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I'm currently running Windows 7 64bit as main OS and would like to dual-boot CentOS 7. I'm currently using two drives on my system, one SSD of 120G, and one HDD of 1TB. Windows is installed and boots off the SDD drive, and I use the 1TB drive as my main storage.

I thought I could simply shrink my HDD drive and use the unallocated space to install CentOS but even though the install sees the free space on the HDD, it gives me this error if I try to select the drive: failed to find a suitable stage1 device

Here's a screenshot of Windows 7's disk management showing what I want to do:

Screenshot of Windows 7's disk management

How can I manage to install CentOS 7 on the unallocated space without having to reinstall Windows?

2 Answers 2

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Turns out my issue was that I was booting the DVD of CentOS in UEFI mode instead of normal mode. All I had to do was to boot the DVD into normal mode and install CentOS on the free space of my secondary drive.

Then I did this to enable the dual-boot:

  1. sudo -s
  2. rpm -ivh http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/7/x86_64/repoview/epel-release.html
  3. yum -y install ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs
  4. os-prober
  5. grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
  6. Changed my BIOS boot order to boot from the second drive

I also changed the default grub option using this method: https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/60230/11755

Worked like a charm!

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The error is because the 1 TB volume has a GPT partition table, but does not have a BIOS boot partition, which is needed by GRUB2 for GPT volumes when booting in BIOS mode. See here, in the "GPT" section:

http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/html_node/BIOS-installation.html

From some Googling, it should not be a problem to create the GRUB2 partition as the second partition on the hard disk, after the Windows data partition. The partition should be perhaps 2 or 4 megabytes in size, and of type "bios_grub" or EF02; it should be possible to create a partition of that type from the CentOS installer.

Note that if you do this, you'll still have to select the hard disk as the boot device in order to boot into CentOS.

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  • You mean that if I do this I'll have to go in my boot menu everytime I start my PC and explicitely select my HDD drive to boot in CentOS? Oct 22, 2014 at 20:03
  • Yes, because the boot drive is the SSD, and GRUB2 will be on the HDD. You could alternatively try installing GRUB2 to the SSD's master boot record, but that will only work if the SSD is partitioned in MS-DOS MBR style.
    – DanL4096
    Oct 22, 2014 at 20:09
  • Thanks. Now I'm looking for instructions on how to create that partition. Since I only have Windows to work on now I assume I'd have to create it using the recovery mode of the CentOS DVD? Oct 22, 2014 at 20:16
  • I would give you the bounty but althought you explained why I'm getting the error, you only hinted at the solution and didn't actually provide it. If you can give clear instruction son how to do it, you'll get the bounty. Thanks. Oct 22, 2014 at 21:06
  • Yes; you have to boot the CentOS DVD, and edit the partition table manually using the CentOS installer. You will also need to reinstall CentOS because of that. I've not used CentOS 7 yet, so I can't provide exact instructions. Hope that helps though.
    – DanL4096
    Oct 23, 2014 at 0:36

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