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Thread: How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

  1. #1
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    How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

    I try to install ubuntu 20.04 on my Acer Aspire V5 laptop containing windows 10 (upgraded from 7). My laptop has a non-uefi BIOS AFAIK. I cannot find any trace on UEFI or "legacy" in the BIOS and in a later stage boot-repair saves the day by copying the MBR back (more about that later). So I assume that it is a non-UEFI laptop.

    The reason I elaborate on this is when I try to install ubuntu the installer warns that I should add an EFI partition else the installation may crash. I ignored that, the grub-installer warned that it could not be executed on /dev/sda and crashed. Rebooting brought me into a basic GRUB> prompt that could not boot. I tried again by first creating an EFI partion of 855MiB but that had the same result. Boot repair was not able to make something out of this, its report is on pastebin. Fortunately boot-repair was able to restore the MBR and with that my old situation.

    My questions: can I install Ubuntu 20.04 on this laptop and if so, is there some link where on how to do that? Searches to installing ubuntu on non_UEFI systems yielded just links to installing on UEFI systems .
    Last edited by nocom2; May 27th, 2020 at 03:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

    Regardless of the firmware, BIOS or UEFI, the installer always installs in the same mode it was booted. So, if you were able to boot in UEFI mode, you have UEFI, not BIOS. But surely Windows is in BIOS/Legacy mode and Ubuntu should be installed in that mode as well in order to have a working dual-boot with Grub.

    Windows 7 was typically installed in BIOS/Legacy mode even in early UEFI machines and despite the fact that Windows 7 supports UEFI mode. Consequently the upgraded Windows 10 is also in BIOS/Legacy. So, either reinstall Windows and Ubuntu in UEFI mode or assure you're booting the Ubuntu installer in Legacy mode. You should see two entries for the USB device, one with "UEFI:" and other without it.

  3. #3
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    Re: How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

    See Boot-Repair in my signature below and follow the instructions there to run the Boot-Info-Script.

    Do not run the default repair just yet but simply copy back here the pastebin link you get which will show us a lot more about your system.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 20.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info --- SolvedThreads

  4. #4
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    Re: How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

    @ajgreeny

    Already in the OP: https://paste.ubuntu.com/p/qbv5PXCY73/

  5. #5
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    Re: How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

    The options I get are: - Ubuntu - Ubuntu (Safe Graphics) - OEM install - Boot from next volume - UEFI firmware settings Ubuntu graphics is same as ubuntu OEM i didn't try Boot next volume ends in a reboot UEFI firmware I get the error: error: can't find command fwsetup. Maybe It is an UEFU laptop, but why does the installer warn for not having an EFI partition and after installation the grub-installer crashes and why happens the same thing when I create an EFI partition?

  6. #6
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    Re: How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

    Again, hoe it boots is how it install. And because you see "UEFI firmware settings" you're clearly booting in UEFI mode.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI

    This shows the difference between the initial Grub menu when booting a live session.
    Again, without major changes - reinstallation of Windows in UEFI mode - you need to assure you're booting the Ubuntu USB in Legacy mode, the same as your current Windows.

  7. #7
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    Re: How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

    I have an old Lenovo which a BIOS/UEFI firmware setting allows you to set a preference which mode, UEFI or legacy, boots when both are present. Look for such a setting and set it to "legacy before UEFI".

  8. #8
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    Re: How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

    Thanks for all your help! I made it, but don 't ask me how. And sorry my previous mail was so terribly messed up. I had some bad experiences with legacy/UEFI in the past so that made me quite aware of the issue. I kn ow the settings for that in my PC, but really, there is no such settings in my Acer Aspecite V5 laptop. The BIO is extremely simple, when I skip over the Boot and Exit menu options their are exactly nine (9) options and none of it even borders on legacy or UEFI. I next did not want to mess up with my windows setup. Upgrade from windows 7, no CD anymore so that was what I really did not want to touch. CelticWarrior made my day telling me this was an UEFI laptop so it really had to be something during the install. I used the same UIbuntu iso, but this time I used BalenaEtcher to create the USB stick. This yielded other options during boot, I chose another one (third one, forgot how it was called) . This passed thru Grub install. Thanks guys!
    Last edited by nocom2; May 27th, 2020 at 07:29 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

    Two other V5 installs.
    How to install Ubuntu for dual-boot with Windows 8 on Acer Aspire V5-551G. Post #3 Supervisory password required
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2176273
    Acer V5-571P-6815 secure boot off worked Shows Diskpart
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2081311
    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.

  10. #10
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    Re: How to install ubuntu 20.04 on non UEFI machine

    Just for general info: 20.04 will install perfectly on BIOS machines, no issues.
    The first menu is "Start Ubuntu" - "Ubuntu (Safe Graphics)" - "Test Memory" - "Boot from first Hard Disk"

    Choose first option and it just runs.

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