Dual Booting All discussion on Dual Booting 2 operating systems (or even more!) on the Dell Mini

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Rejusu Rejusu is offline
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Default WORKING QUAD BOOT GUIDE OSX/W7/Ubuntu/Meego with Chameleon - 05-29-2010, 02:04 PM

As stated, a working quad boot with OSX SL, Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu desktop and Meego 1.0 using the Chameleon bootloader (it chainloads grub).

WARNING: Before proceeding please note that this is a rather involved process and there's a lot that can go wrong at any stage. Be warned that to complete this process requires patience and perseverance. Be prepared to wipe your drive and reinstall the same OS multiple times if necessary.

Additional Notes: Because this was done over the course of several evenings certain steps might be unclear. Also I may have encountered problems that you may be able to avoid. Certain steps may also be entirely unnecessary so be advised and use your better judgement when you feel it's required.

This was also done using a Windows PC as my primary working system and a Mini 10v as my netbook, so steps may need to be altered if you're working from a Mac or other netbook.

Items required
A pile of boot media. If you want avoid having to reflash USB's (I was working on a Dell Mini 10v so SD cards worked great for me) then I recommend having a lot on hand otherwise it'll slow the process down. 3-4 suitably large USB's/SD's minimum (the bare minimum is 2 but I'd highly advise against it). I used a pair of 8GB SD cards, a 4GB SD card and a 4GB USB drive. If you're using SD cards I recommend having at least ONE USB stick, especially if you're working from Windows.

External hard drive, one that you don't mind wiping. While technically optional it's a much easier method than patching the installer, especially if you don't have a Mac.

Your operating systems.

A gparted live ISO. (found via google)

Step 1 - Prepare

On your netbook make sure you have "USB BIOS Legacy Support" enabled in the BIOS.

If you're using less than 5 or 6 boot devices (which you probably are) refer back to this step whenever you need to change what's on a device. We'll be using gparted and Windows first.

NOTE: If you're planning on not using an external HDD for the OSX install you'll need to patch your OSX install media. I won't go into this because I have no experience doing it so I recommend looking elsewhere for a guide. The phrase to google is "Install OSX on MBR". That should help you find what you need. If you can use the HDD method though I'd recommend it.

Mechdrew provides good guides on working the OSX install disk: Guides | OS X | mechdrew
Ubuntu's website will let you know how to do the various Linux installs:
Download | Ubuntu
Here too is a good guide for preparing media using diskpart on Windows:
Use a USB Key to Install Windows 7?Even on a Netbook

There are various other guides on the forum on how to create working USB (or SD) boot media so I won't go into too much detail.

Step 2 - Partition your drive

Plug in the Gparted bootdisk and boot into it. The boot options are fairly straightforward, just go with the general defaults. Once running select your hard drive. Gparted is fairly intuitive so I'll just go over what you need to do with the drive.

Read this step fully and map out how big each partition will be before you start, remember also to label the partitions appropriately.
The drive should be partitioned as an MBR (Master Boot Record) drive. This tends to provide more stable and easier to manage results than using a GUID table as is common in dual boot methods.

You'll want to create three primary partitions and size them according to your preferences. The first partition will be Windows (I chose to make this my large partition), the second will be OSX and the third will be for the GRUB bootloader. I chose to make the third partition 300MB to be extra safe, I doubt it needs to be anywhere near that big though.

Then create an extended partition for your Linux installs. While theoretically you could install any number of linux distros on the logical partitions I just chose two. Create two logical paritions and size them according to your preferences (I just went with two small 8GB partitions). Finally the last logical partition should be your Linux swap space (it's recommended this is double your RAM so I made mine 4GB).

If you planned ahead you should now have 3 primary partitions and 1 extended with 3 logical partitions and no unallocated space. Time to format accordingly. Make the third primary partition and the first two logical partitions ext3 and the swap partition linux-swap. The Windows partition can be made NTFS at this point and the OSX one HFS+, though this is largely irrelevant as they'll be formatted within their installers.

Apply the operations, check everything is correct and exit out of Gparted.

Step 3 - Install Windows

Boot into your Windows install disk and attempt to install on the first partition, the one you set aside for it. You may need to format it. At this point you can get some odd errors occurring. If it says something vague about not being able to install to the partition then exit out of the installer, insert an extra USB device (it doesn't make a difference what's on it) and boot back into the install disk. At this point you may get a "Cannot create or find system partition" when you attempt to install again. Unfortunately I can't remember how exactly I fixed the issue. I'd recommend going into gparted and setting the "boot" flag on the windows partition, or attempting to make the partition active using diskpart:

After language select on the install screen press Shift+F11. Then type diskpart, it may take a moment to start. Type "list disk" (without quotes) and note which disk corresponds to your HDD (it'll be the larger one). Type "select disk x" where x is your disk number, then type "list partition" again taking note of which partition is your windows one. Finally type "select partition x" where x is your windows partition number. Then finally type "active".

