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#1 2013-02-22 02:31:22

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

Hey Guys!

So, I just recently got a new laptop a few days ago and it came with Windows 8 (Inspiron 15z w/ i7 + nontouch (5523)) and therefore also a UEFI motherboard by default and I love it. Maybe it's because UEFI feels more modern than BIOS but that's besides the point.

The problem I'm having is a little frustrating when trying to boot an ARCH_201302 USB in UEFI mode. All I'm getting is a black screen where I'm sure nothing is happening. I select the first entry (the one that's supposed to boot arch) after I select the USB from my firmware's Startup Selection screen.

I've already disabled SecureBoot

The USB boots fine if I dd the ISO to it and boot in legacy mode

I created the USB using the instructions in the arch forum here and by just copying the contents to the USB in one FAT32 partition.

My intention is to install arch on a 20GB ext4 partition and grub2 to, as I understand it, the EFISYS partition (or ESP or whatever it's technical name is).

Does anyone know what's happening? Again I'm only getting a blank screen and no indicators are flashing or anything, and in order to get out of it i have to press (not hold) the power button. No ctrl+alt+del or ttys are available or anything.

So, is there any way for me to install arch in legacy mode and install grub in UEFI mode through UEFI Ubuntu or something. Or should I not use grub and use something else.

Thanks in advance!

Let me know if I can expand further on anything.

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#2 2013-02-22 03:46:14

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

You have to create a UEFI specific usb.  This has been covered over and over in these threads.  There is information in the wiki on how to do this.

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#3 2013-02-22 03:51:35

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

I did, using both the method in the official wiki and by just copying the iso contents to the USB formatted just as one FAT32 partition and making sure my label matches the iso ("ARCH_201302").

P.S. It's funny that you posted on my thread, I was referring to your thread earlier for help but I don't think its the same issue.

Last edited by bericp1 (2013-02-22 03:52:41)

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#4 2013-02-22 03:51:37

frank604
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From: BC, Canada
Registered: 2011-04-20
Posts: 1,145
Website

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode


github       bible       screenshot

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#5 2013-02-22 04:05:06

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

Checking that thread, it looks like updating the firmware helped @tonysoprano although his problem seems a bit different from mine. The posts in the thread also suggest using a different bootloader but I'm a bit confused by that since I thought UEFI doesn't require a bootloader. The only reason I need GRUB is to simplifying booting in UEFI without having to put the kernel and image on the EFISYS partition, right?

I'll check my firmware image to see if it is updated and get back.

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#6 2013-02-22 04:36:26

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

So there was an update and I installed it but still the same results. hmm

Any other suggestions?

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#7 2013-02-22 04:43:20

Jristz
Member
From: America/Santiago
Registered: 2011-06-11
Posts: 931

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

maybe is KMS the problem, in my Lapptop, the KMS + syslinux = whitescreen and unable to startx, but grub give me 0 problem

you can try add nomodesetting to te kernel comand line and try


Well, I suppose that this is somekind of signature, no?

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#8 2013-02-22 06:00:21

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

I tried adding `nomodeset` to the kernel parameters for the arch menu entry but still the same result, so I don't think it's related to kernel mode setting. BTW I've also tried adding `i915.modeset=0` as suggested somewhere else on the internet but to no avail, still.

Could it be that all of the USB ports on my laptop are USB3? I haven't heard of USB3 being an issue with arch before but it could explain how my UEFI can see the flash drive since it has USB3 drivers but why arch is failing to boot. Even the EFI shells that come with the arch ISO image work (v1 and v2). To test this, is there anyway to boot the ISO off a DVD in UEFI mode?

Just throwing out possibilities.

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#9 2013-02-22 06:45:30

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

I do have an issue with a particular usb 3.0 flash drive in teh 3.0 ports, but it is not so much an issue with Arch as it appears to be an issue with the firmware.  It simply freezes up POST until I remove it.

How about this.  Install in normal bios mode.  Get it booting and working as you normally would.  Then after all is well, install your UEFI boot loader/manager of choice to \EFI\boot\bootx64.efi on the EFI System Partition.  Of course get it all configured, so if you choose gummiboot for example, set up the loader.conf and entries as normal.

