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Earlier today, I installed Sabayon. After messing around with EasyBCD and a couple other tools, (no permanent changes) I gave up on trying to get it to chain-load, and decided to wipe the Sabayon and try with a more user friendly distro (I've never used *nix outside of VMware) for my first real install. After wiping the 500 mb root partition and the 99ish gb home partition (I originally allotted 100 gb total), I was left with two EFI partitions, along with my windows recovery and regular disk.

My question is, how do I tell which EFI partition I can try and remove? One is 260 mb and the other is 200 mb.

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1 Answer 1

First, the last I heard, EasyBCD was next to useless on EFI-based computers. Typically, you'd want to use rEFInd, gummiboot, or GRUB to manage the boot process on an EFI-based computer. IMHO, rEFInd works the best of these -- but as I'm rEFInd's maintainer, I'm biased.

Second, Windows creates a 200MiB EFI System Partition (ESP) by default, so chances are that's the one you want to keep. That said, the only way to know for certain is to examine them both. Windows uses a directory tree called EFI/Microsoft on the ESP, so if the partition does not have that directory tree, it's probably safe to delete. Also as a side note, you should try to keep just one ESP on any given hard disk. Although the EFI spec expressly states that multiple ESPs are OK, the Windows installer flakes out if it sees more than one. The result is an aborted installation. It's conceivable that some other Windows tools would flake out, too, but I don't know of any specific examples. The ESP is meant to be shared, so Linux and Windows boot loaders can coexist on just one ESP.

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Thanks much! I am honored to have my question answered by the maintainer of such a useful and popular tool. I just have one more question. How do I access or view that directory tree? –  SamuraiHelmet Jul 17 '13 at 7:01
    
You need to use the mount command in Linux, as in mount /dev/sda1 /mnt. This command must be typed as root or via sudo. Type man mount for more information. –  Rod Smith Jul 17 '13 at 16:26
    
Is there a way to do that from windows? –  SamuraiHelmet Jul 21 '13 at 3:49
    
You can mount your ESP in Windows by launching an Administrator Command Prompt window and typing mountvol S: /S. (You can change S: to any free disk identifier.) Other FAT volumes might be already mounted and given drive letters, but if they're not, I don't know how to mount them in Windows. You might need to use a Linux emergency disc to check such partitions. –  Rod Smith Jul 21 '13 at 19:37

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