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  • Dual boot configuration?

    I just installed RollBack Rx Home Edition on a Windows 10 Pro system on SSD, and all works perfectly. I am impressed: this is a very clever software solution that is like System Restore - turbo charged to the max. I have used full blown image file backups to an external drive in the past, and while that is still useful in case of drive failure scenarios, etc. Rollback Rx is so much faster and more convenient.

    After installing I read more, and I now understand that Rollback Rx can also be used in a dual boot Windows environment. But it is not designed to work with a dual boot Windows / Linux environment.

    I actually do have a dual boot Windows / Arch Linux environment, and as I mentioned Rollback Rx is so far working perfectly. I am able to boot into both OSs from GRUB2 as before installation, only when I select Windows, I see the Subconsole load for several seconds prior to Windows loading. I understand that this is an unsupported configuration and use case.

    I also understand that only Baseline is visible to Linux. And Rollback is not running under Linux. Therefore, if I make any changes to my Windows partition under Linux, Baseline is corrupted as far as Rollback is concerned. And of course the Linux partition is not protected by Rollback at all.

    I have my boot drive configured as a GPT Partition Table with EFI boot enabled. There are currently 5 partitions as follows:
    EFI System Partition
    Microsoft Reserved Partition
    Windows 10 Partition
    Arch Linux Partition
    Linux Swap Partition

    My intent of course will be to never make any changes to the Windows partition while under Linux, knowing that if I do I will corrupt my system.

    All of that said, are there any other reasons I should avoid this configuration? Or as long as I am very careful and accept the risks and consequences, should this system work?

    I guess I could uninstall Rollback Rx and simply continue with creating image files to an external drive as my only backup solution. If I do decide to uninstall Rollback Rx, will the backup snapshot(s) it created also be automatically deleted? And should my system be back to its state before I installed Rollback Rx? Or should I really restore my entire boot drive from an external image file at this point?

    Thanks very much for any info.

  • #2
    Hey Oxonsi,

    Thanks for the post, and interesting setup! It sounds to me like you've worked out a system that works for you and by all accounts it should continue to do so if you don't alter the items you've mentioned.

    To answer your question, you said it yourself - "But it is not designed to work with a dual boot Windows / Linux environment."

    If there is a problem later on then unfortunately we would not be able to provide support with you on the matter, as the program was not designed for that.

    If you're okay with taking the chance then you can continue on, but it will be at your own risk.

    Thanks!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply. Yes, I've grown to feel that I have the best of both worlds with Windows 10 and Arch Linux.

      All of your points makes sense. I think I will be careful and stick with RBRx because it is really nice software.

      May I ask do you find that RBRx slows down the system at all [aside from a few extra seconds at boot]? I like to keep my system high performance, and I do generally disable Windows' System Restore because there is supposed to be a performance penalty. I have not tried running before and after benchmarks myself.

      Thanks again!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Oxonsi View Post
        I just installed RollBack Rx Home Edition on a Windows 10 Pro system on SSD, and all works perfectly. I am impressed: this is a very clever software solution that is like System Restore - turbo charged to the max. I have used full blown image file backups to an external drive in the past, and while that is still useful in case of drive failure scenarios, etc. Rollback Rx is so much faster and more convenient.

        After installing I read more, and I now understand that Rollback Rx can also be used in a dual boot Windows environment. But it is not designed to work with a dual boot Windows / Linux environment.

        I actually do have a dual boot Windows / Arch Linux environment, and as I mentioned Rollback Rx is so far working perfectly. I am able to boot into both OSs from GRUB2 as before installation, only when I select Windows, I see the Subconsole load for several seconds prior to Windows loading. I understand that this is an unsupported configuration and use case.

        I also understand that only Baseline is visible to Linux. And Rollback is not running under Linux. Therefore, if I make any changes to my Windows partition under Linux, Baseline is corrupted as far as Rollback is concerned. And of course the Linux partition is not protected by Rollback at all.

        I have my boot drive configured as a GPT Partition Table with EFI boot enabled. There are currently 5 partitions as follows:
        EFI System Partition
        Microsoft Reserved Partition
        Windows 10 Partition
        Arch Linux Partition
        Linux Swap Partition

        My intent of course will be to never make any changes to the Windows partition while under Linux, knowing that if I do I will corrupt my system.

        All of that said, are there any other reasons I should avoid this configuration? Or as long as I am very careful and accept the risks and consequences, should this system work?

