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Thread: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

  1. #81
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    Re: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

    I'm losing hope ladies and/or gentlemen. I can't thank you enough for all the help that you've proffered.

    I'm backing up all that I have on a 1 TB SATA external HDD to anything that's lying around and available, then I'm going to format it, take it out of the case, and then I'm going to install it in this here junk PC and try to install Ubuntu on it from a live USB stick. I just hope that the BIOS/UEFI is going to allow it!
    Last edited by tahitiwibble; August 8th, 2021 at 02:19 AM. Reason: Modified gender specific phrase, removed implied vulgarity.

  2. #82
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    Re: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

    Another suggestion - although a bit bizarre:-

    Remove internal ssd
    Boot into live session
    Install to a second USB device larger than, say, 16GB
    Full installation with user account
    Double check that you that you have installed in UEFI mode
    Ensure that Grub will be visible when installed USB is booted
    Power off when done
    Remove live USB
    Boot USB with user account

    Does Grub appear?

    Edit: I wrote this before seeing your post 81 - similar idea
    Last edited by tea for one; August 6th, 2021 at 08:36 AM.

  3. #83
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    Re: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

    Quote Originally Posted by tahitiwibble View Post
    I have yes, that and a thousand other variations of key combinations.
    Does it have a PS/2 port? If so, can you try a PS/2 keyboard?

  4. #84
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    Re: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobunderwood99 View Post
    Does it have a PS/2 port? If so, can you try a PS/2 keyboard?
    Thank you for your enthusiasm. If you read posts from the thread, you would see that it is a very new Mini PC (Post #1 and many other posts have the model and specs), that only has USB...

    Many things have been tried, which you are now repeating. Please read the posts from the thread. Maybe you might see something that hasn't been suggested yet, or have a fresh perspective(?)

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  5. #85
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    Re: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

    I have another idea. It goes along with "Tea For One"... If he uses one of his USB Keys, and installed to it as a USB storage device as USB Storage, Ensures it installs as UEFI... Install from the Try Desktop... Also it would need to install as a minimal install. That would still leave run, but this would be for a persistent toolset. Then before the reboot, goes back to the desktop...

    At that point, (or after a reboot to the LiveCD USB) then he can mount the system of the Installed system on that USB Media... and change the Grub menu to always display (type=Menu, instead of hidden) then update Grub...

    Then when he boots from that, he would have an UEFI Grub menu to get into his UEFI Firmware Setup... To change the boot order, for him to be able to boot from USB, with his SSD installed/connected.

    Not understanding why this still does not boot from that SuperGrub USB, or any other USB media besides the Ubuntu LiveCD... The above may not boot... Just as another External Drive may not work. Easier to find out if it will temporarily do it to a USB key that an External Drive.

    My other concern of connecting an external drive, if it is SATA, rather than SSD, without connecting to an externally powered USB Hub, is that the current draw may be to much for that Mini PC... I mentioned that it doesn't have conventional power supply right? And that (my guess, because he didn't confirm) it looks like the power supply to it is external... So the current would be going through the board to the external source... (Such as to a tablet, notebook or laptop.) Non of the options of this say anything except SSD internally, which would be far less of a current draw. Am I the only one concerned about that? Just being cautious for his investment.
    ###
    EDIT: I'm going to test this here, with 21.04, a few different ways, to a USB key, and see what might be easiest for him. Maybe as (1) With Rufus as persistent LiveCD... (2) as installed as a USB Storage device.
    Last edited by MAFoElffen; August 7th, 2021 at 02:40 AM.

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  6. #86
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    Re: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

    Well, heck... LOL.
    Test, #1. I created a LiveCD image using Rufus, using the Ubuntu 21.04 Desktop LiveCD ISO and set to GPT partition, EFI boot, 4GB persistence... When burning with the currently new version of Rufus, it gives a message saying that Grub2 version on the ISO is older than the Version in Rufus, so I selected the newer version of Grub2... On booting an UEFI system with it, the Grub Menu displays, but the UEFI Firmware Setup menu item is not there. Dropping down to a Grub Command prompt, I can enter "fwsetup" and it does boot to the UEFI BIOS Firmware Settings page of the computer. Booting of the system, I see that the Timeout is set to 10 seconds and type as hidden. Since it is a live environment, even with persistence, you cannot update Grub Settings.

