UEFI/secureboot preventing linux bootup, can I remove it but still have windows 8.1 work?

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Help and Support' started by Ralph Bromley, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Okay now I have an issue with windows, namely secureboot and UEFI.
    This is not for my computer but for my fathers machine.
    As an early birthday present I got my father a HP Pavilion laptop that came preinstalled with windows 8.1 but he didnt like it and wanted a dual boot.
    So I gave him Ubuntu 13.10 as it has UEFI support and everything was fine until we updated to Ubuntu 14.04.
    Sadly it did not load windows via grub and windows would fail to boot.
    However after repairing the windows boot manager I knew I had to reinstall linux which would normally be fine but now windows and windows alone now boots, no grub, no nothing.
    I heard recently of this story:

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-8-Update-Might-Delete-GRUB2-and-Set-UEFI-to-Secure-Boot-434009.shtml

    However I checked everything and windows seems to be the cause of my woes.
    As does UEFI
    Now we would like to keep windows on this machine however I am thinking of removing the /efi partition

    Will windows 8 still work if I did this?
    Or am I trapped in windows 8 hell?
    I sure hope not
     
  2. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    1. They are not compatible… you can try working around it but that fact will just keep coming back.

    2. Yes you can turn off secureboot… I don't recommend doing it to clients but mine has been off since the day I first got it home.

    3. Don't remove the efi partition.

    Work around Option 1 = clone and remove the original hdd (this way, you can put it back if you need a backup later) and replace it with a Linux hdd.

    Option 1b. put windows 8 on an external drive and boot it from the usb 3 port when you need something that Linux can't do but windows can.

    Work around Option 2 = keep the windows 8 install and add a virtual Linux with vmware workstation… be aware that vmworkstation and hyper-v are not compatible… they won't install (or work) onto a system that has the other already there but they can play nice if you have a dual boot setup.
     
  3. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    The way I run my dual boots is by using the Boot Device menu during boot. I let Windows 7 stay as my primary boot so I don't need to make a choice and then use the Boot device menu to select Ubuntu if I want to run it.

    Since Ubuntu is UEFI and secure boot capable, it causes no problems, except maybe for the clock.

    Please, make any backups you can of your system. If HP gives you a way to make recovery media, do that, and also make a System Image Backup if possible. The factory image you have on the system now may be the only one you have to use for recovery.

    I don't know if Grub will work with a UEFI boot since I haven't tried. There should be something in the Wiki about it.

    You can run Windows 8 as a Legacy install, but all of your recovery media will be set for the UEFI configuration. I do not know if the embedded key will work with a Legacy install.

    Edit: To turn off Secure Boot on the machine, you would normally need to enable the CSM (Compatibilty Module) and then allow for UEFI and Legacy boots and set the secure boot option for All OSes. Since systems have different Bios options for doing this, I cannot give you specific instructions.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI
     
    #3 Saltgrass, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  4. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Yes I did that or I would not be asking, I am about ready to pull the plug on windows 8.1 on this machine and just overwrite it with linux.
    Because if this is all it does we dont want windows 8, screw it if it wants to hog this computer.
     
  5. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Okay I elected to remove windows.
    I am not going to bother installing my copy of windows 7 on this due to Microsofts one computer policy and we wont bother buying windows 8 or getting the recovery disk.
    Windows 8 isnt worth this much pain anyway, better off with linux.
    Maybe we will get windows 9 on this machine but Microsoft is not getting any of my money here.
     
  6. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    I use Ubuntu occasionally when I need to work outside of Windows.
    When I need it I run it from a DVD and have no issues with the UEFI bios or Windows 8.

    If I put the DVD in the drive (I have 2, so I still have one I can use in Ubuntu) it just boots to Ubuntu and I have everything working. Internet, sound, printers etc no problems.

    I have to say the boot process takes a long time.

    It's funny why is it so easy to run it from a DVD and so hard to have it installed on a hard drive.

    What would happen if I copied my Ubuntu installation from my DVD to a Partition or Folder on my second hard drive and then added it to the boot selection screen using EasyBCD?

    How is that different then just having it boot to the DVD drive?

    I really don't get it.

    Mike
     
  7. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    One Solution. Grab a download of Linux Mint and burn it. After you have run it, the desktop offers the possibility of installing. Within that option, if you go for it, is, among others, the further option to install alongside Windows 8. This leaves you with the cumbersome "grub" boot manager. What I did was made an image of Windows 8, went through the Mint install, and then replaced my windows 8 image. Third operation was to open Easybcd and put Mint is as my alternative OS. Easybcd has an option, if you select Grub2, to automatically find the Linux boot. It all worked beautifully.
     
    #7 davehc, May 6, 2014
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  8. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    @Mike if the EasyBCD can replace grup then I think that should work… not tested it yet since I don’t use EasyBCD but another option which I am testing on my Asus is using hyper-v to make a vhd (virtual hard-drive) and then connecting that VHD directly to the physical machine using the updated 8.1 disc management tool… this means that the computer sees that VHD as a REAL hdd and the idea is that you install | run Ubuntnu from that without removing the Windows install.

