View Full Version : [ubuntu] Triple Boot with Data Partition

November 13th, 2010, 09:15 PM
So hello everyone, I've been tinkering for over a week to try and get a functioning triple boot + shared data working. i've hit a road block. i'm using reFIt with SnowLeopard/W7/10.10. i can't get into ubuntu

*** Report for internal hard disk ***

Current GPT partition table:
# Start LBA End LBA Type
1 40 409639 EFI System (FAT)
2 409640 390772495 Mac OS X HFS+
3 391034640 781659639 Basic Data
4 781922304 879577087 Basic Data
5 879579136 976773119 Basic Data

Current MBR partition table:
# A Start LBA End LBA Type
1 1 409639 ee EFI Protective
2 409640 390772495 af Mac OS X HFS+
3 391034640 781659639 0c FAT32 (LBA)
4 * 781922304 879577087 07 NTFS/HPFS

MBR contents:
Boot Code: Unknown, but bootable

Partition at LBA 40:
Boot Code: None (Non-system disk message)
File System: FAT32
Listed in GPT as partition 1, type EFI System (FAT)

Partition at LBA 409640:
Boot Code: None
File System: HFS Extended (HFS+)
Listed in GPT as partition 2, type Mac OS X HFS+
Listed in MBR as partition 2, type af Mac OS X HFS+

Partition at LBA 391034640:
Boot Code: None (Non-system disk message)
File System: FAT32
Listed in GPT as partition 3, type Basic Data
Listed in MBR as partition 3, type 0c FAT32 (LBA)

Partition at LBA 781922304:
Boot Code: Windows BOOTMGR (Vista)
File System: NTFS
Listed in GPT as partition 4, type Basic Data
Listed in MBR as partition 4, type 07 NTFS/HPFS, active

Partition at LBA 879579136:
Boot Code: GRUB
File System: ext3
Listed in GPT as partition 5, type Basic Data

OSX and Windows are fine. but whenever i select linux, it boots directly into windows. i'm hoping i don't need to install GRUB2 to the windows partition as that would defeat the purpose of reFIt (would it not?)

November 17th, 2010, 09:39 AM
Just started looking into this, as I'm about to implement the same sort of thing. It sounds like Grub might have to be on one of the first four partitions in order for it to successfully boot Linux. You could accomplish this by making partitions 2-4 your Linux, Windows, and Data partitions, and partition 5 your MacOS partition. (And installing Grub to your Linux partition.)

I'm not crazy about this solution. I was under the impression that earlier partitions are toward the outer rim of the drive, leading to faster seek times. So I really wanted MacOS to be my second partition, rather than my fifth. But it looks like I may have to bite the bullet and put the MacOS partition fifth. Let me know if you come up with a better solution, though.

November 17th, 2010, 04:00 PM
hi guys,

i got it working after countless trial and error formats because the online information is so sketch.

i found partitioning this way works

Initial setup for win7/vista:
1. HFS+ (OSX)
2. FAT32 (Data/Storage/Shared)
3. FAT32/NTFS (Windows 7 or Vista)
4. FAT32 (Linux)

this will make your MBR look like:
1. EFI Protective
2. HFS+
3. FAT32
4. FAT32

and your gpt look like
1. EFI Protective
2. HFS+
3. Microsoft Basic Data
4. Microsoft Basic Data
5. Microsoft Basic Data

then install (in this order) OSX to the OSX Drive, Windows to the Windows drive, and Linux to the Linux drive *with the bootloader on the data drive*

November 17th, 2010, 11:55 PM
So putting the Ubuntu bootloader on the data partition doesn't keep any of the OS's from reading/writing to the data partition? Does the data partition have to be a particular format for this to work? (I need mine to be HFS+ unjournaled. Not sure if that would mess up Ubuntu's ability to read the bootloader from there.)

November 18th, 2010, 07:39 PM
it shouldn't matter. i'm going to format mine to ntfs, but at the boot level, it doesn't matter what the format is. mine's fat32, but the boot sector is readable by efi/mbr anyways, so as long as the boot sectors are there it works.