Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Screen)

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Jan_B7
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Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Screen)

Post by Jan_B7 »

Hey guys

Im posting this here because Im running into issues with Mint. Every time I boot while in UEFI I cant get into the GUI or terminal nor does it process any further than GRUB. I really love the OS and Ive been using it for a short while [6-months] but I recently had to change the laptop that I used due to work. I now have the MSI GS70 Stealth 2PE Pro and I cant get the OS to run the GUI while in UEFI mode but while in Legacy I am able to get the GUI as well as a complete system install but alas no Dual Boot with windows 8.1. Please note that when I am experiencing this issue Secureboot is Disabled, Fastboot enabled and UEFI with CSM is enabled. Now I do need windows to be able to run the 3D design software for work while I am keeping my personal information in the linux partition (without encryption on the drive through any software or OS)

I believe the black screen when I boot is due to the NVIDIA GPU processor that is built into the computer and is controlled by the MSI software on the windows side while continuously on in any other system.

I have tried to include in the grub from both LiveCD and USB (as I am trying to get it to boot so I can install it) the following:
  • nvidia.modeset=0
  • nomodeset grub_gfxmode=1920x1080x24
  • nouveau.blacklist=1
This was primarily from Fixing the black screen after grub boot-up (screen/video settings mismatch) & How to get Nvidia's proprietary driver to work but I have not been successful in getting a boot.

Any advice or help would be appreciated.

Regards
Jan B

*For those that want to see the full spec list DX-Diag Report
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by Tnix »

Hello all,

I have exactly the same issue in my MSI AG240. I have tried EVERYTHING withot success (change grub parameters, disable/enable secure boot, etc).
The specs of my machine are:

- Intel Core i7 4710-HQ
- Dual GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4600 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
- Windows 8.1 preinstalled on 128 GB SSD previosly partitioned with free space to accomodate LM
- Aditional 2nd 1 TB HDD

In UEFI mode, I can boot LM 17.1 DVD (or USB). GRUB appears with the 3 options but after select anyone it goes to a black screen and DVD stops after a few seconds.

In legacy mode LM 17.1 DVD boots fine and I can get LM desktop on live environment.

I have read hundred of forums and tried "hundreds" of tips but NOTHING works :(

Any clue?
Thanks.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by kukamuumuka »

If you don't know the brand you may use just one word: nomodeset
Many other settings are possible as: grub_gfxmode=vesa
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by Tnix »

None of these works. Sorry.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by Nischi »

Any updates on this? I really wanna run Linux Mint on my computer, but having exactly the same issues as the people described above, except I have a different hardware setup. Desktop PC with MSI Z97 Gaming 5 UEFI bios with GTX 980.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by Tnix »

Nischi wrote:Any updates on this? I really wanna run Linux Mint on my computer, but having exactly the same issues as the people described above, except I have a different hardware setup. Desktop PC with MSI Z97 Gaming 5 UEFI bios with GTX 980.
Hi Nischi,

finally I could install LM 17.1 in my PC. The history is explained in another post in spanish: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=68&t=189921

Next I'm trying to summarize:

- LM 17.1 has a serious bug that prevents installing in UEFI mode in almost platforms. It's not clear yet that Nvidia GPU is the guilty or not ...
- It's advisable that you partition your hard disk from Windows before proceed with LM install. If your PC cames with Windows 8.1 and UEFI enabled you probably have GPT partition table.
- IMPORTANT: Disable FastStart in Windows 8.1.
- You should set in your BIOS/UEFI settings legacy mode to boot LM DVD.
- Once DVD starts up proceed with normal install and put your /, /home, /var, ... in the partitions you like.
- When setup ask you where you install boot loader tell it to install in BIOS reserved area i.e. UEFI partition "shared" with Windows 8.1 boot.
- Finish the install setup.
- When you reboot enter again in BIOS/UEFI setup and change to UEFI mode. SecureBoot can be enabled or not but at this moment you only boot Windows 8.1.
- Download Boot-Repair, install it in an USB (NOT DVD or CD because it not working in UEFI mode), boot from USB and follow its instructions. You should have internet connection because Boot-Repair needs it. Standard repair should be fine.
- If all is OK when you reboot again you should see GRUB menu with several options to boot LM and Windows. Also you can press F11 (or another key, depends on your PC) to see several new entries labeled with "Ubuntu" and "Windows Boot Manager".
- SecureBoot can be enabled or disabled: in my case boots fine in both cases.

I repeat: this is only a summary and for the concrete scenario of my PC MSI AG240. In your case could be slighty different.

