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Can't install grub with BootICE


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#1 doveman

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Posted 2 weeks ago

I've set up an HP 840 G3 laptop with Windows 10 for my brother and want to make it dual-boot with LibreElec, so he can use that when he wants to show videos on the projector at his club without worrying about Windows doing something weird in the middle of it.

 

However BOOTICE doesn't want to help me and the only options that aren't greyed out under Process MBR are Ultra ISO and Windows NT.

 

Would the fact that Secure Boot is enabled in the BIOS cause this?

 

Is there another tool that will install the grub MBR for me?

 

Also I need to enable Bitlocker on the Windows 10 partition and the Data partition once everything's working but I'm not sure if doing that will overwrite the grub MBR with a Windows one, or if the Bitlocker stuff loads from elsewhere.

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#2 steve6375

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Posted 2 weeks ago

It has GPT partions, not MBR partitions so you cannot install to MBR because there isn't one!

Why not make a bootable USB drive from LibreElec and boot to that and keep it all separate.

It also has the advantage that you can use someone else's computer or notebook, if available, and don't have to take yours (but you will need to test it to check for h/w and driver compatibility).


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#3 doveman

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Doh! That would explain it.

 

Yeah I'll try the USB drive, it's just a bit fiddly booting from them with this laptop. I had to go in the BIOS and disable Secure Boot and enable legacy boot for another stick (which used grub to boot True Image) and I'm not sure if Windows (at least with Bitlocker enabled) will boot without Secure Boot. If not the USB stick will be impractical as I can't expect my brother to go in the BIOS and change settings each time he wants to switch between Windows and LE.



#4 doveman

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Posted 2 weeks ago

It does work from USB stick if I disable Secure Boot in the BIOS and Windows still boots (I haven't tried enabling Bitlocker yet) but I'd still rather have it on the SSD to make it simpler for my brother and free up the USB port.

 

It seems that grub can be installed to the ESP partition but these instructions are aimed at Linux users and grub looks for files in /boot, so is there an equivalent grub4dos method that will load grldr and menu.lst from a FAT32 partition instead?



#5 doveman

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Posted A week ago

I guess it might be easiest to just image the partitions, reconfigure the SSD as MBR and restore from the image. I'm still not sure where the Bitlocker boot screen loads from though or if installing grub on the MBR will mess that up?



#6 steve6375

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Posted A week ago

You cannot boot from encrypted files, so bitlocker requires a separate partition on which it can place bootmgr etc.

"For computers that boot natively with UEFI firmware, at least one FAT32 partition for the system drive and one NTFS partition for the operating system drive. For computers with legacy BIOS firmware, at least two NTFS disk partitions, one for the system drive and one for the operating system drive. For either firmware, the system drive partition must be at least 350 megabytes (MB) and set as the active partition."

 

 

You can use wee to boot to grub4dos once Windows is installed.

https://www.rmprepus...m/tutorials/wee



#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

I don't understand.

 

@doveman

Are you booting UEFI or BIOS?

grub4dos won't work in UEFI (only on BIOS).

If the disk is GPT it is not a big problem, you can use the UMBR to boot the grub4dos from a GPT partition.

http://reboot.pro/to...-11#entry197690

http://chenall.net/post/grub4dos_umbr/

 

@Steve6375

It is not exact to say that GPT has not a MBR, it has a (normally codeless)  "protective MBR" alright.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#8 AnonVendetta

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Posted A week ago

Even GPT has a so-called protective MBR. So it should be possible to write to the MBR with BootIce. Having Secure Boot enabled could be an issue, I recommend always leaving it off if your BIOS will allow you to do so. SB is more headache than it's worth.



#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

Even GPT has a so-called protective MBR. So it should be possible to write to the MBR with BootIce.

No.

Bootice uses the "normal" grub4dos grldr.mbr, which is more than one sector long and thus CANNOT be written to GPT, as second and third sector (onwards, usually up to sector 33) on GPT are used for the GPT partition tables, it simply won't fit..

 

https://en.wikipedia...Partition_Table

 

:duff:

Wonko



#10 doveman

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Posted 5 days ago

I don't understand.

 

@doveman

Are you booting UEFI or BIOS?

grub4dos won't work in UEFI (only on BIOS).

If the disk is GPT it is not a big problem, you can use the UMBR to boot the grub4dos from a GPT partition.

http://reboot.pro/to...-11#entry197690

http://chenall.net/post/grub4dos_umbr/

 

@Steve6375

It is not exact to say that GPT has not a MBR, it has a (normally codeless)  "protective MBR" alright.