If it still won't install to the partition then you'll have to google the error. Unfortunately I'm at a loss as to exactly what I did to proceed from here.

However if you've managed it then you should now have a fully booting copy of Windows 7 once installation has finished. Congratulations! One down, only four to go.

Step 4 - Install OSX

Now boot into your OSX install disk. However if you're using the PC method where by you're booting into the OSX install disk using Chameleon on a USB you may get an odd error with an infuriatingly bizarre solution. If when you try to boot into the OSX install disk you get "cannot find mach_kernel" proceed with the following steps. Restart and boot into chameleon, DO NOT press enter to select the OSX install disk (you don't want to trigger the error even once). Use the arrow keys to select the Windows partition, then reselect the OSX install disk. Now hit enter. I did say it was a bizarre solution.

You should now be in the OSX install disk and continue until the drive selection screen. If you're using a patched installer then just select your OSX partition (formatting it in disk utility if needed) and away you go. If not then you'll be told OSX can't be installed on an MBR disk. Simply plug in your external HDD, go into disk utility and format the external (as I said it has to be one you don't mind wiping) as a GUID partition tabled disk. I'm not sure if this is necessary but I recommend creating a partition that's about the same size as the OSX partition on your netbook (Note: Name the partition on your external as you'd like the partition on your netbook to be called (ie OSX) as this is what the final name will be on your netbook). Continue and install OSX on your external drive.

Once this is complete boot back into the install disk. Go into disk utility, select your OSX partition and go to "Restore". Drag the external partition with OSX on to where it says source and continue. The external paritions contents will be transferred to your netbooks HDD.

If you're using a netbookmaker prepped disk (ie you made it on a Mac) then boot back into the install disk and select NBI from the utilities menu. Make sure the volume selected is your OSX one and untick everything but the first option (installing the Chameleon bootloader). This is taken as stated from Anguish's guide. I assume you perform the other options in NBI outside of the installer.

If you're using the Windows option then use your Chameleon USB to boot into OSX then download the latest version of NBI (if the WiFi isn't working then download elsewhere and transfer it on a UBS). Run it the same as above but leave the other default options ticked as appropriate.

Congratulations. You should now have two OS's fully functional and booting from Chameleon.

If windows isn't booting then follow the instructions towards the end of Anguish's guide: Triple Boot Videos and Guide Using Chameleon, OS X, Windows 7 & Ubuntu Netbook Remix

From here on out you can probably adapt these instructions to put whatever flavour of linux you want on your netbook. The most important thing is that Grub is installed on your third primary partition.

Step 5 - Install Meego

Boot into the Meego install. Go through the steps as standard until you reach the partition step. Select the option that allows you to customise your partition scheme. Continue to configure them. Select the partition you want for Meego and select mount point "/" and tell it to format the partition, leave it as the ext3 file system. You should already have your swap partition sorted. Meego will complain that it's not the recommended filesystem "btrfs" but just ignore it. Continue on from there.

It may hang on the screen "Installing bootloader". If it does you'll have to restart and reinstall from scratch. This time select your other partition and change the mount point to "/boot". This should allow it to install successfully.

Your system should now only boot Meego. We'll fix this later.

Step 5 - Install Ubuntu

Boot into Ubuntu and when you get to the partition menu do as above and select the manual option. As with Meego select the partition you want to install Ubuntu on and select the mount point as "/" and format it as ext3.

Continue until the "Ready to install step"


Click "Advanced" and change where the bootloader will be installed to your third primary partition (the small one you set aside for Grub). Installing the bootloader to that partition is key to making it work with Chameleon.

Complete the installation.

Congratulations! You should now load into Grub and be able to boot everything but OSX.

Final step - Make Chameleon the primary bootloader

This is a simple step. Boot into Windows from GRUB. Start diskpart and follow the instructions listed earlier in the guide to make your OSX partition the active one. Reboot and if all is well you should have a working quad boot. Chameleon should see three things when you boot up, Windows, OSX and Linux. When you select the linux option it'll load into Grub from where you can select your various flavours.

Congratulations if you had the patience and insanity to see this through to completion. Enjoy your quad boot!

I'll try and update this later with various handy tweaks and some video.
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njiosirk njiosirk is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Default 06-07-2010, 03:36 PM

great howto, hope these help.
nbi_0.8.4rc1 USB image file from jamesbarnhill
osx 10.6.3 mbr patch from deviato
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