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#51 2011-12-02 21:39:40

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

Does the error mean that it cannot find it? Or that it can find it but thinks it is no good?


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#52 2011-12-02 22:02:10

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

the.ridikulus.rat wrote:

First time I am coming across someone with "Phoenix SecureCore Tiano" firmware.

It is mentioned at https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=97541 but only in passing...


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#53 2011-12-02 22:11:56

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux. … ral/402478
I guess it is something to do with the firmware? Or the combination of the firmware and grub2/efibootmgr? But I'm not sure whether I'm seeing the same problem...

I installed Arch Linux and did the grub2 install by hand. Would it be better to use the archboot installation image? Or would this not make any difference?


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#54 2011-12-02 22:46:44

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

You said earlier:

Try /boot/efi/efi/grub/core.efi or /boot/efi/efi/grub/grubx64.efi (both are same, but different from grub.efi) in efibootmgr.

I said that I didn't have /boot/efi/efi/grub/grubx64.efi and I used /boot/efi/efi/grub/core.efi.

But diff finds no difference between /boot/efi/efi/grub/core.efi and /boot/efi/efi/grub/grub.efi on my machine.


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#55 2011-12-02 23:04:02

David Batson
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

Forgive me, as this is a little over my head.  I skimmed your posts (I've been away for several days), and I didn't see if you tried #fdisk -l to verify how your partitions are formatted.  I only say this because the Arch Installation CD would not format my hard drive partitions correctly - I had to use a different method (the Arch CD formatted them FAT16).  No, I am not using GPT, and don't know very much about it.

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#56 2011-12-03 00:03:06

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

fdisk doesn't like GPT formatted disks at all.

gdisk -l /dev/sda
... 
Partition table scan:
 MBR: protective
 BSD: not present
 APM: not present
 GPT: present

Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.
Disk /dev/sda: 625142448 sectirsm 298.1 GiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): <long number>
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 625142414
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 2669 (1.3 MiB)

1 2948 415743 202.0 MiB EF00 EFI System
3 415744 ...
4 ... 8.8 GiB 8200 swap
5 ... 20.4 GiB 8300 arch
6 ... 15.0 GiB 8300 arch-var
7 ...
...
11 ... 47.8 GiB 8300 ...

Basically, they all have type code 8300 except 1 (EFI System partition) and 4 (swap). They all have ext4 fs except for 1 (vfat), 3 (ext2), 4 (swap). There is no partition number 2. So they are numbered 1, 3-11.

In parted, the EFI System is marked "bootable" just to confuse people, I think.

I put dots in the above because basically all the other lines are just like the earlier ones. This won't look quite like output from fdisk just because it is GPT rather than MBR.


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#57 2011-12-03 03:22:55

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

OK. I did something fairly stupid, I think. The fairly stupid thing went wrong. Er. The results are... interesting.

Position: left to its own devices, my system now boots Arch, finds a problem and automatically reboots over and over. This also happens if I choose recovery mode from the grub menu. I can, however, get a grub prompt. This is all done from the HD. So I no longer have a working installation of Arch but I can get a grub prompt. And I *think* my disk is still GPT partitioned and that I am booting in UEFI.

History: I've read reports that Ubuntu can get this working on machines which I suspect are using the same or similar firmware. I ran the Ubuntu installer from an edited 11.10 USB key. (Editing it is apparently necessary if you want to boot the live environment more than once - at least, so I found.)

I told the installer to do the following:
use partition 1 for the EFI system partition (Note: I had backed up the entire contents of /boot, including /boot/efi to the root of my Arch install under /boot.bkup. It doesn't work but I figured it might be useful.)
use partition 4 for swap
use partition 7 for /usr/local
use partition 8 for /
use partition 9 for /var
use partition 10 for /home
do not use 3, 5, 6 or 11 (these include / and /var for Arch)
do not format any partitions

Installer crashed while trying to copy files shortly after asking me where I was. (The installer refused to believe me on several counts but still.)

In the live Ubuntu requirement, copy back contents of /boot.bkup/efi (from Arch backup) to /boot/efi. [As expected, the Ubuntu installer wiped the EFI partition. Not as expected, it didn't put anything else there.]

Reboot to looping Arch.

Note: Ubuntu's installer failed to identify any existing OS whatsoever.

Further note: the installer formatted the EFI partition as Fat 16 and not Fat 32. Is *that* the important bit?

So my question is: can I get Arch to work with the Fat 16 EFI partition? If so, how should I go about this? Arch is clearly distressed by something about my disk - both the lack of a fat 32 partition, something missing (an open failure) and it is reporting a FAIL for partition 11. (Partition 11 is meant to be just empty at the moment but it is in fstab. It is the last partition on the disk.) Because Arch insists on rebooting every 15 seconds, it is difficult to get everything it is saying but it is obvious why it would be upset. (Not that I would attribute emotions to OSs, of course.)

