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Old 26th September 2016
terrymillers terrymillers is offline
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Default OpenBSD 6.0 amd64 install partitioning

I currently have Windows 10 x64 EFI on an UEFI MOBO and want to replace it with OpenBSD 6.0 amd64.

1. Is it possible to delete the "Recovery Partition", the "EFI System Partition" and the "C: Windows" primary partition and keep the other partitions? I mean, will OpenBSD recognize them or should I delete them all?
2. Should I use MBR or GPT? Will either work?

1TB HDD partitioned like this:

Disk Management shows:

HTML Code:
Volume        Layout    Type    File System    Status                   Capacity
              Simple    Basic                  Recovery Partition       450MB
              Simple    Basic                  EFI System Partition     100MB
C: Windows    Simple    Basic    NTFS          Primary Partition        100GB
D: mp3        Simple    Basic    NTFS          Primary Partition        100GB
E: videos     Simple    Basic    NTFS          Primary Partition        100GB
F: backup     Simple    Basic    NTFS          Primary Partition        100GB
The rest of the HDD is unallocated free space.

Last edited by terrymillers; 26th September 2016 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 26th September 2016
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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Hello, and welcome!
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrymillers View Post
1. Is it possible to delete the "Recovery Partition".., the "EFI System Partition" and the "C: Windows" primary partition and keep the other partitions? I mean, will OpenBSD recognize them or should I delete them all?
OpenBSD will recognize them. But usability and installation are both significant concerns.

Installation with retained filesystems

GPT installation is a relatively new feature, and some manual provisioning may be needed if you want to keep existing partitions. If you want to convert to MBR you would have to manually recreate these partitions and match the starting sectors and sizes.

A simple misunderstanding of OpenBSD's disk partitioning tool use, such as selecting the wrong option -- may cause data loss. If you elect to proceed, you should back up your data first, as that is the only way to ensure you won't lose it.

FYI: The EFI System Partition (type 0xEF) is a FAT formatted partition used to hold EFI boot blocks, and should be retained if you wish to replace Windows with OpenBSD. If the drive is wiped clean, the installation script will replace this partition for you if you chose a GPT installation.

NTFS Filesystem Usability

NTFS is a foreign file system, and the built in filesystem driver is limited to read-only file access. Read/write NTFS is available via an add-on package, ntfs-3g, but the consensus is that has slow performance, being a Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) implementation.

If you can transition the data you want to save into OpenBSD's native filesystem -- FFS -- that would likely be preferable to retaining NTFS filesystems.

Quote:
2. Should I use MBR or GPT? Will either work?
OpenBSD supports EFI boot, but not Secure Boot. You may need to disable Secure Boot in order to replace Windows with another EFI booted operating system. (My EFI hardware doesn't have the option to disable secure boot, if it doesn't find keys, it assumes it is not a secure boot.)

If the hardware offers what is sometimes called Legacy boot (MBR boot), you may find it preferable. But you will need to transition the partitions you want to retain when you replace the GPT with an MBR.

What would I do? 1. Back up the data to be saved, 2. install on a dedicated drive, 3, restore the data.
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Old 26th September 2016
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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One correction - my EFI hardware doesn't have a "disable" secure boot, but:

A secure boot partition cannot be booted except when set as the default boot device. It cannot be selected or booted when choosing from a list.

The system can be removed from the list of possible boot devices .. which I've tested only after removing the OS.
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Old 27th September 2016
terrymillers terrymillers is offline
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I guess I have 2 options. Will any of the 2 options destroy the last 3 NTFS partitions?

1.
1a.) Simply delete "Recovery Partition"
1b.) Delete & Repartition the first Primary Partition to OpenBSD
Code:
File System   Status                   Capacity
              unallocated              450MB (deallocated)
              EFI System Partition     100MB (left intact)
OpenBSD       Primary Partition        100GB (deallocated & partitioned to OpenBSD)
NTFS          Primary Partition        100GB (left intact)
NTFS          Primary Partition        100GB (left intact)
NTFS          Primary Partition        100GB (left intact)
The rest of the HDD is unallocated free space.
2.
2.a) Delete the first 3 partitions
2.b) Create First Partition: 100MB EFI System Partition
2.c) Create Second Partition: 100GB+450MB OpenBSD partition.

Code:
File System   Status                   Capacity
              EFI System Partition     100MB (created)
OpenBSD       Primary Partition        100GB+450MB (partitioned to OpenBSD)
NTFS          Primary Partition        100GB (left intact)
NTFS          Primary Partition        100GB (left intact)
NTFS          Primary Partition        100GB (left intact)
The rest of the HDD is unallocated free space.
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Old 27th September 2016
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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I've just been testing GPT installations using 6.0-release, and it is unlikely to be able to manipulate this disk and still retain any of the GPT partitions.

At this time (6.0 release and -current), the fdisk(8) tool's GPT support is limited to initializing new GPT tables, creating an EFI partition, and revising the OpenBSD Area partition in an existing GPT table.

Backup - Install - Restore remains my recommendation for your use case. Alternatively, you may install and boot onto a second drive, leaving this drive untouched. OpenBSD will recognize the foreign partitions if installed on a different drive.


---

(Incidentally, on 512-byte sector drives, an OpenBSD-created EFI partition will be 480 KB in size -- 960 sectors. So the 100MB that Windows reserves is unnecessary for OpenBSD.)

Last edited by jggimi; 27th September 2016 at 06:59 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 27th September 2016
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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Terry,

I thought I'd add some additional thoughts. It is possible to transition with a single disk, retaining the NTFS partitions you want to retain, but the risk of data loss is extremely high. I've been using OpenBSD for 13 years, and yet I would still back up these partitions before attempting it.

1. Back up the data on the filesystems to be retained.
2. Run the install script, assigning a GPT or MBR to the entire disk. Some systems do not have legacy boot and require GPT.
3. Do NOT accept the auto disklabel(8) partitioning. Instead, deploy custom partitioning. Include the NTFS partitions in the disklabel, using the starting sectors and sizes from the prior GPT. Do NOT give the NTFS partitions mount points. The install script would attempt to format any mount points selected.

Is this ugly? Yes. Is there a high risk of data loss? Yes. Would I do this? No.
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Old 4th October 2016
bsd-keith bsd-keith is offline
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Buy an external/USB HDD, they don't cost much these days, copy all your files to it, then try installing how you want your internal drive, if it doesn't work no problem, all your data is safe on that external drive.
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