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Thread: Triple boot: Install backtrack AFTER Windows is installed in OSX (no data loss)

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  1. #1
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    Default Triple boot: Install backtrack AFTER Windows is installed in OSX (no data loss)

    Hey guys,

    (Preword: I checked through the forums to see if any have this info to no avail. If this is a repeat, please let me know)

    This is merely a bit of info on how to prepare to and finish an install of BackTrack on a Macintosh (running 10.5.x, should work for 10.4.x too) that already runs dual boot with Windows and with no loss of data. I ran into the problem of my Windows XP not booting after I added the partition for BackTrack. You must have enough free space on your primary drive for use in delegating to the BackTrack partition. This is not a complete install guide, as there are more than plenty of those online. I just never found anything specific to my case.

    I'm running 10.5.6 on a 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM. It's also a 9L31a build, which you can find by going to the Apple Menu, selecting About This Mac at the top, and then clicking the gray version information located just below "Mac OS X".

    You can also determine your make with the following command in backtrack:

    Code:
    root@bt:~# dmidecode -s system-product-name
    MacBookPro4,1

    Usual disclaimer: Nothing is perfect and few things are consistent in the computer world. Your results may vary, so do whatever you need to so as to ensure you won't permanently lose important data. This guide WILL be rearranging the data on your hard drive.

    So, if you already have Windows XP installed via Bootcamp or whatever and want to add a bootable partition for any BackTrack, you need to follow these steps:

    Install rEFIt...

    rEFIt is a bootloader that will facilitate booting from different partitions... in essence, it gets rid of the need to hold "option/alt" or "c" while restarting and is much more flexible.
    You can find this everywhere online. And if you cant.... well...........


    Create a partition for Backtrack: open up Terminal in OSX

    The "diskutil list" command will show your current partitioning scheme.

    Code:
    ~al$ diskutil list
    /dev/disk0
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *186.3 Gi   disk0
       1:                          EFI                       200.0 Mi   disk0s1
       2:                     Apple_HFS Macintosh HD         119.4 Gi   disk0s2
       3:      Microsoft Basic Data                           70.5 Gi   disk0s3
    Now you have to split your Mac HD partition into two, the other one for Backtrack. Mine is "disk0s2" in this case, and it should be for yours as well assuming you have followed previous instructions. The reason you need to split the Mac HD is that Windows MUST remain as the last partition.


    Now resize the volume

    Code:
    ~al$ sudo diskutil resizeVolume disk0s2 <the size you want your Mac HD to be> "MS-DOS FAT32" Backtrack <the size you want your Backtrack partition to be>
    NOTE: The two sizes must add up to the shown size of disk0s2 in the "diskutil list" command performed earlier. Otherwise, it will take priority of the size of the first disk.


    for example:

    Code:
    ~al$ sudo diskutil resizeVolume disk0s2 114.4G "MS-DOS FAT32" Backtrack 5G
    where 114.4G + 5G = 119.4G = size of disk0s2

    If you run into any errors, you may either have to check the sizes you listed or defragment your Mac HD before resizing. I use iDefrag for that: shifting all the data to the beginning of the block. If interested, I can tell you guys to make a MacOSX bootable USB Flashdrive or HD with use of iDefrag (you need the full version)


    Install BT and configure your lilo.

    What happened: after you re-partitioned your mac, Windows was assigned a new partition label. It became disk0s4 instead of remaining as disk0s3. Now Windows has NO IDEA from where to boot. If you try booting Windows now, you'll get the "Blue Screen of Death" after just a few seconds. If you try 'Safe Mode' for booting, you'll see windows searching "(3)" for all the boot files. That's the 3rd partition. The solution is quite simple actually.....

    Go through any install method for BTx (x for any version) you wish until you configure your lilo.conf file. I used this forum post to aid my installation, thanks to steve_baker:
    //forums.remote-exploit.org/bt4beta-howtos/20835-macbook-pro-hd-install-multiple-os.html
    Now this is where the fun starts!
    After editing it to your delights, merely add in an extra section at the end:

    Code:
    other = sda4
    label = Windows
    table = sda
    Then install lilo as directed, usually a command like:

    Code:
    # lilo -v -b /dev/sda3
    Modify the fstab and install it.

    Now shutdown your computer, wait a few seconds, and reboot into Backtrack.


    Configure your Mac for Triple Boot.

    When the rEFIt menu comes up, select Backtrack for booting. Now all you need to do is edit your "boot.ini" of Windows.
    After logging in you need to mount your windows drive for editing.