One last issue that I'll post later in another post: when you automatically update your distro with the latest updates, another kernel (3.13.0-46-generic.efi.signed) is installed so GRUB is reconfigured and when you reboot again you will see a new entrance in first position "Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon 64-bit, 3.13.0-46-generic.efi.signed (/dev/sda?)". If you choose it you obtain a "Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)" error. You only boot in "Previous versions" and choose a generic kernel.

Regards.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by JOPETA »

Hi Tnix!

Please, put this schematic in spanish forum too, in order to let us know how it has its "happy ending". Finally, I'd had no time to tell you disable Secure Boot forever. It is not good to work in Linux neither in Windows. Many apps and special software will fail in both systems. In other hand, you will be in troubles when Windows update its signature. I've no problem with signed kernel (really doesn't need it) and with low-latency ones Linux works like a charm too.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by hotpepperguy »

Hello,

Glad you got this solved. My primary computer is the MSI GS70 stealth pro as well. I had the exact same problem about a year and a bit ago. Took several months to solve. As an additional note to anyone looking at this thread for help with this laptop, I wrote the guide in my signature based primarily on my experience with the MSI GS70. It will allow you to dual boot LM17 with Win8. rEFInd is an excellent solution, especially for this laptop. I have helped a few other people with the MSI laptops using integrated graphics and high-end NVIDIA graphics chips. It seems as though the BIOS on the MSI laptops have a very messy UEFI implementation, as a whole.

I think you're hypothesis about why this happens on the MSI laptops is very likely. The GPU is so tightly integrated into the BIOS with this machine. The power button switches from white to red when the NVIDIA chip takes over the graphics, and this comes straight from the BIOS. I've also seen it theorized that the Geforce GTX 870m in this laptop, with 3gB of dedicated memory puts too heavy a load on the kernel to boot live. Could even be a combination of the two?

It is also directly related to the size of the live distro. Any live USB ~<800mB will run in EFI mode on this machine. It's a tough one to puzzle out!

But, despite the atrocious UEFI, this is the best laptop I have ever used, and it only gets better with LM17 installed.

Cheers,


HPG

EDIT: Sorry, I thought tnix was the OP, so I suppose this isn't quite solved yet.

@Jan_B7, it could be worth a shot trying tnix's solution, as it has similar specs to the GS70 2PE. What tnix did did not work for me, but that was also on a GS70 2PE made a year ago. I'd also advise against using boot repair for this laptop. When I did that, it just messed up my /BOOT partition, and it was hard to figure out exactly what it did (because it changed GRUB2 bootoader name to widnowsbootmanager.) If you want to try bootrepair, it doesn't exactly break anything, it can just make future solutions harder to find. You will be able to boot lubuntu live USB in EFI mode, and install and run bootrepair from there, using:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install bootrepair
It could work, but probably won't, from my experience (I cleaned up my /BOOT partition and tried bootrepair three times, with different settings each time. Again, though, that was a year ago). It is extremely likely that the solution which worked for me will work for you as well, so check out my guide before deciding.

One more thing to note about the GS70 is that the fans won't work properly on the stock kernel. The first kernel I found they worked properly on is 3.17. I think LM ships with 3.13 or something around there.

Good luck, and feel free to PM if you have any questions.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by JOPETA »

I think i have read your guide before, but I have done again now . The process you describes is identical to Tnix's (also the one that resulted with my GT70 2OD one year ago ). In fact, there is only one difference, the way you get the final UEFI (REefind in spite off Boot Repair). Tnix's method works, thatś for sure, and yours will do too (I promise you to try REefind next time when I'll restore the computer to W8 and brush away W8.1). But there are some problems in your "method" that make it not to be recommendable: the things you asumme and troubles that will apear also with:
While installing, you really needn't do anything out of the ordinary. Make your / partition, and swap partition. Create whatever other partitions you usually do. Let the bootloader install to your / partition. No need to create a separate /boot partition (you can if you want, it really doesn't matter.)
.
Is easy to imagine somebody's frustration trying make partitions in a no-acces HDD, or trying to create logical partitions in a GPT disk,..., but thinking he knows enought about UEFI or installing Linux.

So, it's good to promote something you know that solves problems but keep in mind the problems you are creating with such things in order to prevent them. Cheers.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by hotpepperguy »

Hello,

This is true, I am sure that I made assumptions that I should not have made when writing the guide. There also ought to be some things I describe which make more sense to me when, I read it, than they will to someone else. I do have that thread subscribed so that I can hopefully clear up any of these problems if the arise. I do appreciate the advice.

