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BIOS Initial Display Device

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by Psycho96, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Psycho96

    Psycho96 New Member

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    Not sure if this is the right place for this but I'm at a loss on where to look/ask for help.

    I recently installed Ubuntu 16.04 GNOME and after many hours of many many problems I've finally got it running. However there's a problem. I have Windows 10 installed on a separate drive and I need to be able to switch between these quite quickly, which normally wouldn't be a problem. However, Ubuntu's splash locks up and if I run it with nosplash there's just a black screen after it loads. To fix this, I switch the initial display device in the BIOS to the integrated intel chipset. Once I do that Ubuntu runs fine, but for some reason I don't have access to the BIOS anymore. No prompt to press del/F12, if I try to open the BIOS settings from grub I just get a flashing cursor in the top left and nothing happens. So right now my choices are to run Ubuntu, and only Ubuntu, just fine, unable to switch boot devices at any point unless I reset the CMOS, or Ubuntu doesn't work.

    I have a Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3 motherboard and Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU. I have checked that quick boot is disabled, and it is, and I have up to date drivers for the GPU.

    Any help would be appreciated, I'm really excited to start using Linux for development again, but as an avid gamer, having it as my only OS is just not an option.
     
  2. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Hi @Psycho96, and welcome! I've got to leave for work in just a moment so I have to rush, but hopefully others will also join in quickly. You may have more than one issue going on, but certainly a core issue is the UEFI (the BIOS replacement).

    Even though you have Quick Boot disabled in UEFI, you may want to investigate how to permanently disable it in Windows 10 as it may override the UEFI setting. Because you're unplugging the drive I have no idea how that might freak out the UEFI in a case like that.

    GRUB cannot access UEFI... that is a boot time function. Linux also will not "mask" your del/F12 selections at boot time, but I have indeed seen Windows 10 do that. When Windows masks those boot time selections, then you have to go into Windows and get into troubleshooting properties, and tell it you need to boot on a USB/DVD. In Windows, this is a one-time request, and following that it will again boot straight to Windows. Not everyone has this experience though... it may be peculiar to some brands of computer or motherboard, or to your Windows install.

    These are just a few quick thoughts. It might be better to have Windows installed and Linux on the external drive, or maybe to install both to the internal hard drive. But these boot issues come up in all kinds of circumstances so there is no solution that works for everyone. Get the best advice you can, and you'll have to tweak some of these settings or properties to get them all to play nice together.

    Cheers!
     
    Rob likes this.
  3. Psycho96

    Psycho96 New Member

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    @atanere Thanks for the reply!
    I think I wasn't quite clear on my setup. I'm not unplugging drives, I have 2 SSDs, one with a Windows OS and one with Ubuntu. The idea being I have 1 that boots by default, then when I need to use the other I just boot to it with the F12 boot menu.
    I don't think the problem is that either Linux or Windows are 'masking' the boot time selections, the problem is that the splash screen with the boot options doesn't appear after switching the initial display device to the integrated intel chipset. That problem probably doesn't belong here because it's likely just a specific motherboard issue. However I wouldn't need to switch initial display device if it wasn't for the fact that Ubuntu just hangs if I use the Nvidia card. As for GRUB accessing the UEFI, the 3rd option of 3 is 'system settings' or something like that which, when using the Nvidia card, usually just takes me to the UEFI screen, but with the integrated graphics it's just a flashing cursor. Almost like the UEFI has just disappeared completely. Currently my work around is to use the Nvidia card when booting to Windows, switch to integrated when I need to use Linux, then (since now I have no boot options) reset CMOS to get back to Windows. Considering I need to switch at least twice per day, that's really not ideal. I could probably circumvent this by doing a dual boot to the same drive, since then I'd probably get the OS selection screen on boot and not need the normal boot options, and that's what I'll do if no solution turns up here. Using Windows to boot to a separate device as a one-time thing is an interesting solution, and doesn't seem that bad as a workaround. So if all else fails I'll use that permanently, thanks for that!
     
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  4. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Member

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    Hi Psycho96

    Taking that as a given, I wonder if you have considered booting your Xenial GNOME, changing the display driver to the generic Nouveau, and then trying the process again?

