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Shingetsu 02-14-2013 09:13 PM

Installation from HDD with EFI
I've been a linux user for quite a while but never have I been as stumped as I am now.
The situation goes about like this... I got a laptop for free. It runs on UEFI with windows 8.

I would have put it on CSM mode and removed all that, but the only way to access the UEFI settings appears to be through the installed OS (conclusion after a few weeks of google).

I fairly easily changed partitioning and left out a rather large space for Arch. However, the laptop doesn't have a CD drive and my previous experience with UEFI and USBs was... less than promising.

I tried out EasyBCD for their NeoGrub boot manager (which I would use to chainload the installed version without any form of bootloader), but turns out they only support EFI with CSM emulation.

I tried booting an iso with UNetbootin to see if that would work (frugal install the base sysfiles and replace the base structure every now and then) but it failed (hanged on getting bootloader information).

I'm not sufficiently apt with making my own liveCD to simply boot from it and use the free space as /home (manually mounting it?).

tl;dr; I can't remove Windows 8 to set up CSM mode because I can't get into BIOS/EFI settings without it but setting up an EFI system is an incredible pain to the point that I can't get it done properly.

Ztcoracat 02-14-2013 09:47 PM


You may need to disable secure boot or you have to make your own custom key.
Also I learned form a friend that in some laptops an administrative BIOS password is necessary to disable secure boot-
He also taught me that with secure boot disabled you have cd boot. No GPT boot so the disk won't boot.
Just MBR and CD boot with secure boot disabled. (This was on a Samsung laptop) may not be your case-

Here's an article that the Linux Foundation created to help with this but it's not exactly for a beginner and I am not the best with this UEFI/EFI Win's 8 predicament-

Boot and run linux via usb:

I've given you all the information I have; hope this helps Shingetsu

Ztcoracat 02-14-2013 09:53 PM

Also one of our Moderators posted this information it may help as well.

People who say 'I purchased the equipment and I should be able to install whatever on it', not so. Jail break it or do not buy restricted equipment with expectations to do as you wish. Not if the hardware does not provide the means to modify. Buy equipment that you know that can be used in a open environment via controlled means 'UEFI'. As a buyer you have the right to buy but if the hardware is known to be restricted then you have no rights under the license for that equipment. Buy from OEMs' that DO allow modification, most OEM now are known to provide the abilities to use the 'UEFI' as intended. Please understand that Microsoft must provide the means to certify Win/8 so you should be able to enable/disable 'Secure Boot' for a machine with a Win/8 logo on it. Not saying that 'UEFI' protocol with the subset 'Secure Boot' protocol can be disabled on all OEM machines but the to certify a Win/8 based machine the means to change will be necessary to get certifications from Microsoft.

Shingetsu 02-15-2013 12:09 PM

1. I didn't buy it. I do believe I made this clear.
2. I have secureboot disabled, as well as fastboot and rapidstart. I am capable of getting into BIOS/EFI settings, however I can only get into it from the existing OS.

I'll repeat the problem: I can boot linux. I could install it. I could put it in CSM mode and install it normally.
The problem is that I want to keep the current OS (which is in UEFI mode) because through it is the only way to get into the BIOS/UEFI settings. If I remove it I won't be able to enter it any more.

So I'm asking on the proper way of setting up dual boot for linux in EFI with secure boot disabled without messing up the existing installation.

I have the partitioning done, I have the space prepared.
I don't have a CD drive and would prefer avoiding using a USB (though I could).
All I'm asking is the proper bootloader installation method for UEFI with an OS already installed. Preferably from HDD because booting a USB in UEFI mode is hell.

NyteOwl 02-15-2013 02:27 PM

That is a strange machine then. I have never seen a machine (UEFI or not) where you needed the operating system pre-installed in order to access the BIOS. To set it up in that manner would prohibit upgrading a hard drive or recovering from a catastrophic failure. I really think something else is at work here. What hardware (manufacurer/model)?

