Partitioning/BIOS Question

datajj

New Member
Hi,
I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. Hopefully I got the right forum. Apologize for the wordiness. Tried to give all info possible.

During installation of a new Linux distro I noticed that multiple distributions I had previously installed were remaining in the BIOS. I had no intention to run multiple distributions. This didn't appear to be distribution specific however the first distribution that was put on the machine was Ubuntu 18.04 which was eventually upgraded to Ubuntu 19.04 I then tried Debian 10 and Fedora 30. Those two remain, not sure which version of Ubuntu is still showing in BIO.

Things I tried are:
1. During installaton of new distribution I used the full disk during installation. Disk was formatted and data erased per installation process.
2. While in a distribution I tried format and delete the partitions through GNOME Disks

Both attempts ended the same. The original distributions still showing on BIOS. Concern is, since it is still showing in BIOS is this taking up space on the partition? Also, will it conflict with a different distribution? How would I go about removing from the BIOS previous distributions?
 


atanere

Well-Known Member
Hello @datajj, and welcome. Hmmm, that's interesting. I would think that the "full disk installation" would have removed any previous references to other operating systems because the bootloaders are stored on the hard drive, not in BIOS. If nothing else, I would probably go into BIOS and "Reset to default" and save it. That will certainly clear anything stored from external sources (operating systems). Depending on the operating system you are using, you may have to go back into BIOS and disable Secure Boot again, and maybe enable Legacy Mode (disable UEFI mode)... whatever changes you had to do to install the system you are using. Some systems will work with the default BIOS settings too, so only change them if needed.

Resetting the BIOS will not make changes to your hard drive itself, but it may keep the current Linux from booting unless or until you make any changes in BIOS that it needs to match. You might even want to do everything over from scratch.... reset the BIOS to default, and then install Linux again with a "full disk" method.

As far as how much space is this information taking up on your hard drive... it would be minimal and probably not much to worry about. If you don't have any conflicts now with your current Linux, you won't develop any new conflicts later.... the other bootloaders would just remain in the /efi partition and not be used.

Not sure which of the distros you want to keep, but I think if you reset your BIOS to defaults and then install Fedora, you should be able to leave the BIOS alone. I think Fedora will work fine with UEFI settings and with Secure Boot left enabled. Ubuntu 18.04 is the better choice because it is LTS (Long Term Support) instead of version 19.04. It is very possible that Ubuntu 18.04 will also work with default BIOS settings... sometimes it does, and sometimes it may be needed to make the changes mentioned already. I'm not sure about Debian... version 10 just came out, and I'm not sure if they have yet made UEFI and Secure Boot work easily.... so that one might need some changes to BIOS before installing.

Cheers
 

blackneos940

Active Member
Hello @datajj, and welcome. Hmmm, that's interesting. I would think that the "full disk installation" would have removed any previous references to other operating systems because the bootloaders are stored on the hard drive, not in BIOS. If nothing else, I would probably go into BIOS and "Reset to default" and save it. That will certainly clear anything stored from external sources (operating systems). Depending on the operating system you are using, you may have to go back into BIOS and disable Secure Boot again, and maybe enable Legacy Mode (disable UEFI mode)... whatever changes you had to do to install the system you are using. Some systems will work with the default BIOS settings too, so only change them if needed.

Resetting the BIOS will not make changes to your hard drive itself, but it may keep the current Linux from booting unless or until you make any changes in BIOS that it needs to match. You might even want to do everything over from scratch.... reset the BIOS to default, and then install Linux again with a "full disk" method.

As far as how much space is this information taking up on your hard drive... it would be minimal and probably not much to worry about. If you don't have any conflicts now with your current Linux, you won't develop any new conflicts later.... the other bootloaders would just remain in the /efi partition and not be used.

Not sure which of the distros you want to keep, but I think if you reset your BIOS to defaults and then install Fedora, you should be able to leave the BIOS alone. I think Fedora will work fine with UEFI settings and with Secure Boot left enabled. Ubuntu 18.04 is the better choice because it is LTS (Long Term Support) instead of version 19.04. It is very possible that Ubuntu 18.04 will also work with default BIOS settings... sometimes it does, and sometimes it may be needed to make the changes mentioned already. I'm not sure about Debian... version 10 just came out, and I'm not sure if they have yet made UEFI and Secure Boot work easily.... so that one might need some changes to BIOS before installing.

