BIOS Boot Partition

The BIOS Boot partition is a partition on a data storage device that may be used by standard BIOS-based machines in order to boot when the partition table of the device is a GPT label.

The Globally Unique Identifier for the BIOS Boot partition in the GPT scheme is {21686148-6449-6E6F-744E-656564454649} (stored on disk as "Hah!IdontNeedEFI" if interpreted as ASCII). In the context of GPT on a BIOS-based computer, a BIOS Boot partition is similar in some respects to the EFI System partition, which is used by systems based on EFI. The EFI System partition, however, holds a filesystem and files used by the EFI, whereas the BIOS Boot partition is accessed without a filesystem and holds raw binary code.

When used, it contains the second stage of the boot loader program (the first being the code that is within the Master Boot Record (MBR)). Use of this partition is not the only way BIOS-based boot can be performed on GPT labels; however, complex boot loaders such as GRUB 2 cannot fit entirely within the confines of the MBR's 398 to 446 bytes of space and so need an ancillary storage space. On MBR disks, such boot loaders typically use the sectors immediately following the MBR for this storage. On GPT disks, no equivalent space exists, and the BIOS Boot partition is a way to officially allocate such space for use by the boot loader. BIOS Boot partitions are used primarily by GRUB 2.

The BIOS Boot partition is typically quite small. It can be as small as about 30 KiB; however, future boot loaders might require more space, so creating a larger BIOS Boot partition is advisable. Due to the 1 MiB partition alignment policies used by most modern disk partitioning tools to provide optimum performance with Advanced Format disks, SSD devices, and some types of RAID configurations, 1 MiB is a logical size for a BIOS Boot partition.

The following utilities are known to support BIOS Boot partitions:

  • GRUB 2 (1.97~beta1 or later): when a BIOS Boot partition is found during installation, GRUB will embed itself in it.
  • GNU Parted (2.0 or later).
  • GParted
  • gpt(8) partition editor in NetBSD (5.0 or later).
  • gdisk: GPT fdisk

Read more about BIOS Boot Partition:  Creating A BIOS Boot Partition

Other articles related to "bios boot partition, partition":

Creating A BIOS Boot Partition
... A BIOS Boot partition can be created using any of several different disk utilities In GParted, create a partition (an unformatted one works fine), then right-click it and select Manage Flags ... (some versions of GParted will not allow you to set a flag on an unformatted partition in this case format the partition to FAT16 then set the bios_grub flag) ... In GNU Parted (parted), create a partition, then type set 1 bios_grub on, changing 1 to the number of the partition you want to mark as a BIOS Boot partition ...

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