Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Linux

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Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Linux

Postby Gary Seven » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:55 pm

Hello everyone and the best of New Years 2019.

My current system I built in 2011 is on it's last legs (mobo caps starting to fail) and I will be building a new system this year. Because I am transitioning as a 30 year DOS/Windows user to Linux, my new system will be primarily a Linux Mint machine with an install of Windows 10 to maybe run one or two programs that I have yet to find a Linux replacement for, plus an experimental SSD (1 TB) to install and try other distros while keeping Mint as my primary system. So what I "think" I will do is install the following hardware:

1. An NVME SSD (probably 1 TB) as the primary Linux (root), boot, and Home drive (not to mention the install drive for BIU)
2. A SATA SSD to hold the Win10 OS and some of the few programs I may install to it
3. Another SATA SSD (again, probably 1 TB) to load multiple distros of Linux for testing purposes
4. At least one (maybe two) 4-6 TB old style disk drives just to hold some of my old photos, videos, and of course multi-OS backups (will be using external USB Gen2 storage for backups as well)

So, I have a few things I'd like some guidance on. Before that, I'd just like to say that I've been using David's (er, Terabyte's) BootIt products since about 1998 so am pretty familiar with at least BootIt and Image, but now it seems I need to move on to BootIt UEFI for the new build, correct?

Anyway, what's the best way to go about this? After the build, should I install BIU first to my primary NVME SSD, then go ahead with the Linux Mint install (yes, I know about preparing the HD or SSD beforehand for a Linux install and creating the partitions ahead of time)? After that, my next install would be Windows 10 to it's own dedicated SSD.

Later, I would over time be installing various Linux distros to their own dedicated 1TB SSD. Here's where I'm not sure what to do. After preparing the SSD for that particular Linux install, how do I handle the /boot partition and Grub2 install? That is, if my initial Linux Mint install is done with 4 partitions (/boot for boot files, / for root meaning OS, /Home for my home directory, and /swap for the swap file), how do I share at least the /boot Grub2 boot partition with all my other Linux distros? Can they all share/occupy the original Mint /boot partition, or do I need to set up a /boot partition for each distro install on the separate dedicated SSD for Linux distro testing?

Sorry for the long post but hope my question(s) were clear. I look forward to any advice you all my have to offer. Thank you!
Gary Seven
 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:17 am
Location: Tarragona, Spain

Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Linux

Postby DrTeeth » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:18 pm

On Wed, 2 Jan 2019 11:55:08 PST, just as I was about to take a herb,
Gary Seven disturbed my reverie and wrote:

>Sorry for the long post but hope my question(s) were clear. I look forward to any advice you all my have to offer. Thank you!

Why putz about with UEFI and over-complicate your setup? It does not
look as if you will need it at all. I have just had built a new PC (i7
9900K and Z390) and am using Win 10, Win 8.1 (with hack to re-enable
windows updates that were disabled when a new CPU type is detected,
and about 8 Distros on one hard drive. They are all in primary
partitions and the drives are MBR.
--
Cheers

DrT
______________________________
We may not be able to prevent the stormy times in
our lives; but we can always choose whether or not
to dance in the puddles (Jewish proverb).
DrTeeth
 
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby CyberSimian » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:14 am

DrTeeth wrote:
> Why putz about with UEFI and over-complicate your setup?

I also have standardised on BIBM with EMBRs on all of my systems.

As I understand it, the ONLY way to hide completely one operating system from another is to use an EMBR and omit the other operating systems from the MBR. If you use UEFI with a GPT EFI partition, each operating system can see all of the other operating systems that have been installed, and hence can "fiddle" with them.

UEFI offers "Secure Boot", which may be of importance to you. See this article:

www dot theregister dot co dot uk/2019/01/02/lojax_uefi_rootkit/

My view: I don't visit disreputable web sites, or click on email attachments, so I am content NOT to use "Secure Boot".

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby Eric » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:36 am

CyberSimian wrote:
> with a GPT EFI partition, each operating system can see all of the other operating
> systems that have been installed, and hence can "fiddle" with them.

With BIU, this is not true: you can set-up BIU to hide partitions when booting an OS.
Eric
 
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Location: France

Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby CyberSimian » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:44 am

Eric wrote:
> With BIU, this is not true: you can set-up BIU to hide partitions when booting an OS.

But is this just setting a bit flag in the GPT or EFI partition? If this is all that happens, operating systems are free to ignore this bit flag, and go on the rampage fiddling with other operating systems and data partitions as much as they wish.

An EMBR makes it impossible for the booted operating system to see partitions that are not present in the active MBRs.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
CyberSimian
 
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby Gary Seven » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:04 am

DrTeeth wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Jan 2019 11:55:08 PST
>
> Why putz about with UEFI and over-complicate your setup? It does not
> look as if you will need it at all. I have just had built a new PC (i7
> 9900K and Z390) and am using Win 10, Win 8.1 (with hack to re-enable
> windows updates that were disabled when a new CPU type is detected,
> and about 8 Distros on one hard drive. They are all in primary
> partitions and the drives are MBR.

