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Old 09-18-2012, 09:14 AM
Robbie Smith
 
Default Wanted: advice dual-booting Arch and Windows 7 on new laptop

Hi everyone

TL;DR: I've just bought a new HP Pavilion g6-2103ax, and I'm having
difficulties trying to figure out how I can dual-boot it with Windows 7
(which was preinstalled).


Windows *still* defaults to using MBR partitions, and even though the
system is UEFI, HP have used some trickery somewhere to make it boot
from BIOS. To make matters worse, the disk table already has four
partitions:


SYSTEM: 199 MB NTFS
Windows C drive: ~ 450 GB NTFS
HP Recovery partition: 18.5 GB NTFS
HP_TOOLS: 99 MB FAT32

The SYSTEM partition seems to contain the Windows bootloader, or
something along those lines. The HP Recovery partition contains the
software necessary to do a factory reset, and HP_TOOLS contains some
UEFI applications (some system diagnostic things). C drive is Windows.


What I was thinking of doing was shrinking C drive, and deleting the
recovery partition to make space for Arch. But on my first attempt,
parted bricked the table, and whilst I was able to recover it, Windows
refused to boot. I obtained recovery disks to restore it, but they are
completely non-interactive so cannot be used to rescue Windows, only
reset to factory initial state.


Due to the arrangement of the partitions, I don't think creating an
Extended partition will work (they need to be the last one in the table,
don't they?), and while I've read GRUB2 can use /boot in LVM, I'm not
sure whether this will work. Also, I've never used GRUB2 before, and its
configs look formidable compared to Syslinux. Ideally I'd switch to GPT,
but Windows needs to be booted in UEFI mode for this, but I have no idea
how to enable this as there's neither a switch in the BIOS settings, nor
settings in Windows.


Can anyone advise me on how I could overcome these issues? Has anyone
had any experience with new HP g6 models?
 

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