Need help picking manual partition scheme stuff

So I’ve installed Arch before but can’t actually remember what I did, it was years ago. Here’s what I’m trying to do:

I have an HDD with Win7 on it, that I would like to dual boot with. I have another HDD that I use for linux, currently Manjaro, but looking to switch to Endeavor or vanilla Arch. My motherboard is an old piece of junk that doesn’t support UEFI, and both HDDs are 1TB in size.

Now, do I use GPT or MBR when installing Arch/Endeavor? I had the impression MBR was best for my use case, but when I was checking the manual partitioning stuff in the Endeavor installer, I got a message saying GPT is recommend in all use cases now? It SOUNDS like MBR/BIOS is required for my case since my Windows 7 install is on BIOS?

After that, for this system, do I need a boot partition? Or do I just flag the root partition as bootable?

This one step has always been the most confusing part of setting up Arch for me and I’ve had trouble finding a clear, definitive answer every time and have pretty much just lucked my way through it. If anybody can help, I would appreciate it!

Welcome aboard! :smile:
You can use either, but msdos is simpler to setup than gpt on your non-UEFI machine.
A separate boot partition is not required, so using one root partition is enough. You can use swap file if needed.

Another thing to consider is buying a cheap SSD to speed up the system.

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When either of my HDDs dies I will definitely replace them with an SSD. I’m too cheap to replace them before that.

And good to know! So I should be fine with just a root, home and swap partition, then? I know the root and home separation isn’t NECESSARY, I just like it. And swap partition is necessary if you want suspend/hibernate/sleep mode or whatever, right?

Swap can be a partition or file, up to you.
The root partition can contain the /boot folder, so a separate partition is not required. But that’s up to you as well.

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I see, thanks.

One last thing, for the manual partitioning tool in the endeavour installer, what’s the “label” option? I’ve always used cfdisk for partitioning and I don’t recall having to set labels.

You probably refer to gparted partition manager.

Partition labels are identifiers (names) for partitions. User creates the labels. Other identifiers are UUIDs, and they are generated by the system.

Note that you don’t have to create labels. UUIDs are enough.

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Ah, so UUIDs are the usual sda1 sda2 etc etc and label is just another thing you can use to refer to devices? Is that right?

Yes. There are many ways to refer to partitions.
For example, try command

lsblk -fm

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Ahh thanks, that’s exactly what was confusing me.

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What is your time worth? The slowest SSD is still many times faster than the fastest HDD. I picked up a 240gb Kingston SSD for $20 on amazon. But I do understand even that is a lot for some folks.

Yeah, I know they’re not that expensive anymore, but I don’t really do anything so read speed heavy on my PC that I could justify the effort of buying and installing one at the moment. I’ve gotten pretty good at doing other productive things while my PC starts up :melting_face:

The longer I wait the cheaper I’ll be able to get a higher capacity one for, too.

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