But I can get a grub prompt if that is any good. And I may be able to boot Ubuntu into the live environment again.

chrooting in Ubuntu's live environment works very oddly but I could probably try reinstalling grub etc. But I'm not sure that's the problem since that is now the only thing that seems to work.

I'm also confused. I thought the EFI system partition was supposed to be fat 32? Why do I now seem to get further with fat 16?


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#58 2011-12-03 03:29:09

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

Oh, yes, and

set

at the grub prompt tells me (among other things):

default=0
gfxmode=auto
lang=en_US
locale_dir=(hd0,gpt1)/efi/grub/locale
prefix=(hd0,gpt1)/efi/grub
root=hd0,gpt1

Is that correct for root?


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#59 2011-12-03 04:02:35

David Batson
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

The FAT16 size limit is ~2-4 GB depending upon the OS afaik.  Arch would not install on my system from the CD when the partition was FAT16.

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#60 2011-12-03 14:04:31

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

David Batson wrote:

The FAT16 size limit is ~2-4 GB depending upon the OS afaik.  Arch would not install on my system from the CD when the partition was FAT16.

2-4G would be more than enough. It only seems to need the EFI partition to be fat16. The remaining partitions can be ext4 or whatever, I believe. My EFI partition is just over 200M which seems roughly the recommended size and the largest recommendation I've seen was about 500M.

So if Arch won't object to fat16 in and of itself for EFI, it might work. Only to reinstall Arch, I'm going to have to boot in BIOS mode again and that makes me nervous!


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#61 2011-12-03 15:06:56

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

System now boots Arch from hdd without usb in, I think, EFI mode with a GPT disk!

Is /sys/firmware/efi meant to appear automatically? I just looked and it wasn't there but

modprobe efivars

brings it into existence.

I didn't actually reinstall Arch. This worries me a little in the sense that I'm concerned about what might be inconsistent but I would be reluctant to risk starting over... All I did was boot the live Arch in BIOS mode and edited fstab. Apparently the Ubuntu installation changed the UUID of the partition. I then rebooted, switched to EFI booting in BIOS, rebooted again and Arch automatically rebooted itself. But it only did that once, this time. This boot, it has actually given me a login.

If there is anything anybody suggests I check, I'd be very grateful for the advice.

Now to work out the best way of zapping the partial installation of Ubuntu... (I don't understand why the installer is quite as badly behaved as it is.)

If the hypothesis that this firmware needs at fat16 EFI partition is plausible, I think the wiki should say something about it. I also think it would be helpful if the instructions for generating a EFI-compatible grub.cfg could be included.

Thanks very much for all the help - really, really appreciate it.


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#62 2011-12-03 20:17:39

David Batson
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

Interesting.

Regarding Itanium systems...

The EFI Shell is a console interface used to launch applications (such as the Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation program), load EFI protocols and device drivers, and execute simple scripts. It is similar to a DOS console and can only access media that is FAT16 (VFAT) formatted.

http://www.centos.org/docs/5/html/Insta … shell.html

Some other interesting info.

From Ubuntu 11.04 onwards (x86_64 only), the ISO CD supports UEFI booting and the Ubuntu installer will try to set up the bootloader for (U)EFI boot. But the installer formats the EFI System Partition to FAT16 (even if the filesystem is non-empty) and also uses efibootmgr, therefore Intel Macs may fail to boot due to corrupted firmware. This feature is not recommended on Mac models because it can corrupt the firmware. You will need to reflash the firmware to repair it.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFIB … Mac_owners

Oh, one more thing: Windows is fussy about the ESP; if it's FAT16, Windows won't accept it as a valid ESP (although it displays as one in the partitioning screen), and will insist on creating a new FAT32 ESP. It will then get confused and be unable to complete its own installation. Thus, if you install Ubuntu first and then Windows to work around this bug, Windows won't install properly unless you first back up the ESP, create a new FAT32 filesystem on it, restore it, and fix your /etc/fstab entries.

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour … bug/769669

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#63 2011-12-03 23:08:07

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

David Batson wrote:

From Ubuntu 11.04 onwards (x86_64 only), the ISO CD supports UEFI booting and the Ubuntu installer will try to set up the bootloader for (U)EFI boot. But the installer formats the EFI System Partition to FAT16 (even if the filesystem is non-empty) and also uses efibootmgr, therefore Intel Macs may fail to boot due to corrupted firmware. This feature is not recommended on Mac models because it can corrupt the firmware. You will need to reflash the firmware to repair it.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFIB … Mac_owners

From what I've read, it makes it impossible to update the firmware. I didn't know it corrupted the existing firmware as well.

