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Old 10-12-2015, 09:23 PM   #1
psionl0
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Dual Booting Acer Aspire TC-605


I recently acquired an Acer Aspire TC-605 tower. This machine came with Windows 8.1 pre-installed (since upgraded to Windows 10). Of course, I wanted to add Slackware to it. This shouldn't have been a problem since I have done this to other machines and already have a USB drive which I made bootable using Slackware's usbimg2disk.sh utility and added the packages to the drive that I wanted installed (everything except KDE).

Since this is my first experience with a UEFI machine, I followed Pat's README_UFI.TXT closely. The first step was to disable the secure mode. Following advice from a Acer website, I also set the "Launch CSM" to "Always". The machine continued to boot Windows after this change. I have included screenshots of my BIOS setup below.

The next step was to create space on the 1TB hard drive. Window's Disk management utility showed 5 partitions the main ones being Drive C and Drive D of 457.81 MB each. It was a simple matter to shrink Drive C by 50 MB and Drive D by 300 MB for Linux.

I then booted from the USB drive (hit DEL key and choose USB) and started up Slackware. gdisk showed that there was already a partition with code EF00 so I didn't need to create one. I then used cgdisk to create the two Linux patitions from the newly created free spaces (no need for a SWAP patition when you have 8G of RAM ).

I got a scare when cgdisk reported errors writing the changes I had made but Windows still booted up and its Disk management utility showed the two new partitions quite readily. (A screen shot is shown below).

So I continued with the Slackware setup. Things departed from the script when it came up to setting up elilo. The Setup utility didn't offer me that option. Also the USB boot stick that was recommended wouldn't work - complaining of a "kernal panic". I have included the Slackware commands I ran below:
Code:
# gdisk -l /dev/sda
GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.8.7

Partition table scan:
  MBR: protective
  BSD: not present
  APM: not present
  GPT: present

Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.
Disk /dev/sda: 1953525168 sectors, 931.5 GiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): A05A6760-996C-45DB-8F87-E438D32F845E
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 1953525134
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 3437 sectors (1.7 MiB)

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048         1230847   600.0 MiB   2700  Basic data partition
   2         1230848         1845247   300.0 MiB   EF00  EFI system partition
   3         1845248         2107391   128.0 MiB   0C01  Microsoft reserved part
   4         2107392       859801599   409.0 GiB   0700  Basic data partition
   5       962201600      1307895807   164.8 GiB   0700  Basic data partition
   6      1922295808      1953523711   14.9 GiB    2700  Basic data partition
   7       859801600       962201599   48.8 GiB    8300  Linux System
   8      1307895808      1922295807   293.0 GiB   8300  Linux Data

# mount
/dev/sda7 on / type ext4 (rw)
proc on /proc type proc (rw)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw)
/dev/sda2 on /boot/efi type vfat (rw)
/dev/sda8 on /home type ext4 (rw)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw)
tmpfs on /tmp type tmpfs (rw)

# eliloconfig
ERROR:  System is not running under UEFI.
As you can see, I can't run elilo because the system is not running under UEFI (yet I can still boot straight into Windows 10). However, the MBR is labeled as "protective" so I am reluctant to use the ordinary lilo in case it stuffs everything up.

I can still use the original installation USB drive to boot into my Slackware installation and it runs fine. I am tempted to quit while I'm ahead but maybe disabling the CSM might work. If I did that, what else would I need to do to make a genuine dual-boot machine?
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Old 10-13-2015, 05:06 AM   #2
laprjns
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The reason why setup didn't offer elilo is because you booted up in legacy mode (CSM). You need to make a decision to ether use uefi or legacy bios. If you want to use uefi then disable CSM mode. If you want to keep CSM enabled then you need to install lilo for your Slackware install
 
Old 10-13-2015, 05:44 AM   #3
Didier Spaier
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Just to confirm what Richard just wrote the installer can modify the EFI firmware's menu only if the directory /sys/firmware/efi/vars exists. This is not the case when using CSM.

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 10-13-2015 at 06:50 AM. Reason: Typo fix.
 
Old 10-13-2015, 05:57 AM   #4
psionl0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Didier Spaier View Post
Just to confirm hat Richard just wrote the installer can modify the EFI firmware's menu only if the directory /sys/firmware/efi/vars exists. This is not the case when using CSM.
Does that mean that I can disable CSM and then run eliloconfig? I don't have the /sys/firmware/efi/vars directory but microsoft's EFI partition is mounted at /boot/efi.
 
