Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

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Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

Postby Bandway » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:59 am

I have been using BootIt NG on a WinXP system for about 12 years. Unfortunately I haven't kept up with BootIt releases since I originally installed it and have got a bit rusty. So can I ask some questions as the current BootIt documentations is very detailed.

I am now going to use Win 7, which my dealer will install for me on a new PC. I want to have the same multi-boot and partition copying features of BootIt NG.

Do I need both BootIt Bare Metal and BootIt UEFI? Do these work essentially the same way as BootIt NG? In other words, there is BootIt code in the boot sector of the hard drive which passes control to BootIt and puts up a menu. Or does UEFI require some BootIt interaction with code on the motherboard?

Also, with BootIt Collection do I need to reserve space for a BootIt partition (before creating a Windows partition) as I used to do with BootIt NG?

Thanks for any info.
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Re: Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

Postby TeraByte Support(PP) » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:30 am

If the Win7 system is using Legacy/MBR booting then you would use BootIt Bare Metal (BIBM). If it's booting UEFI/GPT then you would need to use BootIt UEFI (BIU). BIBM usage is very close to BING and would normally have its own partition. BIU handles booting differently and uses the EFI System partition (you don't need a separate partition, though you may want a larger EFI System partition if you plan on multi-booting more than a few operating systems). Both include the applicable V3 imaging program (IFD/IFU).
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Re: Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

Postby minimalist » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:57 pm

TeraByte Support(PP) wrote:
> ...
> BIU handles
> booting differently and uses the EFI System partition (you don't need a separate
> partition, though you may want a larger EFI System partition if you plan on multi-booting
> more than a few operating systems).
> ...

Background:
I set up a UEFI/GPT computer a couple years ago when BIU was not an option and I am now thinking of installing BIU.
I have 11 or 12 OS's installed over 2 SSDs.
I have a standard EFI partition of 100Mb(on each disk).
I have Windows Boot Manager and rEFInd installed, and /EFI/Microsoft uses around 25Mb, /EFI/refind uses around 4.5Mb, /EFI/tools uses around 1.8Mb(I don't even know which disk I looked at or if the EFI partitions differ on the two disks).

Question:
How much space does BIU take on the EFI partition?
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Re: Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

Postby Brian K » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:38 pm

minimalist wrote:

> How much space does BIU take on the EFI partition?

minimalist, it is 10 MiB in my computer.

When you do a BIU install to an empty drive a 400 MiB ESP is created. It's this size so you can install multiple OS as each Microsoft OS needs its booting files in an individual folder of about 25 MiB in size. A Linux OS needs a folder of about 4 MiB in size. So ten Microsoft OS consume 250 MiB of space in the ESP.

Before/after you install BIU, resize your ESP to 400 MiB or so.
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Re: Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

Postby minimalist » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:07 pm

Brian K wrote:
> minimalist wrote:
>
> > How much space does BIU take on the EFI partition?
>
> minimalist, it is 10 MiB in my computer.
>
> When you do a BIU install to an empty drive a 400 MiB ESP is created. It's this size
> so you can install multiple OS as each Microsoft OS needs its booting files in an
> individual folder of about 25 MiB in size. A Linux OS needs a folder of about 4 MiB
> in size. So ten Microsoft OS consume 250 MiB of space in the ESP.
>
> Before/after you install BIU, resize your ESP to 400 MiB or so.

I already have 11 or 12 Windows OS's on the machine and the \EFI\Microsoft directory is only about 25Mb total.

\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Fonts 13.4Mb
\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\(language directories) 5.5Mb
\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Icons 0.4Mb
\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Resources small
\EFI\Microsoft\Recovery small
\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi 1Mb
\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgr.efi 1Mb
\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\memtest.efi 1Mb
\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\(other files) a little over 1Mb

The ESP partitions on each disk are similar. I don't know how to do a disk usage command in the EFI shell, so these are approximate. What are your bigger files?
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Re: Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

Postby Brian K » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:38 pm

When you install BIU, \EFI\Microsoft is renamed to \EFI\Microsoft.001. When you install the next Microsoft OS you get \EFI\Microsoft.002.
So now you have...
\EFI\Microsoft.001
\EFI\Microsoft.002

When you install the next Microsoft OS you get \EFI\Microsoft.003, etc.

