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I need help with Arch Linux

MZainKh

New Member
I installed Arch Linux in an External HDD, the installation process was successful without and problems. Then it was time to reboot and remove the installation media in order to boot into Arch Linux from the External HDD.

I removed the media and let it reboot but it went straight into windows and not the Arch Linux grub menu to allow me boot into Arch Linux.

IDK what to do and I require assistance to fix this issue so I can boot into Arch Linux from the External HDD.

Also, the problem should not be with the External HDD because I installed Ubuntu in it before and it worked flawlessly. The grub menu showed up and everything and the external HDD was displayed in the BIOS too.

But now, the HDD doesn't show up in the BIOS and when I go into Windows and try to locate the HDD in windows explorer it doesn't show up there either. But, it does show up when I try Diskpart or Disk Management.

Assist me please if anyone knows how to fix this issue.

Thanks in advance.
 


Dimitris

New Member
Maybe an EFI/UEFI vs BIOS issue? Check which stands for your computer, I think the grub needs to be configured depending on that.
 

CptCharis

Well-Known Member
I think the reason that you can’t locate your HDD within windows is that after Arch installation the format change to ext4 or something similar from fat32 which used by windows.

Now for booting it would be a good idea to disconnect the internal HDD and to boot again with external HDD connected.

For more information wait for site’s “Guru”
They will have an answer for sure.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
G'day @MZainKh and welcome to linux.org :), Hi Capta, hi Dimitris :p

I am not one of those gurus my friend Capta refers to, where Windows is concerned, as I gave it the flick 4 years ago and run totally LInux.

However I can ask a few questions and if you answer them all, then it may assist the Windows gurus to better assist you . Cool ? :cool:

  1. External HDD - powered or unpowered, and what capacity (size in GB or TB)?
  2. Do you still have an Ubuntu install stick/disk available or can you produce one?
  3. What version of Windows, eg 7, 8, 8.1, 10?
  4. Are you able to generate a picture or pictures (screenshots) of your current partition setup, that you can upload here? Windows Snipping Tool used to be good for that.
  5. Have you used Arch before? When installed it will start with a black screen with text on it, and you will "build it" from there - not for the faint of heart, but challenging.
Google up "install arch linux alongside windows" and see if the Arch references help there. There is also a video there from 2014 I have not checked to see how current it is, yet.

Cheers, I am off for more coffee, cold morning here in my part of Australia ;)

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

MZainKh

New Member
G'day @MZainKh and welcome to linux.org :), Hi Capta, hi Dimitris :p

I am not one of those gurus my friend Capta refers to, where Windows is concerned, as I gave it the flick 4 years ago and run totally LInux.

However I can ask a few questions and if you answer them all, then it may assist the Windows gurus to better assist you . Cool ? :cool:

  1. External HDD - powered or unpowered, and what capacity (size in GB or TB)?
  2. Do you still have an Ubuntu install stick/disk available or can you produce one?
  3. What version of Windows, eg 7, 8, 8.1, 10?
  4. Are you able to generate a picture or pictures (screenshots) of your current partition setup, that you can upload here? Windows Snipping Tool used to be good for that.
  5. Have you used Arch before? When installed it will start with a black screen with text on it, and you will "build it" from there - not for the faint of heart, but challenging.
Google up "install arch linux alongside windows" and see if the Arch references help there. There is also a video there from 2014 I have not checked to see how current it is, yet.

Cheers, I am off for more coffee, cold morning here in my part of Australia ;)

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
So to answer yiur questions

1. Its a normal SATA HDD. The capacity is 80 gigs.

2. Yes, I can produce another Ubuntu install or a live ubuntu USB stick. (I even have a live kali stick lying around)

3. I use windows 10.

4. Yea sure, I can go into diskpart or disk management to view the partitions or I could go into the arch live usb and hen view it from there.

5. Yup I have used it before like for a while but yea. I have installed it on VMware successfully in the first try and it works flawlessly. Its just that when I try to install it on my external HDD that face this kind of error.

I'm a distro hopper I guess and I wanted to settle down with Arch since it seems more flexible than other distros IMO.

Thanks.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
OK, ta (Aussie for thanks, pronounced "tar") for that.