It is essentially the same as tnix's method, with the difference of rEFInd VS boot repair. Howver, with the MSI GS70 (the OP's laptop) bootrepair doesn't seem to work for anybody I've talked to with the same laptop (only two others, but still pretty well rules out a fluke scenario.) Windows boot manager is so intertwined with the boot process that boot repair seemed to do nothing but clutter up the /BOOT folders. That being said, these problems were present with models made a year ago, and they may have revised the newer models in very small ways that could fix this.
JOPETA wrote:Is easy to imagine somebody's frustration trying make partitions in a no-acces HDD, or trying to create logical partitions in a GPT disk,..., but thinking he knows enought about UEFI or installing Linux.
At the start of the guide, I do warn that I am making the assumption that the reader has a good understanding of GPT vs MBR and that anyone wanting to dual boot with Win8 has done a load of research in advance. I can only imagine the confusion and frustration of the person in the scenario you describe! But, at the same time, imagine the frustration of someone who had their PC made unbootable by a botched up run of bootrepair. Often, the one-click solution is not very wise, as most people really don't know exactly what is going on under the hood. There are dangers to all methods of fixing this sort of boot issue.

The MSI GS series appears to be such a unique case (along with the GT series, it is interesting that yours worked with boot repair!) that the typical solutions will not work. It took me months of trying before I stumbled upon rEFInd, and I just wanted to get the guide out there for anyone else with a GS70 or similar system to find it via a google search.

Hopefully I don't sound rude, because that is absolutely not my intention, I am just trying to be concise in my reasoning for this specific case. I do understand and respect what you're saying, and I definitely have had success with boot repair on other machines. It would be interesting to see how it goes on a GS70 made recently.

Cheers, and thanks for clearing up my potential mess here.

EDIT: I just made some modifications to my guide which should make the inherent danger a little more obvious! thanks.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by JOPETA »

@hotpepperguy

I am really agree with all that you've said. Your guide is good enought for me as I've told, but I notice the risks bećause everyday I find people with those problems due to following tutorials even with warnings.

The question here is helping people to try Mint experience, so boot in legacy BIOS if you cant in UEFI mode. Try Mint and don't worry because there are tools like REefind that will solve the problems if you want installing (REefind also can repair what Grub or Boot Repair can not) and here we are in this forum to help.

In other hand there's many people in gaming forums (MSI Gaming included) asking for a way to install Linux and still there are other telling it is not possible.

I would like not to have this problem solved in my GT to make a step by step guide or be more interested in gaming to optimize the hybrid graphic card too. But as soon as betsy came out, if this problem is still I will. Then, your help with graphic cards optimization will be apreciated. Thanks in avance..

@Jan_B7

I have a GT ( Nvidia GTX 780) so keep in mind what hotpepperguy say as he has experience with your machine. But in my case the booting problem (black screen) have been never reproduced after installing. Even with Linux Nouveau drivers you can boot with no problems. Nvidia drivers are prefered even more if you want to choose which card do you want on booting (Prime in Nvidia Xserver setting) and Bumblebee Optimus works in order to change to Nvidia with some app when booting with Intel like in Windows.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by austin.texas »

hotpepperguy wrote: I have helped a few other people with the MSI laptops using integrated graphics and high-end NVIDIA graphics chips. It seems as though the BIOS on the MSI laptops have a very messy UEFI implementation, as a whole.
That is exactly my conclusion after dealing with a new MSI motherboard with a AMD A10-5800K with integrated RADEON graphics. (not NVIDIA).
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by hotpepperguy »

austin.texas wrote:
hotpepperguy wrote: I have helped a few other people with the MSI laptops using integrated graphics and high-end NVIDIA graphics chips. It seems as though the BIOS on the MSI laptops have a very messy UEFI implementation, as a whole.
That is exactly my conclusion after dealing with a new MSI motherboard with a AMD A10-5800K with integrated RADEON graphics. (not NVIDIA).
That's interesting. I assume this is a desktop build, so it is interesting to see that the same problem is also present in machines other than laptops. That effectively pins the problem on the motherboard and the MSI BIOS. It could also be likely that integrated graphics play a large role in the problem as well, regardless of whether we are looking at intel/nvidia or AMD.

This is good food for thought!


HPG
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by JOPETA »

Only a couple of things to keep thinking on UEFI implementation "as a whole" problem:

1)Detailed booting process: i can see a warning about working without Secure Boot in early stages.Then Grub charges without problem, so displays are not the problem in that moment (grub-efi files seems to be good enaught), Mint start-up interrupts (it seems to me has never begun) after grub. In most options you try the black screen results and after waiting the only errors are always "cant read sectors on sr0" (never mention anything about displays, screens, resolutions, etc, and there is no process working in bacground). So, the same problem that i have when try to force BIOS or Windows to read Mint EUFI files (UEFI-image is not valid, cant read image file,....).I do have the same problems (related to cd0 sectors) with other Live distros (i will no mention so you can try).

