LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

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biggocharley
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LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by biggocharley » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:49 pm

I stupidly broke my installation of LMDE2 which was an LMDE upgrade so I didn't have to reinstall grub at the time. So now i need to reinstall LMDE2 (I have HOME on a separate partition) I started to reinstall from a DVD and when the instructions said to reformat my 1st partition, sda1, as EFI-boot I got cold feet and quit the install. I am multi- booting with Windows 10 on my 2nd partition (sda2). Is there a danger of fatally breaking my MBR permanently or will the installation of grub restore it to its former self? I'm currently using a BIOS boot and have no experience with an EFI boot.

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austin.texas
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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by austin.texas » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:53 pm

It sounds like your Windows is installed in Legacy (MBR/CSM) mode, and you booted the LMDE2 installation in UEFI mode. You did the right thing to abort the installation.
If you need to install in Legacy mode, make sure your USB is booted in Legacy mode. You will need to access your computer's boot settings or boot menu. On my computer that means pressing F12 as it starts up.
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biggocharley
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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by biggocharley » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:08 pm

Thanks for the quick response. I was installing from a DVD but i will make a bootable USB stick and give it a try that way.Thanks again.

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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by austin.texas » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:20 pm

You should be able to boot the DVD in Legacy mode - check your boot settings.
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kevinthefixer
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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by kevinthefixer » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:52 pm

This seems to be a common problem with MSI mobos like mine. You may have the optical drive set first in the boot sequence AS A UEFI DEVICE, and then again farther down the line as a legacy device. In your GUI BIOS settings, simply drag the icon for the drive as legacy to the front of the list, if that's the mobo you have.

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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by biggocharley » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:34 am

my problem isn't booting the dvd --it boots just fine. It's when I run the install that the instructions call for setting the mount point for the first partition as /efi-boot and to format that partition as vfat. Gparted has no option for formatting as "vfat" so i formatted it as fat32, which I thought was the same as vfat. then that having been done the installer again calls for the first partition to be formatted as "vfat". So apparently I'm wrong about "vfat' and "fat32" being the same. This is the point where I'm stuck.

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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by austin.texas » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:25 pm

Is your Windows 10 installed in Legacy mode or UEFI mode?
You can boot into Windows and check using these instructions -
Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type msinfo32, and press Enter.
In the right pane of System Summary in System Information, see if the BIOS Mode value says Legacy or UEFI.
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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by darco » Sun Feb 28, 2016 1:46 pm

kevinthefixer wrote:This seems to be a common problem with MSI mobos like mine. You may have the optical drive set first in the boot sequence AS A UEFI DEVICE, and then again farther down the line as a legacy device. In your GUI BIOS settings, simply drag the icon for the drive as legacy to the front of the list, if that's the mobo you have.
Hey thanks for this....scratching my head on why my dvd wouldnt boot properly

d

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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by biggocharley » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:26 pm

austin.texas wrote:Is your Windows 10 installed in Legacy mode or UEFI mode?
You can boot into Windows and check using these instructions -
Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type msinfo32, and press Enter.
In the right pane of System Summary in System Information, see if the BIOS Mode value says Legacy or UEFI.
Image
Windows boots in the Legacy mode but that doesn't change the fact that the lmde2 installer won't allow the installation to proceed without marking the first partition as /EFI-boot and formatting it as vfat. Gparted doesn't have any provision for formatting as "vfat'. Again i always thought that "vfat" and "fat32" are the same so i formatted it (Sda1) as "fat32" but the installer keeps insisting that the format has to be "vfat'. Do you think I will have to reinstall windows so it boots from UEFI? I really don't want to do that.

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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by kevinthefixer » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:06 pm

If Windows is booting as legacy (MBR) mode, then you need to convice the LMDE2 DVD to boot in legacy mode also, it should then install without needing the UEFI partition. It'll then install GRUB to the MBR, with an option to boot Windows.

