Okay. So I got myself a Mint install and boots nicely.
This really isn't as hard as the past 3 and a half days I've spent pulling my hair out about.
First, the manufacturers like ASUS should not be blamed for this as I initially thought. Although I'm not sure they can be completely free from complicity to the complications that I endured. To my pleasure, as for the installation partitioning, the extra SSD drive was completely free for my installation where it may have been better anyways. There is the original DATA partition used by windows which takes up 400 gigs on the HDD, and which I am thinking of adding to my fstab so that I may just use that and not have to worry about any slicing and dicing in that regards. I think that will be fine.
So as implied earlier, the install was no problem once the CD booted. As described earlier, I went ahead and installed to the SSD drive. I tried doing a USB install with another OS, but problems with that OS caused me to go back the the Live CD and stay on that course.
As for the boot loader, I was still hazy about all the details, and because I did not yet want to "botch" anything as this is all new, I decided to have the installer install the boot loader in the same partition as the OS and I would later deal with that manually. I am still not sure whether or not the boot loader will install properly and allow a proper boot into the OS after installation. However, I will discuss what I did to make the OS boot properly.
Actually, it doesn't matter where the boot loader is installed if you follow the instructions below because you are going to re-install it anyways.
First off, I basically just used this post HERE
, and did slight modifications.
#You need to find out where your UEFI boot installation partition is. It should be /sda/1. If for some reason it is different, replace /sda/1 with your UEFI boot partition.
#Also, this tutorial uses /sda/8 as the OS installed partition. You need to replace /sda/8 and /media/sda8 with your installation partition.
#Boot into the same Live CD that you used for your installation.
TARGET=/media/sda8 # replace sda8 with the location of your installation
mkdir -p $TARGET
mount /dev/sda8 $TARGET
for f in proc sys dev ; do mount --bind /$f $TARGET/$f ; done
mount --bind /dev/pts $TARGET/dev/pts # this step for good measure
# You may skip this next step in Mint. Maybe Ubuntu as well.
sudo cp /etc/resolv.conf $TARGET/etc/resolv.conf # needed to have network in chroot
sudo chroot $TARGET /bin/bash
apt-get install grub-efi-amd64
# now copy the grub.efi file that grub created to your efi partition
mkdir -p /media/efi_part
mount /dev/sda1 /media/efi_part # replace sda1 with your EFI partition name
mkdir /media/efi_part/EFI/mint/ # replace with a distro alias name here
cp /boot/grub/grub.efi /media/efi_part/EFI/mint/
Okay so really, as mentioned earlier, this is just a re-hash of the link provided above form crunchbang. Please go to that link and go down to 4) to continue as there are some more steps using your USB flash drive. You need to download the UEFI Shell.efi file. I tried earlier to put the file in the EFI partition as described by another tutorial, but unfortunately for some reason or another, that didn't work as I was unable to boot into the UEFI shell without any boot media. Putting the Shell.efi file on the flash drive as explained in the linked tutorial above did work. Just remember to change the file name to bootx64.efi.
cp Shell.exi [USB DRIVE]/EFI/boot/bootx64.efi
As an example, in my USB, the file and path is:
Now reboot your computer, hit F2 (for ASUS) or whatever your manufacturer has it as, usually F10 or F12 or whatever. But if you're this far, I'm sure you've already got that figured out.
Select "Launch EFI Shell form filesystem device" and write the following in the shell:
Shell> bcfg boot add 0 fs1:\EFI\mint\grub.efi "Mint (GRUB2)"
Now reboot and enjoy.
Note this requires Secure Boot disabled (Not tested with secure boot enabled) and be sure to boot back into BIOS and make sure Mint GRUB2 (or whatever selection you made) is first in boot option order.
I may try doing Secure boot later and may require a shim as explained in previous posts.