More questions I am afraid, but the more we know, the better we can help :p

Given you say your lappie is UEFI and you installed Arch to the external as UEFI, that might be the issue. The external is likely formatted as MS-DOS and would be better as GPT. The command to format it as GPT would be most easily performed from an Ubuntu stick or your Kali stick.

You didn't say whether the external HDD was powered or unpowered, but in either event:

Running from Windows, open your Disk Management while the external is switched on.

I'll illustrate what I am looking for, with this screenshot I just took from a Windows site:



In the bottom half, where there are what I will call "squares" labelled Disk 0 (zero), Disk 1 and CD-ROM 0 (zero), you can right-click those and there will be more information saying whether they are MSDOS or GPT. Right click the actual labels, not the blue-highlighted parts.

Perhaps you can give us some piccies of those? UEFI and GPT go hand in hand, they were made for each other.

If we reformat the external to GPT, we can use a tool called gdisk, which may complain that the drive is less than 2TB but it is a non-fatal error and will work. That can be done from one of the Live USB sticks with Linux on it.

WIZARD'S RECOMMENDED READING

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/windows-setup-installing-using-the-mbr-or-gpt-partition-style

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/mbr-to-gpt

Speccy is useful for reporting your Windows lappie specs and you can establish a link that you can provide us to see the configuration of the lappie.

https://support.piriform.com/hc/en-us/articles/204044334-How-do-I-download-Speccy-

From a Live USB stick with Linux on it, at Terminal:

Code:
man fdisk

# and

man gdisk
I've got to shoot through to do some other things, but if anyone happens along like @nuna , @atanere , @Condobloke , @JasKinasis or @arochester , and says "Wizard's talking through his wizards hat, just do this...", you're in safe hands and they are probably right :D

Cheers

Wizard
 

JasKinasis

Well-Known Member
If Arch was installed on an external drive, it's probably the boot order needs to be changed in the BIOS/UEFI settings in order for the external drive to be given precedence/priority over the internal HDD.

If it's booting straight into Windows, then the windows boot manager is obviously being loaded. Indicating to me that grub must be installed on the external drive and that the internal HDD must have a higher priority/precedence in the boot order than the external drive.

So you may need to change the boot order to something like:
1. DVD
2. USB (your external drive)
3. HDD (the internal drive)

That way, when the external drive is plugged in/present, the PC will boot from the external drive via grub. And when it is NOT present, it will just boot from the internal drive straight into Windows via windows boot manager.

That would be my guess.

And if the external drive is ALWAYS going to be plugged in - then there is probably a way to reconfigure grub so you can choose between Windows or Linux if it doesn't already allow that.

But, as per wiz - I've never set up dual boot. I completely ditched Windows a long time ago!
 

MZainKh

New Member
OK, ta (Aussie for thanks, pronounced "tar") for that.

More questions I am afraid, but the more we know, the better we can help :p

Given you say your lappie is UEFI and you installed Arch to the external as UEFI, that might be the issue. The external is likely formatted as MS-DOS and would be better as GPT. The command to format it as GPT would be most easily performed from an Ubuntu stick or your Kali stick.

You didn't say whether the external HDD was powered or unpowered, but in either event:

Running from Windows, open your Disk Management while the external is switched on.

I'll illustrate what I am looking for, with this screenshot I just took from a Windows site:



In the bottom half, where there are what I will call "squares" labelled Disk 0 (zero), Disk 1 and CD-ROM 0 (zero), you can right-click those and there will be more information saying whether they are MSDOS or GPT. Right click the actual labels, not the blue-highlighted parts.

Perhaps you can give us some piccies of those? UEFI and GPT go hand in hand, they were made for each other.

If we reformat the external to GPT, we can use a tool called gdisk, which may complain that the drive is less than 2TB but it is a non-fatal error and will work. That can be done from one of the Live USB sticks with Linux on it.

WIZARD'S RECOMMENDED READING

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/windows-setup-installing-using-the-mbr-or-gpt-partition-style

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/mbr-to-gpt

Speccy is useful for reporting your Windows lappie specs and you can establish a link that you can provide us to see the configuration of the lappie.

https://support.piriform.com/hc/en-us/articles/204044334-How-do-I-download-Speccy-

From a Live USB stick with Linux on it, at Terminal:

Code:
man fdisk

# and

man gdisk
I've got to shoot through to do some other things, but if anyone happens along like @nuna , @atanere , @Condobloke , @JasKinasis or @arochester , and says "Wizard's talking through his wizards hat, just do this...", you're in safe hands and they are probably right :D

Cheers

Wizard
So, lets go from the beginning this was my fourth try before asking for help on here.

