Booting without going into the BIOS

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toolrick
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Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by toolrick » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:44 pm

Hello all,

I am wondering if there is a way to install linux using a USB Boot without going into the BIOS. I read in another forum that this could be done using VirtualBox but I have no idea how to do it and if it's possible at all. The main reason why I am asking this is because my laptop's screen is broken and I cannot access to the BIOS, or I can access but have no idea what I am doing in there since I cannot see anything in it and a second screen only shows what is actually happening after it has gone though and opened the OS.

I can access the system at the moment, but I want to know in case something happens and I cannot access the BIOS to install linux again in my machine.

Thanks,

RD

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all41
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by all41 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:35 pm

toolrick wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:44 pm
Hello all,

I am wondering if there is a way to install linux using a USB Boot without going into the BIOS. I read in another forum that this could be done using VirtualBox but I have no idea how to do it and if it's possible at all. The main reason why I am asking this is because my laptop's screen is broken and I cannot access to the BIOS, or I can access but have no idea what I am doing in there since I cannot see anything in it and a second screen only shows what is actually happening after it has gone though and opened the OS.

I can access the system at the moment, but I want to know in case something happens and I cannot access the BIOS to install linux again in my machine.

Thanks,

RD
Hello RD,
There is a utility "Plop Boot Manager" that may allow you to install using usb--other forum members have recommended this but I have not had occasion to use it myself.
You can read about it here:
https://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager/intro.html
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toolrick
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by toolrick » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:22 am

all41 wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:35 pm
Hello RD,
There is a utility "Plop Boot Manager" that may allow you to install using usb--other forum members have recommended this but I have not had occasion to use it myself.
You can read about it here:
https://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager/intro.html
Thanks a lot for your response. I will try to use the aforementioned information.

Sincerely,

RD
Last edited by Moem on Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed a quote

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all41
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by all41 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:29 pm

toolrick wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:22 am

Thanks a lot for your response. I will try to use the aforementioned information.
Your welcome @toolrick.
Would be a good idea to try this out and get familiar with it's operation before you actually need it,
and be sure to let the forum know how it works out for you.
Best regards,
LJ
Last edited by Moem on Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed a quote
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toolrick
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by toolrick » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:34 pm

all41 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:29 pm
toolrick wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:22 am

Thanks a lot for your response. I will try to use the aforementioned information.
Your welcome @toolrick.
Would be a good idea to try this out and get familiar with it's operation before you actually need it,
and be sure to let the forum know how it works out for you.
Best regards,
LJ
Hello again, it seems I cannot install the OS following this instructions. I would have to be inside the BIOS and make some adjustments also for this to work.

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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by fabien85 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:23 am

If the machine is UEFI-compatible, you can install refind as your boot manager.
I did this on a mac laptop with a broken screen, and refind would appear on the external screen that I connected and allow me to boot any live USB that I plugged in.

A more physical option is to take out the hard drive, put it in a USB enclosure, use another computer to install your OS to the drive then put the drive back. I did that also in the past with linux, it works like a charm as long as you dont install proprietary drivers for the hardware (since you are going to change the hardware).

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all41
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by all41 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:19 pm

fabien85 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:23 am

A more physical option is to take out the hard drive, put it in a USB enclosure, use another computer to install your OS to the drive then put the drive back.
8)
I like this idea.
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toolrick
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by toolrick » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:33 pm

all41 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:19 pm
fabien85 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:23 am

A more physical option is to take out the hard drive, put it in a USB enclosure, use another computer to install your OS to the drive then put the drive back.
8)
I like this idea.
How does this work out? My computer is sealed... the CPU is an EMMC so the motherboard is attached to the graphics card; if I follow what you mean I do not believe I can do that with my PC.

Thanks, I will try to read more on the other solution you have.

Sincerely,

RD

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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by all41 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:20 pm

My apologies toolrick,
You have limited hardware options that have been overlooked here.
That said though, I haven't an inkling suggestion to help you further
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by gm10 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:49 am

So what's on the device now? If you've already got Linux on it then you could just add a boot from USB option to your GRUB boot loader's menu.
catweazel wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:42 pm
I frighten myself with my genius sometimes :)

toolrick
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by toolrick » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:22 am

gm10 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:49 am
So what's on the device now? If you've already got Linux on it then you could just add a boot from USB option to your GRUB boot loader's menu.
I made the installation blind and guessing from the BIOS; too risky as I can change many features leaving the computer useless, so I am searching for a way to fix it entering the BIOS in an external screen since the backlight of my laptop's display is not working. The solution is not for now but mostly in the future if something ever happens again I do not want to make the installation in a blind state.

GRUB does not show up in the external display either, it only shows up once the OS has started.

Thanks,

RD

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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by gm10 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:24 am

The only way to get your BIOS screen onto an external monitor is if your device supports output switching without OS support. Basically either the key combo for the output toggle (Fn+F8 in my case) works or it doesn't. I was assuming you had already tried this but I guess I should have mentioned it.

What you did say was that you couldn't get the USB to boot at all without making changes in the BIOS, i.e. I assume USB booting is disabled? That's why I suggested the GRUB option. It doesn't matter whether you can see the GRUB menu, just put the USB as the first option in the menu and set a timeout, it'll boot automatically.

