Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby DrHu on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:22 pm

If you buy motherboards and assemble your own system, it is highly unlikely that secure boot will be included?/required, as that would require picking the OS to use (extending a Microsoft monopoly to hardware systems/chipsets)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/23 ... i_lock_in/
    If the draft for UEFI is adopted without modification, then systems with secure boot enabled simply will not run a generic copy of Linux. Disabling the feature would allow unsigned code to run. However Garrett argues that since "firmware vendors and OEMs are interested in providing only the minimum of firmware functionality required for their market" this may not be possible, a concern shared by Anderson.
    What both Microsoft and critics of UEFI seemingly agree on is that unless secure boot can be disabled then Linux can't be run on Windows 8 PCs.
--well Microsoft says it is not so: being against Linux or other OS bootups..(we'll see)

Microsoft + oems' might have made PCs cheaper, but constrining their use at those cheaper price points is not nice!
--we've had a good run of low priced PCs'

Linux solutions..
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-med ... pen-source
http://hothardware.com/News/Linux-Found ... -Solution/
--the key wil be available ($100.00 approx..)
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/l ... dora/11187

I actually have little idea why anyone running a home based PC (desktop or even notebook/netbook) would need a secure boot
--I mean we can already encrypt hard drives or directoriers/folders: what's the real(not philosophical) advantages of it (uefi..)
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby srs5694 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:55 pm

DrHu wrote:I actually have little idea why anyone running a home based PC (desktop or even notebook/netbook) would need a secure boot
--I mean we can already encrypt hard drives or directoriers/folders: what's the real(not philosophical) advantages of it (uefi..)


First, please do not conflate Secure Boot and UEFI. You began your question asking about Secure Boot and ended it asking about UEFI, and the two are very different, as are the answers to the question of what benefits each provides to a typical user. Since Secure Boot is just one optional feature of UEFI, I'll begin by answering the question about UEFI and then move on to Secure Boot....

UEFI is a replacement for a 30-year-old firmware post-hoc standard (BIOS). BIOS is showing its age in many ways, such as its reliance on 16-bit code, its linkage to the x86 instruction set that restricts portability, and a boot loader model that's extremely primitive by today's standards. UEFI updates all of this, enabling booting in the processor's best mode (64-bit x86-64 instructions on most desktop, laptop, and server systems today), cross-platform portability, and boot loaders that need to do less low-level stuff and so can focus on higher-level functionality. None of these (or more obscure) benefits of UEFI have really direct bearing on most users' activities, in the sense that you don't sit down at your computer and think, "oh, I'm so glad I'm not using 16-bit code to boot!" These features do, however, have effects that you might notice, either now or in the future. For instance, the most recent UEFI implementations often have a "fast boot" mode that works, in part, by disabling the "hooks" for BIOS-mode booting. Doing this enables the EFI firmware to do its startup tasks more quickly than a BIOS can, because the UEFI is written in 64-bit code without 16-bit limitations and without needing to do all the things that a BIOS must do but that aren't required by modern OSes. Thus, as a user you can shave a few seconds off your boot time when you set the "fast boot" mode. The EFI boot loader model enables you to manage your boot loaders in a saner way, since they're files on a disk rather than code splatted into unmanaged areas of the disk. (In practice, though, this benefit isn't all it could be because of buggy EFI implementations; but once the worst of those bugs fade into history, it will become a solid plus for EFI.) On the balance, right now EFI's benefits for the end user are minor, and in many cases the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. This is especially true with buggy or limited implementations or when using OSes with poor EFI support. This is likely to change in the future as both EFI implementations improve and as support in OSes gets better.

