[SOLVED] Trying to Install Manjaro with Windows on the same drive

Hey everyone!

I'm new to the community and I've decided to test out Manjaro as a viable desktop, but I am having issues with getting it installed. I'm trying to install Manjaro Deepin in case you are curious. My ultimate goal is to setup a dual boot configuration which should be possible based on what I've researched, but it seems my current setup isn't ideal.

Firstly, I have four partitions on my hard drive right now and it's under MBR configuration. One is for my system/personal files, one is for boot/system reserved, and two are recovery partitions. I cannot install Manjaro with dual boot because I cannot create more than four partitions and I'm unaware of the actual content stored on the two recovery partitions. In essence, I do not want to delete them without understanding what will be gone.

This led me to attempt to change my drive configuration from MBR to GPT without losing data so I may create more partitions, but because the requirements for MBR2GPT.exe indicate that I cannot have more than 3 partitions to start the conversion, I'm basically stuck.

In the end, I do not want to delete any partitions without being confident that it will not have any negative influences, but if I don't, then I cannot continue with installing Manjaro in the way that I want to. Does anyone have any advice for me to undertake with resolving my issue? Try to detail any reasoning if you propose a solution, so I may better understand why.

Thank you everyone!

If you are running a modern windows version you should be able to create recovery media and eliminate the need for the recovery partitions.

I'm getting mixed answers for that, which is what really attributes to my uncertainty. I've had someone tell me that one of the recovery partitions is necessary for all larger updates (like the creator's update) and the other one is certainly similar to recovery media. I haven't been able to figure out a way to confirm if that is correct or even how to view the data of the recovery partitions to verify it. I'm especially unsure as to why I have two partitions that are committed towards recovery as well.

Thanks for answering by the way!

Any special reason for doing MBR installation - like non-EFI machine?

If not consider reinstalling as efi/gpt as gpt allows up to 128 partition on the same drive.

Any way you might benefit from some of the tips presented in the tutorial as some them are directly related to the Windows environment.

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As you already know, this is a mbr (dos) limit, but to bypass that, the last partition has to be extended partition (did I remember the name right?) and then you can create other partitions in it. This way you can have more functional partitions on mbr table.

Yes, if you replace one of the partitions (maybe the one with your personal files?) with an extended partition, then you can create as many logical partitions in it as you wish.

You would need to transfer your data out of that partition first, then create your extended and logical partitions, then transfer your data back.

Right on! I would prefer having my drive be GPT, and I have been trying to convert it with Windows' mbr2gpt.exe conversion tool, but it requires me to remove a partition because it needs at the most three based on its requirements. I have four partitions right now. I am however unsure if I should remove my two recovery partitions, because I am unaware of why I have two of them or how to view their contents to verify that.

If I can get around that, I'd use the conversion tool if possible in order not to transfer/lose my data, basically to save myself some time if I may. The process occurs for a few minutes compared to the method with doing a full reinstall which includes waiting a few hours with transferring my data elsewhere and completely reinstalling as GPT.

(Thank you for the suggestion! I also took a look at your tutorial which is basically what I'd do after I get around this issue. Until then I still have to figure out what to do with my partitions...)

I probably will go about it this route if I cannot have my drive run under the GPT scheme. I'm basically trying to keep this quick/efficient if possible and if not I would have depend on other solutions like this.

Thank you for the advice!

This tool to change mbr to gpt seems very risky. Such operation have high chance to make all partition useless so I wouldn't bet on it either. Extedded partition seems to be best solution in this situation. Going gpt would require windows reinstall and you would loose whatever you have on those hidden partitions.

When I was fresh to Linux and didn't know what I was doing, I deleted efi partition on my old laptop and of course that made windows unbootable and then brilliantly I formatted whole drive instead repairing windows... so in the end I was left with clean disc. I was devastated back then but it was blessing in disguise. I was left with Manjaro only and till now this laptop is windows free and... I don't regret it. It was too weak for games anyway so there was no reason to have windows on it. Now I use it for work, still with Manjaro on it.

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How big are the two recovery partitions?

They are both exactly 450MB, I hope that helps.

That's what I also originally thought as well, but it seems that after researching it, the tool doesn't actually touch any of the existing data and instead adjusts the existing partitions and introduces an EFI system partition (ESP) if one does not already exist. I would not have any of these issues if I didn't want Windows, but it is something I need at the moment.

So in theory if I can get the MBR2GPT tool to work, it basically takes up to ten minutes according to the deployment page from Windows, I find that would be the easiest route for me to go. I'd like a GPT scheme anyways so I won't have any issues with creating several partitions in the future as well.

You have a few choices off the top of my head:

  1. You can remove one of the recovery partitions and hope everything is still OK
  2. You can remove both the recovery partitions and hope everything is OK
  3. You can make a Windows recovery disk on USB, unfortunately, there is no practical way to test it
  4. You can add an additional disk to your system
  5. You can use a disk copy tool to make a backup of the recovery partitions in case you need them later
  6. You could not install an additional OS

Personally, I would probably do option #3 but that is just me.

Before you remove those recovery partitions you should ensure that you can get into the BIOS without the help of Windows. Often this is off by default, especially in laptops.

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Honestly, these options are what I can only imagine as well. I probably need to research a little more and I would go through options 1-3 in no specific order. Thank you for the suggestions, I appreciate it. I guess it's back to drawing board for a bit haha.

Boot the live environment - attach a USB harddrive and use clonezilla to image your two recovery partitions. The partitions must in unmounted state to be imaged.

Clonezilla is present on all the latest 17.1.11 ISO's - just run from CLI

sudo clonezilla

Ater the clone in the live environment you can mount the partitions to check their contents.

If you are asked for username:password - it is manjaro:manjaro

Some newer notebooks especially the Lenovo brand has a pinhole which when activated with a paperclip turns the computer on and boots directly to firmware.

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Alright, so I was able to validate if I could safely delete the recovery partitions, and it seems like it was alright based on their contents. I've gone ahead with the process, converted my hard drive to GPT, and I am now on a dual setup with Manjaro and Windows 10!

If anything, after the whole process it seems like Windows 10 is not showing in my GRUB boot menu, only Manjaro. I can boot Windows by accessing the boot menu once I start my PC, but it's a pain. So I basically am trying to figure out how to make it easier on myself because GRUB usually auto populates Windows.

Thanks for the help so far by the way! =)

Boot into Manjaro and run a probe for the Windows installation

sudo os-prober

It should find your Windows installation, then rebuild grub

sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg


If windows is in bios-legacy and manjaro in uefi, fhdk's post won't work.

Yeah, I've tried that already and I'm having no luck unfortunately.

The weird thing is both are uefi, so I'm not sure why it isn't detecting and displaying.

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