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#1 2020-06-23 21:49:40

rpallen
Member
Registered: 2015-08-16
Posts: 15

[SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

I bought a new computer a few months ago.  It does NOT have UEFI.  It has a 3 TiB HD.

It had Linux Mint installed,but I recently reformatted the HD to install Arch.  Since the HD exceeds the 2.2 TiB limitation of MBR, I need to use GPT.

Before starting the Arch installation (with archlinux-2020.06.01-x86_64.iso), using gparted, I partitioned the HD as below:
unallocated space 2MiB (The gparted wouldn’t let me use the first MiB, but I added another 1 MiB to that.)
sda1    512MiB    FAT32 with bios_grub flag
sda2    75GB    ext4 with mount point /
sda3    8GB        swap
sda4    rest of drive    ext4 for storage (mount point /storage)

I then went through the Arch installation.  This included:
mkswap /dev/sda3
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
swapon /dev/sda3
mkdir /mnt/boot
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot
mkdir /mnt/storage
mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/storage

I generated the fstab and arch-chrooted and continued with the installation.

While I was typing the grub-mkconfig command I got a message:
[ 2260.940888] FAT-fs (sda1): Invalid FSINFO signature: 0x00821cea, 0x10020082 (sector = 1)

I finished typing the command and hit “enter”.
I got:
Generating grub configuration file …
[ 2328.739897] FAT-fs (sda1): Invalis FSINFO signature: 0x00821cea, 0x10020082 (sector = 1)
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts
Found initrd image: /boot/initramfs-linux-lts.img
/usr/bin/grub-probe: error: unknown filesystem.
Found falback initrd image(s) in /boot: initramfs-linux-lts-fallback.img
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts
Found initrd image: /boot/initramfs-linux-lts.img
Found falback initrd image(s) in /boot: initramfs-linux-lts-fallback.img
[ 2330.855854] FAT-fs (sda1): Invalis FSINFO signature: 0x00821cea, 0x10020082 (sector = 1)

I rebooted and got:
GRUB loading.
Welcome to GRUB!

Error: unknown filesystem.
Entering rescue mode…
grub rescue>

I then repeated this whole procedure, except before I started the installation, again, using gparted, I made the same partitions except I formatted sda1 as ext4 (not FAT32), but still added the bios_grub flag.  I didn’t get any errors, but when I rebooted, I just got a screen that said “GRUB”, nothing else.  After 10 minutes, it hadn’t changed, so I turned it off.

So I guess the question is, how do I install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

Last edited by rpallen (2020-06-24 01:17:04)

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#2 2020-06-23 22:19:19

ratcheer
Member
Registered: 2011-10-09
Posts: 772

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

My system runs on a gpt-partitioned drive with no UEFI. I can't say why yours doesn't work, but here is my partitioning layout. I hope it is helpful.

Disk /dev/sdb: 500118192 sectors, 238.5 GiB
Model: Samsung SSD 850 
Sector size (logical/physical): 512/512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): 4958EEBA-5904-4345-A09C-C4A73CB87F77
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
Main partition table begins at sector 2 and ends at sector 33
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 500118158
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 2014 sectors (1007.0 KiB)

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048            6143   2.0 MiB     EF02  BIOS boot partition
   2            6144       500118158   238.5 GiB   8300  Linux filesystem

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#3 2020-06-23 22:28:05

rpallen
Member
Registered: 2015-08-16
Posts: 15

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

Thanks.  It doesn't help me but I'm glad to see I'm not unique using GPT without UEFI.  Are the numbers on the left the partition numbers and would equate to sdb1 and sdb2?

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#4 2020-06-23 22:43:39

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 24,222
Website

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

You install arch following the installation guide.  There's absolutely nothing special about using GPT partitioning or using BIOS booting.  There are a few steps that only apply to other configurations, but they are clearly labeled as such.

Why do you use FAT32 for your boot partition?

You also didn't mention your grub-install command.

Last edited by Trilby (2020-06-23 22:45:30)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#5 2020-06-23 22:58:29

rpallen
Member
Registered: 2015-08-16
Posts: 15

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

I'm not sure why I formatted it as FAT32.  I also tried again but with ext4.  But now, after reading some more, it seems like maybe I should have not used any file system.  From https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GRUB   "Create a mebibyte partition (+1M with fdisk or gdisk) on the disk with no file system and with partition type GUID 21686148-6449-6E6F-744E-656564454649."  I guess I'll try that.

My grub install command was: grub-install --target=i386-pc /dev/sda

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#6 2020-06-23 23:11:36

twobooks
Member
Registered: 2020-06-23
Posts: 5

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

sample GPT partition table
sda1  unknown file system  2.0 MiB    no mount point     bios_grub
sda2  fat32/ext4/xfs             512MiB    /mnt/boot
sda3  swap                         2048MiB    swap
sda4  ext4/xfs                         75GiB   /mnt
... ...

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#7 2020-06-23 23:20:07

rpallen
Member
Registered: 2015-08-16
Posts: 15

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

Thanks.  I'll give that a try tomorrow.

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#8 2020-06-23 23:27:23

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 24,222
Website

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

D'Oh!

Yes, you don't need any filesystem on the 1/2MiB gap - you shouldn't even need a partition there.

But in your initial post, you using sda1 as this gap, but also trying to mount sda1 as /boot, that will definitely not work: there's not nearly enough room for the kernel and initramfs's.

EDIT: I guess there should be a partition, but that's definitely not your /boot partition.  No need to have this "bios boot" 1 or 2 MiB partition then you can either have an actual /boot partition (often around 512MiB or so, I think 100MiB is the absolute minimum recommended) followed by a root partition, or just a unified root partition that will include /boot.  But in any case, DO NOT mount the 1 or 2 MiB partition at all.

Last edited by Trilby (2020-06-23 23:30:54)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#9 2020-06-24 00:30:00

rpallen
Member
Registered: 2015-08-16
Posts: 15

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

Thanks, twobooks.  I didn't wait till tomorrow, I tried it tonight.  I fashioned my partition table as you said and it worked without any problems.  Thanks again.

And Trilby, thanks for following up.  As you may have read just above this, twobooks' suggested partition table solved the problem.

BTW, is there a way to mark a topic as resolved?

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#10 2020-06-24 00:35:24

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 24,222
Website

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#11 2020-06-24 00:38:37

twobooks
Member
Registered: 2020-06-23
Posts: 5

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

You're welcome rpallen.

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#12 2020-06-24 01:16:38

rpallen
Member
Registered: 2015-08-16
Posts: 15

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

Thanks for the link Trilby.  I'll edit the post with [SOLVED].

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#13 2020-06-24 06:08:12

nl6720
Wiki Admin
Registered: 2016-07-02
Posts: 229

Re: [SOLVED] How to install Arch on a machine using GPT, but NOT UEFI?

For reference, the wiki has a BIOS/GPT layout example: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pa … ut_example .

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