Secure Boot is just one UEFI feature, and it's an optional one. Until Windows 8's debut, few UEFI-based computers supported Secure Boot. Secure Boot is not about data encryption or otherwise protecting your files, except indirectly: Secure Boot is about keeping malware off your computer. For years, one class of malware has inserted itself into the boot process, typically by replacing the boot loader. The malware can then run "underneath" the OS and therefore hide itself from the OS -- the most sophisticated forms of such malware act something like a virtual machine, so that they can control the OS's access to hardware. This makes them difficult or impossible to detect or remove from within the infected OS. In theory they could be made in a cross-platform way, so as to infect multiple OSes, but I don't know if any actually work in that way. Secure Boot serves as protection against such malware; if a boot loader isn't signed by a recognized key, a system with Secure Boot enabled won't let the boot loader run. Thus, to insert itself early in the boot process, malware would have to be signed. That would require malware authors to either register themselves with Verisign and Microsoft (thus giving a nice trail to their front door for law enforcement when their malware is discovered) or trick users into disabling Secure Boot or altering its configuration (which adds a social engineering task to their malware distribution efforts, which will slow the spread of the malware and alert security professionals earlier in the process of its spreading). Thus, Secure Boot does have real benefits to end users. At the moment, this benefit is admittedly somewhat theoretical, since UEFI is new enough that there are few or no malware packages that target it. This isn't something you want to be complacent or dismissive about, though -- new malware appears constantly, and with new PCs shipping with Windows 8 and UEFI, it's 100% certain that malware authors will soon target that combination, if they haven't done so already. That said, as Linux users, we have less to worry about, since the malware authors tend to target the most popular and/or least secure platforms, and on the desktop, that's Windows. If you're dual-booting Windows and Linux, Secure Boot can be a benefit to the Windows side, although the hassle of getting all but a few Linux distributions booting with Secure Boot enabled is great enough that disabling it makes sense for the time being.
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby srs5694 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:04 pm

viking777 wrote:What I don't understand though is why Ubuntu 12.10 (the distro I installed first) clearly installed in Uefi mode without any forcing from me (it created and mounted the ESP, I didn't). Are they the only people that have a truly Uefi compatible installation disk?


No; in fact, they're not even the best at it. IMHO, Fedora's got the best EFI support at the moment. For a system without Secure Boot, I'd recommend Fedora 17 over Fedora 18 simply because the Fedora team has made huge changes to Anaconda (their installer program) for Fedora 18, and these changes are still so rough that they're causing people serious problems. Fedora 18, though, is the first distribution to provide a signed version of shim that can also load user-provided keys (MOKs), so it currently provides the easiest and best Secure Boot support, particularly if you want to multi-boot with other Linux distributions. Ubuntu 12.10, by contrast, comes with an earlier version of shim that doesn't support MOKs. Thus, Ubuntu's boot loader process will let you boot Ubuntu on a Secure Boot computer, but it won't let you boot anything else unless you first replace its shim with Fedora's or with the one provided by Matthew Garrett.

There are also issues with how installation media are prepared. Fedora seem to be the only ones who've managed to pull off creating an installer that can boot in both BIOS mode and EFI mode from both optical discs and from USB flash drives; most others (certainly Mint) seem to have problems with one combination or another -- as I understand it, Mint's installer won't boot in EFI mode from a USB flash drive unless you copy it using UNetbootin, for instance. With Fedora, you can just do a dd copy of the image to a USB flash drive and use it.
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby ElectricRider on Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:18 pm

After much discussion with the folks at HP, I am now able to disable Secure Boot while using UEFI. The plan was to install Vector first then Mint so i can let grub find all my Os's and set up a triple boot. I have put both Vector and Mint on USB sticks using unetbootin. I can see the Mint usb at boot ( the live version works fine so i should be able to install it) but I cannot see the Vector usb and like I said, I wanted to install that first. Vector says they may have UEFI support in the next release but I know the last release took 2 years.