    Code:
    # mkdir /mnt/windows
    # mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/windows
    Go to your mounted windows drive

    Code:
    # cd /mnt/windows/
    Now edit your boot.ini to boot from the right partition.

    Code:
    # nano boot.ini
    All you have to do is change all instances of "3" to "4", and then write the file. With this, you're telling Windows to boot from the 4th partition, since you shifted the partition table to include Backtrack. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, feel free to save a backup copy of the boot.ini by writing it as a different name, like "boot.ini1" before changing the numbers.

    Restart, and select Windows within the rEFIt menu. All three operating systems should now boot without a problem, and all data should be untouched.

    Voila.

    edit:: clarification of code and sentence syntax fixes

  2. #2
    Just burned his ISO
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    thank you very much my friend i wodner why this isnt a sticky probably people are to lazy or afraid to try this much madness haha
    I aint crazy just a lil mistaken

  3. #3
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    thank you for your nice tutorial. Is refit absolutely necessary? I am quite comfy with holding the option key at boot time to pick my OS. The other problem is that I've installed refit a number of times and cant seem to get it to show up at boot time. So I'd rather not use it if I dont have to.

    ok so i got refit to work (had to manually bless the folder). but i noticed you dont create a swap partition. or is that part implied in the BT install or does ubiquity automatically do that??

  4. #4
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    Hi P1llow T@lk,

    I followed your "Triple Boot" instructions and also used macpentester's: "Installing BackTrack 3 Final to an Intel Mac" for the actual details of the BT3 installation, however, after several days of trying I still cannot get my BT3 partition to mount or boot

    Now I should mention a little about my Mac's hardware. I don't know if it makes a difference, but here are the details:

    MacPro 3 GHz Quad Xeon 64 bit with 2 GB RAM
    1. 250GB primary: Mac volume with OS X 5.7, Windows XP and Backtrack 3
    2. 500GB: OS X 5.0 (haven't had a chance to update it to 5.7 yet)
    3. 1TB: Carbon Copy clones of the 250GB and 500GB Mac volumes

    This is my output from Terminal's "diskutil list" command after repartitioning my drive using your procedure (which works a lot better than trying to do it with Disk Utility):

    /dev/disk2
    #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
    0: GUID_partition_scheme *232.9 Gi disk2
    1: EFI 200.0 Mi disk2s1
    2: Apple_HFS MacPro 250GB HDD 195.8 Gi disk2s2
    3: Microsoft Basic Data 5.1 Gi disk2s3 <--This is the BackTrack 3 partition
    4: Microsoft Basic Data WINDOWS XP 31.7 Gi disk2s4

    Now there's one strange thing about how my drive/volume names are showing up when I use the "diskutil list" command in Terminal... My primary (250 GB) drive changes arbitrarily after a reboot. In the above output it is showing up as /dev/disk2/, but right now (a few days since the above capture) it is showing up as /dev/disk0/ which matches the drive/volume name in your instructions. I haven't done anything to the drives, but the name changes for some reason. Also, rEFIt was working automatically on boot up for the first time yesterday, and now it does not launch on boot up (I have to hold the option ket to get it to work again). So it seems that OS X's boot management software might be (?) acting strangely, and I don't know if this quirky behavior is in some way responsible for the BackTrack partition not showing up...

    A little more background on my installation attempts. I had tried to install BT3 a few times unsuccessfully earlier because (for reasons I don't understand) the BT3 Live CD iso would stop (freeze ?) during the installation and I would have to reboot from the ISO and start all over again. The freezes are happening arbitrarily (at random times) during the installation so it doesn't seem to be a CD problem, but I did finally manage to get the entire installation process completed on the partition I created with your method, and I made sure to erase the partition completely (zero out) before doing an installation. Additionally, I modified the Windows boot.ini file, but I did it by simply rebooting into OS X and opening the mounted Windows drive on the desktop and then opened the boot.ini file with OS X's TextEdit and made the changes that way. However, I checked to see how my change worked using your procedure from within BackTrack using nano boot.ini after mounting the Windows partition and it showed up OK with all the 3s changed to 4s.

    Anyway, here are a few questions relating to some parts of your instructions:

    1. Near the end of your Triple Boot procedure where you describe how to modify the "lilo.conf" file, you say "...merely add in an extra section at the end:" Then you give the 3 additional lines to add. Now I modified my lilo.conf file (as per macpentester's instructions) when I was doing the installation of BackTrack 3, but it's not clear exactly where "at the end" you mean... Is it right AFTER the "label = Linux" line, or AFTER the last line of text that shows up in the nano lilo.conf screen that says something like "#End of file".

