[nSLUG] uefi and gpt
eugene.cormier at gmail.com
Wed Jan 22 17:44:23 AST 2014
Or, if you're compiling your own kernel, you can select EFI stub and
throw the kernel on a Fat32 partition and you can boot *without* a
bootloader (no gub or lilo to deal with)
On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 01:24:22PM -0800, Stephen Yorke wrote:
> Most of the newer machines have an option to revert to a BIOS boot
> instead of UEFI boot. I know Dell's and Samsung tablets do.
> Sent from my Samsung Ativ S running WP8
> From: Robin Murray
> Sent: 2014-01-22 1:52 PM
> To: Nova Scotia Linux User Group
> Subject: [nSLUG] uefi and gpt
> I just wanted to give everyone a heads up on newer system you might
> want to install linux on. This may be old news to many, but where I
> don't work on new systems that often, it blind sided me.
> There are two new features added to newer systems (pretty much anything
> with windows 8+ now, and a few older ones with 7 as well). One is a
> secure boot feature called uefi that replaces the bios and enhances the
> boot process to make it more secure, the other is gpt partitioning
> which changes how disks are partitioned. There are lots of hits on
> google if you want the gory details.
> The problem that I ran in to is that we are currently in the worst
> possible spot in supporting these new features in our tooling (both
> linux and windows thrid party). When new stuff is introduced, no one
> supports it and you are relatively safe. After new stuff has become old
> hat, everything is supported nicely and no one give it a second
> thought. Between those extremes you get spotty and unreliable support,
> and that's when major problems can rear their ugly heads. You believe
> you are using proper tooling, and they betray you.
> My horror story: I purchased a new dell laptop with win8 installed. I
> also purchased an ssd to replace the 1Tb hard drive since I'm more
> interested in speed than space. The toshiba ssd came with some cloning
> software called ntiecho. I plunked this cd in and it asked me to
> install it, which I did, and it immediately made my source hdd drive
> unbootable because it didn't properly support uefi. It installed a grub
> menu with two options, one to start the cloning process, the other to
> restore back to windows boot, neither one of which worked. Not an
> auspicious start. (On a side note, it really sticks in my craw that
> cloning software would screw around with the boot areas on a source
> drive at all, let alone without any warning. Unbelievable!)
> From there I disappeared down a rabbit hole for four days in my spare
> time trying to get the system bootable from the ssd. Used clonezilla,
> windows recovery, kubuntu live and lots of other tools, and was lead
> down one branch of the maze after another.
> One of the major problems is that dell, in its infinite wisdom, doesn't
> provide a windows disk, just a paritition on the hdd, to recover the
> system. I was able to get this recovery partition onto a live usb stick
> and boot to it, but again, in dell's infinite wisdom, the recovery
> software is a dell version, not the windows version, and it's useless,
> it just tries a few things behind the scenes to try to fix the problem,
> and if it can't find anything wrong, gives up and tries to factory
> restore. No access to diskpart or bcdedit or any other recovery tools,
> just a brain dead single window with no options. And factory restore
> does NOT fix the boot partitions. So if you screw up your boot
> partitions, you are done as far as dell recovery goes.
> Other things of note:
> * kparted on kubuntu 12.04.3 says it supports gpt, but doesn't, it
> screws things up. gparted does work, however.
> * gdisk can be used to work with gpt partitions, and seems to work well
> (you can even sort you partitions in the order they appear on the
> drive, which is nice).
> * when you install linux, create a small (1Mb) 'grub-boot' partition,
> that seems to be where the grub menuing system is now stored. If you
> don't do that, you only get options in the efi menu for the current
> linux install.
> * If installing from scratch, also create a small (100-500Mb) efi
> partition where the efi boot process is stored. This is a shared
> partition between os's, so you will see windows boot stuff there too if
> you have windows. If windows efi is pre-installed, just point the linux
> install to it so it will insert its own stuff.
> * If you want to clone a windows setiup, for now (until all the tools
> are properly enhanced), do the clone first and put all the windows
> partitions at the front of the drive, in the same order as they were on
> the source drive, then install linux on subsequent partitions.
> Otherwise you will be faced with drive letter problems on windows, and
> possibly get hauled in to fixing bool stuff with borked tools.
> * If you want to resize the windows ntfs partitions before the clone,
> resize them first within windows rather than using an external tool
> that may not properly support gpt.
> * If windows tells you that you can't shrink your os partition down to
> the size you want, even though you haven't used all the space, you have
> to figure out what unmovable files are in the way. I had to temporarily
> turn off swap file and system recovery before I could shrink it to fit
> my ssd.
> * Before you start, try to get hold of a full windows install disk you
> can use to recover from, or barring that, at least a full system image
> of your new system so you can blast everything back and start from
> scratch. Dell offers a cd and usb stick, but you have to order them
> separately. I now have a usb stick coming to me so I can reset my
> borked source drive.
> * Read up on uefi, efi boot partitions, grub-boot partitions, gpt,
> gdisk, bcdedit, bootrec, secure boot and anything else you can get hold
> of before diving in. Otherwise be ready for the guys in the white suits
> to yank you away.
> Hopefully these tips will be of some use to people here and save your
> Good luck and godspeed.
> Robin Murray
> Hatchet Lake,
> Nova Scotia
> 1. mailto:nibor.yarrum at gmail.com
> 2. mailto:nslug at nslug.ns.ca
> nSLUG mailing list
> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
eugenecormier at gmail.com
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