Windows/Linux dual-boot imaging using Macrium

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  1. Posts : 19,384
    Windows 10 Pro x64 ; Xubuntu x64
       #1

    Windows/Linux dual-boot imaging using Macrium


    G'day,

    I've setup a dual-boot Windows 7 + LinuxMint13 on a single hard disk. My plan was to use Macrium to image this setup. For the Windows partition, this isn't a problem. For the Linux partition, however, I'm unsure whether a restore of an image of this partition would work, because of my lack of understanding of the relationship between the Windows and GRUB2 bootloaders - let me explain further:

    After the initial Windows installation, I used EasyBCD to copy the bootloader to the C: partition, allowing me to remove the 100MB System Reserved partition. I then installed LinuxMint, and again used EasyBCD to add the LinuxMint boot entry. I again used the 'Write MBR' function under the BCD Deployment option in EasyBCD, to ensure the Windows bootloader appears first at bootup. This allows me to select the LinuxMint entry, which in turn chainloads the GRUB2 bootloader, which eventually loads LinuxMint. This works perfectly.

    Windows/Linux dual-boot imaging using Macrium-capture.png

    My question is: does the GRUB bootloader reside on the Linux partition, or does it reside on the Windows partition by virtue of the EasyBCD manipulation I have done?

    If its the former, than using Macrium to image just the LinuxMint partition will work for me. Can anyone confirm this? Should I also image the Linux Swap partition as part of the LinuxMint partition image?

    Thanks,
    Golden
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 19,384
    Windows 10 Pro x64 ; Xubuntu x64
    Thread Starter
       #2

    OK. I guess there is only one way to find out then.....bombs away!
      My Computer


  3. whs
    Posts : 26,213
    Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
       #3

    I think it does not really matter where the Linux Grub resides. As long as you image/restore all participating partitions (C, Mint, Mint swap), things should work.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 3,133
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
       #4

    Hi Golden. From my experience with dual booting Windows and Linux, the GRUB bootloader is part of the Linux program. With EasyBCD you are adding an entry for GRUB into the Windows bootloader, but I don't think it contains the actual GRUB bootloader, so I would be careful about.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 19,384
    Windows 10 Pro x64 ; Xubuntu x64
    Thread Starter
       #5

    OK.

    This is what I did:

    1. Wiped all the partitions
    2. Restored the LinuxMint and Swap partitions ONLY

    Result : LinuxMint will not boot.

    Thus, I conclude that the GRUB bootloader (or something related to it) must be written to the Windows NTFS partition (which I wiped but did not restore).

    I'll wipe everything again, then restore the Windows, LinuxMint and Swap partitions. Then test to see if Linux will boot.

    I think you are right Wolfgang, all 3 partitions must exist/be restored as they are all integral to one another.

    Regards,
    Golden
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 19,384
    Windows 10 Pro x64 ; Xubuntu x64
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Crap!

    Windows boots just fine, but Linux won't budge from this prompt:

    Code:
    error: unknown filesystem.
    grub rescue> _
    Bleh
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 15,690
    7 X64
       #7

    Easybcd uses neogrub on the Windows partition.

    Suggest you use Paragon free - it has file transfer wizard - you can see/copy to or from /move/delete anything on Linux partition using that from within Windows.

    It also images and restores ext2/3/4/ perfectly.

    I will post a settings.xml you can use to replace the one in Paragon "program" folder to make it easier.

    http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/

    Windows/Linux dual-boot imaging using Macrium-ftw.jpg
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 3,133
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
       #8

    I am not surprised at all that you are having problems with getting Linux to boot, as I have gone through the same thing myself. Someone from another forum mentioned I should try Clonezilla Clonezilla - About, because it works with both NTFS and EXT file systems and I have had good luck with that. But if the Paragon software will do the same thing, I would go that route.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 10,796
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
       #9

    Golden said:
    OK.

    This is what I did:

    1. Wiped all the partitions
    2. Restored the LinuxMint and Swap partitions ONLY

    Result : LinuxMint will not boot.

    Thus, I conclude that the GRUB bootloader (or something related to it) must be written to the Windows NTFS partition (which I wiped but did not restore).

    I'll wipe everything again, then restore the Windows, LinuxMint and Swap partitions. Then test to see if Linux will boot.

    I think you are right Wolfgang, all 3 partitions must exist/be restored as they are all integral to one another.

    Regards,
    Golden
    Was linuxmint partition active at that time?
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 10,796
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
       #10

    MBR is win7 mbr and can easily be rebuilt using "startup repair" win7. It loads the volume boot sector of active partition (your win7 partition) and loads the bootmenu. In bootmenu is:

    -win7. Start winload.exe from partition that start at sector 56234234 for example. Boot fails if you change the start sector of that partition. But "startup repair" will fix that problem.
    -a special entry that loads neogrub (easybcd stuff). It's something like normal grub and uses a small file that says: chainload to "volume boot sector" of harddisk 1 partition 3 for example. If linuxmint still is in partition 3 it works after restore. Otherwise delete the menu option using easybcd and recreate it. chainloading means "jump to another bootloader". Then it loads the linuxmunt bootloader in partition 3.
    If linuxmint is now in partition 4 you can still delete entry using easybcd and make it again.

    But grub itselft in partition 4 has also a config file where linux is! It still points to partition 3! That should be fixed.
    Do you understand?
      My Computer


 
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