Is UEFI/GPT difficult

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Is UEFI/GPT difficult

Postby Bob Coleman » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:07 pm

From viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3025&start=10

DrTeeth wrote:
> On Sun, 10 Feb 2019 16:59:25 PST, just as I was about to take a herb,
> Brian K disturbed my reverie and wrote:
>
> > ... UEFI isn't difficult. It just sounds difficult.

Maybe, maybe not.

I have (only) one PC, an inexpensive HP with one internal HD. It came as UEFI/GPT and worked fine.

After a considerable amount of experimentation and trial and error, I got it converted to EMBR so I could use BIBM in the pre-BIU era.

I've off and on tried to convert the disk back to GPT and use BIU mostly as an exercise, but also so I will have some experience with these things if I ever buy another UEFI/GPT PC.

I delete enough partitions so I can uninstall BIBM and convert the disk from EMBR to MBR. I can convert the result to GPT and Win10 boots fine. I can even then install BIU and it boots and boots Win10 at least some of the time. The first problem is that this behavior isn't consistent. Sometimes booting the PC will cause booting BIU and other times it will boot directly to Win10. It might be a good idea to solve this simple problem first (if possible), but running out of time yesterday before restoring the PC to its familiar working state, I tried to ignore that problem and at least see if I could create a copy of Win10 and a second BIU boot item to boot it. I never did figure out how to create such a boot item before giving up completely.

Some of this is probably at least partly due to my lack of understanding of various things. It could also be due to various shortcuts having been taken in the hardware or firmware of a low cost PC. I really don't know.

At this point, I'm (again) thinking that Brian's advice to DrT in the referenced thread, namely "I'd leave it as MBR if it was my computer. Too much work to change." may be pretty good advice.
Bob Coleman
 
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Re: Is UEFI/GPT difficult

Postby Brian K » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:36 pm

Bob,

When I first started using BIU (beta) I experienced some variable results. Then my five year old motherboard failed and I purchased a modern MB (B360 chipset), a CPU and RAM. I'm glad the MB failed as BIU stopped having variable results and has been stable ever since. So if you have an old MB with old UEFI firmware the following may not apply...

Installing initial OS: easy
Installing further Windows OS to any drive: easy
Installing further Linux OS to any drive: easy
Copying Windows OS to any drive: easy
Copying Linux OS to any drive: easy since ver 3.26 software (and BIU 1.06) but quite difficult with previous software

With GPT you should only have one EFI System Partition. Any more than one and you are in trouble. I've tried it. This partition contains the OS booting files. BIU organizes Windows OS booting files into these folders, Microsoft.001, Microsoft.002, Microsoft.003, etc. Similarly, BIU organizes Linux OS booting files into these folders, ubuntu.001, ubuntu.002, ubuntu.003, etc. So the booting files are in the EFI System Partition and the OS files are in another partition on any of the drives. Your choice of drive. OS can be hidden from each other just as they can be hidden in BIBM.

Any questions?

Edit... Microsoft.001 points to your first Windows OS. Microsoft.002 points to your second Windows OS. And so on.
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Re: Is UEFI/GPT difficult

Postby Gary Seven » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:36 am

Excellent summary by Brian K. Thank you!
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Re: Is UEFI/GPT difficult

Postby Gary Seven » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:52 am

Brian K wrote:

> When I first started using BIU (beta) I experienced some variable results.
> Then my five year old motherboard failed and I purchased a modern MB (B360
> chipset), a CPU and RAM. I'm glad the MB failed as BIU stopped having
> variable results and has been stable ever since. So if you have an old MB
> with old UEFI firmware the following may not apply...
<snip>

As I've posted in other threads I will be building a new system soon to replace my last build from 2011 which seems to have a failing motherboard. Let me see if I have this straight:

My new build will probably contain several types of storage: a NMVe 1TB SSD, one or two 1TB SATA SSD's, and probably a 2TB HDD. My plan was to install Linux Mint as my primary OS on the NVMe drive, and Windows 10 on a separate SSD. If all done under the UEFI system and using BIU, how do I proceed?

1. Install BIU to the primary boot drive (the 1TB NVMe SSD) first, then install Linux second? Then install Win10 third?
2. Or install BIU to one of the SATA SSD's first, then do the Linux install and then Windows last?

If I understand Brian correctly, BIU installs to the EFI system partition, then subsequent OS installs (through BIU of course) get installed to whatever partition or other physical drive I deem fit, but the boot files for said OS are installed to the EFI system partition?

If I were to use one of my 1TB SSD's to install various Linux distros for testing purposes, will each distro installed to that SSD have it's boot files from GRUB2 installed to the EFI system partition? This is done automatically by BIU? In fact, how is the EFI System partition created in the first place? By the UEFI? By BIU?

