Fedora 17 and Windows 7 dual-boot on UEFI system - my success story

Two weeks ago, I bought a new laptop - ASUS-K55VM-SX170V occupied with i7 3610QM processor. My plan was to buy a laptop with such a processor that is enough powerful to run complex GNS3 labs. Occasionally I play Windows games so I decided to have dual-boot - Windows 7 and Linux Fedora on that laptop.

I am not sure if the laptop was shipped with pre-installed Windows or Windows was copied from hidden recovery partition but shortly after pressing the power button, Windows 7 Home Premium x64 with SP1 was ready to use. Two NTFS partitions C and D were created on the disk. I updated Windows, created backup Windows DVDs with "Asus Al Recovery Burner utility" and started Fedora installation.

I inserted Fedora-17-x86-64-netinstall CD to DVD drive and let the installation process begin. As usual, I set language, keyboard, and the password for a root account. DHCP server is enabled on my home router so there was no need to configure network settings required for downloading packages during installation.
As I prefer to create partitions manually, I selected "Create Custom Layout" option. I deleted one of the NTFS partitions (disk D) and created two ext4 partitions. The first partition was the root partition with a mount point / and the second partition was the  home partition  with a mount point /home. The swap space size matching the size of RAM memory was created as well.
Afterwards I chose packages downloaded from Fedora repository and installed on the root partition. Once installation finished, I was asked to select where the grub bootloader should  have been installed. It could be either placed to the disk /dev/sda or to the  root partition /dev/sda4.  As I need the grub bootloader to  load the both systems,  I selected installation grub on /dev/sda.

Now guess what happened after restart. I was able neither to boot Fedora nor Windows. I tried to recover Windows installation from a hidden partition (F9 key) without success. Unfortunately, I could not rely on ASUS backup DVDs because my  "install skills" made me believed that  I could left those DVDs on Windows disk C untouched.

After digging in BIOS I found out that BIOS was replaced by the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) in my laptop model. Similarly,  latest PC models also use GUID Partition Table (GPT) instead of MBR partition-table. GPT allows to have disks with volume size more than 2TB.

Afterwards I reinstalled Windows 7 from OEM install CD downloaded from the Internet disk and call Microsoft to activate my Windows installation using automated phone system. This time I created backup NTFS drive with the size 50 GB for Windows backup. Acronis True Image 2012 boot CD helped me to create backup of my fresh Windows installation on that partition.

Once again, I  inserted Fedora-17-x86-64-netinstall CD disk to DVD drive and restart laptop. After hitting  ESC key right after restart, Asus  Boot menu opened and I was able to  select a boot device from the following list.

Windows Boot Manager (P0: ST1000LM024 HN-101MBB)
Enter Setup

I selected the  option UEFI: HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GT51N.  When Fedora installation started I noticed that installation was somehow different comparing to previous installation when the drive P0: HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GT51N was used to boot CD from. Of course, they were the same install steps presented in both cases but at least, I could create System Efi Partition.
I selected an option Use free Space and checked Option Review and Modify Partition Layout. As I do not use LVM, I unchecked this option. After hitting Next button, installer automatically created  partition layout as following.

sda1 - sda4  - partitions were created by Windows installer
sda5 - sda9  - partitions were created during Fedora installation

When installation finished, a  new item was added to the Boot menu:

Windows Boot Manager (P0: ST1000LM024 HN-101MBB)
Fedora (P0: ST1000LM024 HN-101MBB)
Enter Setup

The installation was successful, I could boot every item from the list. The second-stage boot loader that is loaded first, is a grub loader. Using grub, Fedora can be loaded without need to select  it manually  from Asus boot menu. If we wanted load Windows, we should hit ESC key and select Windows  from the Boot menu. A comfortable way is to load Windows with grub. To do it, the grub configuration file /etc/grub.conf should look like following.

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file.
# NOTICE:  You have a /boot partition. This means that all kernel and
#          initrd paths are relative to /boot, eg.
#          root (hd0,4)
#          kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sda6
#          initrd /initrd-[generic-]version.img
device (hd0,5) HD(5,1ec30800,64000,d6a2a437-3c11-4e40-8e1f-201b94406b9e)
title Fedora (3.6.2-4.fc17.x86_64)
root (hd0,5)
kernel /vmlinuz-3.6.2-4.fc17.x86_64 rd.md=0 rd.lvm=0 rd.dm=0  KEYTABLE=us SYSFONT=True rd.luks=0 LANG=en_US.UTF-8 ro root=UUID=35d38bda-9750-4f90-afd8-d2b6a6fae43e rhgb quiet
initrd /initramfs-3.6.2-4.fc17.x86_64.img

title Windows 7
root (hd0,0)
chainloader /EFI/microsoft/BOOT/bootmgfw.efi



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