    Mixed results so far because the test laptop has limited boot controls and no actual disc drive.
     
  9. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    Just for the record. Easybcd doesn't replace grub as such. What it does is moves it, so that it becomes a second boot option. From Mike's point of view, naturally it will improve the Linux boot time, but (At least with Mint) it is still a little longer than windows 8. Takes about 30 seconds on my old test laptop. I have, in the past, installed various OSs, including Linux, in a VHD, but I found the resource demands were not up to standard, and it was quite a bit slower than a proper install. In the final analyses, I would say it depends on why the user wants Linux. If for serious computing, then as an alternative, an installed OS, would, I suggest, be the better option.
     
    ussnorway likes this.
  10. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    Thanks davehc & when you say that you tested the vhd install… are you talking about a physical machine with just a virtual hard drive or some kind of vmware setup where the cpu and ram are also software powered?

    p.s. I assumed that would be the case with Easybcd but things are changing so rapidly now days that its becoming harder and harder to say ' "no, that can’t be done".
     
  11. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    Update; After some urging I have succeeded in getting Ubuntu (ubuntu-14.04-desktop-amd64) and windows 8.1 (no 8.1.1 update) to play nice together on my Asus sonicmaster laptop… for what it's worth the build is stable after 1 day of testing so have a solid backup ready or on your own head be it.

    Step 1. Have windows (dual boot in my case) set up as you want it before looking at ubuntu.

    Step 2. Make some unallocated blank space… I freed up 20 g by deleting an unwanted recovery drive at the end.

    Step 3. Download (ubuntu-14.04-desktop-amd64) and make it into a bootable usb… I used rufus_v1.4.3 because its free, automatically detects the correct setting for that disc and has never failed me.

    Step 4. With the usb in and the bios set to look for it, boot up the laptop to the windows boot manager (remember that mine is a dual boot) then select other and tell it to boot the usb instead.

    Step 5. Ubuntu doesn't detect the windows installs so will incorrectly recommend a standard setup which would bugger my system… pick "do something else" i.e. the bottom one.

    something_else.

    Advanced install… select new partition table.

    Step 6. Select the free space and make a small swap drive… 1 g is fine.

    swap.

    Step 7. Select the remaining free space and make a normal Linux drive with a mount point of "/" and then point the boot option to this new drive… in effect this tells it to stay more or less self contained.
    drive.

    boot.

    Finish the install and allow it to restart (don't forget to remove the usb) and then connect it to the networks if you want the updates… if you don't want windows as default then this is all you have to do but it is worth noting that selecting the windows boot manager from the Ubuntu screen still works perfectly for me so far.

    To be clear, this will make Ubuntu the default and windows an optional boot… I would personally then use Acronis to make Ubuntu part of the windows boot screen (&) or turn it into an virtual drive with hyper-v if I wanted to keep it but that’s un-tested and outside what the op was asking for.
     
  12. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    I'll check this out.
    I'm also going to see if I can just copy my Ubuntu installation from my DVD to a partition on my 2nd hard drive and see if I can add it to the boot menu using EasyBCD and see what happens.

    The truth is that the way I use Ubuntu, only occasionally, it's not that much of a hassle to just pop in one of my DVDs and let it boot up automatically all by itself.

    The only real problem is that I can't change anything it the Ubuntu preferences because it's on an unwritable disk.

    Mike
     
  13. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522 Essential Member

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    Hey Mike, try putting it on a 32 or 64 gig thumb drive and run it from that. A mini portable HDD with Linux on it that fits in your pocket.
     
  14. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    Well, Mike. I am not experienced in Linux, or it's installation, but I still think the method I suggested in my previous post #7, is the easiest way to go. It bypasses all the procedures outlined in ussnorway's post. Sets up the partition, swap partition etc, automatically. No user input required. From you point of view, I think you might find it quicker to reboot into Linux, from Windows, than booting up a DVD.
     
    #14 davehc, May 10, 2014
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  15. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi Dave

    As soon as I get my computer cooler fixed I'll check it out.
    I would like to have Ubuntu easily when I need it.

    I'll try the Thumb Drive idea too, I'm sure that would be faster then a DVD.

    Mike
     
  16. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    Just a follow up, if you are still interested. IAs a result of this thread, I was inspired to try again. I went along with my procedure in my post #6. This time I downloaded the latest Mint 64Bi. tAll smooth again. Took about 20 to 30 minutes for the whole operation. This time I left the Grub2 boot manager and edited it with a third party config program, from within Mint. So I finished with the grub2 boot loader, with the two basic OSs - Mint and Windows 8. Astonishing thing was, on my SSD, it took about 5 seconds to boot into Mint, from a cold start, and takes a wee bit more with Windows 8.
     

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