Cheers
Hey Homer! :3 How are ya, buddy? :3 This is good advice, but I've got something else the OP could try as well... ;)
 

blackneos940

Active Member
Hi,
I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. Hopefully I got the right forum. Apologize for the wordiness. Tried to give all info possible.

During installation of a new Linux distro I noticed that multiple distributions I had previously installed were remaining in the BIOS. I had no intention to run multiple distributions. This didn't appear to be distribution specific however the first distribution that was put on the machine was Ubuntu 18.04 which was eventually upgraded to Ubuntu 19.04 I then tried Debian 10 and Fedora 30. Those two remain, not sure which version of Ubuntu is still showing in BIO.

Things I tried are:
1. During installaton of new distribution I used the full disk during installation. Disk was formatted and data erased per installation process.
2. While in a distribution I tried format and delete the partitions through GNOME Disks

Both attempts ended the same. The original distributions still showing on BIOS. Concern is, since it is still showing in BIOS is this taking up space on the partition? Also, will it conflict with a different distribution? How would I go about removing from the BIOS previous distributions?
Welcome, good sir or maam! :3 Here's this link; I think it may help you. :3


Specifically, when you run sudo efibootmgr, it should show you the entry/entries you have in your UEFI. :) If indeed you are running with a UEFI, then Ubuntu should have installed it by default. :3 Fedora and Debian are UEFI-compatible now too, and have been for a time. :3 As an example string of Commands, you might run sudo efibootmgr -b 5 -B. When you copy and paste this, be VERY careful! :) 5 corresponds to the entry in your UEFI, starting from 0000. :) (I bet there are some people on this forum who would be just crazy enough to run over 9000 Distros on the same Drive, if they had such a big Drive ;).) I haven't analyzed the string of Commands to fully understand it all, but rest assured, this should do the trick, if Atanere's advice doesn't work out (it very likely should though). :) Remember: BE CAREFUL when pasting the Commands, or you may end up on these Forums again, asking for help on how to repair your Bootloader (we'd be more than happy to help you. :D) Well, check the link out, and be careful, and good Luck! ^^
 
Last edited by a moderator:

poorguy

Well-Known Member
FWIW

The first thing I would do is go to the manufacturers website and see if the offer a how to clear UEFI and EFI previous bios.

I personally know that it is available from HP manufacturer on how to clear UEFI and EFI previous bios.

If you can't find a solution that way search the manufacturers help forum they all have one.

Last but not least, perhaps a good old fashion Google search might pull up a solution it might take some searching so don't become discouraged.
 

blackneos940

Active Member
This doesn't hurt anything This is just a little storage area in UEFI that remembers paths to bootable files. Usually there is also an option to delete those boot options (just make sure you don't delete the one you are currently using).
Hey, I just noticed you posted this at 3:37... :3 If you have Military Time, it can be 13:37! XD
 

blackneos940

Active Member
FWIW

The first thing I would do is go to the manufacturers website and see if the offer a how to clear UEFI and EFI previous bios.

I personally know that it is available from HP manufacturer on how to clear UEFI and EFI previous bios.

If you can't find a solution that way search the manufacturers help forum they all have one.

Last but not least, perhaps a good old fashion Google search might pull up a solution it might take some searching so don't become discouraged.
+1 Like for telling someone to Google, but not being a jerk about it. :D People Online should learn from you and be more humble. ^^
 

datajj

New Member
Sorry for the delay in response. Been a bit behind on working this issue out but thankfully I got a good resource when I have some more time to get to fixing this issue and will keep this posted so others can use this as a resource if they have the same issue I have. :)
 
Last edited:

blackneos940

Active Member
Sorry for the delay in response. Been a bit behind on working this issue out but thankfully I got a good resource when I have some more time to get to fixing this issue and will keep this posted so others can use this as a resource if they have the same issue I have. :)
Hey, that's what these Forums are for. :) Good friends, and good help. That way, when all else has failed, people can search Online and find great Forums like this one... ;)
 

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