The firmware should default to this particular file on the drive.  This is how it is supposed to boot things which have no firmware nvram entry.  Though I suspect that if the installer isn't working (which relies on this trick), then this might now work as well.  If that is the case, you may need to use the spot that M$ puts its loader by default.  I don't remember exactly where it is, but I am sure you can find the info on the internets. 

This is what the gptfdisk creator mentioned in a thread once... though he is so active around here in the UEFI threads, I can't seem to find what I am referencing here.

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#10 2013-02-22 18:23:46

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

I will try that when I get home tonight but if that doesn't work, would it be safe to install arch like you said in legacy/bios mode and then see if I can boot an Ubuntu USB in UEFI and install grub in that?

I would rather not muck about too much in the EFI System Partition as I'm very new to UEFI in general (I learned about it only a few days ago) and would like to make sure Windows 8 remains happy and in tact.

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#11 2013-02-23 12:42:50

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

Damn.

So an Ubuntu Secure Remix USB won't boot either with the same blank screen problem which is a bit concerning.

I did install arch already to the partition I wanted it on but I have no way of booting into it unless I can find my old SuperBoot CD. During the arch installation, I didn't install any bootloader since I wasn't keen on f*cking up anything.

I guess my last resort is to boot the arch USB in legacy mode and copy grub's x64 efi to \EFI\boot\bootx64.efi but I want to make sure I dont fuck up my brand new computer hmm

Oh well, here goes nothing.

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#12 2013-02-23 15:40:36

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

OK, so a quick update.

Found out that my firmware's Setup menu (F2 on boot which I want to call the BIOS but know that's not correct since it's UEFI) comes with a simplified, built-in efibootmgr that allows me to browse for *.efi files on my EFI System Partition and add them as boot options. So I followed the wiki instructions to install grub-efi-x86_64 in legacy mode and even ran grub-install which copied all of the necessary files to their locations but failed at the end since it couldn't run efibootmgr without being in UEFI mode. I then just rebooted into the Setup menu of my firmware, browsed to grubx64.efi (or whatever), and added it as a boot option.

Unfortunately, problem not yet solved. The grub menu shows up fine to select from arch, arch fallback, and windows (which I added manually following the chainloading instructions in the wiki). When I select Windows, sure enough, it boots windows (btw, way faster than a normal boot for some reason) but when I choose either arch entry, a similar problem to the one I was experiencing earlier occurs. The screen went black and then the texts showed up saying it was loading the kernel and initial ramdisk like it was supposed to but stopped there, doing the same thing as I expect was happening earlier: nothing. The HDD indicator isn't flashing and the screen just sits there with the two lines of text saying its loading the kernel and its loading the initial ramdisk.

I'm totally lost for an explanation as to what's happening. Any ideas?

Edit:
Just to be clear, this is an improvement from earlier where it was just a black screen. Now it's at least beginning to load the kernel and initrd and whatnot. I'm not 100% familiar with the linux boot process but is there any options I can pass through grub that will cause it to be more verbose?

Last edited by bericp1 (2013-02-23 15:51:38)

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#13 2013-02-23 15:52:36

the.ridikulus.rat
Member
From: Indiana, USA
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 765

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

Try the disabling KMS

nomodeset i915.modeset=0 radeon.modeset=0 nouveau.modeset=0

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#14 2013-02-24 06:32:29

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

Still nothing.

I removed the quiet option and added "nomodeset i915.modeset=0 radeon.modeset=0 nouveau.modeset=0" but no change apparently in anything.

It looks like its hanging after it attempts to load the initrd image. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to debug this? I dont think its a problem with KMS because there appears to be no activity whatsoever. None of the LEDs on the laptop are flashing at all and I cant hear the hard drive or anything.

I can access the partition, so is there any logs that I might be able to check? Again, not 100% familiar with debugging the linux boot process.

Last edited by bericp1 (2013-02-24 06:33:39)

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#15 2013-02-24 09:04:46

megadriver
Member
From: Spain
Registered: 2010-02-03
Posts: 58
Website

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

I'm experiencing exactly the same problem with my new desktop PC. It's a Compaq CQ2907ES.

I already disabled both "Secure Boot" and "Fast Boot". Trying to boot Arch from 2013.02.01 results in a black screen and no activity whatsoever (both versions of the UEFI shell work, though). I also tried all the nomodeset/noacpi/etc. permutations. Nothing works.