Best suggestions on this? Do i install vector in legacy bios then install Mint in UEFI then use srs5694's suggestion here:
Install Mint in BIOS mode and then, from that mode and/or from Windows, install and configure an EFI-mode boot loader for Linux that also supports Secure Boot. You can then switch to UEFI-mode/Secure Boot booting and dual-boot Windows and Mint. This is possible, but it's harder than any other path.
( remember now Secure Boot is disabled and i am still in UEFI mode. - If there is no better options, I'll go back to Legacy Bios and forget UEFI)
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby srs5694 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:31 pm

Given your current situation, I recommend installing Mint and then installing Vector Linux in BIOS mode. You can then reboot into Mint and either add Vector to the Mint GRUB (if you decide to use it) or use Mint to manually set up a separate boot loader for Vector Linux. If you were to install Vector first you'd have fewer options for getting it booting in EFI mode. Note that, once everything's up and running, it doesn't really matter in what order you install your Linux distributions; it's only an issue in terms of how easy it is to get things working.
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby ElectricRider on Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:55 am

I understand, Thanks.

I have been reading about your tool rEFInd and it has the ability to on boot determine which Os's need Legacy Bios and which need UEFI and will give you a boot menu that works for all of them in case I need to go that rout.. That's awesome, your boot manager looks sweet. Nice graphics. I think i want to use it once I get my distros running.
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby viking777 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:37 am

OK srs what have I done wrong here then?

Code: Select all
# Which types of boot loaders to search, and in what order to display them:
  internal      - internal EFI disk-based boot loaders
  external      - external EFI disk-based boot loaders
  optical       - EFI optical discs (CD, DVD, etc.)
#  hdbios        - BIOS disk-based boot loaders
#  biosexternal  - BIOS external boot loaders (USB, eSATA, etc.)
  cd            - BIOS optical-disc boot loaders
  manual        - use stanzas later in this configuration file
# Note that the legacy BIOS options require firmware support, which is
# not present on all computers.
# On UEFI PCs, default is internal,external,optical,manual
# On Macs, default is internal,hdbios,external,biosexternal,optical,cd,manual
#
scanfor internal,external,optical,manual


The amendments above to the refind.conf still result in my live dvd being completely ignored. I do get 14 boot entries from the hard drive of which 4 actually chainload grub as they are supposed to (the other 10 do nothing, they are all 'vmlinuz' entries which it isn't capable of booting because it is not a boot loader only a chain loader). I switched to text mode in order to be able to see properly what is going on, but I can't imagine that makes a difference. I have tried it with only the 'scanfor' line uncommented, only the lines above it uncommented, and, as you see above, both uncommented, same result each time.
BTW If I leave the system at the refind main menu for a little while and then press Escape to refresh the listing I can hear the dvd spin up, so it must be searching there but it never sees anything. I also tried booting from Refind with a second distro on another Usb key - that was ignored as well. (in order to facilitate that I changed the scanfor line to this: scanfor internal,external,optical,manual, biosexternal,cd). The same 14 entries were displayed - only those on the hard drive. I have also uncommented the 'scan delay' to no avail.
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby srs5694 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:37 am

ElectricRider wrote:I have been reading about your tool rEFInd and it has the ability to on boot determine which Os's need Legacy Bios and which need UEFI and will give you a boot menu that works for all of them in case I need to go that rout.


Be aware that rEFInd's ability to boot BIOS-based OSes is limited on PCs. It's more flexible on Macs, but on PCs, it will at best present "generic" boot icons that will launch whatever boot loader is in the MBR of the relevant disk. This can be adequate if you have a BIOS boot manager in the MBR, but if not, or if you prefer to boot OSes directly from rEFInd, it might not work quite the way you want.

