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How do I dual-boot CentOS 6.3 Minimal Version on an Acer 64-bit Windows 8 Laptop and get the GRUB options to select either CentOS or Windows 8 when I restart? (Currently it boots straight into Windows 8. Also I do not want the full version of CentOS with the GUI ).

Here are the steps I took to dual boot CentOS with Windows 8:

  1. Using the Disk Management tool, I shrank my C drive and left the new space (50000 MB) unallocated
  2. Rebooted using the CD (changed boot order with CDRom first)
  3. Selected English, US English
  4. Selected Basic Storage Devices
  5. For networking, I left hostname as default
  6. Selected the City
  7. Entered my root password, confirmed root password
  8. For Installation Type, I selected Create Custom Layout
  9. Selected the Free space, clicked Create
  10. Create Storage dialog, I selected LVM Physical Volume, create
  11. File System Type (swap), Size (2000 MB), Additional Size Options (Fixed size), ok
  12. Selected the free space again, create, Create Partition (Standard Partition), create, Mount Point (/), File System Type (ext4), Size (47000), Additional Size Options (Fill to maximum allowable size), ok, Next, write changes to disk
  13. Install boot loader on /dev/sda2 (ticked), Boot loader operating system list (CentOS /dev/sda7 is selected but there is another option labeled Other /dev/sda4 which is not selected)
  14. After installation completed successfully, I rebooted, pressed F2, changed the Boot order back to Windows Boot Manager, saved, exit

I also noticed that CentOS File System is labelled RAW in the Disk Management tool.


EDIT 1

Here is my first update to my Windows 8 CentOS 6.3 Minimal dualboot problem: I changed the boot order in the BIOS to boot from the HDD instead of Windows Boot Manager and after another restart, it booted into CentOS this time (still no GRUB menu). I found the grub.conf file and notice a line in it that said "hiddenmenu" that was NOT commented out. So I commented it out and upon another restart I got the GRUB screen to appear but only CentOS and "Other" were there, no Windows 8 options. In the grub.conf file there was an entry for "Other" rootnoverify (hd0,3) chainloader +1. My question is, how do I chainload Windows 8? I've already disabled Secure Boot (but left boot type set to UEFI because the "legacy boot" option did not allow my system to boot at all). How do I get the GRUB to allow me to choose between Windows 8 and CentOS?

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You seem to think you have 3 OS's: Windows 8, CentOS, and this mysterious "Other" entry. My suspicion is that "Other" entry is your Windows OS. Try it and see! –  jw013 Feb 5 '13 at 20:16
    
Thanks for the reply. I'm just stating exactly what I see on the GRUB screen. When I click Other, it takes me to a blank screen and nothing happens after that. –  Anthony Feb 5 '13 at 20:24
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Ok, that's the only idea I had. I am not really familiar with either Windows 8 or CentOS but do dual boot Windows 7 with Debian. Typically, the procedure is to install Linux after Windows (which you did), and the Linux installer will automatically find your Windows and add a GRUB entry for it. In this case it looks like that step was not quite successful as you got a non-functional "Other" instead of a "Windows" entry. Are you able to determine from within CentOS which partition your Windows 8 is actually on? Another idea is this might have to do with the new Windows 8 UEFI BIOS. –  jw013 Feb 5 '13 at 20:32
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I would look for a NTFS partition, particularly one with a Windows system directory in it. –  jw013 Feb 5 '13 at 22:11
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What does gparted -l show for partitions and drives? –  slm Feb 6 '13 at 7:08

1 Answer 1

This answer on "Ask Ubuntu" should help you solve your problem.

Basically:

  1. Install Grub on a (small) Linux-Partition
  2. Copy it over as file to Windows 7/8
  3. Use bcdedit to incorporate that into the Windows-Bootloader
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