Samsung convoluted dual boot for Windows 8 and Mint 14

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Samsung convoluted dual boot for Windows 8 and Mint 14

Postby tom_byrne on Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:50 am

Hi,

I managed to get Mint 14 running from disk on my NP550P7-S05UK laptop (details below) however the boot procedure is rather convoluted.

I disabled Fast Boot and Secure Boot to install from DVD however after a reboot, instead of the grub loader I get a message to select suitable media and re-boot. (I think all this is "secure-boot-dysfunctionality").

I can boot to Windows 8 by resetting the original BIOS settings however I noticed that with Secure Boot off I can interupt a boot using F4 (recovery).

I then cancel the recovery and select restart and then get the grub loader.

Although this allows me to run Mint from disk it is a tad awkward (sarcastic understatement).

I'd be interested to hear if anyone has experienced this or has suggestions/solutions?

I believe Ubunto have a 64b distro that supports Secure Boot but I would prefer to use Mint if at all possible.

Regards
Tom


System: Host: tom-550P5C-550P7C Kernel: 3.5.0-17-generic x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: Gnome Distro: Linux Mint 14 Nadia
Machine: System: SAMSUNG product: 550P5C/550P7C version: P03ABI
Mobo: SAMSUNG model: SAMSUNG_NP1234567890 version: SEC_SW__1234567890ABCD
Bios: American Megatrends version: P03ABI.005.120927.dg date: 09/27/2012
CPU: Quad core Intel Core i7-3630QM CPU (-HT-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx)
Clock Speeds: 1: 1200.00 MHz 2: 1200.00 MHz 3: 1200.00 MHz 4: 1200.00 MHz 5: 1200.00 MHz 6: 1200.00 MHz 7: 1200.00 MHz 8: 1200.00 MHz
Graphics: Card-1: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller
Card-2: NVIDIA GK107 [GeForce GT 650M]
X.Org: 1.13.0 drivers: (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) FAILED: nouveau,intel Resolution: 1600x900@60.1hz
GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ivybridge Mobile GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 9.0
Audio: Card: Intel 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel
Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: 1.0.25
Network: Card-1: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 driver: iwlwifi
IF: wlan0 state: up mac: c4:85:08:f0:72:dd
Card-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller driver: r8169
IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: 50:b7:c3:06:79:a4
Drives: HDD Total Size: 1000.2GB (0.4% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: ST1000LM024_HN size: 1000.2GB
Partition: ID: / size: 451G used: 3.7G (1%) fs: ext4 ID: swap-1 size: 8.47GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
RAID: No RAID devices detected - /proc/mdstat and md_mod kernel raid module present
Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 51.0C mobo: 51.0C
Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info: Processes: 167 Uptime: 12:41 Memory: 781.6/7873.9MB Client: Shell inxi: 1.8.4
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Re: Samsung convoluted dual boot for Windows 8 and Mint 14

Postby viking777 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:54 pm

Imho, the only chance you have with secure boot is to switch it off for approximately the next two years. Then switch it on again and see if anybody has got it to work by then.

I guess the question is can you boot windows and mint with secure boot switched off permanently in your bios?
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Re: Samsung convoluted dual boot for Windows 8 and Mint 14

Postby tom_byrne on Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:46 pm

Yes, that would be acceptable and I suppose Windows 8 requires secure boot to be on, so turning off SB in the BIOS effectively turns off W8

When I think of it, I might prefer to do without W8 rather than go through hoops to get to Mint.

However, I'm not confident that I can scratch the disk and do a full install of Mint - should this be possible?
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Re: Samsung convoluted dual boot for Windows 8 and Mint 14

Postby srs5694 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:52 pm

tom_byrne wrote:I managed to get Mint 14 running from disk on my NP550P7-S05UK laptop (details below) however the boot procedure is rather convoluted.


Just to clarify: By "...from disk...", I presume you mean that you've installed Mint so that you can dual-boot, albeit via the convoluted method you describe. If not, please elaborate.

I disabled Fast Boot and Secure Boot to install from DVD however after a reboot, instead of the grub loader I get a message to select suitable media and re-boot. (I think all this is "secure-boot-dysfunctionality").


No, if Secure Boot is disabled, then any problems you're having are unrelated to Secure Boot. I'm not 100% positive, but I suspect that disabling Fast Boot on your computer also enables BIOS-mode (aka legacy-mode or CSM) booting and gives it priority over EFI booting, and you don't have a BIOS-mode boot loader installed, hence the error message. In your situation, you should probably turn Secure Boot off but enable Fast Boot.

I can boot to Windows 8 by resetting the original BIOS settings however I noticed that with Secure Boot off I can interupt a boot using F4 (recovery).

I then cancel the recovery and select restart and then get the grub loader.


Again, I'm not 100% positive, but based on the symptoms you've described, I suspect you've got a broken firmware that insists on booting the Windows boot loader even if something else is set as the default. To test this hypothesis, please enter the following command in Linux:

Code: Select all
sudo efibootmgr -v


This will produce information on the configured boot loaders, plus the order in which they're called ("BootOrder"). If there's no entry for Mint's GRUB (referencing grubx64.efi, IIRC), then my hypothesis could be wrong, and you need to use efibootmgr to add such an entry. If there is an entry for GRUB, though, and if it appears at the head of the BootOrder list, then my hypothesis is correct.

