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802.11n
abvasili
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎11-10-2011
Location: Albania
Accepted Solution

How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install?

[ Edited ]

A few of us are asking:

 

How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install? Because after installing Linux, my MBR is messed up, and I get a "no operating system found" at system startup.

 

abvasili

I'm just a volunteer. I like to help others where I can. Do my ideas work? I hope so. o_O
Who helped you today? Do not forget to thank him.
My hardware: TP x120e 0596-2ru. Windows 7, sp1, 64Bit, English, installed in UEFI mode.
802.11n
abvasili
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎11-10-2011
Location: Albania
0

Re: How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install?

Hi everyone,
I’m writing this because a lot of people out there are facing some issues in installing Linux on a machine that have UEFI capable bios.


A lot are complaining that GRUB is not installing properly, leaving a computer in an unusable state. Usually they get an error message at the startup: “no operating system found”.


I’m sure this is a temporary situation, and Linux distros will find their way to install in UEFI based bios and GPT formatted HDDs as easy as 123.


In a short and simple QA I will try to explain how to fix this:


Question: Why GRUB is not installing properly in my machine?
Answer: New machines have UEFI capable bios. This means that by default MS Windows is installed in UEFI mode and this requires a GPT formatted Hard Disk. At the present GRUB cannot install itself in GPT partition table. Some new distros, with kernel 3.0 and above are reported to support UEFI.

Question: How to make GRUB work in my machine?
Answer: You should convert your HDD from GPT partition table to MBR partition table (or MSDOS in Linux) and after that install your Linux OS.

Question: How can I convert my HDD from GPT to MBR partition table?
Answer: You can use Ubunu or another Ubuntu based distro in live mode. In live mode, find the program GPARTED. Wait until it recognizes all your drives and select your HDD. Right click over it, and choose the option to create a new partition table. Choose MSDOS from the list. Hit ok than apply/commit all changes. ATTENTION this will erase all your data and MS Windows (or any other OS) will disappear. Your HDD is now converted in MSDOS or MBR. You can now boot your preferred distro, create your partition scheme and install Linux.

Question: Do I need to make any changes to my bios settings?
Answer: If you have a capable UEFI and LEGACY bios, put the bios in Legacy boot only or Both enabled with Legacy boot first.

I hope this little QA will be of help. If any question may arise or more help is needed, post your questions here, I will try to help you further (if I can).

Best regards

Abvasili

I'm just a volunteer. I like to help others where I can. Do my ideas work? I hope so. o_O
Who helped you today? Do not forget to thank him.
My hardware: TP x120e 0596-2ru. Windows 7, sp1, 64Bit, English, installed in UEFI mode.
802.11n
abvasili
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎11-10-2011
Location: Albania

Re: How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install?

Hi again,

 

I would like to answer to another question, just in case:

 

Question: Can I dual boot Win7 and Linux on a UEFI capable bios?

Answer: Yes you can. If your HDD is formatted in MBR partition table (or msdos) than you can install first windows 7 and than the distro of your choice. BUT, careful, if you install windows from a DVD media it will convert your HDD in GPT partition table and dual boot will be almost impossible... (or will give you a lot of headache) :smileyhappy: to avoid this, dump the win7 iso to an usb using Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. Installing from USB will not change the hdd in GPT partition table.

 

take care

 

abvasili

I'm just a volunteer. I like to help others where I can. Do my ideas work? I hope so. o_O
Who helped you today? Do not forget to thank him.
My hardware: TP x120e 0596-2ru. Windows 7, sp1, 64Bit, English, installed in UEFI mode.
What's DOS?
ralphnumbers
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-05-2012
Location: Chicago
0

Re: How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install?

Thank you so much! This was starting to drive me nuts on a x130e.

 

I appreciate the post.

Community Moderator
zoltanthegypsy
Posts: 3,434
Registered: ‎01-13-2008
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
0

Re: How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install?

[ Edited ]

abvasili wrote:

Hi again,

 

I would like to answer to another question, just in case:

 

Question: Can I dual boot Win7 and Linux on a UEFI capable bios?