If your BIOS does allow USB booting then just pressing Esc during power up to bring up the boot menu (might be a different key on your device) and then then simply selecting an option blind via the cursor keys shouldn't be a problem, either. There won't be many options so it'll probably take you 2 or 3 tries at most, if any.
catweazel wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:42 pm
I frighten myself with my genius sometimes :)

toolrick
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by toolrick » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:01 pm

gm10 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:24 am
The only way to get your BIOS screen onto an external monitor is if your device supports output switching without OS support. Basically either the key combo for the output toggle (Fn+F8 in my case) works or it doesn't. I was assuming you had already tried this but I guess I should have mentioned it.

What you did say was that you couldn't get the USB to boot at all without making changes in the BIOS, i.e. I assume USB booting is disabled? That's why I suggested the GRUB option. It doesn't matter whether you can see the GRUB menu, just put the USB as the first option in the menu and set a timeout, it'll boot automatically.

If your BIOS does allow USB booting then just pressing Esc during power up to bring up the boot menu (might be a different key on your device) and then then simply selecting an option blind via the cursor keys shouldn't be a problem, either. There won't be many options so it'll probably take you 2 or 3 tries at most, if any.
Thanks a lot for your suggestion, yes I have changed my boot options that is how I saved my computer and installed Cinnamon; before I had XFCE in my machine, the problem is that the only USB that worked with my blind process was the Cinnamon boot USB, the other's did not work and I do not know why. What I did was press Esc for 20 Seconds, then F9 and then I could see a little with bright light, almost blindly select a Boot option from my BIOS. Then when Grub comes out I have to select Kernel option also at blind state since Cinnamon does not start autocratically as XFCE did; by the way is there a process in the hardware that I can change so it does start right after and I do not have to select anything from booting the computer?

toolrick
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by toolrick » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:04 pm

gm10 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:49 am
So what's on the device now? If you've already got Linux on it then you could just add a boot from USB option to your GRUB boot loader's menu.
Grub option does not show up in the external monitor either :(

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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by gm10 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:43 pm

toolrick wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:01 pm
Thanks a lot for your suggestion, yes I have changed my boot options that is how I saved my computer and installed Cinnamon; before I had XFCE in my machine, the problem is that the only USB that worked with my blind process was the Cinnamon boot USB, the other's did not work and I do not know why. What I did was press Esc for 20 Seconds, then F9 and then I could see a little with bright light, almost blindly select a Boot option from my BIOS. Then when Grub comes out I have to select Kernel option also at blind state since Cinnamon does not start autocratically as XFCE did; by the way is there a process in the hardware that I can change so it does start right after and I do not have to select anything from booting the computer?
For the USB to boot automatically you need to either put it first in the BIOS boot order, which is unlikely to succeed blindly, or go the GRUB route I suggested. You don't need to see the GRUB menu if you make the USB boot option the default option and set a timeout so it starts automatically.

As to the USBs not booting, that's hard to diagnose without further info (and even if they boot there can be problems, e.g. I need to pull and re-instert the USB at some point during the boot process of Mint or other Ubuntu-based live USBs since they've got a bug in the bootloader). That said, Cinnamon is just a desktop environment, if you want to go back to XFCE you can install that via the software manager and then switch from the login screen, no need to reinstall the entire system for that.
catweazel wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:42 pm
I frighten myself with my genius sometimes :)

toolrick
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by toolrick » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:14 pm

gm10 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:43 pm
toolrick wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:01 pm
Thanks a lot for your suggestion, yes I have changed my boot options that is how I saved my computer and installed Cinnamon; before I had XFCE in my machine, the problem is that the only USB that worked with my blind process was the Cinnamon boot USB, the other's did not work and I do not know why. What I did was press Esc for 20 Seconds, then F9 and then I could see a little with bright light, almost blindly select a Boot option from my BIOS. Then when Grub comes out I have to select Kernel option also at blind state since Cinnamon does not start autocratically as XFCE did; by the way is there a process in the hardware that I can change so it does start right after and I do not have to select anything from booting the computer?
For the USB to boot automatically you need to either put it first in the BIOS boot order, which is unlikely to succeed blindly, or go the GRUB route I suggested. You don't need to see the GRUB menu if you make the USB boot option the default option and set a timeout so it starts automatically.

As to the USBs not booting, that's hard to diagnose without further info (and even if they boot there can be problems, e.g. I need to pull and re-instert the USB at some point during the boot process of Mint or other Ubuntu-based live USBs since they've got a bug in the bootloader). That said, Cinnamon is just a desktop environment, if you want to go back to XFCE you can install that via the software manager and then switch from the login screen, no need to reinstall the entire system for that.
That is exactly what I did, I installed XFCE from the software manager but it does not work the same as when I clean installed XFCE. It stops working when there is not enough CPU and freezes which makes me reboot the computer. This never happened in the clean install. I've read many comments that is not recommended to install a different desktop environment using a clean install linux distro.

RD

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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by all41 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:36 pm

I've read many comments that is not recommended to install a different desktop environment
and those comments are accurate and especially so with such limited resources--and with no pre-desktop monitor
this is not recommended -- don't go there.
My best thoughts for you is a screen replacement, or perhaps a new device as your budget allows.
Wishing you the best in your pursuit of a solution
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toolrick
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Re: Booting without going into the BIOS

Post by toolrick » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:30 am

all41 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:36 pm
I've read many comments that is not recommended to install a different desktop environment
and those comments are accurate and especially so with such limited resources--and with no pre-desktop monitor
this is not recommended -- don't go there.
My best thoughts for you is a screen replacement, or perhaps a new device as your budget allows.
Wishing you the best in your pursuit of a solution
Thanks for your response. I will do so.

RD

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