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Diskless: VB VMDK rwdsk access + dd + bcdedit W7 BIOS MBR
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span91
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Joined: 03 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:07 am    Post subject: Diskless: VB VMDK rwdsk access + dd + bcdedit W7 BIOS MBR Reply with quote

I am trying to dual boot Windows 7 64 bit MBR BIOS with Gentoo using two partitions (/ and swap, no /boot) and I got to the point where grub will load but it can't find the partition for some reason.

If I don't install initramfs, it gives me an error like
"cannot mount root partition on unknown block (8,3)"

When I do install initramfs I get

"!!Could not find the root block device in UUID=<UUID of correct partition>
!!Please specify another value or:
!!-Press Enter"..etc etc.

I've gone through the forums to check my device drivers and recompiled the kernel 10-15 times after changing these but nothing helps.
I've tried to edit the "linux" line in the grub bootloader by adding rootfstype=ext4, changing root=UUID to root=/dev/sda3, doesn't work.

My fstab is


/dev/sda3 / ext4 defaults 0 1
/dev/sda5 none swap defaults 0 0


Some background: This is on my work laptop so I used several roundabout ways to get this done. My workplace rejected my application for USBs so I installed this by booting the live CD iso in virtual box using a vmdk with raw disk access to partitions 3 and 5, mounted those partitions and installed. Had to use an http proxy (probably irrelevant info). I installed grub 2 using the following command so that it wouldn't touch my default work partition:

grub-install --force --debug --target=i386-pc /dev/sda3 (from Arch Wiki)

and I was having tons of trouble with EasyBCD for chainloading so through virtualbox, after unmounting /mnt/gentoo I used the following to get Gentoo on the windows bootloader:

dd if=/dev/sda3 of=/home/gentoo/Desktop/linux.bin

Then emailed it to myself through the virtual box, stored linux.bin into C:\ on windows, ran windows cmd as admin and used bcdedit commands found on

https://www.iceflatline.com/2009/09/how-to-dual-boot-windows-7-and-linux-using-bcdedit/

and got it to the nice grub menu and everything. Then it started giving the errors at the top of this post. I'm so close to succeeding and I just need this last bit to work. Does anybody know what I can do? I feel pretty good I got this far climbing over the walls I had to to get here, now I just wanna finish.
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span91
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Joined: 03 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems to be a problem with McAfee endpoint encryption. For now I've given up and installed gentoo on a virtual drive on Win7. Some guy on Arch wiki seems to have gotten around McAfee using EasyBCD but I shouldn't use EasyBCD for a work environment which leaves me with no options left. At one point I overwrote the MBR through VBox rawdisk (backing it up of course) and really screwed it up having to rescue it through a Mint USB. While I was at it I tried to install Mint which also isn't being detected using bcdedit +dd. With every avenue exhausted and corporate IT rejecting a temporary decryption, I'm gonna consider this issue closed/solved.
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