So the first try, The HDD was formatted as a MBR drive and I messed up the partitioning during the install.

Second try, The HDD again as MBR, The bootloader didn't install and then by the end of it all I figured out I need to have a GPT drive to do this properly (figured this out by reading a few threads and installation guides)

Third try, The HDD now formatted as a GPT drive and partitioned correctly and everything went properly but it still didn't boot up, So, I thought it was because I didn't mark the partition as bootable.

now we move on to this fourth and final try, Did everything as stated above in my request for help. (HDD is GPT)

And by powered or not powered I didn't quiet understand that. Its a normal plug and use HDD.
Screenshot (6).png


The external is the Disk 1, this is a screenshot of my Disk Management.

If you want my laptop specs I can list it down: -

Lenovo Ideapad 320

Intel Core i5-8250U
2TB HDD
AMD Radeon 530 4GB
8GB RAM
 

MZainKh

New Member
If Arch was installed on an external drive, it's probably the boot order needs to be changed in the BIOS/UEFI settings in order for the external drive to be given precedence/priority over the internal HDD.

If it's booting straight into Windows, then the windows boot manager is obviously being loaded. Indicating to me that grub must be installed on the external drive and that the internal HDD must have a higher priority/precedence in the boot order than the external drive.

So you may need to change the boot order to something like:
1. DVD
2. USB (your external drive)
3. HDD (the internal drive)

That way, when the external drive is plugged in/present, the PC will boot from the external drive via grub. And when it is NOT present, it will just boot from the internal drive straight into Windows via windows boot manager.

That would be my guess.

And if the external drive is ALWAYS going to be plugged in - then there is probably a way to reconfigure grub so you can choose between Windows or Linux if it doesn't already allow that.

But, as per wiz - I've never set up dual boot. I completely ditched Windows a long time ago!
Ahhhh, Thats the problem when I boot up with the HDD connected and go into BIOS to change the boot order the HDD is not displayed there.

So I can't change the boot order in order to go into Arch Linux
 

atanere

Moderator
Gold Supporter
Hi @MZainKh, and welcome!

Perhaps the simplest thing that might cause a hangup like this is Secure Boot. Have you disabled it in the BIOS settings? On reboot, the BIOS may require a 4-digit code to confirm that you want to disable this setting. After disabling Secure Boot, then reboot into BIOS and see if the external HDD is now visible and selectable. Disabling Secure Boot will not stop Windows from booting.

Also, even though your external HDD may not show up in BIOS, you may can boot on it from the BIOS boot menu... the same way as you would boot on a USB flash drive. Have you tried that?

I'm a distro hopper I guess and I wanted to settle down with Arch since it seems more flexible than other distros IMO.
Arch may be more flexible... but it's not more friendly. That's kind of why Ubuntu works out of the box. I'm not very familiar with Arch myself, but if the Secure Boot setting doesn't get you going, then I suspect that the issue may be due to where you put the bootloader... whether on the internal HDD or external. UEFI boot management is a pain sometimes, and so is Arch.

And by powered or not powered I didn't quiet understand that. Its a normal plug and use HDD.
Some external hard drives get their power from the USB cable only. Other external drives (usually the larger ones) need a wall cube power adaptor as the USB power is not enough.

Cheers
 

MZainKh

New Member
Hi @MZainKh, and welcome!

Perhaps the simplest thing that might cause a hangup like this is Secure Boot. Have you disabled it in the BIOS settings? On reboot, the BIOS may require a 4-digit code to confirm that you want to disable this setting. After disabling Secure Boot, then reboot into BIOS and see if the external HDD is now visible and selectable. Disabling Secure Boot will not stop Windows from booting.

Also, even though your external HDD may not show up in BIOS, you may can boot on it from the BIOS boot menu... the same way as you would boot on a USB flash drive. Have you tried that?