2)I don't have this problem on booting other distros in my MSI computer (í.e. Ubuntu and, other 'buntus, keep on trying). The modules they charge at start-up seems to be the same but obviously they are diferents in: UEFI files (i always thought they were the only problem as a whole in UEFI Mint/MSI), kernel and drivers and didn't need to make changes after installing.

Good news to muted @Jan_B7, you can try other distros without touching your UEFI config (boot secure, IRT, Fast Boot are always desirables to be disable). The main important thing is if your BIOS can recognize distro's UEFI files and that will not happen with Mint in your MSI computer. But you can try Mint in Legacy without problems and even install it and be able to boot in UEFI with some tips and tricks.

Then, many problems with graphics may occur l. Most of the problems here related to graphics are due to system miss-configurations (Xserver, MDM, displays,...) or driver installed, kernel updated and system upgraded in a bad ways, But this is not depending on the computer or graphic cards you have.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by Tnix »

I will try to make a more accurate guide about my kind of install in MSI AG240 in english and spanish.

@JOPETA: I'm translating the steps I posted into spanish and I'm writing in the post we solved the issue (http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=68&t=189921)

By now everything runs fine but after the last kernel update a new problem has appeared. I've opened a new post about it:Kernel panic after update to kernel generic.efi.signed

Also you commented about NVIDIA GPU. Now I'm running with Intel GPU and I tried Bumblebee and works fine, but I'd like to use the NVIDIA GPU exclusively i.e. without Optimus or simmilar. I thought I can select one or another or select run mode (hybrid or standalone) or similar in BIOS setup but MSI AG240 hasn't any option for GPUs. I don't know much about Optimus tech but I think it is "hardcoded" in the machine system and it cannot changed.

Regards.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by JOPETA »

Thank you for sharing. I knew about your post and the answers are OK. And last, try to find information in Hardware>Graphics cards forum or open a new one because has nothing to be with this, in any case, It does not seem advisable, among other things, the higher energy consumption.
Last edited by JOPETA on Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by hotpepperguy »

JOPETA wrote:Only a couple of things to keep thinking on UEFI implementation "as a whole" problem:

1)Detailed booting process: i can see a warning about working without Secure Boot in early stages.Then Grub charges without problem, so displays are not the problem in that moment (grub-efi files seems to be good enaught), Mint start-up interrupts (it seems to me has never begun) after grub. In most options you try the black screen results and after waiting the only errors are always "cant read sectors on sr0" (never mention anything about displays, screens, resolutions, etc, and there is no process working in bacground). So, the same problem that i have when try to force BIOS or Windows to read Mint EUFI files (UEFI-image is not valid, cant read image file,....).I do have the same problems (related to cd0 sectors) with other Live distros (i will no mention so you can try).

2)I don't have this problem on booting other distros in my MSI computer (í.e. Ubuntu and, other 'buntus, keep on trying). The modules they charge at start-up seems to be the same but obviously they are diferents in: UEFI files (i always thought they were the only problem as a whole in UEFI Mint/MSI), kernel and drivers and didn't need to make changes after installing.

Good news to muted @Jan_B7, you can try other distros without touching your UEFI config (boot secure, IRT, Fast Boot are always desirables to be disable). The main important thing is if your BIOS can recognize distro's UEFI files and that will not happen with Mint in your MSI computer. But you can try Mint in Legacy without problems and even install it and be able to boot in UEFI with some tips and tricks.

Then, many problems with graphics may occur l. Most of the problems here related to graphics are due to system miss-configurations (Xserver, MDM, displays,...) or driver installed, kernel updated and system upgraded in a bad ways, But this is not depending on the computer or graphic cards you have.
Yes, it definitely is not booting GRUB2 itself that causes the problem. The black screen definitely comes after that, and the state of the computer is similar to a kernel panic, in that you have to force-power-off the machine. It also gives absolutely no indication of what went wrong. It is just black. It's so hard to nail the problem specifically. On this MSI GS70, I know is that UEFI is set up somehow hardwired to boot only Windows after an installation.

Also, @Jan_B7, it is worth a try at booting other distros in EFI, but don't hold your breath. I trust that JOPETA is correct when it comes to other MSI machines, however, I know from intimate experience with the GS70 that any distro >800mB will not boot in EFI mode. Every distro <800mB will, including emergency disks such as boot repair, grub repair and rEFInd. Somehow the weight of the distro is related to the EFI boot problems.


HPG
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Re: Windows 8.1 UEFI & Mint 17.1 on NVIDIA laptop (Black Scr

Post by Tnix »

Here is a installation tutorial in spanish of LM 17.1 on MSI AG240. I'll translate into english soon.

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=68&t=191505
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