Old 10-13-2015, 06:26 AM   #5
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Does that mean that I can disable CSM and then run eliloconfig? I don't have the /sys/firmware/efi/vars directory but microsoft's EFI partition is mounted at /boot/efi.
No, you can't. The program efibootmgr, called by eliloconfig, needs an interface with the firmware (in other words, a communication channel) to modify its boot menu. This has to be /sys/firmware/efi/vars in case of Linux. That's why in case it doesn't find it eliloconfig just silently fails.

FYI the installer itself did run eliloconfig but if failed for that reason.

So your only way is to put the firmware in EFI mode, or to use a boot manager to put a boot menu on a hard disk like e.g. grub. But I don't see a good reason to do that unless modifying the content of the firmware's boot menu fails[1].

Also, some firmwares allow the user to modify the menu directly through an UI, not only using a program such as efibootmgr. But providing this feature is up to firmware's developer or provider, i.e. not mandatory according to the UEFI specification IIRC.

[1]Using the firmware's boot menu has at least the advantage that you won't loose it when replacing a hard disk. You'll just have to update it accordingly.

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 10-13-2015 at 06:49 AM. Reason: [1] added.
 
Old 10-13-2015, 11:31 AM   #6
psionl0
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So disabling ESM doesn't put the machine into EFI mode?

I gather that after putting the machine into EFI mode I would have to re-run setup from the USB drive and generate a new fstab?
 
Old 10-13-2015, 11:48 AM   #7
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
So disabling ESM doesn't put the machine into EFI mode?
In your third pic attached to your firts post shows :
Load CSM [Always]

What are the other values available for this setting? I guess the is at least one ere you firmware can work in EFI mode. In that mode eliloconfig should work.

Quote:
I gather that after putting the machine into EFI mode I would have to re-run setup from the USB drive and generate a new fstab?
Re run setup, go through TARGET, maybe SOURCE but skip INSTALL then go to CONFIGURE. At that step you should be proposed to run elilo, then do so. /etc/fstab is prepared at the TARGET step but actually written at the CONFIGURE step.
 
Old 10-14-2015, 08:49 AM   #8
psionl0
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Now the fun starts!

With the Launch CSM toggled to "Never" I couldn't boot off the USB drive I had been using (usbimg2disk.sh must do a legacy install or something).

The backup USB drive that I had created during the installation of Slackware on this PC wouldn't boot without parameters (complained about not finding /proc) and if I set root to sda7, it complained about conflicts and halted. I couldn't see all of the complaints (too fast) but something about noveau/nvidia was one of them.

I thought my luck had changed when I found a USB drive that would actually boot into UEFI mode and had Slackware 14.1 on it. I even managed to run setup and get to the eliloconfig part. Unfortunately, the system wouldn't boot without all of the complaints/halting I had with the USB drive. It nearly lost my Windows 10 boot but when I booted a second time, Windows 10 came up.

So I toggled the Launch CSM back to "Always" restored my original fstab and I am back to where I started with this thread. It's too scary to have another go.

ETA I am not quite back to normal. Because of the changes made to sda2 by elilo, I now have to press F12 when I turn on the computer and manually select "Windows Manager" as my boot media to boot windows.

I have noticed that the system complains of a lack of init file so the fix may be simple. However, I never wanted to boot automatically into Linux - I wanted a boot menu.

I have also noticed the following message from syslog: Oct 14 21:56:10 Greg-PC kernel: FAT-fs (sda2): Volume was not properly unmounted. Some data may be corrupt. Please run fsck. Something else to worry about.

Last edited by psionl0; 10-14-2015 at 09:11 AM.
 