Hello Dr Dentist. ;) The truth is I really don't want to "putz" around with UEFI. Correct me if I'm wrong but as I understand it, one cannot make a fresh install of Windows 10 to new hardware without doing it through UEFI. Or am I wrong about that? Would much rather do everything through legacy BIOS and BootItBM, but all my reading and multiple forums lurking says that I can't. Would rather just install my old copy of Win7 to my upcoming build but M$ has seen to it that that is not possible. The other day I was able to install VirtualBox 6 in my Linux Mint 19.1 test setup, and discovered after hours of hair pulling and Googling that a very important piece of some old software of mine made by Seagull Scientific indeed DOES run on it! So even though I still have to have Win 10 installed on this new build (to maybe run an esoteric, Windows-only prog or two of my high-school age kids for some class), the plan is to use the OS as little as possible.

Please forgive my denseness as I haven't done a build since 2011. I don't want to install Windows and Linux versions on my new build hooking through UEFI. That's just what I "thought" I had to do. Am I wrong here? Also, do I need to purchase and use Terabyte's BootIt UEFI or I can I just stick with my trusty copy of BootIt BM?
G7
Last edited by Gary Seven on Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gary Seven
 
Posts: 45
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Location: Tarragona, Spain

Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby Gary Seven » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:14 am

CyberSimian wrote:

> I also have standardised on BIBM with EMBRs on all of my systems.

As have I since time immemorial.

> As I understand it, the ONLY way to hide completely one operating system from another
> is to use an EMBR and omit the other operating systems from the MBR. If you use UEFI
> with a GPT EFI partition, each operating system can see all of the other operating
> systems that have been installed, and hence can "fiddle" with them.

Well that brings up another issue I did not address in my OP. Does using UEFI automatically imply that one MUST use GPT (which I'm not interested in doing)?

>
> UEFI offers "Secure Boot", which may be of importance to you. See this
> article:

Not interested and definitely do not need Secure Boot at all.
G7
Gary Seven
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:17 am
Location: Tarragona, Spain

Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby Gary Seven » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:15 am

Eric wrote:
> CyberSimian wrote:
> > with a GPT EFI partition, each operating system can see all of the other
> operating
> > systems that have been installed, and hence can "fiddle" with them.
>
> With BIU, this is not true: you can set-up BIU to hide partitions when booting an OS.

That was my feeling too but I wish David or someone from Terabyte would chime in here.
G7
Gary Seven
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:17 am
Location: Tarragona, Spain

Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby Gary Seven » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:23 am

DrTeeth wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Jan 2019 11:55:08 PST, just as I was about to take a herb,

> [snip] I have just had built a new PC (i7
> 9900K and Z390) and am using Win 10, Win 8.1 (with hack to re-enable
> windows updates that were disabled when a new CPU type is detected,
> and about 8 Distros on one hard drive. They are all in primary
> partitions and the drives are MBR.

Ok, WRT the distro thing, how did you set that up? As per my OP I want to install Linux Mint on my primary, 1TB NVMe SSD drive. That drive will be dedicated solely to that one distro install as my primary driver. On another separate SATA 1TB SSD, I would like to play with various installs of other distros. What I don't have clear because I still don't have my head wrapped around GRUB2 is, can my subsequent Linux distro installs share the same /boot partition that I will create for my Mint install? Or yet, would I even want to do that? Thank you!

Edit: Am I also mistaken in thinking that to boot off an NVMe SSD, one must have UEFI turned on??
G7
Gary Seven
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:17 am
Location: Tarragona, Spain

Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby CyberSimian » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:36 am

Gary Seven wrote:
> Correct me if I'm wrong but as I understand it, one cannot make a fresh
> install of Windows 10 to new hardware without doing it through UEFI.

You will be pleased(?) to learn that yes, you are wrong. Windows 10 can be installed in UEFI mode or MBR mode. I have two Lenovo laptops. They shipped with Windows 10 working in UEFI mode. I imaged the disks (in case I wanted to resurrect the original pre-load), and then deleted all of the partitions, converted the disks from GPT to MBR, and re-installed Windows 10 in MBR mode.

UEFI mode requires a GPT boot disk (but you can have MBR data disks).
MBR mode requires an MBR boot disk (but you can have GPT data disks).

The question of whether you can install Windows 7 on modern systems is related to the processor generation, and not the boot mode. My two Lenovo laptops both have Intel Sky Lake processors (6th generation), which is the last generation that Microsoft, Intel, and others provide support for Windows 7. I have installed Windows 7 on both my Lenovos, whilst retaining Windows 10 and using BIBM as the boot manager (I don't use the Windows Boot Manager).

If you have 7th, 8th, or 9th generation Intel processors, you will probably have difficulty finding Windows 7 drivers, and Microsoft, Intel, and others will refuse to provide any updates when you run their respective update tools.

If you use MBR mode, you don't need BIU -- you can continue to use BIBM.

As regards booting in MBR mode from an NVMe SSD, I am not sure about that. Windows 7 requires an additional driver to access an NVMe disk (Windows 10 already has this driver). So the question is whether BIBM includes this driver (or equivalent). Presumably BIU does include this driver, but I dont know about BIBM.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
CyberSimian
 
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