Arch may be more flexible... but it's not more friendly. That's kind of why Ubuntu works out of the box. I'm not very familiar with Arch myself, but if the Secure Boot setting doesn't get you going, then I suspect that the issue may be due to where you put the bootloader... whether on the internal HDD or external. UEFI boot management is a pain sometimes, and so is Arch.


Some external hard drives get their power from the USB cable only. Other external drives (usually the larger ones) need a wall cube power adaptor as the USB power is not enough.

Cheers
Secure boot was the first thing I disabled in order to boot into Arch Linux Live USB.

So, the problem is purely with the bootloader. I installed it on the external HDD (double checked it).

OH thats what he meant powered or not. No, My HDD is not powered through a wall socket its a normal HDD that just requires a USB cable to plug and use.

Also guys thanks for your help I really appreciate it. But, this got to the most annoying point so I ended up installing Ubuntu on the same HDD and that works fine, (Using Ubuntu RN from the external to reply to this)

THANKS GUYS.
 

atanere

Moderator
Gold Supporter
OK, great! I like the easy solutions myself! :D I would guess that it is possible to get Arch to work on external, but as you have found it is just not a plug-and-play Linux distro. And UEFI makes everything harder. :eek::confused::D

Cheers
 

MZainKh

New Member
OK, great! I like the easy solutions myself! :D I would guess that it is possible to get Arch to work on external, but as you have found it is just not a plug-and-play Linux distro. And UEFI makes everything harder. :eek::confused::D

Cheers
Yea thanks, Ubuntu works for now.
 

atanere

Moderator
Gold Supporter
Out of curiousity (not that you need to follow through to test it).... I wonder if the external w/Ubuntu will boot up on another computer. That is, I wonder if the bootloader is on your internal drive so that it is recognized. The UEFI boot system is not on the MBR like in old days... it is just a small partition and it can actually hold many bootloaders. Ubuntu obviously knew how to configure this easily, but Arch expected you to do this stuff manually.

Some folks choose a third party boot manager, like rEFInd, to sort out all this stuff, but I haven't had much luck with that either.

Cheers
 

MZainKh

New Member
Out of curiousity (not that you need to follow through to test it).... I wonder if the external w/Ubuntu will boot up on another computer. That is, I wonder if the bootloader is on your internal drive so that it is recognized. The UEFI boot system is not on the MBR like in old days... it is just a small partition and it can actually hold many bootloaders. Ubuntu obviously knew how to configure this easily, but Arch expected you to do this stuff manually.

Some folks choose a third party boot manager, like rEFInd, to sort out all this stuff, but I haven't had much luck with that either.

Cheers
I did it before it works I need to run only command in the windows CMD on that laptop before I can boot into Ubuntu with the external HDD.

bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi
 

atanere

Moderator
Gold Supporter
Okay, that sets the bootloader into your internal drive, as I thought might be happening. Beyond that, the GRUB files are stored on the external. I'm not quite saying this right... the grubx64.efi is kind of like a "shortcut"... pointing to the GRUB bootloader files. But the Ubuntu installation put those files in \EFI\ubuntu for you on the internal drive... not the Windows CMD. The Windows CMD is making the Windows boot manager look at the new entry there with the path statement.

Your external may or may not boot by itself, if attached to another computer.... similar to how a USB flash drive boots. Not that its a big deal... you've just piqued my curiosity about these setups. I may have to play with these on a rainy day sometime to try to understand it all better. But to do that I will have to re-install Windows 10, and I don't do that very often! :eek::D
 

MZainKh

New Member
Okay, that sets the bootloader into your internal drive, as I thought might be happening. Beyond that, the GRUB files are stored on the external. I'm not quite saying this right... the grubx64.efi is kind of like a "shortcut"... pointing to the GRUB bootloader files. But the Ubuntu installation put those files in \EFI\ubuntu for you on the internal drive... not the Windows CMD. The Windows CMD is making the Windows boot manager look at the new entry there with the path statement.

Your external may or may not boot by itself, if attached to another computer.... similar to how a USB flash drive boots. Not that its a big deal... you've just piqued my curiosity about these setups. I may have to play with these on a rainy day sometime to try to understand it all better. But to do that I will have to re-install Windows 10, and I don't do that very often! :eek::D
Its fun to this kind of stuff
 

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