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Thread: Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    2

    Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

    Hi,

    I got a Packard Bell easy note ME69BMP (ENME69BMP). I am trying to get it to boot ***anything*** from USB at all. The goal would be to put some kind of Linux / Ubuntu on it but i got much less ambutious. It comes with Win8 , with secure boot eneabled. The BIOS is a InsydeH20 (InsydeH2O) Rev 5.0 showing upper right corner.

    I am aware of the BIOS / EFI / UEFI and the secure boot situation.

    Here is what I tried so far:
    - trying to set the BIOS to legacy (CSM?). But the BIOS menu does not offer anything like this. The manufacturer support told me to press F6 to switch to legacy mode - which the Netbook does not have.
    - all I can do is swtiching secure boot on and of (after setting the bios password).
    - when rebooting Win8 (holding the shift key) I can select an USB stick to boot from. However: when having added nothing to the NVRAM , the BIOS complains that it does not have an USB boot option (?). This changed when adding s.th. to the UEFI secure boot menu.
    - I can also add a trusted boot file to the NVRAM (a.g. bootx64.efi from an Ubuntu distribution). This results in the disk/file show up in the boot manager when pressing F12. However, the BIOS still does load Win8.
    - I tried different USB sticks. I tried FAT formatted and FAT32 formatted sticks. I tried Ubunto 64bit 12.04.2 13.04 and latest. I booted these sticks on a (non UEFI) PC, they work (in no UEFI and non secure mode though). I tried UNetbootin, LinuxLiveCreator and also putting the files from Win8 directly from an .iso to the stick.
    - I converted an USB stick from MBR to GPT. neither booted.
    - I tried getting into the advanced options of the BIOS by: pressing A after / before pressing F2. By pressing Ctrl-F1 in the BIOS. No success.
    - I tried connecting a USB CDROM. It does also not boot from there (but here the CDs are most likely NOT UEFI compatible)

    Here are my questions:
    1) what might I have done wrong preparing a UEFI bootable (secure) USB stick? In other words: what is a ***foolproof*** way to create a UEFI capable stick (to make sure this is not a source of faults)?
    2) what could I do to get the BIOS to offer legacy / CSM mode / advanced options? (flashing a modyfied BIOS might work, but I didnot find a suitable one yet)
    3) any other suggestions?

    I really read a lot: newspaper, Internet... I just am out of ideas.

    Bye & thanks for any help!! Uli

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    1,163

    Re: Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

    Booting from USB should be pretty straightforward, but with all the machine differences who knows what problems you will encounter. On the USB (remote media in UEFI terms), have a 300M FAT32 partition with the boot flag set. In this partition, have a directory EFI. In this directory, have directories Boot and ubuntu. In the /EFI/Boot directory, have a copy of shim.efi named bootx64.efi, and the signed copy of grubx64.efi (from /usr/lib/grub/efi (something like that?).The signed copy there is named grubx64.efi.signed, so copy and rename it. Now, in the /EFI/ubuntu directory, have your grub.cfg file. The file may be a full grub.cfg file or one that just pulls in the maintained one in /boot/grub (like 13.04 and later releases do).
    That's it. No nvram changes needed, since the usb boot should already be present. No hard disk EFI partition changes needed. Maybe set a password on the bios supervisor, and you might get more boot choices.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    Re: Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

    OK! I got all the files already in that places and am pretty sure they are allright, since I got them from the distribution. , I will just look through the grub.cfg to see if anything is all right there. Thanks! Uli

  4. #4
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    Mar 2011
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    Re: Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

    The location for the signed grub is /usr/lib/grub/x86_64-efi-signed/grubx64.efi.signed. You can tell it is the right one by the size. The setup I described was for Secure Boot enabled. I guess without Secure Boot enabled, you could copy the unsigned grubx64.efi to the EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi instead of shim.efi. With the right uuids in the grub.cfg, you can even boot Ubuntu on the internal hard disk instead of the USB. Good Luck.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2013
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    Re: Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

    Hi all,

    I'm planning to buy this laptop. Since my last laptop was "Win7" age, i've never had to deal with this secure boot stuff. I'll google it, but i'm wondering if there're easy tool to create a bootable USB key.
    @ukoepping, have you tried to open it? I've got this spare 64go SSD and would like to install it. Is it easy to open ?
    And what about the battery? How long does it last ?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Dec 2013
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    Re: Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

    Ok there's a long tutorial here in French : http://doc.ubuntu-fr.org/uefi

    The Packard Bell is the European clone of the Gateway LT41P04u. For the hdd and memory here's a bit of info in a Amazon.com comment :

    I just got it today. I like it so far. The price is right. It has Windows 8. The Haswell chip has good battery life (and good Linux support). It's small and light.