Actually this "feature" shouldn't be recommended in a range of other cases, should it? Such as existing installations of other OSs using fat32 partitions? The feature worked quite well for me - I don't think I would ever have figured out to use fat16 otherwise but it still seems quite dangerous!

Oh, one more thing: Windows is fussy about the ESP; if it's FAT16, Windows won't accept it as a valid ESP (although it displays as one in the partitioning screen), and will insist on creating a new FAT32 ESP. It will then get confused and be unable to complete its own installation. Thus, if you install Ubuntu first and then Windows to work around this bug, Windows won't install properly unless you first back up the ESP, create a new FAT32 filesystem on it, restore it, and fix your /etc/fstab entries.

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour … bug/769669

This is very odd since my system seems unwilling to recognise a fat32 partition as the ESP at all. So either Windows does something extra or the firmware does something special with Windows or Windows is impossible on this machine. (I assume it is not - it came with Windows and although it is true that I never booted it seems unlikely they'd ship them if they failed to that extent.) Or else Windows will boot from a fat16 ESP but won't install to one? I know nothing about Windows so have really no idea at all...


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#64 2011-12-03 23:29:15

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

One more interesting thing. Reading through the Ubuntu bug report you linked to, somebody says that the minimum size of 256MB for a fat32 partition might be inconvenient. I haven't seen any mention of this anywhere else. I made mine about 200M in line with Arch wiki's guidance and this recommendation seemed consonant with recommendations I read elsewhere. Obviously it isn't a requirement of the fat32 fs. Is there something in the UEFI spec. that says the ESP must be either (1) fat16 or (2) fat32 and at least 256MB? If that's so, if I'd only added a few more megs to it, perhaps everything would have worked as it is meant to?


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#65 2011-12-04 16:46:46

the.ridikulus.rat
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From: Indiana, USA
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

There are no issues with partition size (anything >100 MiB is fine) but the filesystem is important. UEFI spec says for non-removeable media UEFISYS should be FAT32 (with Long Filenames LFN support) while removable media can use any one of the fat fs (FAT12/32/64). Windows Vista seems fine with fat16 but from what i gather Windows 7 enforces fat32 requirement. I also added fat32 requirement to archboot installer. While some firmwares and OSes are fine with any fat fs, some are particular about fat32. The strange thing is your firmware requires fat16 and rejects fat32, which is a violation of the spec (rejection of fat16 is fine, not fat32).

Even more stranger is that I also have Phoenix SecureCore (but not Tiano - pre Tiano, pre UEFI one) I my Dell system in which I boot using grub2 BIOS-GPT without any crazy boot flag etc on the 0xEE protective MBR partition. My UEFI is chainloaded from BIOS http://www.rodsbooks.com/bios2uefi/index.html .

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#66 2011-12-04 22:51:11

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

My computer came with Win 7 pre-installed. I am assuming it was using an EFI partition to boot. So if Win 7 insists on fat 32, how did they get it to work? (It is possibly Win 7 was booting in legacy mode but this seems unlikely - the machine was set to allow both but to prefer UEFI.)

Note: I never actually booted Windows and I didn't take any notice of the original partitioning. At the time, it didn't seem a matter of any particular interest...


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#67 2011-12-05 00:52:38

David Batson
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

My new 6-month old Lenovo ThinkPad X220 can use UEFI, but Windows 7 was not set up on it that way when I bought it.  I am still using the traditional BIOS boot.  I think UEFI is more a feature expected to be implemented with Windows 8 preinstalls (although an available option with Windows 7, and apparently Windows Vista?).

Last edited by David Batson (2011-12-05 00:54:39)

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#68 2011-12-06 00:04:33

cfr
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

Interesting. Would I be right in guessing that your disk came with an MBR partition map rather than GPT? I only ask because I couldn't use BIOS to boot once I switched to GPT.


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#69 2011-12-06 05:46:38

nathan28
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

the.ridikulus.rat wrote:
cfr wrote:

There's no "Launch EFI Shell from filesystem device" option in my UEFI BIOS setup or in the machine's boot/application menus.

That is specific to Asus SandyBridge+ Motherboards with AMI (American Megatrends) firmware.


My AMD E-series + AMI netbook also has this BIOS exact option. Like David Batson my machine shipped with a Win7-MBR disk. I remember the BIOS not doing anything upon trying to use that option. IIRC the machine was also set to prefer UEFI but after seeing that Windows was MBR I simple installed an MBR/BIOS boot.


in the beginning was the switch operator

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#70 2011-12-06 12:04:42

David Batson
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Registered: 2011-10-13
Posts: 640

Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

cfr wrote:

Interesting. Would I be right in guessing that your disk came with an MBR partition map rather than GPT? I only ask because I couldn't use BIOS to boot once I switched to GPT.