viking777 wrote:OK srs what have I done wrong here then?
Code: Select all
    # Which types of boot loaders to search, and in what order to display them:
      internal      - internal EFI disk-based boot loaders
      external      - external EFI disk-based boot loaders
      optical       - EFI optical discs (CD, DVD, etc.)
    #  hdbios        - BIOS disk-based boot loaders
    #  biosexternal  - BIOS external boot loaders (USB, eSATA, etc.)
      cd            - BIOS optical-disc boot loaders
      manual        - use stanzas later in this configuration file
    # Note that the legacy BIOS options require firmware support, which is
    # not present on all computers.
    # On UEFI PCs, default is internal,external,optical,manual
    # On Macs, default is internal,hdbios,external,biosexternal,optical,cd,manual
    #
    scanfor internal,external,optical,manual



First, you should uncomment only the "scanfor" line. The lines you've quoted above that are all comments that describe the "scanfor" options. None of the lines you've uncommented (except for "scanfor") begins with a valid refind.conf token, so this should have no effect, but you should comment them back out just in case there's a bug that might be triggered by such an option.

The "scanfor" line you've uncommented sets the default options and so won't change anything. The defaults should pick up both optical discs and USB flash drives. If you want rEFInd to show BIOS-bootable media, you must add the relevant options to the "scanfor" line, as in:

Code: Select all
scanfor internal,external,optical,manual,biosexternal,cd


One other thing to keep in mind is that rEFInd only shows media that it can boot. If a disc has no EFI boot loader and if you haven't included the "cd" option, it won't appear in rEFInd's menu. Also, some EFI implementations tend not to make all external media available as boot devices. This can be the case because of missing drivers, broken hardware, or restrictive firmware settings. Some things you can try to work around such problems include:

  • Use whatever key brings up your boot options menu and use it to launch rEFInd. This sometimes makes the firmware give programs access to removable media. (Of course, you may already have done this.)
  • Look for a firmware option related to scanning or activating USB devices or other removable media and adjust it.
  • Be sure the medium from which you want to boot is in the list of active boot devices, even if it's not at the top of the list. This may require you to plug in a USB flash drive when you make this adjustment in the firmware.

viking777 wrote:I do get 14 boot entries from the hard drive of which 4 actually chainload grub as they are supposed to (the other 10 do nothing, they are all 'vmlinuz' entries which it isn't capable of booting because it is not a boot loader only a chain loader).


You misunderstand vmlinuz's capabilities. That's the Linux kernel filename, and 3.3.0 and later kernels can (and usually do) include an EFI stub loader, which turns the kernel into its own boot loader. Thus, if the vmlinuz file is for a 3.3.0 or later kernel, it very probably is a boot loader, and should be launchable by rEFInd. It's unclear what you mean by "do nothing," since rEFInd should do something if you attempt to launch one of these entries. If the kernel file lacks EFI stub loader support, you'll get an error message about it being "unsupported." If the kernel has EFI stub loader support, it should launch but might not come up completely unless you've created a refind_linux.conf file with kernel options in the same directory as the kernel file.

viking777 wrote:BTW If I leave the system at the refind main menu for a little while and then press Escape to refresh the listing I can hear the dvd spin up, so it must be searching there but it never sees anything.


The fact that rEFInd spun up the disc in this test suggests that it was being scanned but that it lacked an EFI boot loader. You could check this yourself -- look for EFI boot loader files (with names that end in ".efi") on the disc in subdirectories of "EFI", probably "EFI/BOOT/bootx64.efi". Such files will only be detected by rEFInd if the firmware has access to an ISO-9660 driver, which is included with rEFInd and so should be used automatically if you used the USB flash drive image on rEFInd's download page.
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby viking777 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:06 pm

Thanks for that detailed reply srs, much appreciated. It explains some things but not others. However I don't want to try your patience any more than I have already, I'll give you a night off :lol: . This forum will wear you out if you let it. :wink:
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby ElectricRider on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:17 pm

I had some time to try the installs last night and install of Mint went fine ( it completed the operation of installing lets put it that way) but I cant get any option at boot to load Mint. First I tried the instructions here because Ubuntu and Mint are so similar and have the same ( i think) EFI support. http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2012/11/05/du ... -hardware/ I am using UEFI with Secure Bios disabled. made a UEFI bootable Mint 14 USB stick with Unetbootin.