        I guess I could uninstall Rollback Rx and simply continue with creating image files to an external drive as my only backup solution. If I do decide to uninstall Rollback Rx, will the backup snapshot(s) it created also be automatically deleted? And should my system be back to its state before I installed Rollback Rx? Or should I really restore my entire boot drive from an external image file at this point?

        Thanks very much for any info.


        I, too, dual boot (but into Ubuntu) and have just installed the Home edition to try. When I now boot up, I immediately get the rollback splash screen offering the Home button for options and then it boots into Windows. I have lost the initial screen giving me the choice to boot into Ubuntu or Windows. So it looks like I've lost the ability to dual boot unless I disable/uninstall Rollback, in which case, I imagine I'd lose the snapshots. How come you've retained the ability to dual boot? Is there a trick I'm missing?

        Thanks

        Martin

        Comment


        • #5
          I am afraid I don't know the answer to your question. That is strange and interesting that when you installed Rollback Rx you lost the boot menu, and therefore can no longer boot into Ubuntu. I'm not aware of any trick. For me, it just worked. I simply installed Rollback Rx, and when I boot I still first get the GRUB2 boot menu. If I select Windows, then I see the rollback splash screen, before booting into Windows.

          My only thoughts are: 1) are you using a different boot loader from GRUB?, and 2) are you on a non-GPT disk and using legacy BIOS boot? Those would seem to be the potential differences. I doubt that it matters which Linux distro you are on. Arch Linux or Ubuntu Linux - from my understanding Rollback Rx does not "see" or care what may be in other partitions.

          Sorry I'm not of more help. Let us know if you get it sorted out, and what the solution was.

          Comment


          • #6
            Many thanks for your reply. Interestingly, twice, since I posted, I got presented with the boot menu. Once was after I uninstalled Rollback to check that I could access the boot menu and then I reinstalled it. The other time was just now: it hung on shutdown so I forced a shut down. Rollback then noted an improper shutdown and checked the disk, and then I got the boot menu.


            My laptop is a 6/7 year old Sony Vaio and the BIOS is incredibly basic. I fitted a Crucial SSD. I think it's a GRUB loader, certainly, I haven't played around with it. And I've no idea if it's a non-GPT disk.

            But even if I have to uninstall Rollback temporarily - or even make an improper shutdown - to occassionally boot into Linux, it's nothing compared to the benefits Rollback brings.

            If by further experimentation I find more information, I'll post back, but I do thank you for your kind reply.

            Martin

            Comment


            • #7
              Given your laptop is 6/7 years old, I am guessing it is BIOS only. UEFI is a newer "replacement" for the BIOS [introduced in the last 4/5 years I think], which usually offers a legacy BIOS mode for compatibility. GPT is a partition scheme that goes "hand in hand" with UEFI; I believe one needs a UEFI machine to boot GPT disks. GPT has a few advantages over MBR: virtually unlimited number of partitions, and support for disks greater than 2TB in size. Your machine must be on BIOS with an MBR partition table.

              In any case, based on this information I would guess that on MBR disks, Rollback Rx inserts its boot loader ahead of GRUB, such that GRUB is effectively bypassed at boot. [I'm not sure why GRUB would be temporarily restored after a forced shutdown...]. Bootable GPT disks require one have an EFI partition, and that is where boot loaders are stored for all installed OSs. It seems Rollback Rx's boot loader is inserted after GRUB in EFI. That's my guess as to why it just works for me.

              It appears that in order for this kind of dual boot scenario to work with Rollback Rx, you would need a newer machine with EFI and a GPT boot disk. That's an over-simplification based on my limited understanding. You can search online for EFI and GPT to find more information.

              Best of luck and let us know if you find anything else.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, it might be an oversimplification and your knowledge might be "limited", but it made perfect sense to me and explained everything in a nutshell.

                Sincere thanks

                Martin

                Comment


                • #9
                  For info:
                  I had another instance of the dual-boot option menu being presented. This time it was because, after the Rollback ~5sec countdown screen on bootup, a snapshot defrag was carried out. At the end of that, the boot option menu appeared.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm glad if I helped, and thanks for the info. It is interesting that apparently with BIOS and MBR disk, the GRUB menu may present itself under certain circumstances. Obviously it has not been overwritten or erased. I'm not sure if there is a way to make GRUB the first boot priority [so that it would always appear] under this scenario. There may be, but it would take some experimenting to figure out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      thought this was as good of place to ask as any. with the last update for rollback it is now possible to install windows and ubuntu and still use rollback. i was wonder if there is a tutorial on doing this somewhere? thanks

                      Comment

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