When you boot one of these OS the folder is temporarily renamed to \EFI\Microsoft so in Windows the Path will be correct. On rebooting into BIU the folder is renamed to its original \EFI\Microsoft.xxx.

My folder sizes are similar to yours. I think you should be able to link your multiple OS with BIU.
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Re: Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

Postby minimalist » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:00 pm

Brian K wrote:
> When you install BIU, \EFI\Microsoft is renamed to \EFI\Microsoft.001. When
> you install the next Microsoft OS you get \EFI\Microsoft.002.
> So now you have...
> \EFI\Microsoft.001
> \EFI\Microsoft.002
>
> When you install the next Microsoft OS you get \EFI\Microsoft.003, etc.
>
> When you boot one of these OS the folder is temporarily renamed to
> \EFI\Microsoft so in Windows the Path will be correct. On rebooting into
> BIU the folder is renamed to its original \EFI\Microsoft.xxx.
>
> My folder sizes are similar to yours. I think you should be able to link
> your multiple OS with BIU,

Thanks, that's very helpful. I think I'll go with if it aint broke, don't fix it. I don't really like the solution of replacing the entire Microsoft folder, although I can understand why they did it. Presumably it would be possible to replace just bootmgfw.efi or bootmgr.efi [b]as long as everyone used entirely standard Microsoft folders[/b].

I wonder if it would be possible to just have the partitioning part of BIU installed so that I don't need to boot BIBM from a flash drive for partitioning.
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Re: Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

Postby Brian K » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:34 pm

minimalist wrote:
> I
> don't really like the solution of replacing the entire Microsoft folder, although I
> can understand why they did it.

It works well. I have multiple Windows and Linux OS. Easy to setup.
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Re: Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

Postby minimalist » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:48 am

Goal: Install BIU just for partitioning in a fashion so that it plays nice and touches nothing but its own files in the ESP partition.

I have had a look at the BIU manual and think this is possible, but would like confirmation from TeraByte support staff/experienced users.

I think if one installs BIU and chooses
a) Install boot files to the default UEFI boot directory? NO
b) setup choose partition? YES
c) Would you like BootIt to manage the directories under the EFI directory? NO
then BIU will install a bootable bootit.efi item in \EFI\BootIt along with its other files and not touch anything outside \EFI\BootIt\*. Is this true?

Additional comments:
I assume bootit.efi will start at the boot screen(which I won't be using) or the direct boot screen(which I might use), but it is easy to get to partitioning from there.
I would just install additional OS without using BUI and they would be added to WBM or GRUB potentially with user assistance.
a) above is just preference, I would rather have files in /BootIt than /Boot
I don't know what I would use as the default booting option, but with this setup I would have all my current options plus the direct boot menu from BIU. Also, BIU would show in rEFInd menu.
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Re: Preparatory steps for BootIt on Win 7

Postby minimalist » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:59 pm

So I did the install as outlined above to use BIU for backup/partition work.

Indeed, it did install files to \EFI\BootIt\*, and modified \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD.LOG, but modified no other files.

It did not however put a boot option in NVRAM, so you would be unable to boot it without more work. However, this could be due to the Acer laptop, as it is difficult to add boot options.

Information to add BootIt.efi as a boot option:

1) Acer laptop specific: You need to add bootit.efi as a trusted UEFI file even with secure boot turned off (https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php ... st13341757).
a) launch firmware utility with F2
b) under security, set supervisor password
c) under boot, turn on secure boot
d) under security, choose select a UEFI file as trusted for executing and navigate to file via drive -> EFI -> BootIt -> BootIt.efi
e) unset secure boot and supervisor password if desired
f) save and reboot

2) General (won't work with some Acer models): You need to write a new entry to NVRAM as a boot option.
a) launch uefi shell, I have a USB drive as described in the purple box(https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Un ... UEFI_Shell)
b) map (note which file system has \EFI, often FS1: if booting from USB)
c) bcfg boot add 3 FS1:\EFI\BootIt\BootIt.efi "BootIt", if you want BootIt to be 4th in the list of options
d) turn off the computer and reboot

Additionally, the bootit.ini file will be incorrect as you will want it to start at the desktop or partition work. You can edit the bootit.ini file from the UEFI shell, although you'll probably need to remove the archive attribute with attrib -a bootit.ini when in the \EFI\BootIt\ directory. You want a file with at least

[Options]
StartAt=0

to start at the desktop.
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