Out of the unallocated space I made from shrinking C drive I set up a 250 mb /boot partition - only on UEFI it doesn't say /boot, it says something like /EFI Boot partition. Then a 10 gig /root, then a 10 gig Home and a 3 gig swap. I used ext4 for the file system. If it's setting up Grub either i'm not telling it where to set up grub properly or something else is going on. I also tried to get EasyBCD to see it but apparently EasyBCD doesn't support UEFI ( or windows 8 with UEFI) yet, the tool crashes with an error saying it cannot open the bcd registry.

Tried fixing grub from rebooting the live distro and typing: sudo grub_install /dev/sda, and on the next terminal line: sudo update-grub. I got an error saying the terminal could not find grub_install.

Tried to install rEFInd's debian version from my live distro by downloading it and running the installer. It did try to install but aborted the operation, don't remember why.. i think because it was running off the live USB version and not from an installed Mint distro?

I then also tried the install again in legacy bios mode and had the same trouble as above ( telling the boot loader to be on /dev/sda) . I'm not Linux savvy enough to understand whats going on, I just follow instructions and keep my fingers crossed. LOL
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby viking777 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:50 pm

This is what I have:

Code: Select all
/boot/efi/EFI/mint

and inside /mint I have

Code: Select all
grub.efi


How much of that have you got on /boot?

BTW if you have the folder structure but not the grub.efi file inside it, try and find it elsewhere and copy it there. it might just work. For example I have another copy of grub.efi in /boot/grub, so it might be worth looking there.

Another alternative is to put refind on a usb key and boot from usb first. Instructions here:
http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/getting.html

I used the binary zip file and the instructions in the 'Tip' boxout. Make sure your usb key is formatted fat32 though, that is essential.
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby ElectricRider on Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:06 pm

I misspoke.

I can boot into the install from the USB stick Only. I checked the folder structure and i do have those same folders under Boot with the grub efi file inside of the linuxmint folder.

I will try installing rEFInd again from the install now that i know how to access it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was able to install rEFInd on Mint but on reboot, still no boot menu I can choose from.

At least I feel I'm making progress... LOL Whats my next step?
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby ElectricRider on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:46 pm

O.k. this is weird.

You know how when you want your PC to boot from DVD or USB and its set to boot from hard drive that you have to go into Bios settings and switch your boot order? Well ya know also how most systems offer you a quick way to do that by hitting a special key and bringing up a boot options menu when you start the computer? Well That menu is where I have options to boot Mint from. I also have an option in there to bring up rEFInd. I can load either one from there. This might tell you something about where my system is looking to boot things from.

It's still too many steps. I need a GUI or rather, rEFInd's GUI to offer me this choice on boot without me having to hit Escape, then F9 ( for boot options) Then choosing rEIFind then choosing my OS of choice from there. Booting to Windows or Mint does work from rEFInd by the way.
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby srs5694 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:45 pm

ElectricRider,

Please boot to Mint and then type the following command in a shell prompt. Post the output here between code tags:

Code: Select all
sudo efibootmgr -v


(If you get a "command not found" error message, type "sudo apt-get install efibootmgr" and try again.)
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby ElectricRider on Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:11 pm

I didn't get any errors. Here is the code.

Code: Select all
BootOrder: 3001,3000,3002,2001,2002,2003

Boot0000* rEFInd Boot Manager   HD(1,c8800,82000,0d310f28-c702-4bb9-932d-bfc5f47a48bb)File(\EFI\refind\refind_x64.efi)

Boot0001* Windows Boot Manager   HD(2,c8800,82000,0d310f28-c702-4bb9-932d-bfc5f47a48bb)File(\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi)WINDOWS.........x...B.C.D.O.B.J.E.C.T.=.{.9.d.e.a.8.6.2.c.-.5.c.d.d.-.4.e.7.0.-.a.c.c.1.-.f.3.2.b.3.4.4.d.4.7.9.5.}...0................

