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Date:      Fri, 17 Jul 2020 08:53:05 +0200
From:      Polytropon <freebsd@edvax.de>
To:        Don Wilde <dwilde1@gmail.com>
Cc:        FreeBSD Mailing List <freebsd-questions@freebsd.org>, freebsd-stable@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: URGENT: Microsoft overwrites boot loader!
Message-ID:  <20200717085305.ffd5191c.freebsd@edvax.de>
In-Reply-To: <140a6398-f8ad-ecd6-2a6f-5ca28f570a64@gmail.com>
References:  <140a6398-f8ad-ecd6-2a6f-5ca28f570a64@gmail.com>

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On Thu, 16 Jul 2020 13:19:51 -0700, Don Wilde wrote:
> The [deleted] ones in Redmond have done it again. My multi-OS GRUB2 boot 
> loader is gone, and in its place is a 500M partition called 'Windows 
> boot loader'.

They do this all the time. The consensus here is to install
"Windows" first, always, restricted to the designated disk
space, and _then_ install Linux, FreeBSD, GRUB, or anything
else non-"Windows", in order to avoid the exact problem you
are describing. Even older versions of "Windows" were known
to destroy things like the FreeBSD boot manager when they
are installed as a 2nd choice. MICROS~1 always wants you to
treat it first class, with golden feet and glockenspiel.

However, is my interpretation correct? Did this happen when
you _installed_ "Windows" on that machine for the first time,
or did it happen after you _booted_ an already installed
instance of "Windows", which then did attack "foreign data"
on the disk?



> The purpose is to force us to look at MS' new version of Edge. All my 
> old boot files are gone.

Something like that should never happen. It's absolutely
normal that "Windows" installs software without user consent,
and then presents it prominently in user-configured areas
such as the desktop, the "Start" menu, or the bottom bar
(pun absolutely intended), but it should never exceed its
authority beyong the border of the "Windows" partition,
which clearly means: "Hands off of Grub partition!"

Especially with "Windows 10", the PC is no longer a PC,
not a _personal_ computer belonging to the user; it's rather
a system remotely controlled by MICROS~1, and having installed
"Windows" and therefore agreed to the terms of usage (EULA),
there is probably nothing "wrong" with it, because you have
agreed that they can do whatever they want, and if something
goes wrong, it's your fault. Legal business as usual.

Many years (or let's say, decades) I had a similar problem
with an OS/2 installation: It messed up the system's partition
table, a system where DOS (not that DOS, the other one) was
installed, and there was a data loss: Partition D: became C:,
E: became D:, F: became E:, and C: along with its content
seemed to be gone. But in the overall "disk space calculation"
it must still have been on disk, so I used the Norton Disk Editor
(DISKEDIT.EXE from Norton Utilities, a great product at that
time!), a handheld calculator and pen & paper to re-calculate
the correct values for the partition table, entered them,
rebooted, prayed unto the holy bringer of peace, Alpha-Omega,
and tadaa, C: was there again, with the correct content.

Summary of that tale: An OS, even an OS installer, should
only be allowed to work on non-assigned disk space, and any
work that involves modifying things like partition tables,
boot sectors, boot partition and such things should be
secured with a consent dialog, a dialog that explains
exactly what is going to happen, with additional information
about the subject of the operation, not just "Do you want
to continue? Yes / No" without further indications.



> That's the last time I will allow this, and I'm calling those [deleted]s 
> tomorrow to give them a piece of my mind. After that I will erase every 
> vestige of that obscene OS from my disk.

They don't mind. They already have your money. And maybe they
even have your name, address, phone number, credit card number
or other banking information...



-- 
Polytropon
Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...



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