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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by biggocharley » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:10 pm

I booted the lmde2 DVD in the legacy mode but the installer still wouldn't proceed without the efi boot partition. So I succumbed since this apparently is new technology we are going to have to learn and get used to. I formatted sda1 as fat32 set it to mount as /efi-boot, flagged it as bootable and successfully installed lmde2. The upshot is that what I thought might happen did happen and I lost my mbr so now i am unable to boot into windows. Not a super great loss though since i will run windows as a VM. I don't use it very often anyhow. I would like, however, is to solve this wrinkle in the interest of learning something new. I can't believe that i am the only one this has happened to.For anyone who is interested, i tried the "Boot Repair Disk" --this didn't work- I searched the interne all to no avail. If anyone has run into this or has any suggestions I would appreciate the feedback.

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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by austin.texas » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:25 pm

If you set your BIOS to boot the live Mint in Legacy mode, you still might be booting Mint in UEFI mode if there is some hard-to-find setting in your BIOS, or if your computer is one of the many which has faulty, poorly designed BIOS (EFI) firmware.
It may help to know the command you can run after booting Mint, to verify the mode:

Code: Select all

[ -d /sys/firmware/efi ] && echo "Currently in EFI mode" || echo "Currently in Legacy mode"
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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by biggocharley » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:29 pm

austin.texas wrote:If you set your BIOS to boot the live Mint in Legacy mode, you still might be booting Mint in UEFI mode if there is some hard-to-find setting in your BIOS, or if your computer is one of the many which has faulty, poorly designed BIOS (EFI) firmware.
It may help to know the command you can run after booting Mint, to verify the mode:

Code: Select all

[ -d /sys/firmware/efi ] && echo "Currently in EFI mode" || echo "Currently in Legacy mode"
I ran the above while logged in to lmde2 and the result <"Currently in EFI mode">
I'll try it with the DVD.

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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by biggocharley » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:39 pm

biggocharley wrote:
austin.texas wrote:If you set your BIOS to boot the live Mint in Legacy mode, you still might be booting Mint in UEFI mode if there is some hard-to-find setting in your BIOS, or if your computer is one of the many which has faulty, poorly designed BIOS (EFI) firmware.
It may help to know the command you can run after booting Mint, to verify the mode:

Code: Select all

[ -d /sys/firmware/efi ] && echo "Currently in EFI mode" || echo "Currently in Legacy mode"
I ran the above while logged in to lmde2 and the result <"Currently in EFI mode">
I'll try it with the DVD.
Boot the lmde2 DVD -ran the above : "Currently in EFI mode"

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austin.texas
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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by austin.texas » Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:33 pm

Did you try Darko's suggestion?
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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by biggocharley » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:37 am

austin.texas wrote:Did you try Darko's suggestion?

My issue isn't booting the DVD. I can boot the DVD in either mode without a problem. This is really weird behavior but I have two boot menus. One menu was created when i installed Ubuntu-mate 15.1 on one partition in the legacy mode and the other when I installed lmde2 in the UEFI mode. I can boot from the legacy menu by entering BIOS and choosing "Unknown device" from the menu list. (I discovered this by accident). The boot process defaults to the efi-boot if I don't go into the BIOS and make changes. If I choose the legacy mode I am able to access my windows 10 installation with no problem. Like I said I discovered all this purely by accident while trying different bios settings. I had put the efi-boot on sda1 per the lmde2 install instructions. I have no idea where the other grub menu resides but it must be on another partition. At any rate my original issue was the loss of my access to windows 10. This seems somehow to have gotten solved. I'd feel better about it if I knew what caused that issue in the first place.

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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by austin.texas » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:43 am

When booting in UEFI mode the boot information is stored in the computer's NVRAM and in the ESP (EFI System Partition).
When booting in Legacy mode the boot information is stored in the MBR which points to the / partition.
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Re: LMDE2 Reinstall with efi-boot partition

Post by biggocharley » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:46 pm

austin.texas wrote:When booting in UEFI mode the boot information is stored in the computer's NVRAM and in the ESP (EFI System Partition).
When booting in Legacy mode the boot information is stored in the MBR which points to the / partition.
Thanks ffor the enlightment. This is the first I've been exposed to uefi boot.

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