Shingetsu 02-15-2013 05:51 PM


Originally Posted by NyteOwl (Post 4892502)
That is a strange machine then. I have never seen a machine (UEFI or not) where you needed the operating system pre-installed in order to access the BIOS. To set it up in that manner would prohibit upgrading a hard drive or recovering from a catastrophic failure. I really think something else is at work here. What hardware (manufacurer/model)?

I fully agree, it's the reason I was "stumped".
It's a Toshiba Sattelite Z930... the win8 edition.

I've tried the instructions for getting into the BIOS of the previous version (holding 0 and releasing after a second as well as just holding) as well as the same patterns with 1, f1, f2, f8, f12 and del.
Nothing apparently works.

There are currently 4 partitions, all active, one of them is, obviously, C:, one is the UEFI "BOOT" partition, one is the recovery partition and one is an unlabeled "primary" partition at the end of the disk.

Only current way I could find to get into BIOS is PC Settings->advanced boot options->UEFI settings.

As far as I can tell it's the only way of getting there (though I should check the BOOT partition and see if maybe it's a .efi file in there??).

I have no problems in setting Arch up but manipulating EFI (( and booting into EFI mode )) is beyond my patience scope.

Ztcoracat 02-15-2013 09:46 PM

I agree with Nyte Owl indeed something more is at work; furthermore why would Toshiba deliberately not install a CD ROM Drive? In my mind this is bizarre and somewhat irregular-

This first one? Or the Ultrabook in the second link? (trying to find the spec's)


one is an unlabeled "primary" partition at the end of the disk.
That's the one I'd suspect or be suspicious of- (Question is of what?)

boyans 02-15-2013 09:47 PM

There are at least 4 partitions when Windows 8 is installed (by default) on GPT disk.
1. EFI System partition
2. MS Reserved
3. Windows 8 partition
4. Recovery partition

EFI System partition holds boot files.

To install Linux you need a Linux EFI/UEFI boot manager/loader.
GRUB 2 has been updated with UEFI support (see Ubuntu 12.10).

UEFI Boot files have .efi extension.
This are the directories/files on my laptop EFI System partition (Windows 8 installed):
1. /EFI/Boot/boot64x.efi
2. /EFI/Microsoft/Boot/(many files + bootmgr.efi)

/EFI/Boot/boot64x.efi is the default boot loader/manager started by firmware
Microsoft puts there its bootmgfw.efi (Microsoft firmware boot manager).

Ubuntu puts EFI version of GRUB2 in /EFI/Boot/boot64x.efi.

Its up to the settings of a boot manager to chainload a foreign OS.

Hope this helps.

EasyBCD is completly UEFI unaware.
Moreover it depends on grub4dos (neogrub) to chainload Linux descendants and is violating grub4dos Copyright.
I would not use EasyBCD even on BIOS systems as it is shitty software made by crooks.
Stealing foreign work is a criminal act.

Ztcoracat 02-15-2013 10:05 PM


Ubuntu puts EFI version of GRUB2 in /EFI/Boot/boot64x.efi.
I didn't know that now things make a little more sense-

Shingetsu 02-16-2013 12:45 PM

The idea of no CD-ROM drive is that it winds up being really light. I can literally hold it with one hand and type with the other in mid air without problem.

@Ztcoracat : it's the one in the 2nd review, but the windows 8 edition (newer). It's an ultrabook though.
@boyans :
So do you suggest I replace the windows bootloader? (( I can install rEFI or gummyboot no problem, but I'm worried if maybe it has a part to play in loading the BIOS )). If not, how would I add a menu option for the new system?
I'm supposing I should install grub2 into EFI/bootx64.efi and try to chainload windows (( I'm supposing os-prober doesn't work on EFI systems yet, does it? )) manually then? I'm generally a syslinux user but I don't wanna mess with an alpha version of it that even the Arch devs consider to be unstable.

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