    Cheers

    Wizard
     
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  5. Psycho96

    Psycho96 New Member

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    @wizardfromoz Hey there. Could you be more specific? I tried both the proprietary and xorg display drivers and neither of them worked.

    Also an update:
    I tried launching with nosplash and the terminal is flashing, input is extremely unresponsive (have to try 3-5 times per key to get it to recognise it), which makes typing in my password almost impossible.
    After about 10 mins it seems to fix itself, the terminal resets and I can login fine. But if I try to launch the desktop GUI with sudo startx I get a segmentation fault. Not sure how to get more information other than taking a picture with my phone and uploading it here. If that stuff is logged somewhere you can let me know where it is and I'll share it
     
  6. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Have you tried the nomodeset boot option? This often cures the "black screen" issue, but not always. Enter it alongside the quiet and nosplash entries and give it a shot.

    Since you can reproduce the troubles you're having, I don't think the solution is too far away... but it still may lie in the UEFI settings. And fiddling with the settings can leave you (temporarily) in a non-booting state, so it's a really good idea to backup anything important in case of disaster. You may end up having to reinstall one or both systems in a worst case.

    Here is some thorough documentation about UEFI and Ubuntu. Here is some detailed info on installing Ubuntu in dual-boot with Windows 8, although this should apply to Windows 10 also. You might read through these and see if you detect anything different in the method that you installed your dual-boot setup.

    Out of time again... off to work!
     
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  7. Psycho96

    Psycho96 New Member

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    I switched to Mint 18.1. Had to use nomodeset through the install, installed the graphics drivers and everything is good now! Thank you guys for the help, I wasn't exactly set on Ubuntu, Mint is fine for me, so I'm happy.
     
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  8. VP9KS

    VP9KS Member

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    If I may add my 2 cents worth, I am using multiple operating systems on the same computer, but I use drive caddies so that I only have one system drive in the computer at any time. This precludes the type of problems you have been having. Just a thought.
     
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  9. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Great! Sometimes a re-install is the easiest way to fix things, but sometimes folks are reluctant also if they have a lot of time and details invested in a particular setup. Linux Mint is an excellent distro and should serve you well.

    If you have time for a bit of story-telling, please give us a rundown on how you setup your dual-drive dual-boot install. I assume that you left Windows 10 intact, but there are still some options that you had along the way... for example:

    1. Did you unplug the Windows drive to install Mint on the other drive, or did you leave the Windows drive plugged in during the install process?

    2. If you unplugged the Windows drive, then GRUB would certainly be installed on the secondary drive. If you left the Windows drive plugged in, did you put GRUB on the same drive as Windows? Or did you put GRUB on the Linux drive? Did you tell Mint to install GRUB to the MBR? This could be tricky, because your SSD's are probably GPT, not MBR.

    3. This UEFI stuff is making installs harder for a lot of people. What UEFI settings did you use, or which needed to be changed, so that your dual-boot system works as expected. Secure Boot, Fast Boot, UEFI-mode versus CSM (legacy mode), boot order, are some that frequently need tweaking (although what works for some people does not always work for others). Were there any other UEFI tips/tweaks you needed?

    4. How do you choose your OS at boot time now? Does GRUB come up consistently and allow for both OS'es? Or do you need to use the UEFI boot menu (I think you said F12 for your computer)?

    I know that many people will benefit if you can give us a bit of a summary of what worked for you. I have a couple of laptops with UEFI, and for me it has largely been a process of trial-and-error when switching distros and experimenting with different settings and configurations. It's not a good method and I've had a lot of failures, but I always seem to learn a little bit more. And it seems that the newer distros are also tweaking themselves with each revision and installations get a little bit easier... but UEFI may be a challenge for Linux users for a long time yet to come.

    Cheers!
     
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  10. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Member

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    I've just "liked" atanere's Post above, but I only liked the 1st and 2nd paragraphs, then points 1. through 4., and then the last paragraph. :rolleyes:

    I too, would be interested in those answers, if you can make the time, Psycho96.

    One from me is -

    1. Which DE of LM? eg Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, Xfce?
    I can then add that to my Knowledge Base of what Members are using what.

    Enjoy Linux - I do every day.

    Wizard
     
  11. Psycho96

    Psycho96 New Member

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    @atanere

    1. Did you unplug the Windows drive to install Mint on the other drive, or did you leave the Windows drive plugged in during the install process?

