- A Voyager's Companion

UEFI Boot failure
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Author:  sailsanblas [ 30 Jan 2013, 10:17 ]
Post subject:  UEFI Boot failure

If your Navigatrix is not booting for your first attempt on a USB or DVD you may need to check out UEFI enabled boot options in your BIOS...err UEFI setup.

The Dell Inspiron 5520 has a new BIOS standard now called UEFI.
Booting unsigned code will train wreck your boot process and the whole thing comes to a halt on not being able to find the device you just booted from.

So it seems there are two options:

1. Disable the UEFI boot and enable legacy support, may not be possible for whatever reason.

propaganda here: ... r/ba-p/198


2. Navigatix needs to pay Ver$ign $99 and have a paper contract with Micro$oft AND go through 7 layers of Dante's Hell

reference here: ... i-signing/

Will update if we succeed to disable UEFI.
For me, this is just complicating the future of computers horribly and I will be avoiding UEFI devices like the plague.

Author:  Moe [ 02 Feb 2013, 02:49 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

How do you now if you have a UEFI secure boot problem?

According to one article I read....

Any computer with a Windows 8 logo sticker has Secure Boot enabled.

Therefore, as it stands now, Secure Boot can safely be disabled in order to use Navigatrix on one of these machines.

I don't know if the same can be said for Windows 8 and that Secure Boot must be turned back on so you can boot into that system.

Author:  sailsanblas [ 05 Feb 2013, 11:23 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

I was NOT able to successfully boot from the Dell Inspiron mentioned above after disabling UEFI.

Even if your equipment says it boots WIndows 8 or whatever WITH secure boot, that does NOT mean you will boot Navigatrix. Most likely you can abandon Navigatirx on a UEFI machine.

Your only sliver of hope would be if you can change the settings in UEFI to disable secure boot and enable legacy support and even that may not work as proven with my hardware.

Secure boot is not a new standard by the age of things, however, it is now being implmented and new computers will most likely have UEFI unfortunatly.

Looks like the consortium of Intel, Micro$oft, et working to block anyone from changing WIndows products. So buyer be ware.

Author:  sailsanblas [ 09 Feb 2013, 14:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure


Here is some information for the Navigatrix programers. ... r-released

There is now a way to boot linux in a UEFI machine.
But we will either have to wait for a new Navigatrix release or someone who has the urge to make their own hacked Navigatrix release.

What a tradgey the UEFI crap is creating.
Other posts on these forums indicated people having boot problems but they don't even realise it's a UEFI issue.

The computers that are being manufactered are even implementing broken versions of the standard or a UEFI setup SHOWING "disable options" but it really does NOT disable.

What a wiin for Micro$oft.

Author:  Moe [ 09 Feb 2013, 18:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

sailsanblas wrote:
What a wiin for Micro$oft.

I think actually a loss for everyone...including Microsoft.

"Secure Boot" is not secure. It should be called "Difficult Boot" as it will be difficult for most people except those who you don't want in your machine.

It is not going to do what it was designed to do; either if that was to provide a 'secure' environment to run an OS....or if it was stem the exodus and preserve market share. It will do neither.

Sure the current status keeps the timid locked down for a bit longer. But it is time that makes a well worn path; and in time that path will be transparent.

Microsoft looses more than is gained by this flanking manoeuvre.

With the peanut gallery they gain nothing. It doesn't matter to the punters. They are just there for the show and to see the funny animals.

This move will not attract those people on the fringes. Those who think; those who look for functionality; those who view themselves as more than cattle mooving toward the abattoir. Granted some will stay with the herd longer...others will leave when they are technologically able.

...and for the dyed in the wool detractors it is another nail in the coffin.

However, the major loss that damages the environment for everyone, even mean and greedy Steve Ballmer, is the attempt to end the open standard and open source of the personal computer that is responsible for the major and rapid advancement of the technology for the last 40 years...

While this waxing reflection might not be entirely appropriate for the Navigatrix support and troubleshooting forum; I do think the boot problems can be resolved.

Author:  Markus [ 18 Apr 2013, 03:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Another variant of the UEFI boot/install issue... :

I tried installing Navigatrix on a friend's new Asus laptop that came with Windows7 installed. When entering the BIOS setup at boot time, the menu choices indicate that this is a UEFI machine. The good news: We did get is to boot from a Navigatrix USB stick after some trial and error with the BIOS/UEFI setup options. The bad news: when trying to install Navigatrix via the "Harddisk Install Option" script, there was no option to install Navigatrix alongside Windws7, only to replace W7 entirely. This is the screen we got during setup:

[see attached image install_4of7.png]

When clicking on "Specify partitions manually" we got this partition table:

[see attached image install_5of8.png]

I'm guessing that I could select the third partition (dev/sda3) to be mounted at root and install nx there. However, based on the missing "side by side" option on the previous screen, I'm afraid the system would not allow GRUB to be installed in order to select between W7 and nx at boot. And I wasn't quite ready to find out the hard way and loose a friend in the process...

