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Thread: Triple Boot MacbookPro (Lion, Win7, Ubuntu)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    15

    How-to triple boot Macbook Pro 2011... Lion, Windows 7, Ubuntu

    Alright, so I begin knowing that their are many such posts out their such as this. This however, is what worked for me, and so i thought i would share. My experience was mostly trial and error and my solution came from researching other fixes. For this guide I am assuming that you know your way around your mac fairly well. Although if i have posted this in the wrong place, i apologize. But i digress...

    My hardware: MacbookPro8,2

    The problems
    • Lion recovery partition getting in the way
    • Windows not booting after installing Ubuntu…. "missing operating system"
    • refit not installing properly


    The solution:

    download and install got fdisk for mac... http://sourceforge.net/projects/gptfdisk/
    download rEFIt... http://refit.sourceforge.net/

    MAKE BACKUP: once gdisk is installed go to terminal and type 'sudo disk /dev/disk0'. it will take you to the disk menu. once there enter 'b', and type a file name (it will automatically save in your home folder). once finish quit by entering 'q'

    installing refit... many people have difficulty installing refit. the trick is to install it manually (check out refit's documentation). reboot and you should see your new loader.

    partition your disk... you need to create two new partitions for windows and linux (disk utility works just fine). format both of them to FAT.

    install windows 7.... in the installer format the disk you want windows on as ntfs and finish through installation (note:your computer will reboot several times and each time it does make sure to boot from your new windows partition under refit). Once its all finished go ahead and install your boot camp drivers. your eject key won't work yet so you'll have to eject the setup disk from the control panel.

    install ubuntu... for this you are going to need both a live usb and live cd. create live usb: http://www.nightlion.net/guides/2011...line-diskutil/ and for the live cd simply burn the .iso with disk utility. with both the cd and the usb inserted in the computer, reboot and hold down the 'C' key on restart. It may take several minutes but you should get to the installer. In the installer select the advanced installation option. format and use the partition you set aside for linux. set the mount point to '/' and *install the grub boot loader to whatever partition your installing linux on. It will give you a warning about not having a swap partition, but you can ignore this for now and create a swap file inside your ubuntu later. install and reboot back into lion

    At the moment you now have a screwed up hybrid mbr table (this is because most likely your lion recovery disk uses one of your precious mbr slots)
    in order to fix this we are going to create a new hybrid mbr table. i have attached screenshots of this process.
    reopen terminal and again type 'sudo gdisk /dev/disk0'. this time enter 'r'. and then 'p'. this will print your partitions. now you need to create your hmbr so type 'h'. it will now ask you for the partitions you wish to enter. referring to the printed partition list, add your lion, windows and linux partitions. (in my case 2 4 5). next it will ask you to place efi partition first, select 'y'. now it will ask you for the mbr hex code for each partition. the codes you want are 'AF' for lion, '07' for windows, and '83' for linux. don't set any of the bootable flags. once finish enter 'w' to write these changes to the disks. You can also enter 'q' if you want to quit without saving changes. reboot and now you should be able to boot into each of your OSes.



    Tip: if for some reason it doesn't work and you want to restore your gpt table, simply go back to gdisk, enter 'r', enter 'l', and then type your backup filename. reboot and you'll no longer have you win or linux partitions but your gpt will gpt table will be back to normal.

    i hope this helps any and all of you. its not the prettiest guides and for that i apologize, but if you have any questions i'd be glad to answer them.

    Cheers!

    EDIT: if you want a 'common' partition, simply create three new partition at the beginning(one for win7, one for ubuntu, one for common).
    If you decide that you want a shared partition after you install win7 and ubuntu, simply create a new partition and the recreate your hybrid mbr as described above.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by tgeulin; January 16th, 2012 at 06:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Beans
    726

    Re: Triple Boot MacbookPro (Lion, Win7, Ubuntu)

    I think you should add the keywords: how-to, macbook pro early 2011, ubuntu, multi boot, etc. to your thread. And also update the title of your thread to reflect that its a How-to and not a thread asking support to themulti-boot problems on macbook pro. This will help people to find your post better on both google and forums search.