So I replaced the bootloader with rEFInd, and now I get a very nice graphical menu showing both the installed Windows 8, which boots perfectly from there, and Arch. If I try to boot Arch, it freezes when it says it's loading the initrd, exactly as described in the post above.

Quite annoying, indeed sad

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#16 2013-02-24 10:29:15

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

Good to know I'm not alone but sorry you're having issues too.

I compared the specs of our computers and I dont see really any similar hardware or anything that could be a common factor to the problem. hmm

Last edited by bericp1 (2013-02-24 23:19:16)

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#17 2013-02-25 13:14:36

megadriver
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From: Spain
Registered: 2010-02-03
Posts: 58
Website

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

So I decided to enable legacy booting, to see if I could manage something from there, and, what do you know, with legacy mode enabled, I'm now able to boot Arch in UEFI mode too!

Weird, but awesome! smile

Now, let's get installing!

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#18 2013-02-25 17:46:10

srs5694
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From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
Website

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

megadriver wrote:

So I decided to enable legacy booting, to see if I could manage something from there, and, what do you know, with legacy mode enabled, I'm now able to boot Arch in UEFI mode too!

Sometimes legacy/CSM/BIOS support is required to initialize some hardware components. For instance, I've got an ASUS P8H77-I motherboard, and I need legacy support on it to use the VGA port on the built-in graphics adapter or an older plug-in video card; but if I use the DVI output on the board, I can boot with legacy support disabled.

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#19 2013-02-25 19:07:05

megadriver
Member
From: Spain
Registered: 2010-02-03
Posts: 58
Website

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

It all makes sense now.

My current monitor is VGA only, so I have to use the VGA port. Now I'm sure this was the problem (in my case, at least).

Last edited by megadriver (2013-02-25 22:07:09)

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#20 2013-02-25 20:11:02

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

I'm not 100% convinced that my problem has to do with graphics. The only other video out I have is HDMI so I guess I can try it, but I don't see why this would cause it to hang on boot. It's not like my screen is completely blank, I still have a blinking cursor, there's just no activity.

I'll see if I can find a way to boot the partition in legacy/bios mode to see if it works that way. My firmware doesn't let me select a specific partition to boot from in legacy mode, just the hard drive in general which just gives me an error I assume because there is no MBR as should be the case. So is there a way I can boot something in UEFI mode that will let me boot a specific HDD partition in BIOS mode?

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#21 2013-02-25 22:36:24

srs5694
Member
From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
Website

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

bericp1 wrote:

I'm not 100% convinced that my problem has to do with graphics.

I didn't mean to imply that anybody's problem was related to graphics (although that's possible). My post was meant to point out that enabling legacy support in the firmware can affect how hardware generally is initialized, and therefore how the rest of the boot process proceeds. There can be some weird interactions in all of this.

My firmware doesn't let me select a specific partition to boot from in legacy mode, just the hard drive in general which just gives me an error I assume because there is no MBR as should be the case. So is there a way I can boot something in UEFI mode that will let me boot a specific HDD partition in BIOS mode?

Not AFAIK, at least not on UEFI-based PCs. In Apple's EFI implementation, it's possible to use rEFIt or rEFInd to redirect the boot process to a specific partition's boot sector. Although rEFInd supports redirecting to a BIOS-mode boot loader on some UEFI-based PCs, this redirection goes to the MBR, so you'd have to have an MBR-based boot loader, which could then include its own menu to redirect the boot process to a specific partition. GRUB Legacy, GRUB 2, and even LILO should work for that purpose. (Maybe SYSLINUX, too, but I'm less familiar with its chainloading features.) If you decide to attempt this type of configuration, be aware that you must edit the "scanfor" line in refind.conf to enable BIOS-mode booting on UEFI-based PCs in rEFInd.

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#22 2013-02-26 06:05:43

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

My bad srs5694, I misunderstood. Forgive me, that makes total sense now.

Anyways, I just had an interesting adventure within the last few hours.

I decided that it would be worth a shot to try Ubuntu instead of arch so I burned a disc and booted it in legacy mode and went through the normal install process, doing a custom partition layout and selecting /dev/sda in the "Where should the bootloader be installed" (or whatever) part and selected /dev/sda which is my hdd. I wasn't even thinking about it when it told me that it detected I was on an UEFI system and had me select my EFISYS partition to install grub to so I selected it and moved on. After the install, I noticed it booted traditionally onto the hard drive rather than through UEFI and it turns out, it installed grub to the MBR of the disk and did who knows what to my EFISYS partition so that it became unmountable and corrupted (as far as I could tell).