Answer: Yes you can. If your HDD is formatted in MBR partition table (or msdos) than you can install first windows 7 and than the distro of your choice. BUT, careful, if you install windows from a DVD media it will convert your HDD in GPT partition table and dual boot will be almost impossible... (or will give you a lot of headache) :smileyhappy: to avoid this, dump the win7 iso to an usb using Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. Installing from USB will not change the hdd in GPT partition table.

 

take care

 

abvasili


Thanks for posting this.

 

I don't have a machine to test on,  so perhaps you can answer this question: Is the above still a problem if the partitions are created in advance - before running the Windows install DVD.

 

I usually avoid having a Windows install mess with the MBR and partitioning by creating 4 primary partitions in advance (with gParted usually) and then telling the Win installer to use one of them.

 

Thanks again,

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.

 

The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored. ... GeezBlog

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802.11n
abvasili
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎11-10-2011
Location: Albania
0

Re: How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install?

[ Edited ]

Hi Z,

 

If you do not want the installation media to touch your MBR (and converting it to GPT) than put the motherboard in legacy mode only... theoretically it will not change your partition table. Installing from an USB media will always by default format the disk in MBR or accept your already prepared partitions on a MBR partition table.

 

Hope this helps.

 

nebrA

I'm just a volunteer. I like to help others where I can. Do my ideas work? I hope so. o_O
Who helped you today? Do not forget to thank him.
My hardware: TP x120e 0596-2ru. Windows 7, sp1, 64Bit, English, installed in UEFI mode.
Paper Tape
ximian
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-12-2012
Location: Jaworzno, Poland
0

Re: How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install?

How about MBR partition table on UEFI BIOS system? I've got Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E320 and three partitions on it out of the box. Windows can only boot in Legacy mode but... there is "System" partition which looks exactly the same as UEFI boot partition. As far as I know partition table conversion from MBR to GPT causes a lot of trouble (problems witch drivers provided by Lenovo). I've tried installing Ubuntu and Grub on the same, separate partition and after that adding Ubuntu entry to boot.ini file but there is no such.

SCSI Port
rzrfreefr
Posts: 237
Registered: ‎10-11-2011
Location: france
0

Re: How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install?

this does not look good :

 

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTIyOTg

 

Lenovo UEFI Only Wants To Boot Windows, RHEL

 

 

--
http://rzr.online.fr/q/lenovo# g470 s103t (Please Contact me if your s10-3T is booting win7 or support bluetooth, 3g)
Lenovo S10-3t | Model Name : 0651 | Mfg Date: 2010/06/08
Lenovo G470 | Model Name : 20078 | M fg Date: 11/03/23 | BIOS: 40CN23WW(V2.09) 06/20/2011 | CPU: i5-2410M | Linux version 3.3.4lenovog470+ (root@lap) (gcc version 4.6.3 (Debian 4.6.3-4) ) #8 SMP Tue May 1 10:23:48 CEST 2012
OS:GNU/Linux/Debian
Blue Screen Again
brentosw
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-03-2013
Location: Toronto, Canada
0

Re: How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install?

[ Edited ]

I have an alernative fix that does not require the use of MBR. It is a 100% UEFI solution.

 

I can only vouch for it working on a Lenovo ThinkStation S30, but I'm fairly sure this will probably work for other systems.

 

Please see here.

 

Moderator note: link corrected - target post has moved.

802.11n
abvasili
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎11-10-2011
Location: Albania
0

Re: How to install Linux on UEFI systems where GRUB fail to install?

That's interesting.

 

But with older/simpler BIOSs it is not possible to edit UEFI boot manager. That's the case of x120e (the model I have).

 

I'm just a volunteer. I like to help others where I can. Do my ideas work? I hope so. o_O
Who helped you today? Do not forget to thank him.
My hardware: TP x120e 0596-2ru. Windows 7, sp1, 64Bit, English, installed in UEFI mode.