UEFI Boot only or BIOS locked and UEFI set


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[This page explains a solution, if a donated computer is only able to boot UEFI or the BIOS is locked (password unknown) and UEFI is set. If your computer is able to boot in legacy mode, you can skip this page]

Some years ago, back in 2013/2014, there was a technical and legal discussion ongoing, concerning SecureBoot and UEFI. Manufacturers argued that only UEFI boot will be enabled on their computer. But the EU and NGOs went to court and the judges decided that the computer manufacturers had to open the BIOS settings again, so users can choose, if the want the UEFI boot, legacy boot (the "old" boot") or both as boot options. Computer being produced before "UEFI only" and after switching back to a flexible boot option have no problem using Labtix and prepared Labdoo images.

But if a laptop was produced in those months of "UEFI only" during 2013/2014, it might cause problems running a Lubuntu based installation. As those "UEFI locked" laptops are special and as our Labdoo images are prepared for a Legacy installtion (not for UEFI), even Lubuntu is able to boot in UEFI mode. So very few donated laptops, being produced in 2013/2014 and locked to "UEFI only" need a special way of installation.

Another use case might be a locked BIOS. A computer was donated, but a BIOS password was not removed and is unknown. If in BIOS the boot option was set to "UEFI only/Secure boot" and cannot be switched back to "Legacy boot" due to password lock, you can go through the process below and use the computer for Labdoo afterwards.

If you are not able to solve it by using this wiki, please contact Labdoo helpers or hubs in your country / area and ask for support.

You can use the installation tool Labtix (recommended, supports UEFI boot) or Parted Magic. PXE is not possible, as you need to set certain options during the installation process and PXE does not allow access to those settings.

The sequence is

  • First install a small Xubuntu based image via cloning in a partition (Xubuntu is able to UEFI boot); a prepared image is available on FTP server http://ftp.labdoo.org/download/install-disk/special_images/,
  • Next install in a 2nd partition one of our Labdoo images, using a few different settings than usual
  • modify grub boot file,
  • after that the system will boot and a user will not even notice that this is a special "UEFI only"-laptop.
  • This solution works only for 80 GB disc-drives or bigger.

So here are the steps in details:

  1. Download the special UEFI-Boot image, available on our FTP-Server http://ftp.labdoo.org/download/install-disk/special_images/ and copy it to a local USB-drive or any local server.
  2. Start Labtix, start the tool Clonezilla (icon on Labtix desktop) and proceed, make the drive with the special UEFI-image available - Important: use "Expert mode" and "restoredisk", mark -icds option. For experts: Or install Xubuntu ( I guess any other UEFI-based *buntu will do it ) in UEFI-mode to the device.
  3. When you use the UEFI-only image the size of the sda2 partition is pre-set to 80 GB, so e.g. a Labdoo image for a 80 GB disc-drives fits in. If you want to install an image for a 160 GB or 250 GB disc you have to enlarge sda2 partition by GParted.
  4. Shut-down and reboot the device with Labtix.
  5. Start Clonezilla to replace sda2(!) of the installed UEFI-Boot image / Xubuntu by using "restoreparts" with sda1 of the Labdoo-image you want to install. Be sure to choose the target-partition sda2 when asked and the "-icds"-option in "Clonezilla advanced extra parameters". Be sure the option "-k Do NOT create a partition table..." is checked.
  6. After installing sda2, use GParted to maximize sda2. Check if the "boot"- and "esp"-flags are set on sda1. To get the UUID of sda2 rightclick on it and choose "Information". Mark the UUID and copy it with "Ctrl" + "C" to the clipboard.
  7. Edit /EFI/ubuntu/grub.cfg on the EFI-bootpartition ( normally sda1, the small partition with 512MB ) with Geany and replace the given UUID with the UUID of sda2 you copied from GParted. E.g. by open SpaceFM -> sda1 -> navigate to /EFI/ubuntu/grub.cfg -> right mouse click -> open > Geany editor -> in line 1 you will see a UUID -> mark it and paste the new UUID. Don't forget to save the file before closing Geany editor.
  8. Shut down the device and reboot it. Now it should boot in UEFI-mode and you wil see the Labdoo log-in.

This stuff is very technical and I did also not understand every detail :( But it works. If you are aware of an easier way of installation, please let us know. A special thank you goes to helpers from hub Rhein-Ruhr (Germany) for noticing and solving this specific problem.

Continue reading to the next page:
Sanitation Guide: PXE Over the Network

Go back to read the previous page:
Installed tools for Labtix