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TOPIC: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install

[HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #1

  • MrSparklle
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This tutorial describes how to set up a multi boot environment for any kind of PC using small and efficient syslinux/extlinux bootloader. The advantage over any other tutorials is that with this method you don't need to install Ubuntu or any other Bloatware for this.

At the end of this you will have a machine just with Windowns and Openelec instaled with a simple menu to choice what system do you want to boot, and much more disk space (due the advantage that don't will be necessary Ubuntu install) to use XBMC.

We started our scenario with 1 HD with already installed Windows 7 in a single NTFS partition.

Step 1. PREPARATION:
First of all you need a bootable pen/cd with a linux distribution like Ubuntu and Gparted installed inside it. Latest Ubuntu Live CD/PEN (11.04) can be used for this, its already have all necessary tools for this tutorial, including Gparted. Download here. http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download 32 Bits version is highly recommended.

Tip: In the same url that you download Ubuntu ISO file there is a simple tutorial that explains how to create a USB bootable Pen/CD.

Step 2. CREATE PARTITIONS:
Boot your machine with Ubuntu Live Pen/CD. And starts Gparted (System -> Administration -> GParted).
The objective of this step is resize the Windows 7 NTFS partition to open space to install Openelec. If you don't have experience with Gparted search google for a good reference, It isn't objective of this tutorial.

You will need a minimal of 256Mb for OpenElec Boot partition and some more space that you think necessary for OpenElec Storage.

- Reduce first partition (/dev/sda1 - windows 7 NTFS)
- Create 2 ext3 partitions:
- /dev/sda2 - (ext3) size: (256Mb) - primary - boot - Label = BOOT
   - /dev/sda3 - (ext3) size: (XXXGb) - primary -      - Label = STORAGE

At the final of this steep your layout partition will be like this:


After create these 2 partitions, open Ubuntu File manager in click on BOOT partition to mount it.


Step 3: INSTALL EXTLINUX BOOTLOADER:
Acess the BOOT partition that you created and mounted in step above then download this file:
$ cd /media/BOOT
$ sudo wget http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1381863/openelec_tut/ope_extlinux.zip
Note: this file has 4.04 version of extlinux, if you need a updated version download it from site.

Unzip it:
$ unzip ope_extlinux.zip

Installing extlinux: (EXTLINUX is a syslinux derivative, which boots from a Linux ext2/ext3/ext4 filesystem).
It works the same way as SYSLINUX, with a few slight modifications
$ sudo mv ./extlinux /usr/bin/extlinux
$ sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/extlinux

try if extlinux was sucessfull instaled simple typing:
$ sudo extlinux

Now, we will install extlinux inside root of BOOT partition:
$ sudo extlinux --install /media/BOOT/

Note: after sucessfull instaled you will see a new file called ldlinux.sys. Don't touch it.

Install the bootloader in MBR partition of the HD: (note it is /dev/sda not sda1, sda2...)
$ sudo dd if=/media/BOOT/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda

After install mbr.bin isn't more necessary, you can delete it:
$ sudo rm -rf /media/BOOT/mbr.bin

STEP 4: COPY OPENELEC FILES:
It's a simple step, just download latest Openelecs version from official site (you can do it by using Firefox browser, it's already installed in your Ubuntu Live Pen/CD).

After downloaded extract it
Copy all files (KERNEL, SYSTEM) from Openelecs extracted ../target folder to /media/BOOT
* Don't create any subdirectory inside /media/BOOT all files need to be in the root.

At the final of this steep your /media/BOOT need exactly these files:


Step 5: FINAL ROUND:
Reeboot your machine in remove the Pen/CD from the drive.
Make sure that system boot from HD
When boot starts Extlinux menu will shown
Choose OpenElec or Windows7 to boot
Have fun!

Notes:
- extlinux.conf is your menu configuration. If necessary alter options that you like. Syslinux is a simple but powerfull menu system, you can learn more about in here: syslinux.zytor.com
- OpenElec can boot from IDE HD, but it needs specific drivers for this. Not all IDE controlers have your compiled drivers inside Openelec kernel, if you have troubles, contact me.
- If this tutorial was useful for you, thankful the author, and donate to Openelec to help him to make this ever better.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*** EXTRA AND OPTIONAL STEP: How to manage your ext3 (OpenELEC BOOT/STORAGE) partitions under Windows ***

It's a optional step for basic++ users. :laugh: that will allow you to manage your ext3 partitions inside Windows. It's usefulll mainly when you need to update your OpenELEC distro.

Natively Windows can't see and manage the ext3 partitions, to make it possible you will need to install a Ext2Fsd driver.

Point to: www.ext2fsd.com and download the latest version
Install it over windows and follow the setup wizard pages to install and configure Ext2Fsd.

After installation completed, execute the Ext2 Volume Manager and select the ext3 partition that you like to mount:


Type F4 to add a drive letter for this partition.

Click Add Button and set these options:


Click OK, and Done to back to main screen of Ext2 Volume Manager.

Next step is enable write permissions on this driver. Type F7 and change the settings like this image below:


RESTART YOUR COMPUTER and your OpenELEC ext3 driver will be mounted automatically.