 

:duff:

Wonko

I think with Secure Boot enabled it's UEFI but if I switch it to Legacy Mode it's BIOS.

 

Thanks for the link to UMBR, that looks like it should work if I boot from a grub4dos USB stick into the g4d environment to install it. The problem is the download link http://b.chenall.net/boot/grub/umbrdoesn't work. Is there anywhere else I can get it from?



#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 5 days ago

Try the wayback machine cached file:

https://web.archive..../boot/grub/umbr

 

If you have issues with it, you can still use my half-@§§ed (but working AFAIK) approach:

http://reboot.pro/to...o-gpt/?p=193659

OR this one (experimental/to be tested):

http://reboot.pro/to...o-gpt/?p=193947

 

 

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#12 doveman

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Posted A day ago

Thanks, the wayback link worked.

 

I'm struggling to understand the command syntax though. 

 

In the example given it says "The partition with the system installed is (hd0,1)". Presumably by "system" it means the OS but I can't use the Win10 partition as that will be encrypted with bitlocker. My Windows 10 partition is 0,3 and I've put grldr and menu.lst on 0,5, which is a 1GB FAT32 partition for booting LibreElec. As I'll be booting from USB stick to run umbr I guess the SSD will be hd1.

 

It also says "The two backups of the GRLDR are the ESP partition (hd0,0)/grldr and the normal partition (hd0,3)/boot/grub/grldr, and there are partition gaps (hd0) 6554443+63. a WEE63". I don't know what it means by the "two backups", maybe it just means two copies, either of which can be used. I have no idea what the WEE63 bit is about but maybe I don't need that.

 

So if I used:

 

umbr -d=1 -p=3 (hd1,5)/boot/grub/grldr (hd1,0)/grldr

 

will that install something in the ESP that will then look for grldr in /boot/grub and on (hd1,0)? Presumably I could put grldr in the root of (hd1,5) instead of putting it in /boot/grub and change the command to (hd1,5)/grldr. (hd1,0) is the 500MB NTFS Windows Recovery partition so I'm not sure if grldr can go on there but is there even any need to tell umbr to look anywhere other than (hd1,5) for it?

 

After running umbr to install the loaded in the ESP, will this boot by default so that I won't be able to boot Windows or LibreElec anymore without a grldr and menu.lst in place (or by typing in the required commands manually at the grub command line)?



#13 doveman

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Posted A day ago

Also what do I put in menu.lst to boot Win 10?

 

On my desktop I seem to have managed to install it all in one partition, so I can just use

 

root (hd0,1)
makeactive
chainloader /bootmgr
 
but on this laptop the Win 10 partition doesn't contain bootmgr or the boot/BCD and there's three partitions before it, as shown in the screenshot in the OP. Disk Management only shows the 499MB Recovery partition and the 100MB ESP partition, not the 16MB MSR one and those two can't be assigned drive letters anyway so I can't look at them to see what they contain.


#14 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 19 hours ago

Oh yes, they can be assigned a drive letter alright.

 

Just use mountvol (it should be able, running Windows 7 + to assign a letter to the ESP partition), if for any reason that doesn't work try diskpart:

https://support.micr...tvol-utility-in

 

Still, normally in a GPT disk the firmware is UEFI, so in the ESP partition there will be the normal .EFI boot files.

 

You need to add there the BIOS boot files (i.e. BOOTMGR and \boot\BCD) and the grldr (and if neded the menu.lst, if you put the menu.lst in another partition or in a different form default path you will need to edit the embedded menu.lst in grldr to make it find the "full" menu.lst).

 

What the UMBR does in a nutshell is to chainload the grldr, so that as long as the grldr resides in a filesystem that grub4dos can access (i.e. not the bitlockered volume) it can be chainloaded, the ESP partition seems like the most logical choice.

 

I don't think you actually need two copies of grldr.

 

If you don't want to have the grldr and menu.lst in *any* partition, you can try using my approach that creates a (hidden) small volume in the unused space LBA 63-2047 containing all the boot files.

 

This volume won't be normally accessible by the booted windows, but you can mount/access it in grub4dos or use IMDISK with direct access, the only issue might be that the booted windows won't be able to mount/access the BCD.

 

Of course nothing prevents you from having in the hidden small partition just the grldr and menu.lst and have the BOOTMGR and \boot\BCD on the ESP volume (ot in another accessible, not bitlockered, volume.

 

:duff:

Wonko






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