Booting multiple OSs from multiple EFI paritions and Restoring Windows and Manjaro Boot after losing EFI Partition

grub
uefi
windows
partitions

#1

My current EFI parition is 100MB. I need to increase the size of the partition to 200MB, but I cannot shrink either of the partitions next to it. So I want to move the EFI partition to the end of the drive.

I’m planning to create an image of the current EFI partition using dd and restore it on a new partition at the end of my disk. Then I will delete the original partition.

I’m currently dual booting with Windows 10 and an Arch installation. Are there any other steps I need to take to ensure that Manjaro or Windows will be able to boot after I follow the procedure outlined above?


#2

Never heard of such thing … is like having a door with the doorknob on the same side the hinges are …

Do it from live media not from a mounted/running system.

Do NOT format/delete that partition, and check for UUID for fstab to be the correct one after modification.


#3

There are a lot of potential issues(none of which are particularly hard to overcome) so it is useful to understand what you are attempting. Can you give us a little more background information?

Are you replacing arch with manjaro or are you moving to a triple boot situation? Are you using grub or systemd-boot with arch? How are you planning to install Manjaro? Why do you need your efi partition to be larger?


#4

Don’t.
Your $esp (EFI partition) is /boot/efi
It does not exceed 50 MB if used that way.
If you need a $esp as /boot - not for grub but perhaps systemd-boot, make another one.
I suggest 500 MB. Not 200 MB.


#5

It’s not a matter of being unable to shrink the partitions, more so that I don’t want to as it currently looks like this:

I would have to shrink C: from the left.

To clarify, I currently triple boot with Windows, Manjaro, and Arch using grub. I need the partition to be larger to accommodate macOS which needs a 200MB EFI partition.

@gohlip, would that mean having 2 EFI partitions on the disk?


#6

So, now you reformulated the “help” request for this


#7

Not my intention. Just asking a specific question about moving EFI partition. Not asking for any help with macOS.


#8

Yes. I have 4 EFI partitions.
From my ‘df -h’ command,
/dev/sda1 148M 3.5K 148M 1% /boot/efi

This $esp is for all my linux OS’s using grub and I have uhm …more than 10?
Some uses systemd-boot and refind and they are on another $esp

I am not familiar with macOS EFI (I had mac before, long time ago) and if requires 200 MB, then make another one just for it.
From this

On MacOS computers based on the x64 hardware architecture, the EFI system partition is initially left blank and unused for booting.[10] However, the EFI system partition is used as a staging area for firmware updates.[11]

The system will still boot after the EFI partition is deleted, in which case the boot manager will allow users to choose whether to start a Boot Camp partition or the default Mac OS X, but firmware updates will fail.[ citation needed ]

It looks like it is okay to be on a separate EFI and perhaps it is even preferable and there is
a post that chainloads grub to clover but beware I said I am not familiar with it.

Good luck.


#9

Ah, thank you. I will try to do that then. That is definitely preferable to resizing and moving my existing EFI partition. How does the system choose which EFI partition to use if there are 2 or more on the same drive though?


#10

Almost all uefi systems (msi we now know is not BBS compliant) allows us to set default order by efibootmgr command. I suggest you use manjaro grub as default and chainload through this grub as shown in the link. Do you know if clover boots linux’s grubs? Tell us how if you know and what method it does, through chainload or through the kernels directly.


#11

Ah, I see. I’m not terribly familiar with Clover yet and I do want to use manjaro grub as my default and chainload Clover as you suggested. But I believe it is possible to boot linux distros directly from clover without any kind of chainloading.

I’ve also read that Windows might not play nicely with more than one EFI partition on the same drive, trying to look more into this.


#12

It is the other way round. Windows will destroy other things (linux efi files and others) in the same EFI in some major windows updates. More the reason we have windows EFI separately.


#13

Ah, yeah, I’ve heard of that issue as well.


#14

Install rEFInd. It will be worth your time, and let you choose which OS to boot from each time, even if there are two EFI partitions.


#15

@SlayerProof32 Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll take a look at that.

@gohlip As far as creating a second EFI parition, I just created a partition and formatted it FAT32, is there anything else I need to do?


#16

No. At your MacOS installation, just choose this new partition as the EFI partition for it.


#17

It seems your topic turned a little bit. You might want to modify the title and tags, to show it is about MacOS multi-boot.


#18

Ok, so, some bad news.

While trying to install Mojave, I formatted an empty FAT32 partition as HFS+ using the installer’s Disk Utility. I exited the installer, but after doing so, I am now unable to boot my existing Windows 10 or Linux distros. They do not appear in Clover and I cannot reach grub. In addition nothing appears in my boot menu in BIOS except when a USB is plugged in.

When I relaunched the installer from the USB, I can see my other OSs and partitions in disk utility. So I suspect (and hope) they are still in tact. I believe something may have happened to my EFI partition which I have a backup of that I created with dd.

I tried to use a bootable USB with Manjaro on it, but when I attempt to boot it, it says “unknown filesystem” and leaves me at a ‘grub rescue’ prompt.

My new goal is to be able to boot into Windows and Manjaro to make backups which I admittedly should have done earlier.

Any ideas?


#19

Let me translate that:
How do i properly install hackintosh on a triple boot scenario?
And for the THIRD time, this is not a forum for hackintosh installations!

You might be able to recover your data booting from Manjaro live media, but a proper one, done with Rufus in DD mode or done with Etcher; or maybe you can resurrect/repair the Windows installation. You practically screwed your partition table. Mojave uses the APFS (apple file system) and will not allow even a Boot Camp partition alongside, when you create a volume with Disk Utility will put it’s signature on the entire drive. Why? Because of the full disk encryption feature and because converts HFS+ drives to APFS without warning.


#20

Try to use this first post and at [Simple First Start], get back your manjaro bootloader.

But unless as @bogdancovaciu says, Apple converts the whole drive to its file system.