* Use Ext2Fsd with carefull. Never happened with me, but some people say that the files can be corrupted during copying. Use at your own risk.
Last Edit: 4 years 11 months ago by MrSparklle.
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #2

  • YetiZipper
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Thank you for this tutorial! I just ordered a Zotac MAG, and I look forward to trying this out. I can't wait to get rid of TVersity.
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #3

  • josh4trunks
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Thanks for this, definitely gonna try this soon. By the way you should consider using fdisk if your on an ssd to make sure your allignment is correct. This slightly increases performance and life of an SSD.

On Ubuntu
sudo fdisk -ucl #Every paritions first block should be divisible by 2048

Also openelec can be on ext4 now as well which means discard can be enabled (which automatically trims SSDs, increasing performance and life of an SSD over time). Though discard can't currently be set on boot, hopefully this will get fixed.
Last Edit: 4 years 11 months ago by josh4trunks.
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #4

  • YetiZipper
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EDIT: I solved it!
editing the command to say chain.c32 hd1 0 booted me into Windows 7.
I just gotta figure out a way to make it permanent now.

I ran though this tutorial, and now I get the menu and openelec works well. However, when I try to boot back into Windows 7, i get the following error "Reboot and Select proper Boot device".

The boot option looks like this
chain.c32 hd1 0

I'd appreciate any help.
Last Edit: 4 years 11 months ago by YetiZipper.
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #5

  • MrSparklle
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YetiZipper,

to make it permanent just boot with your Linux Live Pen/CD, mount the BOOT partition again and edit the file extlinux.conf
Save it and reboot.
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #6

  • devkid
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You can also edit that from within OpenELEC. You just have to login with an SSH shell and then you can edit the file extlinux.conf with nano or vi. You find the file in /flash. But you will have to mount that device as writable first with the command "mount -o remount,rw /flash".
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #7

  • devkid
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And another thing which caused some headaches for me: Installing SP1 for Windows7 will fail (or at least did for me) when the Windows7 partition is not marked as active. So I used a linux live CD to run gparted to mark it as active and then installed SP1. I had to reinstall extlinux (and mark BOOT as active) afterwards since it seems the SP1 installer wiped extlinux from the MBR. Just in case you run into the same trouble...
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #8

  • crimson
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hello,

the HOWTO is very easy but my device won't boot properly. I only get to see:

Boot error.

can anyone tell me if the extlinux install command should give an output of succesfull installation ?
i only get to see that on which partition its installing extlinux.

ive tried it both with ext3 and ext4 partitions. could it be that i used an openelec specific for the xtreamer ultra or should extlinux boot and show the menu before the openelec should give an error ?

thanks in advance.
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #9

  • devkid
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A dumb idea (cause thats what happened to me): Did you had accidently still connected your USB-stick to the system so you did not really boot from your HDD but from the stick?
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #10

  • crimson
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hello,

no i really boot from HD. I have an sata2 disk in the htpc and booted with ubuntu, did the actions and booted then without any usb device.

the only thing i can think of my self is that the installation of extlinux didn't work properly. an installation of openelec on the sata disk and an installation of windows 7 works on the disk but a multiboot seems to be hard to accomplish.

i already tried bcdedit from within windows 7 to boot that partition but that also does not work but ubuntu shows me the files that there should be.

i have some little linux knowledge but i cannot find out where the problem should be, except for that the extlinux does not what it should do. i assume that it should create an MBR or something but does not do that properly.
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #11

  • devkid
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Hm, I did it several times and it did work for me when I did it correctly. As I said: One time I booted from the USB-stick and I got that "Boot error" message. The other time I forgot to mark the boot partition as active. Sorry, the only hint I can give is to double check all you did.

Regarding your question:
As far as I remember extlinux just gave a rather cryptic message after the installation. Nothing like "extlinux has been successfully installed" or anything...
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #12

  • crimson
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oke, thanks for your help. i think i see my mistake but will let this know.
the wife is now watching tv so i will do it again tomorrow.
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #13

  • crimson
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i find out my own mistake, i printed the howto with en pdf printer and that did not print two files. so, this is probablby a lesson for me to only trust on the source and not on copies.

anyway, thanks for helping out.
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #14

  • Yohan
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I booted from the Ubuntu-live CD, but had difficulties with boot partition permissions.
In step 3 I fixed the permission problem with sudo wget.
In step 4 I had to copy the openelec-files via the Terminal and Nautilus with "gksudo nautilus" terminal command.

I setup a dual boot config Openelec(default) and Win7
When trying to boot to Win7, I got an error message "Cannot find disk parameters", that I fixed by changing hd1 to hd0 in extlinux.conf.
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Last Edit: 4 years 11 months ago by Yohan.
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Re: [HOWTO] Multiboot OpenElec + Windows without Ubuntu install 4 years 11 months ago #15

  • MrSparklle
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Yohan wrote:
I booted from the Ubuntu-live CD, but had difficulties with boot partition permissions.
In step 3 I fixed the permission problem with sudo wget.
Thanks for the tipo Yohan. I changed the tutorial to correct this step.
Yohan wrote:
In step 4 I had to copy the openelec-files via the Terminal and Nautilus with "gksudo nautilus" terminal command.
Yes, there are many others ways to do this.

Yohan wrote:
I setup a dual boot config Openelec(default) and Win7
When trying to boot to Win7, I got an error message "Cannot find disk parameters", that I fixed by changing hd1 to hd0 in extlinux.conf.
This steps depends on your HD setup.
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