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Old 06-19-2017, 06:56 AM   #1
iFunction
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Linux mint18.1 installer crashes


Hi,

I am having a difficulty reinstalling Linux Mint onto my computer. It is the only OS I run on it, but I want to manually partition the drives, as I have an SSD for the OS and a large HDD for my home partition. Installing this has never been a problem before, but on this occasion, after setting the partitions, a box pops up saying:

UEFI installation?
This machine's firmware has started the installer in UEFI mode but it looks like there may be existing operating systems already installed using "BIOS compatibility mode@...

Now I have the bios set to other OS, so it shouldn't come from the firmware. However in my attempts to sort this out, I did simply install Mint from the Live CD to overwrite in the hope it might sort out the problem, this went on ok, but now the installer is picking it up and freezes at this pop up, no amount of clicking continue or Go Back will shift this, the only thing that can be done is to reboot.

How can I reformat the OS hard drive and start from scratch please. df -h does not seem to work from the live CD as it doesn't show either hard drive on this machine.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 07:40 AM   #2
hydrurga
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Ensure before everything else that you know whether your firmware settings are set to UEFI or Legacy BIOS, depending on which you plan to use. If you have UEFI, then I recommend that you use it.

If you really want to start from a clean slate, and data loss isn't a problem, then I would boot up off a GParted Live CD and use Device->Create Partition Table on the relevant drive(s). You should also be able to do this from the Mint Live CD (just run GParted when you get to the Live desktop).

It is at this point (creating the new partition table) that you must decide which partitioning scheme you are going to use. Generally, if you're going to be booting up using UEFI then choose "gpt" as the partition table type; if you're going to be booting up using BIOS then choose "dos".
 
Old 06-19-2017, 11:54 AM   #3
iFunction
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Hi there,

Thanks for your reply, I have found a way round this it seems, simply by reformatting the hard drive using gparted from the live Mint CD, however I am interested in why you say it is better to use UEFI, as I was reading a lot of people saying not to use it? As it goes, I have to make an EFI partition in order for the installation to work, but I think there is something more serious going on, as Mint 18.1 is very hit and miss as to whether it will boot or not. I don't have any other operating systems on this computer currently.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 12:32 PM   #4
hydrurga
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I recommend UEFI simply because it is the future, and also because it plays best with GPT (although you can have a BIOS/GPT setup if you so desire) given that GPT is part of the EFI spec. Of course, Secure Boot is another matter altogether...

Glad you worked out about creating the ESP partition if you're doing things manually.

What do you mean by the Mint installer being "hit and miss"? What errors do you get if it's a miss?
 
Old 06-19-2017, 01:45 PM   #5
iFunction
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With the Mint installer, you have to reformat the hard drive to install it, you can't just install over the last installation, which I have been able to do in the past, but now it just hangs with the UEFI warning message that you can't clear. I have to reboot into the live CD format the hard drive and start again.

The main problem though is that nvidia drivers no longer work on my pc, I have reinstalled the operating system over 20 times today already trying to get it to work, but to no avail. all was fine until I updated the kernel which I really regret doing now.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 01:54 PM   #6
hydrurga
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Check the notes on here about Nvidia - https://www.linuxmint.com/rel_serena_cinnamon.php

I don't know what it is that's happening in your case but Mint should just install over any previous installation if you choose the "Erase and install Linux Mint" option.

Is the error message you mention the same one as you mentioned in your opening post? i.e. "This machine's firmware has started the installer in UEFI mode but it looks like there may be existing operating systems already installed using "BIOS compatibility mode@..."

If so, I'll have a scout around the web for that exact error message. If not, can you please post the exact error message here...

What I don't understand is that you previously said that you wanted to manually set up the partitions before installing Mint. Now you say that you're leaving everything to Mint to "install over the last installation". Can you say what exactly it is that you're trying to do (including on which drives)?
 
Old 06-19-2017, 04:40 PM   #7
iFunction
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So yes, I have a separate hard drive for my data, so the ideal is to set up partitions first. It was doing it this way that causes the message. I tried the full install over the last installation as trouble shooting, this works fine, but is not that useful as all my settings are on the other hard drive.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 05:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iFunction View Post
So yes, I have a separate hard drive for my data, so the ideal is to set up partitions first. It was doing it this way that causes the message. I tried the full install over the last installation as trouble shooting, this works fine, but is not that useful as all my settings are on the other hard drive.
Where in the file system hierarchy do you intend to mount your separate data drive?
 
Old 06-19-2017, 06:54 PM   #9
iFunction
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/home
 
Old 06-19-2017, 07:01 PM   #10
hydrurga
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Ok. A suggestion. Don't refer to the other hard drive at all during manual partitioning. Instead, create a 10-20 GiB /home partition on the boot drive. Then, post-installation, place an entry in your fstab referring to the other drive, mounting it at /home/data (remember to create that directory first as a one-off).

That way, /home will remain on your boot drive and only contain your personal config files and some other basic data (which won't take up much space at all, but it's good to have some extra space to incorporate e.g. temporary files downloaded to Desktop or Downloads), while your other drive will contain your movies, videos, photos and other data. More importantly, it will allow you to go through the whole install process without even having to refer to your other drive, and thus hopefully avoid the problem you've been experiencing.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 07:05 PM   #11
syg00
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The OP stated in the initial post the HDD was for /home.

I agree with using UEFI where available. With regard to the popup, there appears to be some "confusion" in the NVRAM boot entries on the motherboard. Get into the EFI settings at power-on (like the old BIOS settings), and delete unwanted entries from the list. Be aware that some (hardware) vendors require a default (Windows) entry to be present for the hardware to reset properly. I've not run into it, but I have seen references to this.
Then try installing again. I've never had issues with Mint using pre-allocated partitions.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 07:08 PM   #12
hydrurga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
The OP stated in the initial post the HDD was for /home.
Ah yes, I missed that. Apologies.
 
Old 06-19-2017, 07:12 PM   #13
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And I obviously type way too slow ...
 
Old 06-20-2017, 01:09 AM   #14
iFunction
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Thanks for your input guys
 
  


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