    Test 2: It is possible. The installer, without workarounds, says it's not possible to install to a USB Flash Drive... but if you trick it, it does. I installed it as if it was a GPT/EFI system. And it booted fine, but...

    It is not really a workable solution "performance wise". With current USB Flash Drive spec's, even if I used USB3.1, for the USB Flash drive itself, the effective read speed of the drive was 60mbs and the write speed was 30mbs. It was torture. I could change and save anything as if it was any other drive, but the performance of it was not anything I would recommend to anyone.

    It reminded me that there is still a need to create a LiveCD of a Text-Based minimal Linux System that runs on minimal resources, or to create an image based system like that of RaspPi, that is a compressed image... which both load th compressed image into a RAM Disk, to run from, and the later uses a pivot on shutdown, that saves the persistence of any changes the compressed system image. (notes to myself) That is how the LiveCD and that image gets it's performance, as usable. Avoiding the Read/write limitations of USB Flash drives, except when needed.

    Lessons Learned: Test #1 worked to be able to get into the UEFI Firmware Settings (manually, from the Grub CLI), if using Rufus to create the media with those options... See attached photo.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by MAFoElffen; August 7th, 2021 at 09:18 PM.

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  7. #87
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    Re: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

    Quote Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
    On booting an UEFI system with it, the Grub Menu displays, but the UEFI Firmware Setup menu item is not there.
    Prompted by your research, I thought that I would also experiment.

    Using Rufus 3.15 in Windows 10
    My ISO is xubuntu-21.04-core-amd64.iso from https://unit193.net/xubuntu/core/ (It is quite small and quick to burn to a USB drive)
    Live system booted and UEFI Firmware Settings was available in the Grub menu (line5)
    Clicking on UEFI Firmware Settings took me to the UEFI Set-Up as expected.

    I successfully tested on two devices:-
    Intel NUCi3BEH Desktop (2019 model)
    HP Stream 11.6" Netbook (2016 vintage)

    It's a bit baffling why your result was different to mine.............?
    I cannot believe that it was the different ISO?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #88
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    Re: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

    @MAFoElffen

    I was very curious why our live usb results were different, so I conducted a couple of more tests.

    Using Rufus 3.15 in Windows 10
    This time using Ubuntu 21.04 Desktop ISO

    Select persistence - UEFI Firmware Setup menu item is missing in Grub
    Do not select persistence - UEFI Firmware Settings was available in Grub

    I wonder if this is just Rufus?

    If you have some free time, can you double check?

  9. #89
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    Re: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

    @oldfred @MAFoElffen @tea for one

    Good morning/afternoon/evening to you sirs,

    I have salvaged a SATA 1 Tb HDD which is installed in my wonderful Chinese mini PC.

    I have installed Ubuntu 20.04 from my USB drive.

    Debrief to come.
    Last edited by tahitiwibble; August 8th, 2021 at 03:47 AM.

  10. #90
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    Re: How to enter BIOS on a mini PC with AMD processor?

    Quote Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
    My other concern of connecting an external drive, if it is SATA, rather than SSD, without connecting to an externally powered USB Hub, is that the current draw may be to much for that Mini PC... I mentioned that it doesn't have conventional power supply right? And that (my guess, because he didn't confirm) it looks like the power supply to it is external... So the current would be going through the board to the external source... (Such as to a tablet, notebook or laptop.) Non of the options of this say anything except SSD internally, which would be far less of a current draw. Am I the only one concerned about that? Just being cautious for his investment.
    Sorry for not getting back to you about the power supply. It is an external brick putting out 19v @3.42A.

    It's running, as I type this, the PC with an internal SATA HDD.
    Last edited by tahitiwibble; August 8th, 2021 at 04:09 AM.

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