The bad news are that you can have ONLY one partition in the (hd1,3) MBR (i.e. the "(hd1,3,0)", the good news are that most probably you can use the second partition entry in the (hd1,3) MBR to point to another (fake) EMBR (into which you can map another of the GPT partitions, and so on).
Of course this has to be tested, but I believe it can be done. (though still, besides the "because I can do it" reason it has to be found out if it has an actual practical use )
Oh no, no more chained "logical" (the arrangement is highly illogical according to me) partitions. At least not unless its inevitable.
I see as an advantage to not have GRUB2 needed and load directly or "as directly as possible" the grub4dos, as IMHO there are far less risks of issues.
I agree. I'm only using Grub2 now because of ease of testing - each new possibility becomes an entry.
As a side note, I checked the makebootfat source code and it's MBR code (the one I "half-@§§dly hacked" ) is actually derived by the Syslinux one, so, once again, we have to thank H.Peter Anvin and the Syslinux project .
That is exactly what I'm planning to do when I polish the current work into something more people can use... gptmbr from syslinux is the most compact way of loading from a GPT disk from BIOS currently. Remind me again though, why did you seek makebootfat, rather than use \syslinux\gptmbr.bin, which has always been a more standard boot code?
I still find it "cleaner", not because I put it together , really, but because it is "cleaner"
How so? It's hard to change bootmgr and/or bcd that way... Of course, unless WinVBlock is used as here, the same applies to embedded MBR approach.
I believe - though I haven't tested it - that the GRUB2 install will need a few sectors outside the MBR written to disk that may be an issue
Nope, Grub2 uses ef02 partition, remember?
[...] you *need* to have the "(hd1,3)" listed as a partition in the GPT partitioning
[...] the small partition can be either (it is a choice) be listed in the GPT partitioning or it can be "hidden" or "perfectly transparent" to it
But surely, having it listed as a partition, or present as files/data somewhere visible is the point...? What's the advantage in hiding the boot manager, other than making it difficult to edit?
BTW, at first sight there should be no issues to "combine" the two, i.e. still use the "modified" MBR makebootfat code to load the "(hd1,3,0)" and have the (hd1,3) be a "direct" grub4dos grldr.mbr install.
Why all that? Giving up the WinVBlock component means that we can modify \syslinux\gptmbr.bin to boot the first sector of ef01, just like grub2 mbr boots the first sector of ef02. All the complication disappears this way.
I see here a tradeoff between "transparency" and "simplicity" : It's too easy to shove bootmgr and bcd in some sectors somewhere and still boot, but for it to be available to edit later, requires more work, such as what this thread is about.