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Author Topic: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition [ABANDONED]  (Read 733 times)

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Offline Slim.Fatz

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Hi,

I'm trying to install Peppermint Ten (64bit) on a notebook computer that has a harddisk with Peppermint 7 (and, until now, also Peppermint 8.5 on another partition, but I think that is now history). The bios is set to "Legacy" in the boot section. When I select "Do something else" during the installation, then select the partition to install Peppermint Ten, tell the installer to format that partition to Ext4 and to use it as the root (/), and tell it to place GRUB in /dev/sda, then click on the Install button, I get a warning that no EFI partition was found. True: I never have had one and all installations have been without any problems. And I admit: I know basically nothing about UEFI or EFI, as all of my machines are rather old (except for this one -- but, as I mentioned, I've always installed things on it in Legacy boot mode and never was asked by an installer to create an EFI partition for GRUB).  :)


 After aborting the installation, I repeated all of this several times, always with the same result. I thought, "Well, let's give it a try anyhow. Maybe that message was there before for the other installations (done several years ago) and I just forgot about having seen it back then."  :-\


 So I hit the continue button and the install seemed to continue well ... until finally it aborted with a message that GRUB could not be installed, again because of the EFI partition missing (or something to that extent). I now have left the machine running in the Live session (fearing that the old GRUB in the MBR is now toast) and hope that someone can tell me how to save this installation by getting GRUB installed in the MBR or even if that is necessary, or whatever ...  ??? ::)

Regards,

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« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 03:57:55 am by Slim.Fatz »
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2019, 04:08:35 pm »
So what happens if you run:
Code: [Select]
sudo update-grub
in Peppermint 7 ?

Does PM10 get added to GRUB ?
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Offline Slim.Fatz

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2019, 05:31:50 pm »
Hi PCNetSpec,

Thank you for the reply. I have not tried that because I am afraid that the previous GRUB has been destroyed -- and then I would not be able to boot anything (unless I understand this all incorrectly). I guess I will have to bite the bullet and give that a try. I'll let you know the results tomorrow -- I'm going to bed now. If you think that the previous GRUB is toast, let me know (I'll check the forum tomorrow before attempting to boot into that computer's installation(s) and will report back how it goes).

But why have I had this problem? There does not seem to be any switch to indicate to the installer that one desires to perform a legacy install. And on other computers (where I have installed Peppermint 10) this was never an issue -- and they were all using legacy boots.  :-\

Regards,

-- Slim
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2019, 07:23:36 pm »
I thought you suggested Peppermint 7 was still bootable ?

If so, boot to it, and run:
Code: [Select]
sudo update-grub
and see if the Peppermint 10 installation gets detected and added to it's GRUB menu.



Generally if the LiveUSB is booted in UEFI mode, it'll attempt to install in UEFI mode

If the LiveUSB is booted in Legacy BIOS mode, it'll attempt to install in Legacy BIOS mode

So the switch is how you boot the Live session and is BIOS bound .. there's no switch in Ubiquity, because it requires the BIOS be set right too, and then there's no need for a switch.

Assuming you're doing an automated install with no pre-existing partitions, and the correct partition table type.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 07:30:18 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline Slim.Fatz

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 03:35:31 am »
Hi PCNetSpec,

Sorry about the misunderstanding. Here is how I did things:

1. I first tried running the installer and (when I saw the warning that no EFI partition was found) I backed out of the installer and rebooted the computer, checking the BIOS setting and confirmed that it was still set to Legacy.

2. I then rebooted and ran the installer again with the same warning (no EFI found), but this time I ignored the warning and continued because I knew that the BIOS setting was Legacy. I chose to install Peppermint Ten to the partition that had contained Peppermint 8.5 (which also controlled GRUB) telling the installer to reformat that partition using ext4 file system and to mount (or use) it as the root partition for Peppermint Ten.

So then the installer ran for a while, I watched the usual slide show, and then it aborted with the failure message about not being able to install GRUB because of the missing EFI.

After the attempted install aborted, I was returned to the live session (where the computer still is because I was unsure about whether it would be able to be booted again if I turned it off). I'm thinking that the MBR might be corrupt, but do not know how to check for that from within the live session (or how I could salvage things if it is broken). Any ideas?  :-\

I have thought about running the installer again just to see if it properly detects the old partition scheme, and then backing out of it and back to the live session. I guess that would not be harmful in any way ...  :-\   


UPDATE: I had a momentary flash of seemingly functional neurons and in the live session I opened a terminal window and entered:

Code: [Select]
sudo fdisk -l 
but got this output:

Code: [Select]
fdisk: error while loading shared libraries: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libfdisk.so.1: cannot read file data: Input/output error

Undaunted (as fools usually are, even in the face of disturbing events), I then started the app Disks (found in Menu > Accessories) and found that it shows the HDD appearing as it did before running the installation, with the partition sizes, etc. appearing to be normal.  8)


So does this look like I can risk rebooting?