    Here is how my lilo.conf file is set up:

    lba32
    boot = /dev/sda3
    prompt
    timeout=60
    change-rules
    reset
    vga=791
    image = /boot/vmlinuz
    root = /dev/sda3
    label = BT3

    So, do I add these 3 lines you listed:

    other = sda4
    label = Windows
    table = sda

    right after the "label = BT3" line (e.g.: before the line that says something like "#End of lilo file" or what ?

    2. You also say "Modify the fstab and install it"... After Googling "fstab" I found out that "fstab" is a file, and I managed to find this fstab file in the same /etc/ directory as the lilo.conf file... However I have no idea how it should be modified, and what I need to do to "install" it... Can you fill me in on some details here so I can make whatever changes are needed to this file.

    Lastly, a few more details on what I have now. If I examine my 250 GB primary drive using Disk Utility I see the volume I created for BackTrack as "disk0s3" in grey letters. If I try to mount the volume I get the following error message:

    Mount failed
    The disk “disk2s3” could not be mounted.
    Try running First Aid on the disk and then retry mounting.

    Lastly, when I "option" boot my Mac, I am getting all my drives/partitions showing up, including a colorful Windows icon and also a grey Windows icon that says something like "Boot from Legacy OS". I assume that this "Legacy OS" is supposed to be my newly created BackTrack 3 installation, but if I try to boot from it, I get booted into my Windows partition again. So I'm guessing that the "boot.ini" file is not redirecting the boot process to the BackTrack partition (?)...

    Hopefully you can provide some clarification on your installation instructions and some ideas on how I might try to get this to work....

    Thanks for your time !

    Apple-Z

  5. #5
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    Hey there,

    Sorry for the late replies; I had no knowledge of additional posts on the thread.

    First things first, I should have included my Macbook Pro make. I'm including this in the original post as well. You can determine your make with the following command in backtrack:

    Code:
    root@bt:~# dmidecode -s system-product-name
    MacBookPro4,1
    It's also a 9L31a build, which you can find by going to the Apple Menu, selecting About This Mac at the top, and then clicking the gray version information located just below "Mac OS X".

    @ bwana:

    rEFIt is a very nice tool: it has a graphical interface, allows syncing, and facilitates booting/managing multiple OS's. If you don't like the additional boot time, you can do what I did:

    Edit the refit.conf file in your efi folder on your hard drive, and make sure to include timeout:

    Code:
    # Timeout in seconds for the main menu screen. Setting the timeout to 0
    # disables automatic booting (i.e., no timeout).
    #
    timeout 5
    This gives you 5 seconds to push a key before automatically booting to the default.

    In this tutorial I do not create a swap drive. The Macbook MBR only supports 4 primary partitions, one of which is initially reserved for the system partition. Skipping the swap drive prevents overcomplication. The reason is nicely explained in
    //wiki.onmac.net/index.php/Triple_Boot_via_BootCamp
    where I also learned this information. It goes on to mention how to create a swap partition if it helps you sleep better at night, but I don't see how it's necessary

    @ Apple-Z

    First off, where exactly are you installing backtrack? Is it on your macbook itself, or is it one of your external hard drives? At first glance, it seems to me that your bootloader (rEFIt) has no idea where backtrack is actually installed. If your partitioning scheme keeps renaming itself, there's no wonder why you're having problems booting. Regardless, i've responded to your inquiries as numbered according to your "Help installing BT3Final.ISO to 3rd partition of Mac OS X" post. I hope it helps:


    1. At the end of your lilo.conf file you will have a list of all operating systems that lilo needs to handle. So, immediately after your linux section, put in a line break (for clarity purposes), and add in those 3 lines

    Code:
    other = sda4
    label = Windows
    table = sda
    2. For my lilo file i've always used "space=space" between boot and /dev. I am not saying this is the right way, i'm just telling you what worked for me. As for the sda3 or sda question.... it depends on where you made the partition in the installation process. Yours should probably read:

    Code:
    lba32
    boot = /dev/sda
    root = /dev/sda3
    3. For the fstab question, refer to:
    //forums.remote-exploit.org/bt4beta-howtos/20835-macbook-pro-hd-install-multiple-os.html
    Make sure to choose the correct partition number and type, of course.

    Lastly, what rEFIt is trying to show you with the "Boot from Legacy OS" along with a grayed windows icon is that there is an unknown operating system detected. It seems to me that this means your lilo.conf of fstab isn't pointing to the right partition. Try referring to the 'link' i posted in 3 to make sure you set up your lilo and fstab correctly.

    Good luck and let me know how far you get.

  6. #6
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    Oh, and thanks for all the positive feedback! If you guys have any more questions, feel free to ask.

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