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Old 2nd May 2018
acampbell acampbell is online now
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Default Keeping Windows and dual booting

I shall shortly be taking delivery of a Dell 3020 desktop with Window 7 preinstalled. I'm wondering about the feasibility of keeping Windows on the disk because very occasionally I run across something (e.g. firmware update) that demands it.

In the past I've usually just installed OBSD and overwritten the Windows partition, but I'm wondering about the feasibility of keeping it (I understand Windows 7 can shrink its partition if necessary). It's a 500GB disk.

The OBSD faq implies that dual booting is a bit of a nightmare, and if that is the case I won't bother, but I thought it might be easier if Windows is already there. Any pointers or comments gratefully received.
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Old 2nd May 2018
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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Assuming for the moment that the new system will use EFI/GPT to boot Windows, the answer is "No." Dual-booting with EFI/GPT is not supported. Dual-booting is only supported with BIOS/MBR boot systems.

Here's a link to shep's comments regarding multiboot with GPT.
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Old 2nd May 2018
shep shep is offline
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Your Windows 7 machine could be using either MBR or GPT. From this Dell Help page:
http://www.dell.com/support/article/...ell-pc?lang=en
"2. How to repair your EFI Bootloader

Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 could install on a Legacy BIOS using MBR. However Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 were designed to install on the UEFI BIOS using the EFI bootloader and GPT."

OpenBSD use to provide sysutils/grub but it does not presently build.
If you have an MBR, the OpenBSD FAQ used to have an entry on adding an OpenBSD entry to the Windows Boot loader (likely archived somewhere). Otherwise, you will be moving/resizing partitions and using a 3rd party bootloader.
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Old 2nd May 2018
acampbell acampbell is online now
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Thanks to both for replies. If I can't preserve Windows it will be no great loss but it might be useful to have it if it proves possible when it arrives.
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Old 3rd May 2018
mefisto mefisto is offline
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Hi acampbell,

following shep's comment, the following link will give you a good starting point: https://cromwell-intl.com/open-sourc...ndows-openbsd/.

Kindest regards,

M
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Old 3rd May 2018
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Hard disks for desktops are inexpensive these days, just slip in a second hard disk and use the BIOS boot menu, to switch OS...
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Old 3rd May 2018
e1-531g e1-531g is offline
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Personally I used Debian Gnu/Linux live-cd/pendrive to install Grub2 bootloader on MBR (UEFI was not supported by OpenBSD at that time). Grub2 lets me choose between Windows and full encrypted OpenBSD.

UEFI should be even simpler to dualboot, because UEFI by itself should have some form of detection and menu (IIRC you need to press some key on keyboard) to choose which OS you want to boot.
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Old 4th May 2018
acampbell acampbell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
Hard disks for desktops are inexpensive these days, just slip in a second hard disk and use the BIOS boot menu, to switch OS...
This is a Small Form Factor chassis so no room for additional disks.
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