I've searched a lot for my problem but couldn't be sure what should I do in my case.

I bought my Asus N56VZ several months ago, and it came with Windows 7 and bunch of bloatwares that I don't like, so I re-install windows 7 (I don't remember how did I do it). Afterward, I saw an offer to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, then I decided to upgrade, then I have Windows 8 Pro in my Asus at the moment.

Yesterday, I was going to install LinuxMint 13 which is based on Ubuntu 12.04, and I want dual boot after installing it. So with my little experience, I divided my HDD as below:


Then without paying attention to 2 partitions: /dev/sda1 with flag "boot" and /dev/sad2 with flag "msftres", I went ahead to install it as I used to install old versions of Ubuntu before, but after a few steps, I got this message:

The partition table format in use on your disks normally requires you to create a separate partition for boot loader code. This partition should be marked for use as a "Reserved BIOS boot area" and should be at least 1MB in size. Note that this is not the same as a partition mounted on /boot.

It got me very confused since I really don't want to reinstall my Windows 8 because of any stupid mistake, I have a lot of software on it that I don't want to reinstall and reconfigure.

I've google for a while but couldn't be sure about something, so anyone please tell me:

  • What do "boot" and "msftres" partition do?

  • And how should I proceed with the above message to get dual boot (Windows 8 and LinuxMint 13) after installing?


I have a similar situation with my Windows 8 netbook and it actually turns out to be very easy to dual boot. This is how I did it:

  • Create a single ext4 partition and format it using GParted from a live Linux distro or a GParted live CD.

  • Install your Linux distro on that partition (Use the 'Something Else' option when installing Mint). If your drive is GPT-formatted, the installation media won't probably recognize your Windows 8 installation (So you won't get the 'Install along with Windows' option). You may also create another swap partition, which is fine. The ext4 partition is your root (/) if you are doing this manually.

  • Proceed with the installation and write GRUB2 (or some other) bootloader to the MBR.

To boot from external media, you must have switched the boot mode to Legacy BIOS in the BIOS. And this is the mode you need to keep if you want to boot into the Linux distro.

Switch it back to UEFI mode if you want to boot into Windows.

I've dual booted Kali Linux and Windows 8 (pre-installed) on an Acer Aspire One 725 using this method. The partitioning was automatically managed by the installation media, so there might be more to it than what I have mentioned.

This is the partitioning scheme as it stands currently:

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048          821247   400.0 MiB   FFFF  Ba
   2          821248         1435647   300.0 MiB   EF00  EF
   3         1435648         1697791   128.0 MiB   0C01  Mi
   4         1697792       151058431   71.2 GiB    0700  
   5       212662477       946364415   349.9 GiB   0700  
   6       946364416       976773119   14.5 GiB    FFFF  Ba
   7       151058432       151060479   1024.0 KiB  EF02  
   8       151060480       210063359   28.1 GiB    0700  
   9       210063360       212662271   1.2 GiB     8200  

GParted screenshot:

enter image description here

I will recommend cloning the entire disk using Clonezilla before experimenting, just in case.


First of all i would like to show you the Bug page of the msftres which is mentioned on Gnome bugzilla https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=518439 Your problem might be causing due to reason that, windows 8 is having one extra partition than one recovery partition. this is to keep the gap between Windows partition and else.

Also i won't suggest you to ever and ever use Dual booting with windows 8. The reason behind this is, Windows 8 is using Fast Startup technology, which is nothing but letting you all pretend that windows is shut down when you shut downed it, windows 8 is actually in hibernate mode always even if you shut it down, its just to increase the startup and shutdown speed and idea deployed by Microsoft.

this require extra space of 3-4 GB as well as many of the temp file will be deleted and your OS will be unstable especially if you will use the Dual boot with Linux. Source: http://www.inteligentcomp.com/2013/01/Windows-8-dual-boot-will-loose-data.html

if you still want to install than make the partition as follow

  • /boot 100 MB
  • /root 8000-10000 MB for Mint
  • /swap 2xRAM
  • /home as per free space

it should be install easily.

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