/B video fault.
I bought a new computer (bigger hard disc so I want to use it) BUT it uses the newer GPT boot method which I don’t really understand.
As I had a full version of Win 7 64 bit Ultimate (Not OCM) I decided to reinstall a complete Win 7 system from my backup. Reformat hard drive then clean re-install image from backup.
It was a complete image i.e. all partitions inc. Ubuntu.
The Windows 7 side went fine and is running fine but Ubuntu will not boot.
Ubuntu lives in 3 primary partitions Root (Linux ext4), Swap Linux Swap2 and Home (Linux ext4)
(As its a GPT disc all partitions are primary)
I have EasyBCD 2.2 running (Windows booting OK but not Ubuntu)
I tried Add New Entry
Linux/BCD
Grub2
Auto Detect and Load
But it does not work. Error \NST\AutoNbaGrub0.mbr (I think strange as its a GPT disc so there is no MBR)
I looked at BCD Deployment but it needs the option of writing to the MBR but on a GPT disc there is no MBR so I took “fright” and avoided this option.
What happens with “Write MBR” on an MBR_less GPT disc? Frightened it might corrupt something.
I have searched this site to try and find out how GPT discs boot with EasyBCD but without success – there is a really good section on MBR booting but nothing similar for GPT booting
What does the EasyBCd write MBR do on a GPT disc? Is it safe?
I then decided to install Ubuntu 14.10 using the replacement option i.e. replace 12.10 with 14.10 but keep all my settings.
Installed fine but still will not boot.
I am sure the problem lies with Grub
I tried the "boot-repair-disc" and it detected a boot fault but I am too “frightened” of ending up with an unbootable system to actually try the repair option.
I have had a good search through this site before posting but a lot of the discussion is about earlier versions of EasyBcd which did not support GPT discs or "Convert the GPT disc to MBR" which I would rather avoid!

Any suggestions?
Dave
 
#3
You should first of all investigate your BIOS's options. Modern BIOSes understand how to boot multiple operating systems off the EFI partition. Your BIOS may detect the Ubuntu and allow you to select it for booting.

Secondly when you install Ubuntu you need to tell it to add a boot loader into the EFI partition, Not \dev\sd If your BIOS can dual boot then Ubuntu 14 will automatically set everything up.

Beyond that good luck. I don't think EBCD 2.2 is going to be of any help. I would try EBCD 2.3 but there is a big risk of wrecking things. If you can boot select with the BIOS then you may be best off with that.

Frankly since your not booting win8 you should have been able to go into your BIOS and turn off all the EFI and new booting stuff and install MBR like you are used to. If your disk is 2TB or smaller you do not have to use GPT.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
Microsoft (not EasyBCD) won't allow booting Linux from the BCD on a UEFI PC.
You can let grub take control and let it do the dual-booting into Windows.
 
#6
Thanks for advice.
In the BIOS BOOT options there are only 2 choices. There are no other "Smart Options
for Dual Booting.

BOOT MODE = Legacy BIOS with Secure Boot Disabled (Cannot be enabled)

AND

BOOT MODE = UEFI with Secure Boot Enabled (Cannot be disabled)

Currently its in Legacy Bios and boots Win 7 fine. Selecting UEFI and it will not BOOT.

I though making an GPT revert to a MBR disc required special software.

Currently I have 9 primary partitions.
First 2 are reserved system. Anyone know their purpose?
Then Win 7 and a Data partition (NTFS)
Then 3 Linux
Then XP (For legacy 32 bit hardware drivers)
Then an unused partition.

I dont see how I can achieve the following suggestion "and install MBR like you are used to. If your disk is 2TB or smaller you do not have to use GPT."
Without totally rebuilding my machine from scratch.

I have had years of experience with the old MBR system and multiple boots. This new GPT/EUFI is all new to me.
There is a wealth of information about booting old MBR systems but very little on this new GPT type.

Dave
 
#7
Thanks for advice.

I dont see how I can achieve the following suggestion "and install MBR like you are used to. If your disk is 2TB or smaller you do not have to use GPT."
Without totally rebuilding my machine from scratch.
Dave
Correct.

If you had made an IMAGE backup and restored from that, then it should have overwritten the disk and the disk should now be MBR. So go into Disk Management in Windows and make sure that it is indeed GPT. I would be surprised if it was.

I cannot imagine a decent image backup utility that if you take an image of a disk setup with MBR when you restore from that it transmorgifies the MBR image to
a GPT image. I would be screaming bloody murder to Paragon if that happened. That kind of behavior is completely contrary to a real image backup.

If you take an image of a 2TB hard disk and restore to a 3TB hard disk you should get a 2TB MBR image on your 3TB disk and be unable to use the remaining 1TB. That is how a real image restore utility would work. And of course you would have to have BIOS in legacy boot mode so it would boot off MBR.

If your disk is GPT then scream at Paragon. Maybe there is some hidden option you select during restore to make it actually do a true image restore instead of "I think you want GPT because your probably a moron so I'm going to hack up your disk image" option.

MBR is a max of 2TB. If the disk is larger than 2TB you can only create a 2TB disk if you use MBR.

GPT <> EFI.

You need GPT to run UEFI. But you don't have an EFI partition just because you create a disk GPT

You can create any size disk GPT. GPT isn't something that comes with a disk when you buy it - unless you buy preformatted disks and only those weirdo Macintosh people do that.

Also, when I said to investigate BIOS I did not mean just BIOS setup. A lot of BIOSes have yet another F key you press that brings you to a
BIOS boot menu where you can select the boot device. Go into your BIOS and make sure it is set to display all prompts during boot. Then watch your BIOS and you may need to hit ESC or something to get into the boot menu. BUT, if you have UEFI disabled you may not be able to access that BIOS boot menu anyway.
 
#8
Hi
Thanks for advice. Below are two screen shots of my disc system. Both show the same imnformation but from different utilities.
The Disc is labeled GPT.
The 20MB is a Linux Ext 4
The 4MB is a Linux Swap
The 30MB is a Linux Ext 4

One point is that my disc images and restore were made with Paragon Back up and Recovery 2011. Perhaps it does not fully "understand" GPT discs as 2011 was just when this technology started to be used.

1st is from the Windows 7 Disc Management Snap In.
2nd is from Paragon Partition Manager 2011

Paragon "sees" two partitions before the Win 7 partition.
A 100MB System and a 128MB MicroSoft partition.
but
the Windows 7 Disc Management Snap In does not report the 128MB MS partition.

GPT_Disc_1.jpg

Below is Paragon Partition Manager's view of my system GPT_Disc_2.jpg