As you can all see, I am still confused by all this even after reading the Terabyte manual a half dozen times.
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Re: Is UEFI/GPT difficult

Postby Brian K » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:52 am

Gary,

That will be a great system. My first suggestion is to put all your OS on the NVMe SSD as it will be your fastest drive. I have over 20 OS on my NVMe SSD.

As with anything computer related there is always more that one way to perform a procedure. I'm only going to describe one method, the one I prefer. You can ask for alternatives if you don't like it.

Your UEFI BIOS. Make sure Secure Boot is enabled and CSM is disabled.

To install BIU. Disconnect all drives except the NVMe SSD. Install BIU using the default options. Boot BIU and you will see...

MSR 16 MB
EFI System Partition 400 MB

Reconnect all drives. Boot into BIU. Don't be surprised if your NVMe drive is not Hard Drive 0. It will probably be the last Hard Drive. No problem, accept this.

It doesn't matter which OS is installed first. Let's say Linux.

https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=281

The above is for a MBR install but it describes "Something Else".

I only use a single partition Linux install, no Swap or Home but install how you prefer. Create the partitions in BIU before commencing the install. If you create the partitions in "Something Else" they won't get Labels and you will have to create Labels later in Partition Work. Now the difference in UEFI is where to install the Boot Loader. Choose the EFI System partition on your NVMe SSD. In your list it will probably be nvme0n1p2. (NVMe drives are not sda or sdb)

After the install has completed you will boot into Linux. Use this to fix the time... (so Windows and Linux see the same Local Time)

timedatectl set-local-rtc 1

Boot BIU media and Reactivate BIU. You will see your Linux Boot Item.

Now, Win10. In BIU create a NTFS partition for the OS. Boot your Win10 media and choose that partition for the install. After you have finished playing with Win10, boot BIU media and Reactivate BIU. You will now see two Boot Items. In Partition Work you will see an extra partition. The Win10 Recovery partition.

If you want to install other OS, it's the same method. Create the partition on any drive of your choosing and do the install.

Have I kept this simple?
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Re: Is UEFI/GPT difficult

Postby Bob Coleman » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:39 pm

Brian K wrote:

> Any questions?

Not at the moment, I guess.

From reading your other comments in this thread, it occurs to me that the next time I get motivated, after changing the disk to GPT, I could disable legacy booting and enable Secure Boot just to see if that makes any difference.

I don't know if my system should be considered "old" in this context (purchased at retail April 2017), but it's unquestionably bottom of the line price wise. I'm guessing that, rather than age, might be an issue.
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Re: Is UEFI/GPT difficult

Postby Brian K » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:57 pm

Bob,

If you decide to use UEFI/GPT again I could give you instructions on copying your OS. It's the easiest procedure. About 4 clicks.

Secure Boot. I like the sound of it. But your computer won't be faster/slower if you use it or not.
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Re: Is UEFI/GPT difficult

Postby Bob Coleman » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:05 pm

Brian K wrote:
> Bob,
>
> If you decide to use UEFI again I could give you instructions on copying
> your OS. It's the easiest procedure. About 4 clicks.

I was just coming back to say I decided I do have a question and found this.

The question: I'm sure you've said more than once that there is somewhere an option Create New Boot Item or something like that when copying an OS. Where is that option? I never found it in my last attempts.
>
> Secure Boot. I like the sound of it. But your computer won't be
> faster/slower if you use it or not.

I wasn't thinking about speed, just hoping this might eliminate some of the varying results of BIU. Probably not.
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Re: Is UEFI/GPT difficult

Postby Brian K » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:22 pm

OK. Copying Win10.

Your drive will have multiple partitions. If the Win10 partition is 50 GB make sure you have 50 GB (at least) Free Space on the drive.

In Partition Work select the Win10 partition
click Copy
select your Free Space and click Paste
type in a new Name for the copy (partition label)
put a tick in Add to Boot Menu (and leave the tick in Data Only)
click OK

That's it. A Win10 copy and Boot Item will be created. Nothing more to do.

Edit... there are more things to do. The Boot Item will have the same name as the original item. So in Boot Edit, select the new item, click Edit and change the Identity. Then in GPT Details, Hide the original Win10 partition. You do this by selecting the original Win10 partition and pressing the keyboard Spacebar. Now in Boot Edit select the original Win10, Edit, hide the new Win10 partition.
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Re: Is UEFI/GPT difficult

Postby Bob Coleman » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:34 pm

Thank you Brian. I may come back to this at some point, but not right now.
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