    Personally I'm also having problem booting up from the ubuntu (,Arch linux, openSuse and Fedora ) CD(s) on my macbook pro 8.1. Though, I haven't tried your suggestions yet, I will try them out when I get some free time and post back the outcome. Thanks, for the instructions though..
    Last edited by bhadotia; January 13th, 2012 at 05:14 PM. Reason: corrected typos

    Hare Krishna
    And pray for me too...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Beans
    28

    Re: Triple Boot MacbookPro (Lion, Win7, Ubuntu)

    Nice work! (you should edit your first post: you wrote "sudo disk" instead of "sudo gdisk").
    This is how I solved too (I'm writing an article for my blog).
    The only problem is that you don't have a shared partition for data.
    I had it but when a day I decided to resync the partition table using refit it disappeared from windows (works with Linux and OSX).
    Still investigating...

    Quote Originally Posted by tgeulin View Post
    Alright, so I begin knowing that their are many such posts out their such as this. This however, is what worked for me, and so i thought i would share. My experience was mostly trial and error and my solution came from researching other fixes. For this guide I am assuming that you know your way around your mac fairly well. Although if i have posted this in the wrong place, i apologize. But i digress...

    My hardware: MacbookPro8,2

    The problems
    • Lion recovery partition getting in the way
    • Windows not booting after installing Ubuntu…. "missing operating system"
    • refit not installing properly


    The solution:

    download and install got fdisk for mac... http://sourceforge.net/projects/gptfdisk/
    download rEFIt... http://refit.sourceforge.net/

    MAKE BACKUP: once gdisk is installed go to terminal and type 'sudo disk /dev/disk0'. it will take you to the disk menu. once there enter 'b', and type a file name (it will automatically save in your home folder). once finish quit by entering 'q'

    installing refit... many people have difficulty installing refit. the trick is to install it manually (check out refit's documentation). reboot and you should see your new loader.

    partition your disk... you need to create two new partitions for windows and linux (disk utility works just fine). format both of them to FAT.

    install windows 7.... in the installer format the disk you want windows on as ntfs and finish through installation (note:your computer will reboot several times and each time it does make sure to boot from your new windows partition under refit). Once its all finished go ahead and install your boot camp drivers. your eject key won't work yet so you'll have to eject the setup disk from the control panel.

    install ubuntu... for this you are going to need both a live usb and live cd. create live usb: http://www.nightlion.net/guides/2011...line-diskutil/ and for the live cd simply burn the .iso with disk utility. with both the cd and the usb inserted in the computer, reboot and hold down the 'C' key on restart. It may take several minutes but you should get to the installer. In the installer select the advanced installation option. format and use the partition you set aside for linux. set the mount point to '/' and *install the grub boot loader to whatever partition your installing linux on. It will give you a warning about not having a swap partition, but you can ignore this for now and create a swap file inside your ubuntu later. install and reboot back into lion

    At the moment you now have a screwed up hybrid mbr table (this is because most likely your lion recovery disk uses one of your precious mbr slots)
    in order to fix this we are going to create a new hybrid mbr table. i have attached screenshots of this process.
    reopen terminal and again type 'sudo disk /dev/disk0'. this time enter 'r'. and then 'p'. this will print your partitions. now you need to create your hmbr so type 'h'. it will now ask you for the partitions you wish to enter. referring to the printed partition list, add your lion, windows and linux partitions. (in my case 2 4 5). next it will ask you to place efi partition first, select 'y'. now it will ask you for the mbr hex code for each partition. the codes you want are 'AF' for lion, '07' for windows, and '83' for linux. don't set any of the bootable flags. once finish enter 'w' to write these changes to the disks. You can also enter 'q' if you want to quit without saving changes. reboot and now you should be able to boot into each of your OSes.



    Tip: if for some reason it doesn't work and you want to restore your gpt table, simply go back to gdisk, enter 'r', enter 'l', and then type your backup filename. reboot and you'll no longer have you win or linux partitions but your gpt will gpt table will be back to normal.

    i hope this helps any and all of you. its not the prettiest guides and for that i apologize, but if you have any questions i'd be glad to answer them.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by scognito; January 13th, 2012 at 08:06 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Beans
    15

    Re: Triple Boot MacbookPro (Lion, Win7, Ubuntu)

    Quote Originally Posted by bhadotia View Post
    I think you should add the keywords: how-to, macbook pro early 2011, ubuntu, multi boot, etc. to your thread. And also update the title of your thread to reflect that its a How-to and not a thread asking support to themulti-boot problems on macbook pro. This will help people to find your post better on both google and forums search.

