booting to a "live CD" on a Windows 8.1 machine?

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Elt10W
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booting to a "live CD" on a Windows 8.1 machine?

Post by Elt10W »

I recently purchased this machine: http://www.asus.com/ca-en/Notebooks_Ult ... fications/
My machine specs: 8 Gb RAM, 128 Gb SDD, micro SD slot, and dongle for standard USB memory stick. Windows 8.1 is preloaded (of course...)
I would like to run a "live CD" to test the machine for any incompatibilities, before attempting to install Mint. Booting from a USB stick or micro-SD.
I've already downloaded Mint 17.1 ISO's (Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce). Unetbootin on my linux netbook, writes the the Mint "CD" as a hidden partition.

Problem: I'm unable to change the BIOS settings to select the boot media, because Windows 8.1 cannot "see" the partition
:arrow: In order to start up the machine from external media, the peripheral must be attached before (re) booting the machine.

Some assistance, guidance would be most appreciated.

TIA, respectfully...
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Reorx
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Re: booting to a "live CD" on a Windows 8.1 machine?

Post by Reorx »

Google "disable secure boot asus" for a place to start...
Full time Linux Mint user since 2011 - Currently running mostly LM19C and a little LM20C.

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Re: booting to a "live CD" on a Windows 8.1 machine?

Post by Elt10W »

Reorx wrote:Google "disable secure boot asus" for a place to start...
Agreed. In perusing the Asus support site, there are instructions on how to boot from external media:
http://www.asus.com/ca-en/support/Searc ... ure%20boot

WRT my comment about UEFI being supported in linux, here's one link where the news looks promising:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI#SecureBoot :)
"Secure Boot" is a new UEFI feature that appeared in 2012, with Windows8 preinstalled computers. All current Ubuntu 64bit (not 32bit) versions now support this feature, but as PCs implementing support for it have only become widespread at the end of 2012 it is not yet widely tested, so it's possible that you may encounter problems booting Ubuntu under Secure Boot. If you do ...
Of course, that's already three years ago, and of course the Linux community (I'm sure) has not been asleep at the wheel...
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Re: booting to a "live CD" on a Windows 8.1 machine?

Post by srs5694 »

Secure Boot support is very unlikely to affect the ability of the computer to detect the presence of the disk in Windows, which is what Elt10W is reporting. A Secure Boot problem will manifest as the computer ignoring the boot medium or as a system hang when attempting to boot. In some cases you'll see a message from the firmware saying that it's refusing to boot the medium. Once an OS has booted, that OS will detect the disk (or not) based on issues that are unrelated to Secure Boot, such as the way the disk is partitioned. Windows, in particular, can be finicky about how removable media are partitioned. Many methods of creating a bootable USB flash drive for Linux do strange things with the partition table, so an unusual partitioning scheme is a much more likely explanation for the stated problem than is a Secure Boot issue.

On most computers, there's a boot manager menu that can be accessed at boot time by pressing a function key (F8 and F10 are popular choices, but there are others). In some cases, you may need to adjust the firmware settings to enable this functionality -- say by disabling a "fast start" option or enabling a "boot manager" or "BBS popup" feature. Sometimes the ability to enter the firmware setup is disabled by default, but you can enable it by entering the firmware setup utility. This chicken-and-egg dilemma can be solved by telling Windows to reboot into the setup utility. This process is described on many Web sites, such as this one. So:
  1. Use Windows to enter the setup utility.
  2. Disable the "fast start" option. In some cases, you may need to enable an option to fully initialize USB devices.
  3. If such an option is present, enable the "BBS setup" or "boot manager" option.
  4. Check menus for hints about what key will enter the boot manager.
  5. Reboot and press the boot manager key repeatedly as the system boots. If you don't know what key activates this feature, try Esc and every function key. (On a laptop, you may need to hold down a key marked "Fn" to activate the function keys, much like you'd use Shift or Ctrl.)
  6. If this gets you nowhere, start over and look in the firmware setup utility for other likely-sounding options. Asking on a forum dedicated to your manufacturer might be useful, too; these things vary greatly from one machine to another, so general advice provided here will be necessarily imprecise unless somebody happens to have the exact model you've got.
Another point is that tools to create bootable USB disks from Linux .iso files vary greatly in what sort of disks they produce. Machine A might not like the disk created by Utility X, but will work fine with the disk created by Utility Y. Machine B might prefer Utility X's disk, though. Options in the utilities can also affect outcomes. Thus, you might need to try another utility. See here for my comments on a handful of utilities.

If you decide to install Mint, I strongly recommend reading up on how to install Linux to EFI-based computers. Unfortunately, there's a lot of very bad advice out there on this subject. I recommend you read:
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