Dual Boot Fedora 19 + Win 8.1 on Thinkpda T530 (UEFI)
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  1. #1
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    Dual Boot Fedora 19 + Win 8.1 on Thinkpad T530 (UEFI)

    Hello,

    last week i tried to setup up a dual boot (windows 8.1 and fedora 19) on my thinkpad with uefi and secure boot, but i run into several problems. So i decided to write this post.

    Lets start with the story. Windows is still installed. To install F19 i downloaded live iso and bootet from it. In the installation process I shrinked win partition and than i choosed automatic partition setup (lvm -> boot, swap, home, root). Installation was done very quick. Reboot -> F19 can boot.
    Reboot -> Enter - F12 --> Uefi-Boot-Menue --> Select Windows Boot Manager - Enter --> Black Screen --> Uefi-Boot-Menue again ... Selecting Fedora -> Grub2 --> no Windows Entry --> Boot Fedora and google to fix windows boot

    I have to mention that my linux skills are low. So my google session was more a copy and paste session In the end i killed grub and couldn`t boot any system.
    To fix windows boot, I also tried to boot from win dvd and rebuild bcd, but no success.
    After installing a second windows 8, I was able to boot to my "old" windows 8.1. From here i deleted the new windows 8 partiton and also the linux partitions. (now i have two small empty partitions, that i cant add to my windows 8.1 partition)

    So what did i wrong?
    Did i kill the efi boot partition?
    How looks a right Dual Boot - can i pick windows or fedora from UEFI-boot-menue? Or is it UEFI --> Grub2 --> Fedora or Windows?
    How to add windows entry to grub?
    Last edited by Realnub; 9th November 2013 at 11:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Dual Boot Fedora 19 + Win 8.1 on Thinkpda T530 (UEFI)

    At this time, grub2 is not able to boot Windows in UEFI mode so it's necessary to use the UEFI-boot-menu to boot Fedora. On my HP laptop where I dual-boot W8 and F18, turning on the laptop and doing nothing will boot into W8 by default. But to boot into Fedora, I must get to the "Boot Option Menu" and select Fedora, which then brings up the grub2 menu.

    There are instructions I've found on the web on how to manually add a Windows 8 UEFI install menu entry to grub2 menu and I've tried unsuccessfully to get that to work for me. Though I haven't tried it yet myself, one can use the efibootmgr program (it should be part of your Fedora install), to change the boot order, so that Fedora becomes the default booted OS instead of Windows. There are numerous forum threads and guides you can search for on how that is done.

    As for your "two small empty partitions", perhaps those are the smallish (200MB or so) ESP partitions that Fedora would create during install doing a "default" install. If you installed Fedora twice, they may be left over from that. But make sure you are not mistaking Windows own ESP partition as being one of the "empty" partitions. ESP partitions are formatted FAT32.

  3. #3
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    Re: Dual Boot Fedora 19 + Win 8.1 on Thinkpda T530 (UEFI)

    Quote Originally Posted by PabloTwo
    At this time, grub2 is not able to boot Windows in UEFI mode so it's necessary to use the UEFI-boot-menu to boot Fedora.
    Really? That's news to me. I've been mutli-booting - using Grub2 - Ubuntu, FC18 and W8, all in EFI mode, since February.

    The first install after W8 was Ubuntu 12.10. I was experiencing the same problems you were - Ubuntu wouldn't boot, and Windows would go no further than a blank screen.

    Then I found Boot-Repair. It is a boot utility designed to fix the UEFI bugs of Grub2 and multi-boot system with Windows. Most of it's instructions are aimed at the Ubuntu crowd, but the tool itself is platform agnostic and the methods can be transferred to fixing Fedora.

  4. #4
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    Re: Dual Boot Fedora 19 + Win 8.1 on Thinkpda T530 (UEFI)

    Code:
    $ rpm -q grub2
    grub2-2.00-15.fc18.x86_64
    Dual-booting W8/F18 in UEFI mode, this grub, by itself, won't even acknowledge that the Windows install exists, because it only knows the MBR way of adding a Windows menu entry, and knows it can't handle a UEFI/gpt Windows install correctly, yet.

    Because you found and used some boot repair utility to get around this problem with success, doesn't make my statement any less valid. I never made the claim that there was no way that this could be done. But thank you for sharing the information with the Boot-Repair link. I'm sure it will help other others.
    Last edited by PabloTwo; 9th November 2013 at 09:55 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Dual Boot Fedora 19 + Win 8.1 on Thinkpda T530 (UEFI)

    Thank you so far for your anwsers. I will give dual boot win 8 / fedora another try this week.

  6. #6
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    Re: Dual Boot Fedora 19 + Win 8.1 on Thinkpda T530 (UEFI)

    Concerning GRUB 2, I've seen a number of different problems, some of which apply to only some versions of the program:

    • An inability to launch Windows in EFI mode even with Secure Boot disabled.
    • An inability to launch Windows in EFI mode with Secure Boot enabled.
    • Setup utilities that create useless BIOS-style boot entries for Windows rather than EFI-style boot entries for Windows.
    • Setup utilities that create EFI-style boot entries for Windows that don't function.


    These are four distinct problems with different causes, but inexperienced users often don't communicate enough details to make it clear which is the case. Also, as I said, the problems vary from one version of GRUB to another -- and by "version" I mean the patches used by individual distributions, not the major version number (like 2.0). This makes it difficult for a multi-distribution user, like myself, to keep it all straight as to what does and does not work.

    Personally, I wouldn't recommend using Ubuntu's Boot Repair on a Fedora-only system. The reason is that Boot Repair will install Ubuntu's version of GRUB on your computer. This may work in the short term, but when you upgrade your kernel, I'm not certain that the new version will be picked up. Likewise, if Fedora's GRUB gets upgraded by yum, you might end up back at Square One. That said, I haven't tested this myself; it's conceivable that it will actually work OK and that my concern is unfounded.

    I'm not a fan of GRUB 2; IMHO, it's a bloated everything-but-the-kitchen-sink program -- the exact antithesis of the Unix/Linux philosophy of using a set of small tools rather than a single monolithic tool. For this reason, I picked up development of the abandoned rEFIt and created rEFInd. This is a boot manager that's much simpler to configure than GRUB 2 (when one considers the configuration file format itself; GRUB 2 relies on scripts that can make it relatively painless for users -- when everything works right, which is not as often as it should). Of note for this discussion is the fact that rEFInd is much less finicky about launching Windows than is GRUB 2. rEFInd usually detects the Windows boot loader and presents a menu entry for it automatically, and this menu entry usually works. rEFInd also scans for Linux kernels on every boot, and if the right components were installed, those kernels will show up and be bootable, with no need to update the rEFInd configuration when you update your kernels. Thus, on a system with Secure Boot disabled, you can install rEFInd and boot directly to either Linux or Windows.

    Note that I said with Secure Boot disabled. You can use Secure Boot with rEFInd, but doing so is likely to require extra configuration, as described in the rEFInd Secure Boot documentation. Ideally, the rEFInd installer should detect that Secure Boot was in use and set it up to use it; but then when you reboot, shim will prompt you to register rEFInd's Machine Owner Key (MOK). The installer copies it to the /EFI/refind/keys directory on the ESP, but you'll need to know where to go to find it. If this works as it should, it will be nothing but a one-time hassle. If there are complications, though, you'll have to figure out what went wrong and fix it. Alternatively, you can disable Secure Boot.

  7. #7
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    Re: Dual Boot Fedora 19 + Win 8.1 on Thinkpda T530 (UEFI)

    Now with Secure Boot disabled and a new install of F19 dual boot works fine.

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