    Personally I'm also having problem booting up from the ubuntu (,Arch linux, openSuse and Fedora ) CD(s) on my macbook pro 8.1. Though, I haven't tried your suggestions yet, I will try them out when I get some free time and post back the outcome. Thanks, for the instructions though..
    thanks for the tip bhadotia. also the reason that just a live cd won't boot is because for some reason or another the macbook looses track of the cd which is why you get an error, but when you have the usb connected it detects that and reverts to it for the remainder of the boot session.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Beans
    15

    Re: Triple Boot MacbookPro (Lion, Win7, Ubuntu)

    Quote Originally Posted by scognito View Post
    Nice work! (you should edit your first post: you wrote "sudo disk" instead of "sudo gdisk").
    This is how I solved too (I'm writing an article for my blog).
    The only problem is that you don't have a shared partition for data.
    I had it but when a day I decided to resync the partition table using refit it disappeared from windows (works with Linux and OSX).
    Still investigating...
    did refit properly fix your tables? at first it gave me an error, but now that i manually fixed it with gdisk it says that it can sync my tables. everything is working fine now so I'm just leaving it. also, have you tried creating your common partition but not syncing it in you hybrid mbr? would that work? i haven't tried mainly because a common partition isn't really necessary for my needs

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    726

    Re: Triple Boot MacbookPro (Lion, Win7, Ubuntu)

    Quote Originally Posted by tgeulin View Post
    also the reason that just a live cd won't boot is because for some reason or another the macbook looses track of the cd which is why you get an error, but when you have the usb connected it detects that and reverts to it for the remainder of the boot session.
    You mean to say that I should dd the image to a thumb drive and then try booting from that?

    EDIT: Never mind, just went through the install ubuntu part of the How-to...
    Last edited by bhadotia; January 14th, 2012 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Hehe..

    Hare Krishna
    And pray for me too...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Beans
    15

    Re: Triple Boot MacbookPro (Lion, Win7, Ubuntu)

    Quote Originally Posted by mapperss View Post
    The only problem is that you don't have a shared partition for data.
    This wasn't really a problem for me. but if you wanted to try, you could probably just create a new partition with disk utility and use that as your common partition. You shouldn't need to add it to your hybrid mbr, but by creating a new partition your hmbr could get messed up, so then you could just simply recreate it as described in my original post.

    EDIT: this works, all you have to do is update the mbr. or just create a common partition from the very beginning.
    Last edited by coffeecat; February 3rd, 2012 at 06:51 PM. Reason: Quoted post was spam. Removed hidden link.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    28

    Re: Triple Boot MacbookPro (Lion, Win7, Ubuntu)

    I've created the shared partition at the beginning and it worked for win/lin/osx.
    After some days Win7 sees OSX partition instead of the shared one, and I don't know the why.

    My hybrid MBR is:
    1) Reserved
    2) OSX
    3) WIN
    4) LINUX

    Also the hard disk has other 2 partition:
    5) Shared partition (NTFS)
    6) Linux swap

    As said above, the shared is working on linux and osx. I think Windows can see *only* the Hybrid MBR partitions (indeed the reserved one is seen from win7 disk utility).
    Still don't know why it worked initially, very confused.


    Quote Originally Posted by tgeulin View Post
    This wasn't really a problem for me. but if you wanted to try, you could probably just create a new partition with disk utility and use that as your common partition. You shouldn't need to add it to your hybrid mbr, but by creating a new partition your hmbr could get messed up, so then you could just simply recreate it as described in my original post.

    EDIT: this works, all you have to do is update the mbr. or just create a common partition from the very beginning.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Beans
    1
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Triple Boot MacbookPro (Lion, Win7, Ubuntu)

    Made my day. I can confirm this works. Lion/W7/Arch here. Each boots up and functions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Beans
    28

    Re: Triple Boot MacbookPro (Lion, Win7, Ubuntu)

    Quote Originally Posted by MorganBauer View Post
    Made my day. I can confirm this works. Lion/W7/Arch here. Each boots up and functions.
    Do you use shared partition too? I found a way to have a shered partition working on Windows too, sacrifing OSX parition visibility from it.

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