What I'm trying to find out is: Are we in the same UEFI dead end as sailsanblas even though we were able to boot from the stick (which didn't seem to be the case in the preceding thread)? Or is there some way to get nx installed alongside W7 with GRUB managing the choice between the two at boot?

Any insights / thoughts / ideas appreciated.


install_5of8.png [ 54.08 KiB | Viewed 21601 times ]
install_4of7.png [ 72.11 KiB | Viewed 21601 times ]

Author:  Moe [ 18 Apr 2013, 07:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Well isn't that funny...not ha ha funny but strange.

But not strange either. If you put GRUB on a UEFI machine it will delete the bootloader for Windows.

What is needed is GRUB2 which somehow magically protects the boot partition.

I've heard tell that you can install a linux distribution (like Navigatrix) through the BIOS and then bring in GRUB2 and you will then have a multiboot machine. That's the story anyway.

Now, the actual mechanics to pull this off...well, I've not looked into it and at this time of the night it looks like a chicken and egg know "Which comes first...?"

Author:  Markus [ 18 Apr 2013, 15:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Thanks, Moe - gives me something to look into.

Author:  Moe [ 18 Apr 2013, 18:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Yeah, it looks like you could shoehorn GRUB2 onto a USB install; manual install Navigatrix on a partition and then install GRUB2 into the proper partition....

Unfortunately I the devil is in the details.

I've a little too much on my plate presently (60 knot gusts expected in about 8 hours) to be any help and nothing to test...but you can figure it out.

Good luck.

Author:  Markus [ 18 Apr 2013, 22:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Thanks and good luck with getting the boat secured. Do you keep it in the water in Sydney?

Author:  Moe [ 18 Apr 2013, 23:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Yeah, thanks. We'll be alright. I put chaff gear on two days ago. Fetch will be less than 50 meters. Biggest problem is I have trouble juggling complex computer tasks as the weather turns.

Just finished all the Customs and importation inspection rigamarole two days ago. All painless...tedious, but painless. Nice, friendly, profession agents as long as you're straightforward.

Author:  Moe [ 19 Apr 2013, 03:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Markus, I'm waiting for the wind and it's not far.

This guy has the simplest method I found so far

His method is for 64 bit Debian and it looks like he covers all the bases. But it doesn't mean that it will work and I'm currently at a loss for an easy way to get a good GRUB.

Author:  Markus [ 19 Apr 2013, 16:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Many thanks, Moe, this looks promising (much more so than the stuff I found elsewhere). Will give it a try as soon as I have enough bandwidth to download Parted Magic.

Looks like the strongest winds should be through now and that squash zone is slowly relaxing?

Author:  Moe [ 19 Apr 2013, 17:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Easy peasy non event. Any wind blew over the top of the hill. Now it's just an occasional bucket of rain.

In the repository I notice grub-efi-ia32. Installation removes grub-pc.

I'll stop commenting and distracting from the peanut gallery. I bought a new UEFI motherboard a few months ago to do some testing, but I didn't think the whole thing through.

Navigatrix on the stick won't boot under strict UEFI. But the UEFI interface on this motherboard allows 'legacy' boots. From what I hear a few machines don't allow this. But for those that do, it a loophole big enough to step through.

What I didn't think through was I don't have a UFEI version of Windows already installed....

In short I'm not much help.

Let us know how it goes, and...good luck.

Author:  Markus [ 05 May 2013, 20:27 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

I finally figured out that I was barking up the wrong tree... the ASUS 1225B notebook I was looking at apparently came with an UEFI motherboard (hence the UEFI entries in the BIOS boot menu) but with a "legacy" (MBR rather than GPT) harddrive. Navigatrix' refusal to install itself alongside Windows 7 had nothing to do with UEFI/GPT but was simply due to the fact that there were already 4 primary partitions on the device... After deleting one of those and replacing it by an extended partition the Navigatrix installer did its usual smooth job... GRUB initially fails to find the Windows 7 boatloader but that could easily be rectified with the GRUB customizer. I learned a few things about the linux/UEFI issus in the process which I'll write up in a separate post here shortly.

One issue remains however: When booting Navigatrix from the harddrive everything looks fine but when the system is up it recognizes neither keyboard nor touchpad on the laptop. No error messages - no no reaction to any keyboard/touchpad activity. When booting nx from the USB stick on the same laptop, keyboard and touchpad work fine. Also - when booting from the harddrive - it does recognize a USB mouse.

Any ideas/suggestions to how keyboard and touchpad can be revived after a boot from the harddrive?

Many thanks!