If my hypothesis is correct, there are several possible solutions:

  • Run Ubuntu's Boot Repair tool, which performs some brute-force changes that should get GRUB running as the default. Specifically, it moves/renames the Windows boot loader, installs a copy of GRUB in its place, and reconfigures GRUB to launch Windows via the moved copy of the Windows boot loader. This is likely to be the simplest solution, but it could cause confusion or problems down the road.
  • In Mint, move/rename /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi to another name/location. I recommend pushing it down to /boot/EFI/Microsoft/bootmgfw.efi. Then copy /boot/efi/EFI/linuxmint/grubx64.efi to /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi. With this change in place, GRUB should launch as the default boot loader; but you'll need to adjust your Windows entries in grub.cfg to refer to bootmgfw.efi in its new location. It's possible that update-grub will pick it up automatically, but I'm not sure of that. This procedure is similar in effect to the previous one, but the on-disk changes are a little less extreme and it obviously takes more manual tweaking.
  • In Mint, install my rEFInd boot manager by installing the Debian package. Once that's done, try to reboot. If rEFInd comes up immediately, you're done. If it doesn't come up immediately (which is more likely, given the problem), reboot into Mint in whatever way you can and type "sudo mvrefind.sh /boot/efi/EFI/refind /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot". This does something conceptually similar to the previous two fixes, but it sets up rEFInd as the default boot manager rather than GRUB. You can then boot Mint via rEFInd, either bypassing GRUB entirely or using GRUB as an intermediary, as you see fit.

viking777 wrote:Imho, the only chance you have with secure boot is to switch it off for approximately the next two years. Then switch it on again and see if anybody has got it to work by then.


Secure Boot is a nuisance, but it's not as bad as that. Some distributions (Ubuntu 12.10, Fedora 18, and a few more obscure ones to date) work with Secure Boot enabled in its default mode already. Any distribution, including Mint, can be made to work with some extra effort. See my page on the topic for more information. Currently the extra effort required is well outside the comfort zone for less technically-inclined users, but as distributions adopt Secure Boot support, and as the tools improve, that will change. If the Mint developers don't have Secure Boot working with their next release, then they've got their heads buried in the sand.

tom_byrne wrote:I suppose Windows 8 requires secure boot to be on, so turning off SB in the BIOS effectively turns off W8


Why do people think this? It isn't true -- or at least, I've seen numerous reports of people switching off Secure Boot and continuing to be able to boot Windows 8. (I don't have a computer that shipped with Windows 8 with which to test.) Thus, if there is such a requirement, it must apply to only some installations.
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Re: Samsung convoluted dual boot for Windows 8 and Mint 14

Postby tom_byrne on Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:08 pm

..yes, I should have been clearer, I wanted to install Mint on hard disk to create a dual boot Mint and W8 system.

I confirmed your view that W8 can boot with Secure Boot off - I presume I might have made another BIOS setup change (e.g reverting to CMS ) when I originally tried to boot with Secure Boot off.

I tried enabling Fast Boot as you suggested but to no avail. I found that efibootmgr was not present so I loaded it. When I ran efibootmgr -v it complained that it could not get access to some folders.

I noticed that there was no /boot/EFI folder so perhaps what was wrong with the loader was that it was not there?

So I then took your advice and installed Ubuntu's Boot Repair. I think this installed a signed loader. It also advised that the location of the boot loader was too far from the start of the disk.

Now, when I boot with Secure Boot off I get the grub2 menu and can successfully boot to Mint or W8.

However, with Secure Boot on I now get a warning that an invalid signature has been detected.

Thank you, srs5694, for your excellent help with this.
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Re: Samsung convoluted dual boot for Windows 8 and Mint 14

Postby srs5694 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:59 pm

tom_byrne wrote:I tried enabling Fast Boot as you suggested but to no avail. I found that efibootmgr was not present so I loaded it. When I ran efibootmgr -v it complained that it could not get access to some folders.


That indicates that either the efivars kernel module wasn't loaded or you were booted in BIOS mode. Typing "sudo modprobe efivars" can fix the former problem, but if it's the latter, you'd need to adjust your boot configuration to boot in EFI mode. Given other things you've posted, I suspect that if you were booting in BIOS mode before, you're not doing so now, so either efibootmgr will now work or it will work after loading the efivars module.

I noticed that there was no /boot/EFI folder so perhaps what was wrong with the loader was that it was not there?


The directory is normally called /boot/efi, not /boot/EFI. (Linux filesystems are case-sensitive, so this distinction is important.) If /boot/efi was not present, that's another clue that the original installation was done in BIOS mode. In an EFI-mode installation, /boot/efi should be present and should function as a mount point for the EFI System Partition (ESP), which is a FAT partition that holds boot loaders and related files.

So I then took your advice and installed Ubuntu's Boot Repair. I think this installed a signed loader. It also advised that the location of the boot loader was too far from the start of the disk.

Now, when I boot with Secure Boot off I get the grub2 menu and can successfully boot to Mint or W8.


This makes me think that you're now booting in EFI mode. If the boot loader it installed is signed, it's signed with Ubuntu's key, which will be useless for booting a Mint kernel.

However, with Secure Boot on I now get a warning that an invalid signature has been detected.


That's because Mint doesn't yet support Secure Boot, which means that Mint's copies of GRUB and the Linux kernel are unsigned and will produce an error message (or just a silent failure) when launched.

If you really want to use Secure Boot, you can do so, but you'll need to jump through some significant extra hoops:

http://www.rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloader ... eboot.html

With any luck this process will get simpler with Mint 15, but I don't really know what the Mint developers are planning on this score. For the moment, it's definitely easier to run with Secure Boot disabled.
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