    My initial Ubuntu install was done by unplugging the other drives. Tbh the only reason I did it that way is because I have 3 SSDs with the same display name so telling them apart is... difficult. For the Mint install, however, after creating a live USB and running the installer, I think I chose to install it alongside the Windows Boot Manager (all my drives were plugged in this time around), an option that wasn't there for the Ubuntu install but was for the Mint install. Frankly, I actually have no idea where Mint is physically. I can find out, but since I got it all working I've been reluctant to rock the boat

    2. If you unplugged the Windows drive, then GRUB would certainly be installed on the secondary drive. If you left the Windows drive plugged in, did you put GRUB on the same drive as Windows? Or did you put GRUB on the Linux drive? Did you tell Mint to install GRUB to the MBR? This could be tricky, because your SSD's are probably GPT, not MBR.

    I don't remember choosing anything specifically related to GRUB. I'll put as detailed a description of my install process as I can at the end of this post.

    3. This UEFI stuff is making installs harder for a lot of people. What UEFI settings did you use, or which needed to be changed, so that your dual-boot system works as expected. Secure Boot, Fast Boot, UEFI-mode versus CSM (legacy mode), boot order, are some that frequently need tweaking (although what works for some people does not always work for others). Were there any other UEFI tips/tweaks you needed?

    Secure Boot - Off (For my UEFI, it was called 'Windows 8 Features', and I set that to 'Other OS')
    Fast Boot - Off
    UEFI mode
    Boot order didn't matter so much this time around.

    4. How do you choose your OS at boot time now? Does GRUB come up consistently and allow for both OS'es? Or do you need to use the UEFI boot menu (I think you said F12 for your computer)?

    I have my Windows drive as the default boot drive, whenever I need to use Mint I F12 and use the rEFInd boot manager to launch Mint. For some reason my Windows Boot Manager is broken. Something I've considered trying to fix, but again, rocking the boat. GRUB and rEFInd don't list the Windows 10 install, only the Windows Boot Manager, which is broken. I might wipe my system drives and try to do this cleaner at a later date.

    @wizardfromoz Cinnamon. It's the one I used before and I quite liked it so I went with it again. Specifically it's Mint 18.1 Cinnamon AMD64

    Install steps, as detailed as I can recall:
    - Created a live USB of Linux Mint using USBWriter 1.3 from Windows 10 and an ISO from the Mint website. Previously I'd used Live USB Install 2.5.11 for the Ubuntu install, but it didn't have Mint 18.1 listed so I had to get the ISO myself. I chose 18.1 specifically because I saw it mentioned somewhere that 18.1 addressed the Nvidia driver issues I was having with Ubuntu

    - Booted to the USB. For boot options I deleted 'quiet splash' and added 'nomodeset'. Didn't have to worry about the initial display device in UEFI this time because nomodeset did the trick.

    - Installed Mint from the desktop icon in the live version. Chose the option to install it alongside the Windows Boot Manager.

    - After installing, booted Mint, still using the nomodeset boot option

    - Installed the Nvidia proprietary drivers using the 'drivers' settings in Mint

    - Rebooted and all was well. I had rEFInd boot manager already installed from trying to get Ubuntu to work, so since I had no idea where Mint had installed to and Windows Boot Manager wasn't working, I used that to get into Mint

    - I set nomodeset as a permanent boot option because the login screen still wouldn't work without it. My guess is that the Nvidia drivers aren't loaded until after Mint has booted fully. However Mint automatically switches to the onboard GPU once the desktop loads, so no problems there.

    And that's it, all working find (except for Windows Boot Manager, no idea what I did to break that, though I have a feeling it was broken long before I tried to install Linux, I just never paid much attention to it).

    Curiously, rEFInd doesn't actually list my Windows 10 install, instead it only has Mint and Windows Boot Manager (which doesn't work). Which is why I still need to use the F12 boot menu to load the Windows drive manually, or rEFInd for Mint.

    Despite having chosen to install Mint alongside Windows, I doubt the process would be a whole lot different if I had instead manually created the Mint partition on a separate drive. This is likely how I'll do if I decide to do it all again.

    If I decide to wipe it all and start again, trying to get a cleaner setup, I'll post here with the steps I took to do that.
     