After various attempts to recover the FAT32 partition I gave up and finally just formatted it and tried to copy a folder I found on my windows partition that looked like exact copies of what used to be on the EFISYS parition (from {C_DRIVE}/Windows/Boot/EFI to /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot) like it was before. This resulted in weird Windows boot errors about missing boot config files or something like that.

At this point, I knew that I would need a Windows recovery disk to run the automatic repair but I hadn't made one (like I should have) in Windows before starting all of this. Luckily, I found a Windows 8 consumer preview disk that I burned a while back that helped me get windows boot files set up properly in the EFISYS partition.

So, I'm in an akward state. Grub is still installed (traditionally) to the MBR and /boot/grub and if I select the "Legacy HDD" option in my firmware Startup Options, I can boot into non-UEFI Ubuntu and if I select "UEFI: Windows Boot Manager" or just let it boot (as this is the default), it boots windows 8.

I guess I can try this same setup except replacing Ubuntu with Arch and then calling it good but this is the least elegant solution I could possibly think of, and all because my laptop won't seem to boot a linux kernel in UEFI mode.

Sorry for the rant but I'm so frustrated, I was looking forward to running arch on an i7 w/ 8GB hmm

Last edited by bericp1 (2013-02-26 06:06:53)

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#23 2013-02-26 17:43:20

srs5694
Member
From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
Website

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

You could try installing rEFInd in Windows (instructions are on the rEFInd Web site) and then add "hdbios" to the "scanfor" line in refind.conf. This will probably enable rEFInd to redirect the boot process to your BIOS-mode GRUB. If your kernel boots fine in BIOS mode but not in EFI mode, then this will at least get the computer up and running with a fairly sane boot process. You might discover in the future that it will start working with a direct BIOS-mode boot, or you might find a set of kernel options or whatnot to make it work in this way, in which case you can remove the "hdbios" option and boot directly in EFI mode without involving GRUB as a secondary boot loader.

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#24 2013-02-26 20:34:35

joaocandre
Member
Registered: 2013-02-23
Posts: 101

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

Not sure if it is the same situation, but I'm able to boot an ArchLinux USB in my UEFI Motherboard (Gigabye UD3H), created only with

# dd bs=4M if=/path/to/archlinux.iso of=/dev/sdx

as suggested in the wiki. It completely overwrites the USB though.

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#25 2013-02-27 22:12:12

bericp1
Member
Registered: 2013-02-17
Posts: 17

Re: Unable to boot Arch ISO in UEFI mode

joaocandre wrote:

Not sure if it is the same situation, but I'm able to boot an ArchLinux USB in my UEFI Motherboard (Gigabye UD3H), created only with

# dd bs=4M if=/path/to/archlinux.iso of=/dev/sdx

as suggested in the wiki. It completely overwrites the USB though.

Yea, thats the only way mine will boot. This kind of installation media is BIOS/legacy mode only.

--

srs5694 wrote:

You could try installing rEFInd in Windows (instructions are on the rEFInd Web site) and then add "hdbios" to the "scanfor" line in refind.conf.

Thanks. I tried rEFInd out and although it didn't ultimately fix my main issue, it did make my setup much more organized and less insane. Now, to boot into linux I just press F12 on boot and press enter since "Legacy:Hard Drive" is the first option in the list and to boot into windows I just let the firmware load rEFInd which in turn loads windows much faster seemingly than the regular windows boot manager (not to mention that with the right background and icons, it looks great).

Unfortunately, adding the hdbios option to refind.conf's scanfor didn't result in any options showing up. I even formatted the ubuntu partition and installed arch with GRUB2 and a dedicated 1MB partition for grub's core.img (as described here in arch's GRUB wiki page) as I should have done with Ubuntu the first time but still no options show up in rEFInd.

Having rEFInd scan for linux kernels, it detects arch's which is found on its partition but it tries to load it in UEFI mode which fails all the same. I"m starting to think that the only way to boot anything in BIOS/legacy mode on my firmware is to do it through the firmware's own Startup (F12) Menu.

I'm going to try adding a manual menu entry to rEFInd that will load arch in bios mode somehow and hope for the best but I'm still open to suggestions.

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