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Thread: EFI Boot not working

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Beans
    4

    EFI Boot not working

    Hi -
    I'm a newbie to Linux using it to bring life to my old (2008) iMac.

    Long story short, I had 18.04 LTS installed and working just find pre-pandemic (~March 2020). Then, I booted it up again last week and the computer fails the fsck check. I was able to run it in recovery mode to run fsck and repair the error but now I still can't get the computer to boot.

    But then, I don't get the install/recovery mode/etc menu to come up. It is like it bypasses the USB boot (after it shows me the EFI menu?) and just boots from the machine's hard drive.
    Right after I click the Up Arrow, I get a message that (very quickly!) says "System BootOrder not found. Initializing Defaults." or something like that. It just flashes on the screen. Then, the computer just hangs on a maroon screen with a cursor in the upper left corner.

    I'm happy to fully reinstall the OS - it is just a computer for my kids who use browser-based apps. But right now I can't because it won't keep reading the USB drive to continue the process.

    Help? Right now the computer is completely unusable.
    Last edited by jablocher; January 6th, 2021 at 03:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Beans
    57,352

    Re: EFI Boot not working

    Thread moved to the "Apple Hardware Users" forum.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    I think I'm here! Maybe?
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: EFI Boot not working

    I believe some old Mac machines were 32bit and that can cause big problems with attempts to use Linux on them using EFI.

    I can't help any more with this as I have never used any Apple machines, but it may be worth investigating this possibility further.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SW Forida
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: EFI Boot not working

    I do not know Mac, but have this in my notes:
    Pre-2008 Macs mostly have IA32 EFI firmware while >=2008 Macs have mostly x86_64 EFI. All Macs capable of running Mac OS X Snow Leopard 64-bit Kernel have x86_64 EFI 1.x firmware.

    Installed Lubuntu 18.04 LTS on a MacBook Air 1,1 (early 2008)
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2402179
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Beans
    4

    Re: EFI Boot not working

    I had Ubuntu 18.04 LTS running on it already for months pre-COVID, so I don't think it is an architecture issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Beans
    4

    Re: EFI Boot not working

    FWIW: I tried a USB boot of an old Mac OS X image and that worked for some reason. As I said, I don't think it is an architecture issue because I ran 18.04 LTS for months on this computer before I had this issue. Or, maybe there is something about architcture I don't understand where it can run for a while but be unstable? I don't know. The computer is currently running fine on a Mac OSX and I'll likely reinstall Linux shortly since the old OS X (Mountain Lion, maybe 10 years old) won't run many new applications.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Beans
    244
    Distro
    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: EFI Boot not working

    Try this: (if you haven't damaged the Ubuntu drive, but it may also show the USB if you need it.)
    Power on
    Immediately hold down the Option Key and hold it until you see the Mac's boot selector come up
    Select the Ubuntu disk for boot and then click on the right arrow to start the boot.
    After doing this once, you should get the ubuntu grub boot picker each time. If not, your backup battery may be dead. It remembers boot drive, system time, screen resolution, etc.
    Last edited by gsahli; January 17th, 2021 at 05:28 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Beans
    4

    Re: EFI Boot not working

    I didn't try this, but I did end up fixing the issue. I had to re-install an old Mac OS X (Mountain Lion) which got the computer to boot again. Then, I partitioned the drive and installed Ubuntu 18.04 again maintaining the dual boot option.

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