    #11 Psycho96, Jun 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  12. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    @Psycho96... awesome! Thank you very kindly for taking the time to detail your experience so well. I am also surprised that rEFInd didn't configure Windows for you. I've never used rEFInd but it looks like an excellent tool and the author also has a wealth of information about UEFI on his website. I'm definitely going to have to experiment with rEFInd soon too... it may offer an easier path for many people.

    I have a hunch that the "install alongside Windows" option may have put Mint on the same SSD as Windows, so it may be that your install is dual-boot, but not dual-drive. That's okay too as long as you have the space to accommodate both systems, and I fully understand not wanting to rock the boat now that things are working well (except the Windows boot manager). If you want to find out which drive holds Linux, the blkid command will show you the details of active drives and partitions... and help you distinguish between your three SSD's.

    By all means, if you do decide to "rock the boat" later and re-install manually, or re-install both Windows and Linux combinations, please come back and let us know how it goes. I don't think we'll ever have a one-size-fits-all solution to UEFI installations, but the more information we can gain, the more we can all learn ourselves and use to help others.

    Again, many thanks! Cheers!
     
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  13. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Member

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    @Psycho96:

    Can't say as I blame you there, lol - if it ain't broke, don't fix it? (now if only I could take my own advice :confused:)

    @atanere:

    Totally agree. Dependent on assignment of the other SSDs currently, eg Backup, Storage, &c, this also leaves the OP options for future multibooting if he wishes to explore other Linux Distros.

    @Psycho96:

    Now that you are up and running, if you have not already known to do so, I would strongly advocate the following:

    Find your way to Terminal, via Ctrl-Alt-t key combo, or as screenshot shows (this from LM 18.2 'Sonya' Cinnamon Beta, but should be the same) -


    [​IMG]


    At Terminal:

    Code:
    sudo ufw enable
    and enter.

    You will be prompted for the password you set at install, there will be no movement (security) and enter.

    You will be greeted with a small message saying that the Uncomplicated FireWall (ufw) has been enabled (in real time) and a small script generated that will start it each time you reboot or boot the computer.

    If you wish to learn more about how your partitions and drives' State of The Nation is, you can use the GNOME Partition Editor (Gparted) through one of the following avenues:
    1. It is on your Linux Mint install cd/dvd/usb
    2. Create your own Gparted live removable media, download is here http://gparted.org/download.php
    3. or install it to your hard drive under Linux Mint with
      Code:
      sudo apt-get -y install gparted
    Cheers and enjoy

    Wizard
     
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  14. Psycho96

    Psycho96 New Member

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    @wizardfromoz Thanks for that :)

    Figured it was better to sort this mess out sooner rather than later, since there's really nothing on here that I would miss if I wiped it all.

    So here's what I did:

    Using Gparted (As suggested by wizardfromoz) I cleared out a lot of the junk. Partitions for the old Ubuntu install, Windows Boot Manager, rEFInd and other random, useless fragments, were all deleted. At that point I now only had the 4 drives in my boot menu. I booted into Windows and used a windows partition manager to wipe Mint. Now I had only my Windows OS and related partitions such as recovery, and a single Data partition on each other drive.

    With that out the way I installed Mint just as before. With Windows Boot Manager gone the Mint install recognized the Windows 10 install and let me install alongside it (so yeah, this is a dual-boot now). Now GRUB has my Windows 10 install listed alongside Mint and I can choose my OS through that. For some reason rEFInd won't install, not sure why. Using Windows I tired 'mountvolume S: /S' as instructed on rEFInd's website and I got an incorrect parameter error. Installing rEFInd using the Debian package or through 'sudo apt-get install refind' doesn't show any errors, it seems to work just fine, but I don't have rEFInd listed in the boot order settings. Doesn't matter so much because GRUB is working fine. So now I have a clean dual-boot set up for Windows 10 and Linux Mint.
     
    #14 Psycho96, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  15. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Thanks again! It's always nice to see folks willing to jump in with both feet to work out issues/problems. :D It seems in your case that some issues just shifted a bit, but at least it was still an overall success for you. I am still hopeful that much of these UEFI problems will settle down in time.

    Cheers
     
  16. VP9KS

    VP9KS Member

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    Wiz,
    I don't know very many people who follow their own advice, nyuk, nyuk.:p:p

    Paul
     
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