Old 11-07-2015, 07:13 AM   #9
laprjns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
This shouldn't have been a problem since I have done this to other machines and already have a USB drive which I made bootable using Slackware's usbimg2disk.sh utility and added the packages to the drive that I wanted installed (everything except KDE).
The problem is that usbimg2disk.sh script does not create UEFI bootable media. The script creates a directory tree as follows
Code:
`-- syslinux
    |-- EFI
    |   `-- BOOT
    |       |-- BOOTX64.EFI
    |       |-- elilo.conf
    |       `-- message.txt
    |-- f2.txt
    |-- huge.s
    |-- initrd.img
    |-- ldlinux.sys
    |-- memtest
    |-- message.txt
    |-- setpkg
    `-- syslinux.cfg
The EFI/ directory needs to be move up one level to the root of the USB device like this:
Code:
|-- EFI
|   `-- BOOT
|       |-- BOOTX64.EFI
|       |-- elilo.conf
|       `-- message.txt
`-- syslinux
    |-- f2.txt
    |-- huge.s
    |-- initrd.img
    |-- ldlinux.sys
    |-- memtest
    |-- message.txt
    |-- setpkg
    `-- syslinux.cfg
Just cd to the usb device root then do a:
Code:
mv syslinux/EFI/ .
Then you should be able to boot the installer in UEFI mode.

Last edited by laprjns; 11-19-2015 at 05:32 AM.
 
Old 11-18-2015, 11:59 PM   #10
psionl0
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@laprjns, many thanks for your input. I did what you suggested and that made the stick visible when the CSM was disabled. Unfortunately, the PC still halted when I tried to boot from it - even without setting root to /dev/sda7.

My last idea was to burn Slackware64 14.1 onto a DVD and boot off of that. That boot was successful. However that was the only part that was. I went through the setup procedure again (although the system failed to recognize a USB stick when I tried to create a backup).

Unfortunately, the system still won't boot up. Since I already have an initrd.gz created for the generic kernel, I reset the pointers to their generic counterparts. No success. I even copied huge.s and initrd.img from the only bootable stick that works (in non UEFI mode) and set vmlinuz to point to huge.s but that fails too.

I notice that when elilo was setup, the fstab mounts the EF00 drive (sda2) to /boot/efi rather than /EFI. I don't know if that has anything to do with it and I don't know what else to do.
 
Old 11-19-2015, 07:46 PM   #11
laprjns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I notice that when elilo was setup, the fstab mounts the EF00 drive (sda2) to /boot/efi rather than /EFI. I don't know if that has anything to do with it and I don't know what else to do.
No that is not the problem. The correct mounted path will be /boot/efi/EFI. Here how my ESP partition looks mounted on /boot/efi.

Code:
rich[/]$ tree -d /boot/efi/ -C -f -L 2
/boot/efi
|-- /boot/efi/EFI
|   |-- /boot/efi/EFI/Boot
|   |-- /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft
|   |-- /boot/efi/EFI/Salix_mate
|   |-- /boot/efi/EFI/Salix_ob
|   |-- /boot/efi/EFI/Salix_xfce
|   |-- /boot/efi/EFI/Slackware
|   |-- /boot/efi/EFI/refind
|   |-- /boot/efi/EFI/tools
|   `-- /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu
`-- /boot/efi/Temp
Quote:
Unfortunately, the system still won't boot up. Since I already have an initrd.gz created for the generic kernel, I reset the pointers to their generic counterparts. No success. I even copied huge.s and initrd.img from the only bootable stick that works (in non UEFI mode) and set vmlinuz to point to huge.s but that fails too.
I'm not sure why it is not booting, it may not even be a uefi issue. Could you post more details on where the boot up failure occurs?

Last edited by laprjns; 11-20-2015 at 05:46 PM.
 
Old 11-19-2015, 08:33 PM   #12
psionl0
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I think it might be a "kernel panic" followed by a memory dump but since that happens before the system can mount a drive to record the information, I can't get more specific than that.

When I boot from the thumb drive in non-UEFI mode (the only way I can successfully boot), one of the messages recorded is the parameters I entered to get the system going. Note that I don't enter "nomodeset" but since the other methods of booting use KMS I'm beginning to think that might be significant.
Code:
Nov 20 09:51:30 Greg-PC kernel: Command line: initrd=initrd.img load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw printk.time=0 nomodeset SLACK_KERNEL=huge.s BOOT_IMAGE=huge.s root=/dev/sda7 rdinit= ro
This is my /boot/efi/EFI/Slackware/elilo.conf file:
Code:
chooser=simple
delay=1
timeout=1
#
image=vmlinuz
        label=vmlinuz
        initrd=initrd.gz
        read-only
        append="root=/dev/sda7 vga=normal ro"
the vmlinuz is the same file as huge.s but the initrd.gz is not the same as the initrd.img as stored on the thumb drive.
 
  


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