Boot0002* linuxmint   HD(1,c8800,82000,0d310f28-c702-4bb9-932d-bfc5f47a48bb)File(\EFI\linuxmint\grubx64.efi)

Boot2001* USB Drive (UEFI)   RC

Boot2002* Internal CD/DVD ROM Drive (UEFI)   RC

Boot3000* Internal Hard Disk or Solid State Disk   RC

Boot3001* Internal Hard Disk or Solid State Disk   RC

Boot3002* Internal Hard Disk or Solid State Disk   RC

dark@dark-Systems ~ $
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby viking777 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:49 am

Electric Rider, this thing just gets madder and madder with every turn. The behaviour you described about all your boot choices coming up in your f12 menu (or whatever key it might be) is utterly bizarre. I was interested in the command srs gave you to try out so I had a go with that myself.

Code: Select all
sudo efibootmgr -v
[sudo] password for mint:
Fatal: Couldn't open either sysfs or procfs directories for accessing EFI variables.
Try 'modprobe efivars' as root.


So I modprobe efivars and nothing happens. Why doesn't anything happen? Because the kernel module efivars.ko does not exist on my system. More than that it doesn't exist in the whole of the Ubuntu repository either (nor the mint repository).



Search in specific suite: [hardy] [hardy-updates] [hardy-backports] [lucid] [lucid-updates] [lucid-backports] [oneiric] [oneiric-updates] [oneiric-backports] [precise] [precise-updates] [precise-backports] [quantal] [quantal-updates] [quantal-backports] [raring]

Limit search to a specific architecture: [i386] [amd64] [powerpc] [armel]

You have searched for packages that names contain efivars.ko in all suites, all sections, and all architectures.

Sorry, your search gave no results




So now we have a command which you can run but I can't because it relies on a module which doesn't exist in Mint/Ubuntu. So where did you get that module from? I don't suppose you know and I am not surprised at that, the whole thing would give Alan Turing a headache :(

Maybe it only lives in some obscure kernel repository somewhere that I don't know about.

Edit - Got a partial answer to that myself. On the kernel I am using the efivars module is now built in which is why you can't modprobe it:
Still don't know why the command 'efibootmgr' doesn't work though.
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby srs5694 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:25 pm

ElectricRider wrote:I didn't get any errors. Here is the code.


Try this:

[code]sudo efibootmgr -o 0000,0001,3001,3000,3002,2001,2002,2003[/quote]

Once you've done this, reboot. If rEFInd doesn't come up as the default boot program, then your firmware is broken. If that happens, you should try one of the following:

  • In Linux, type "sudo mvrefind /boot/efi/EFI/refind /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot". This will move Microsoft's boot loader to a new location and install rEFInd in its place, so rEFInd should come up instead of Microsoft's boot loader.
  • In Windows, do the following:
    1. Open a Command Prompt window with Administrator privileges
    2. Type "mountvol S: /S" to mount the ESP as S:
    3. Type "bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\refind\refind_x64.efi" to tell the Windows boot loader to chainload to rEFInd
  • Look for a firmware update from your manufacturer and, if one is available, install it. This may wipe all your NVRAM boot entries, though, so once you're done, you may need to boot to Linux using some emergency method and use efibootmgr to add the Linux entry back to the firmware. The easiest way to do this is actually to uninstall and re-install rEFInd, since the installation script uses efibootmgr to register rEFInd with the firmware.
  • Return the computer to the manufacturer as defective. This is admittedly extreme, and I wouldn't seriously expect you to do it given that there are less extreme solutions.
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby srs5694 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:35 pm

viking777 wrote:I was interested in the command srs gave you to try out so I had a go with that myself.