Author:  Moe [ 05 May 2013, 21:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Try editng the GRUB command 'e' to edit the commands before booting

Add to the end...

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash i8042.reset i8042.nomux"

That was the bug fix for the Asus 1225B.

Some folk with either Viao or Asus computers running Mint or Ubuntu have used i8042.reset i8042.nomux i8042.nopnp i8042.noloop I'm not sure if it's necessary....but it might be.

See if that does the trick. If it does then the menu can be permanently changed.

sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
at line 10
sudo update-grub
sudo reboot

Author:  Markus [ 06 May 2013, 01:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: UEFI Boot failure

Thanks Moe, you're a star! Of course we knew that before...
Works like a charm now. That is one arcane option... btw, the Asus laptop in question belongs to Kay and Heike on Victoria (blue 40' steel sloop with two little kids on board) whom I believe you have met off Lape Island in Tonga?

Some of the UEFI stuff I came across while chasing down the wrong alley on this issue seemed relevant/interesting. Ignore if this is old news to you...

From what I understand in this thread we are actually talking about 2.5 separate but related issues:

(1a) (U)EFI as a replacement for BIOS on newer motherboards (originally introduced by Intel as "Extensible Firmware Interface")

(1b) GPT ("GUID Partition Table") formatted harddisk devices as a replacement for MBR partition tables, Although GPT is part of the EFI spec, it is possible to have a EFI motherboard with a "legacy" MBR disk (with a BIOS boot partition and without an EFI System Partition/ESP) as was the case with the Asus laptop above.

(2) Microsoft's "Secure Boot" brainchild with which any computer that is factory-equipped with Windows 8 is blessed. The mechanism employed for Secure Boot (firmware checking for a cryptographic signature before running a boot loader) is enabled by EFI but on non-Wondows 8 PCs this mechanism is simply not used. Hence every Windows 8/Secure Boot computer uses EFI but not every EFI equipped hardware features "Secure Boot". For example, recent Windows 7 equipped PCs came on EFI hardware but without SB.

While (1) causes some transition issues it doesn't seem to be such a bad idea. On the whole the thing looks a bit more robust and logical that the old BIOS + duct tape approach. Linux can apparently boot under UEFI from kernel version 3.3 onwards. It looks like Navigatrix is currently based on a 3.0.9 kernel but an auxiliary "GPT/EFI aware" boot loader/manager (e.g. GRUB2) can be employed to boot older linux versions from a BIOS partition (which apparently can be established on a GPT storage device).

The so called "Secure Boot" scheme under (2) seems to be a different beast (as described earlier in this thread). However, from what I've read
(a) The Microsoft specification for Secure Boot actually requires that this feature can be switched off on Intel hardware (presumably via some kind of boot menu). On ARM machines however, Microsoft requires that SB *cannot* be switched off...
(b) There seem to be ways to install your own keys on these machines but that's probably not for the faint of heart (I'm trying to tempt you... ... eboot.html has details).

So if you have an ARM computer that came equipped with Windows 8 it looks like you are indeed out of luck as far as an easy way to get Navigatrix to run on it is concerned.

Regarding a Navigatrix installation on UEFI/GPT hardware (non-ARM/non-Secure Boot) the procedure seems to be as follows (I didn't have a chance to try this yet as the laptop I was looking at did not have a GPT harddrive):

(i) After booting Navigatrix from a USB stick (choosing a "legacy" option in the BIOS/UEFI boot menu and possibly disabling Secure Boot) one should be able to create an empty BIOS boot partition with the GParted version that comes with Navigatrix which should be GPT aware (with bios_grub flag on for this partition).

(ii) The big question then is if Navigatrix will be able to install itself into this new partition from the USB stick?? If so, this would have to be done without installing GRUB (which the NX installer would try to put in the MBR on a non-MBR disk). If NX cannot install itself into this partition then this is a dead end...

(iii) Booting the computer with some system that can read the "EFI System Partition" (ESP) on the GPT disk. This could be either an existing GPT aware OS already on the computer or another Live CD such as Parted Magic ( The harddrive's ESP should have a FAT32 filesystem that should be mountable from the Live CD system. Next: Copying the GRUB2 binary plus its configuration file in a folder on this filesystem. Details on the process as well as GRUB2 binaries and config files are on ... ation.html and respectively. Depending on the original sizing of the ESP, this partition may need to be enlarged as described in the link you had provided above.

(iv) GRUB may need to be told where the boot images / loaders that it should trigger are located

Of course I may have completely misunderstood the concept... in any case I'm keen to find an unsuspecting soul that will allow me to try this on their EFI/GPT hardware...

We're currently sitting out a passing low in Opua/Bay of Islands, waiting for the approach of a decent high to take us to Fiji. Currently, Friday looks like a good option, but forecasts are still pretty inconsistent from one run to the next. We shall see...

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