Bear with me, I'm just learning about all this.

Yes, I verified that I am using a MBR and do not have GPT.  I verified in Windows 7: "Computer Management > Disk Management", as well as using the Windows: "DISKPART> list disk" command.

I checked my BIOS configuration menu.  It is listed as a UEFI BIOS.  It has the option to boot UEFI or Legacy.  It is currently set to boot both, but prefer Legacy.

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#71 2011-12-07 17:46:10

cfr
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From: Cymru
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

David Batson wrote:

Yes, I verified that I am using a MBR and do not have GPT.  I verified in Windows 7: "Computer Management > Disk Management", as well as using the Windows: "DISKPART> list disk" command.

I checked my BIOS configuration menu.  It is listed as a UEFI BIOS.  It has the option to boot UEFI or Legacy.  It is currently set to boot both, but prefer Legacy.

That makes sense. I had no problems with MBR/BIOS. But then I unfortunately read about MBR versus GPT and decided I might as well redo it since I had done nothing beyond a bare install of Arch. It all sounded easy enough at the time in theory!


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#72 2011-12-10 12:42:24

the.ridikulus.rat
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From: Indiana, USA
Registered: 2011-10-04
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

Does Lenovo have something similar to http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=153411.0 ?

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#73 2011-12-12 12:33:00

David Batson
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Posts: 640

Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

I ran across an interesting related thread on the Fedora Forums.  Not sure if Arch suffers from the same issue.

The OP wrote in the opening post:

So, in few words, when you try to install F16, then Win 7, you get "corrupted" partition table which is msdos in nature but still contains GPT signature and it makes F16 unable to recognize msdos partitions. And you cannot overcome this problem other than remove GPT manually via live cd. It's not good.

http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=273648
{post #9 by srs5694 is especially interesting and informative}

In reply to srs5694, AdamW, who works for Fedora wrote:

AdamW wrote:

srs: that's actually the conclusion the anaconda devs are coming to, as well. they're certainly considering switching back to MS-DOS by default for <2TB disks on BIOS installs for F17 onwards.

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#74 2011-12-25 04:07:41

cfr
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Registered: 2011-11-27
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

the.ridikulus.rat wrote:

Does Lenovo have something similar to http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=153411.0 ?

Do you mean are they filtering in a similar way? I somehow doubt it. At least, I don't think they are filtering on "Windows", for example. The BIOS just seems unable to use a fat32 formatted EFI partition and needs FAT16. Or do you think it was filtering in this way for fat32 but somehow not for fat16? I have no idea how these things work or if that is at all likely. (Also, I would be kind of reluctant to experiment now I have got something booting - it really makes no odds to me if the EFI partition is fat16 so long as I know that's what it wants.)

I'm currently trying to tangle with ASUS UEFI as well and that seems to work completely differently...

I am curious about the Lenovo UEFI, though. Or the TIano - I'm not sure if this is  Lenovo specific issue or not.


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#75 2011-12-25 04:20:50

cfr
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From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
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Re: [solved] Boot GPT disk in UEFI mode (Phoenix SecureCore Tiano)

David Batson wrote:

I ran across an interesting related thread on the Fedora Forums.  Not sure if Arch suffers from the same issue.

As far as I know, Arch does not suffer from this issue. Arch's installation makes no attempt to work with GPT partitions. To get Arch installed with GPT, you have to do all the partitioning outside of the installer and then prevent the installer from undoing it or messing with your partioning in anyway. The tools available in the installer itself cannot work with GPT partitions without damaging them.

At least, that was my understanding of the situation. So I didn't do my partitioning from Arch's installer at all.

I've read elsewhere about the issue with Fedora's installer. Note that the "solution" Fedora's developers are considering is essentially already implemented by Arch's installer i.e. only use MS-DOS partition maps. Arch's installation has to be done while booted in BIOS mode if you use the live USB/CD installation method, at least, because it won't boot in UEFI mode that I know of. (Archboot is a different matter.)

None of the problems I experienced were due to Arch's installer. The installer is limited in certain ways - cannot deal with GPT partitions or UEFI booting - but the wiki makes those limitations clear and gives instructions for working around them. Those instructions failed in my case because my firmware refuses to recognise a UEFI partition formatted according to the specifications.

That's very different from the situation with Fedora's installer which is, as I understand it, dangerously buggy.

Ubuntu's installer is also buggy and probably more dangerous than Fedora's since it wipes any existing EFI partition. It also formats the EFI partition it creates as fat16 rather than fat32. That was useful for me but is contrary to the spec as far as I know. On the other hand, it does seem to create a correct GPT partition map although I did not test this.


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Arch Linux | x86_64 | GPT | EFI boot | grub2 | systemd | LVM2 on LUKS
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