Windows 10: Dual boot for Win 10, Win 7 and Centos.

  1.    27 Jan 2018 #1

    Dual boot for Win 10, Win 7 and Centos.


    I would like to install 3 operative system (win 10 - win 7 and centos ) on the same HD in dual boot system.
    I would like to keep as much as possible the OS separate (no interference) each other and more stable possible.
    What will be the best way to do it?
    I should use an external software like "master booter" or GRUB built in the linux distro is good enough?

    Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. topgundcp's Avatar
    Posts : 2,435
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       27 Jan 2018 #2

    You might want to use something like this:
    The rEFInd Boot Manager
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    28 Jan 2018 #3

    Thank you Topgundcp for this suggestion.

    I believe you have used this utility as I would like to ask some questions.

    I am going to set it up on win 10 OS first..... following the instructions by Command prompt.

    As I am not very expert to set it up I would like to ask some questions below:

    1) Once I have installed the 3 OS on 3 the different partitions, at the boot REFIND will recognize all OS creating automatically the 3 OS options?
    2) In a windows environment how can i set up the "conf file" ( i opened it with notepad - i lost) as for example the OS name, time, icon, background...etc...?
    3) As the interface seems very smart and full of options, do I need to lock the the "all extra options" so that no-body could mess around? How?

    Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    28 Jan 2018 #4

    1. Yes it will. It will also automatically find almost any boot loader on any external USB/DVD you happen to plug in. I have found it finds Windows, MacOS, CentOS (and most other distros) automatically - the only time I had to make a manual boot stanza (i.e. change the refind.conf file as an OS was not found) was for Arch.

    2. If you want to edit refind.conf file then you need to mount ESP first. You can then use sudo nano from CentOS or Notepad.exe (run as administrator) from Windows. Both work fine for me.

    As you are installing from Windows, I would copy the /EFI/refind/refind.conf.sample to /EFI/refind/refind.conf and then edit at that point. This is step 8 in the installation notes: Installing rEFInd Manually Using Windows.

    If you want to do it later just mount ESP and edit it again.

    3. Don't give users admin account/sudo access obviously. If you do they can mount esp and change conf file to anything.
    You certainly might want to remove some of the options on the second line - these are governed by the showtools parameter in the refind.conf file. I would uncomment it (so as not to take default options) and then remove most of them except for recovery/shutdown. You don't want people changing partition scheme or entering EFI shell really. For example change
    Code:
    #showtools shell, gdisk, memtest, mok_tool, apple_recovery, windows_recovery, about, hidden_tags, reboot, exit, firmware, fwupdate
    to
    Code:
    showtools windows_recovery, about, reboot, exit

    The refind.conf file is very well documented with internal comments but you could have a read here The rEFInd Boot Manager: Configuring the Boot Manager.

    What you might want to do during install is when you have ESP mounted (you have to do this as part of installing it from Windows), delete EFI drivers/architecture you don't use - it makes it load quicker. This is described in the installation notes mentioned above. It doesn't save a lot of time but if you don't need 32 bit or ReiserFS you may as well delete them. I must admit I ignored this step for years though and I only do it for tidiness rather than performance.

    Another thing to be aware of is upgrading Windows (every 6 months now it seems) you'll probably have to reset your NVRAM to point back to rEFInd as Windows upgrade likes to reset it to Windows boot manager. This is done by: bcdedit /set "{bootmgr}" path \EFI\refind\refind_x64.efi

    It is one of the steps for the manual Windows install described in the link above but you may have to repeat it. OSX upgrades also like to grab the boot manager entry but Linux (in my experience) doesn't.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    28 Jan 2018 #5

    Thanks for all your suggestions and help.
    So have I to re-set refind as the default EFI boot program every 6 months?

    I have opened refind.conf.sample with notepad++ to look around (as it will be renamed = refind.conf) and I found few setting active most of the options are deselected (#) . Are active only the time at 20 sec and at the end of it some general OS icon configurations, not more.
    I had some difficulty to understand how edit it as for example add a different background , new icons, remove written part and refind logo...etc.?
    Somethig like that:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Could you please help me with some example to have an idea in how to edit it as I believe once it will be copied and renamed in ESP it can be edited only by command, isn't it? If I can view some example probably I could understand how it works.

    Is there, when refind boot, at the first page (where the user can choose what OS want to load) an option/s the user can select -a part of the OS icons- to messing around?

    Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    29 Jan 2018 #6

    epulone said: View Post
    So have I to re-set refind as the default EFI boot program every 6 months?
    Probably. But this applies to any boot manager if you use Windows or MacOS as their upgrade procedure overwrites the default boot manager held in NVRAM to their own. Really don't worry about it - if you stop booting into rEFInd and boot direct into Windows then set it back.

    epulone said: View Post
    I have opened refind.conf.sample with notepad++ to look around (as it will be renamed = refind.conf) and I found few setting active most of the options are deselected (#) . Are active only the time at 20 sec and at the end of it some general OS icon configurations, not more.
    If you look above the commented line is a description of the default. If you want to change the default then remove the # (# means it is a comment) and edit it (or copy it below). For example see this bit - I've changed the default for options:
    Code:
    # Default is shell,memtest,gdisk,apple_recovery,windows_recovery,mok_tool,about,shutdown,reboot,firmware,fwupdate
    #
    #showtools shell, gdisk, memtest, mok_tool, apple_recovery, windows_recovery, about, reboot, exit, firmware, fwupdate
    showtools gdisk, apple_recovery, windows_recovery, about, reboot, exit
    epulone said: View Post
    I had some difficulty to understand how edit it as for example add a different background , new icons, remove written part and refind logo...etc.?
    Mine looks like this which is pretty boring:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The easiest way to change the icons is to replace the default (for example EFI/refind/icons/os_centos.png) with your own one (that is all I've ever done - I used my own for Windows 10 before rEFInd caught up).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There is a whole section on theming (changing background etc) here if you are interested The rEFInd Boot Manager: Theming rEFInd


    epulone said: View Post
    Could you please help me with some example to have an idea in how to edit it
    I don't do themeing so my refind.conf is pretty much the same as refind.conf.sample. If you get stuck though I'm more than happy to try what you are attempting and see if I can get it to work.

    epulone said: View Post
    I believe once it will be copied and renamed in ESP it can be edited only by command, isn't it?
    Nope. At any time you can mount the ESP and edit refind.conf or anything else in the ESP.

    You can use Notepad or Notepad++ as long as you start them as administrator (right click and "run as administrator").

    Like this - Open cmd (or powershell) as administrator and mount the ESP using mountvol S: /s - this will mount the system partition at drive letter S. You will not see it in file explorer as it doesn't run as administrator. There is a solution to that here but you don't need it.

    Then open Notepad++ as administrator and click on open.

    Then browse to S:\EFI\refind\refind.conf and you can edit it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    epulone said: View Post
    Is there, when refind boot, at the first page (where the user can choose what OS want to load) an option/s the user can select -a part of the OS icons- to messing around?
    I don't understand, sorry. If you mean are there options to enter EFI shell or repartition your drive then, by default, yes. You can remove these in the conf file as mentioned above.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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