I am trying to configure my laptop so as to be able to dual boot Windows 7 (64Bit) and Arch Linux.

The laptop on which I want to do that came pre installed with Windows 7. The installation consisted of 2 partitions: the first one 5360 MB in size, obviously being a recovery partition, the second one, using the rest of the harddisk, with Windows itself.

Windows is booted by BIOS through/via MBR.

Here's what I have done so far.

  • Went into Windows and shrank the second partition to make room for some linux partitions.
  • used Arch Linux live cd to startup Linux environment
  • created primary partition /dev/sda3 (100MB for /boot)
  • created extended partition /dev/sda4
  • created /dev/sda5 .. /dev/sda10 for /, /home, /var, swap and two spare partitions.
  • installed Arch linux packages (so that, for example, /boot/grub or /boot/vmlinuz-linux is existing)

And here's where I am stuck.

I figure I should do something with grub (but am not 100% sure about that) so that it loads either Windows on /dev/sda2) or /boot/vmlinuz-linux (on /dev/sda3) but I have no clue how I would proceed, especially that I am not destroying the Windows booting mechanism.

pacman -S os-prober
grub-install /dev/sdX   (do not use partition number)
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

And then you should be all set to go, as long as os-prober is installed, it will let grub detect and preserve the windows boot partition.

Note this is NOT for EFI motherboards.

  • 1
    Thank you very much, it worked (though I am not sure if the duplication of grub-mkconfig grub-mkconfig is necessary). Also, I specified the absolute path with the -o option (leading /). Apr 15 '16 at 18:49
  • typo on my part, sorry. Great to hear you're working now, welcome to Arch :) Apr 15 '16 at 21:16

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