    I was a little surprised to see no wired Ethernet... but I guess that's like the Mac "Air" or a cell phone, so I can get a USB Enet adapter for a few bucks if I need to. Progress.

    I like look under the hood, so found out how to get the "door" off (I didn't find service manuals on the Gateway site, unlike Dell or Lenovo) : undo the clips at the top of the keyboard and then remove the 5 "door" screws. There is one socket for memory, so it's upgradeable. There is only one wifi antenna. The disk is easy to remove at this point.

    I'm trying to load Linux so I can dual boot it, but I'm struggling with the "secure boot".

    Here :
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-...#RR4AKCAUKCEEE
    Last edited by fabien-3; December 2nd, 2013 at 02:28 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

    I think the link to the UEFI instructions on the French site are essentially the same as this first link.

    Shows install with screen shots for both BIOS & UEFI, so you know which you are using.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI
    Also shows Windows 8 screens
    http://askubuntu.com/questions/22183...ndows-8-system
    Boot Repair -Also handles LVM, GPT, separate /boot and UEFI dual boot. required for UEFI & grub bug fixes
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair

    Both are by Yannubuntu who is the creator of Boot-Repair and is from France.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2013
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    Re: Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

    Hi!
    I've just bust this netbook yesterday and run into the same problems

    ... until I figured it out and it was not fun.

    The underlying problem is that, although it's a 64 bit cpu, the EFI (and windows) are both 32 bit. So, even if you do the "usual" procedure:
    - enable secureboot
    - select a trusted file to boot
    - press f12 on boot to choose the bootloader
    It will always return to the windows bootloader, because a 32bit EFI will not load the 64bit grubx64.efi on your installation medium (found in /efi/boot/grubx64.efi )

    After some research I found out that 32bit EFI grub/linux is not easy to get by. Ubuntu doesn't provide anything like that (with good reason)... but some years ago there were 32bit efi macbooks, so it's not impossible.
    I basically used my 64 bit pc to compile a 32bit, efi-supporting grub1.99 (use this as a guide: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFIBooting ), though you will have to manually change some Makefiles (disable -Werror ; and there is another error involving gets - just googling it will get you a one line sed-patch) - probably any newer version of grub will also work, but I've tried to stick to the instructions.

    Then, you will have to put your newly compiled 32bit-efi-grub (grub.efi and its modules) somewhere onto your usb-installation medium. Then choose this file in the EFI (with secureboot enabled, otherwise you won't be able to select anything) and reboot, pressing F12 and selecting the grub bootloader.

    Once I was in, I had to manually enter (i guess you could do that in some grub.cfg, but I don't know which path you would have to put that file in, so stick to manual control) the kernel & initrd path and load the (64bit) kernel.

    One thing: You will have to use the netboot kernel (get it from here: http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dis...netboot.tar.gz )

    So, your "EFI USB Stick" just has to contain:
    - 32 bit grub.efi + grub modules ( https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFIBooting )
    - netboot 64-bit linux-kernel (filename "linux") (in here: http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dis...netboot.tar.gz )
    - netboot 64-bit initrd (in here: http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dis...netboot.tar.gz )

    This is (probably) because ehci_hcd does not work, so once you boot your kernel, it won't recognise the usb-stick (or any other usb devices)
    I am currently compiling a new kernel so I can blacklist ehci_hcd (because in the default ubuntu kernel, it's built-in), if that won't work I will give the 32 bit kernel a try.

    I also experienced some problems with booting probably because of gfxmodes not set correctly. Just use some of the commands of the default ubuntu.iso's grub.cfg, if you don't know your grub commands (I don't and I will probably never like the new grub).

    Once you're in ubuntu, just install it but make sure you copy your own grub.efi into the EFI partition; then you have to choose the grub.efi file (now on your hd) in this less-than-useful efi and make it your default bootloader.
    You can always use your 32bit-efi-grub to load any kernels on your disks on any partition.

    Now, the only thing I have to figure out is how to get USB to work.
    It always gives me this error: device not accepting adress error -110

    lsusb only shows the main usb hub. since I've already tried changig most of usbcore-kernel options and some other (noapic, nolapic nomsi, noefi, ...) I'm waiting for the netbook to finish compiling a new kernel with ehcd_hci as a module.

    Please try to make it work, too, so you can help me with this damn usb thing...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Re: Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

    PS once you have your 32bit grub, it doesn't matter at all wether you enable secureboot or not.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2013
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    Re: Booting anything from UEFI USB - packard Bell ENME69BMP InsydeH2O

    you have to use the netboot kernel image, unless you get USB to work. Just in case I wasn't clear enough.
    Oh, and I did resize the NTFS partition from within windows.

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