Regards,

-- Slim
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 05:34:09 am by Slim.Fatz »
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Offline zebedeeboss

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 05:49:33 am »
When you booted from the  USB

Did you choose USB or USB UEFI or were you not presented with two options?

Each machine will handle booting from USB differently.   My machine presents a little menu and I arrow down and choose USB UEFI ( a bite like a grub menu)

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Offline Slim.Fatz

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 06:07:08 am »
Hi zebedeeboss,

Thanks for your attention. I had the little boot menu, but it only had USB (without any further USB options, such as UEFI), or the HDD.

I've now opened nemo in the live session, mounted the new installation partition and at first it all looks fine. But then in my new /home/<username> there are only the eight hidden files and folders that also appear in /etc/skel. Maybe the other folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, Templates, etc) will appear if I can boot into it the first time -- or I could just make them myself. I'll await the wise advice of PCNetSpec before attempting to reboot.

I really don't care if the new install is cr*p -- I just want to be able to boot into my old faithful Peppermint 7 and could always try to rescue the new install somehow from there.  ;)


Thanks again, zeb !! 

Regards,

-- Slim
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Offline pin

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2019, 06:24:27 am »
Hi Slim,
Are you in need of saving some stuff first?
You can always use supergrub2 from here, https://www.supergrubdisk.org/super-grub2-disk/ to install grub.
Alternative, use the live-usb, chroot into the installed system and re-install grub.

Hope you get this sorter.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 06:32:23 am by pin »

Offline Slim.Fatz

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2019, 06:36:01 am »
Hi pin,

Thank you for your time. I'm sure there are some things I would like to not have deleted on the other partitions. But my guess is that the files are not really in danger if I chroot into the new install or into Peppermint 7 and re-install GRUB ... I suppose it would have to be the new install because it is the partition that is marked as bootable -- but maybe that is not relevant. I just don't know for sure.  :-\


Regards,

-- Slim
"Life first -- Peppermint a close 2nd!" -- Zeb

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Offline pin

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2019, 06:44:11 am »
Which partition is bootable?
Can you show us your partition layout?

Offline Slim.Fatz

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2019, 07:31:23 am »
Hi pin,

The partition with the new installation of Peppermint Ten is bootable.

Spoiler (click here to view / hide)
Partition 1 : ext4 : Peppermint 7
Partition 2 : Extended partition
Partition 5 : ext4 : Data partition
Partition 6 : swap
Partition 7 : ext4 : Arch Linux
Partition 8 : ext 4 : Peppermint Ten (bootable)
[close]
Regards,

-- Slim
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2019, 09:10:52 am »
Well this bothers me
Quote
fdisk: error while loading shared libraries: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libfdisk.so.1: cannot read file data: Input/output error
have you tried reinstalling
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get install --reinstall libfdisk1
then trying
Code: [Select]
sudo fdisk -l
again ?
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline Slim.Fatz

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2019, 09:31:08 am »
Hi PCNetSpec,

Thanks for the reply! I finally took the chance that it might work and shut the computer down, removed the live session USB and rebooted, only to get this error:

Code: [Select]
error: file '/boot/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod' not found.Entering rescue mode...grub rescue>
So then I shut the computer down again, inserted the live session USB and, once in the live session,

Code: [Select]
sudo fdisk -l
worked. Everything looks like it always did in the output, with /dev/sda8 being the bootable partition where I installed Peppermint Ten. So I opened the terminal and did the usual chroot steps to reinstall grub to /dev/sda only to get this on the last entered command:

Code: [Select]
root@peppermint / # grub-install /dev/sda 
Installing for x86_64-efi platform.
grub-install: error: cannot find EFI directory.
So, although the BIOS setting for boot is Legacy, it still seems to be booting the live session USB as if the BIOS setting were UEFI:o
Maybe I should try using some other distro's live session USB and repeat the chroot/grub-install dance?  :-\

Or do you have any trick for booting the Peppermint Ten USB in Legacy mode?  ???

 
UPDATE: I'm beginning to believe that the live session USB is not in order (i.e. corrupt): I cannot start firefox (I could on the last several boots into the live session) as it crashes before even appearing on screen, throwing out a Mozilla Crash Reporter window with "We're Sorry (blah, blah)."

Regards,

-- Slim
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 09:40:04 am by Slim.Fatz »
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2019, 10:12:35 am »
I'd still like to see the output from:
Code: [Select]
sudo fdisk -l
and
Code: [Select]
blkid
(even from a LiveUSB if necessary)
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Offline Slim.Fatz

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Re: Problem with legacy installation: no EFI partition
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2019, 10:41:55 am »
OK. I just burned a new fresh DL of Peppermint Ten and will provide you with the output in several hours: I must leave right now. Be back in 2 hours or so.

Regards,

-- Slim
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