Code: Select all
sudo efibootmgr -v
[sudo] password for mint:
Fatal: Couldn't open either sysfs or procfs directories for accessing EFI variables.
Try 'modprobe efivars' as root.


Chances are you're running in BIOS mode. I know you claim your motherboard doesn't support BIOS-mode boots, but you've presented overwhelming evidence that it does, and that you're actually using BIOS-mode boots at least some of the time.

That said, there are other reasons why efibootmgr might not work even when you boot from EFI:

  • You're running a 32-bit kernel on a 64-bit EFI, or vice-versa.
  • You've not loaded the efivars kernel driver. (Note that I've referred to this several times earlier in this thread, including the following: "This directory [/sys/firmware/efi] won't appear if the efivars kernel driver isn't available, but it seems to be built into the kernel on the Mint 14.1 DVD I tried"). Because the efivars driver is built into at least recent Mint kernels, it's unlikely you'll need to load the module manually unless that build decision is inconsistent or very recent or if you're using a custom-built kernel.
  • You add the "noefi" kernel command-line option to your boot loader. AFAIK, no modern Linux distribution does this.

Given the relatively obscure reasons for failure to find /sys/firmware/efi or for efibootmgr to fail (the causes are the same), such a failure usually indicates a BIOS-mode boot.
srs5694
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby viking777 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:47 pm

Code: Select all
uname -a
Linux fujitsu 3.5.0-23-generic #35-Ubuntu SMP Thu Jan 24 13:15:40 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux


Code: Select all
cat /proc/cmdline
BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-23-generic root=UUID=f00aad8b-8480-4c2b-9adb-c8625879b1cf ro


Code: Select all
ls /sys/firmware/
acpi/  efi/  memmap/


Code: Select all
sudo efibootmgr -v
[sudo] password for ubuntu:
Fatal: Couldn't open either sysfs or procfs directories for accessing EFI variables.
Try 'modprobe efivars' as root.


Code: Select all
 
cd /usr/src/linux-headers-3.5.0-23-generic
/u/s/linux-headers-3.5.0-23-generic> cat .config|grep VARS
CONFIG_EFI_VARS=y


Over to you.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
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viking777
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Re: Want to dual boot Mint and Win 8 - UEFI questions

Postby srs5694 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:05 pm

viking777 wrote:
Code: Select all
ls /sys/firmware/
acpi/  efi/  memmap/


Code: Select all
sudo efibootmgr -v
[sudo] password for ubuntu:
Fatal: Couldn't open either sysfs or procfs directories for accessing EFI variables.
Try 'modprobe efivars' as root.


Over to you.


That's a new one to me -- you've got /sys/firmware/efi, but efibootmgr is failing. I have several ideas, but they're all rather vague and none of them seems particularly likely:

  • A permissions problem within /sys/firmware/efi -- Since this is a virtual filesystem, such a problem implies either an error in sysfs or a user-space program or script that's going in and changing things. Neither seems all that likely.
  • A missing kernel module outside of efivars -- This would necessarily be a fairly obscure but common kernel component that's somehow been omitted from your kernel, which seems unlikely.
  • A bug might be causing /sys/firmware/efi from appearing even though you're booted in BIOS mode -- I've never heard of this happening, but given the evidence, I can't completely rule out the possibility.
  • A bug in your firmware that's preventing efivars from doing what it's supposed to do -- Offhand, this seems the most likely explanation, but it's also a vague one, and I offer it mainly because nothing else seems to make much sense. You could try upgrading your firmware, if your manufacturer offers an update.

If you can get an emergency system to boot in EFI mode (I know you've had problems with this in the past -- you say most of your CD-based boots lack a /sys/firmware/efi directory), you could try efibootmgr from there, which would help narrow down the possible causes. If another kernel and another significantly different distribution (say, Fedora 18) produces a working efibootmgr program, then you can rule out a firmware bug; but if such a distribution produces the same effect, configuration issues seem less likely to be a cause.
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