Credit where it's due, some of these instructions come from the Ubuntu community and help pages.
Don't blame me if you mess your hard drives up, your computer explodes, or your dog runs off and marries a cat.
Step 1: Prepare hard drive. For me, this was just a case of shrinking my windows partition from within Windows disk management to ensure I had some space to install Mint.
Step 2: Download the latest Mint iso. Note that it has to be a 64bit version to work with EFI.
Step 3: Burn the iso to a USB stick. There are loads of tools to do it, but the one I used when it worked for me was PenDriveLinux. Choose to format during the process, this ensures it goes on as Fat32.
Step 4: Reboot the PC and go into the BIOS/setup. The button to do this varies between manufacturers, for me it was F2. Once in the setup, find the BIOS option which should currently say UEFI, and change it to BIOS/Legacy Support. Not all motherboards support this, if yours doesn't, the rest of this how-to won't work for you, sorry.
While you're in the setup, disable Secure Boot if you can. For me, and other Lenovo owners, you may find you have to set an Admin password before the option becomes available.
Change the boot order in your setup to ensure it boots from USB before Hard Drive.
Save and exit the BIOS/setup.
Step 5: If you're still with me, and it's worked so far, you should find your computer booting into Mint from the USB stick. Choose to boot into Mint from the main menu.
Step 6: Once Mint loads to the desktop, double click the 'Install Mint' link on the desktop. There are loads of guides out there (and on here) for installing Mint, so I won't go into too much detail here, but for reference, I chose the following options.
- From the install options, choose 'something else'.
- I chose the Free space from the list of partitions, then 'Add'ed a 4GB Swap partition, and finally used the rest of the free space as a / partition.
- Completed the rest of the install as normal.
Providing this works up to this point, you now have a working install (in BIOS mode), and a working Windows 8 install (EFI mode). Now we need to convert the BIOS install to an EFI one so we can just keep the computer in EFI mode and not have to swap between them.
Step 8: We need to install boot-repair now. Ensure you're connected to the internet and then open a terminal and type the following commands:
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sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update
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sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair
Step 9: In boot-repair, click 'Advanced Options', and then the 'Grub location' tab.
Step 10: You should see a separate /boot/efi partiton. Make sure the correct one is ticked and selected.
If you aren't sure which is your EFI partition, open another terminal and enter:
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sudo parted /dev/sda print
(assuming your drive is on sda of course)
You should see which is which on the list this creates.
Step 11: Click 'Apply' in boot-repair. It takes a while to complete the process, and partway through will give you some commands to remove and re-install GRUB. Follow the instructions to the letter until the process completes.
Step 12: Reboot, go back into the bios and change the bios mode back to UEFI. Save and exit and you should now find yourself with a GRUB menu within EFI. Both the Mint and Windows options should work.
Well, if you made it this far, and were as lucky as me, you should now have a working Mint EFI install to go along with the Windows one. No need to go changing the bios mode every time you want to boot into a different OS.
If you have any questions, please ask away, but bear in mind that I'm new to EFI and new to Mint. I'll answer as best I can
All I've got left to do now is install something like rEFInd to hopefully replace the very plain grub menu.