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Thread: Lubuntu as default system (no screen for BIOS)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2021

    Lubuntu as default system (no screen for BIOS)


    Having already several computers running Ubuntu/Lubuntu, I am rather ok with the installation of Lubuntu alongside with Windows. But, today, I am stuck and would love the advice of the community!

    I am trying to have Lubuntu alongside Windows 8.1 on a laptop with no native screen (broken a few years ago and completely removed), for which I use a VGA screen.
    - Laptop is : HP Notebook 650 PC (2017)
    - Runs Win 8.1 fine with display on external VGA
    - I use my Live USB with Lubuntu 20.04 for the installation (have used it for other installation)

    What I have done so far :
    - prepared and shrinked Windows : OK
    - used the available space to install Lubuntu. Since it is EFI, it seems that I did not have to create a separate partition for boot)
    - installed Lubuntu : everything went smoothly. No errors, it seems installed OK.

    My issue is that it always start Windows.
    I have no screen until Windows is started, so :
    • I can not see the BIOS
    • I can not see if Windows boot manager displays or not

    What I have done so far :
    - tried to force the BIOS to use my external display (so I could at least view something and work from there!). None of the tricks I came across worked to force the display on the VGA screen.
    - ran grub-repair. There was a message mentioning that "Secure boot" was enabled. I forced the update of the BIOS and it seems to have disabled the secure mode.
    - ran a second time grub-repair to get the report.

    I paste here :
    - the info I get from grub-repair :
    - the boot repair summary after running the recommended repair :

    I am reaching the limit of my knowledge on this topic and would like your help if possible.

    What I would wish ideally : being able to choose between Lubuntu and Windows, with Lubuntu as default.

    Thank you!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Re: Lubuntu as default system (no screen for BIOS)

    Having already several computers running Ubuntu/Lubuntu, I am rather ok with the installation of Lubuntu alongside with Windows. But, today, I am stuck and would love the advice of the community!
    Advice: Don't post the same question twice minutes apart.

    As for the boot order - use an EFI Boot Manager to change the order. Oldfred is known for posting the relevant tools in the forums. I think efibootmgr is one.

    If grub is seen, that's far too late in the boot cycle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    London, England
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Lubuntu as default system (no screen for BIOS)

    This information might be of help. It is old information but it is from the same time period as Windows 8.

    Note this section:

    Case when Ubuntu must be installed in UEFI mode
    Having a PC with UEFI firmware does not mean that you need to install Ubuntu in UEFI mode. What is important is below:

    • if the other systems (Windows Vista/7/8, GNU/Linux...) of your computer are installed in UEFI mode, then you must install Ubuntu in UEFI mode too.
    • if the other systems (Windows, GNU/Linux...) of your computer are installed in Legacy (not-UEFI) mode, then you must install Ubuntu in Legacy mode too. Eg if your computer is old (<2010), is 32bits, or was sold with a pre-installed Windows XP.

    • if Ubuntu is the only operating system on your computer, then it does not matter whether you install Ubuntu in UEFI mode or not.

    If you load Lubuntu 20.04 USB memory stick in UEFI mode, then Lubuntu will install in UEFI mode and the Lubuntu boot loader (Grub) will give an option to load Lubuntu or Windows. But if Windows 8 and Lubuntu are installed in different modes, then you will get a situation like this. I think.

    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2021

    Re: Lubuntu as default system (no screen for BIOS)

    Have similar problems. I had Windows 7 SP1 originally installed and after installing Lubuntu 21.04, there are no possibility to boot Windows. Not even Windows own tools are capable to fix the mess. After reinstalling Windows, it's not possible to boot Lubuntu (obviously). Even though I would like to ditch Windows completely, I still use software that don't have any serious match in the Linux world, like raw photo and sound editing, so I'm stuck with those I have ... I also do some work related stuff in Windows, that can't be done in Linux. Have been looking at Wine and Virtual Box, but have neither time nor desire to mess with those. Virtual Box seems to be the easiest one, but discovered that it don't use correct full screen size and at best, I end up with 1024x768 on a 1920x1080 screen - correct proportions with wide black border, so no ...

    At first, I used some HDD's in RAID mode 0 in Windows, but Lubuntu don't recognise the setup of those drives. Easy fix though, but time consuming, as the HDD's of concern are two 75% full 4TB disks (photos & sound files). In the BIOS settings, there are three HDD controller modes available for both controllers - IDE, AHCI and RAID. I'm now using only the AHCI.

    The first attempt of installing Lubuntu, it chose to install GRUB on the only HDD available on the secondary controller (!), which is a removable HDD (hot plug) - a backup disk, despite the Lubuntu disk was (is) located on the primary controller ... Without it, the system refuse to boot. The solution was to remove the HDD, reinstall Lubuntu and then reconnect the HDD. No HDD boot order settings in BIOS - only type order and which HDD controller to use for boot (primary, secondary or both - only used primary, but Lubuntu ignored the settings ...).

    Did several attempts to make it work, but GRUB[2] don't install properly - what so ever. It doesn't show up at boot, unless a 'Live' USB is used. The 'Live' version don't allow fixing the GRUB settings ... When trying to figure out what happen and after checking out advices on the Internet, I found out that GRUB do recognise the Windows installation, but apparently don't bother much about it. Not even after reinstalled both Windows and Lubuntu in that specific order. Have tried the GRUB repair utility, but no change.

    The motherboard is a Xeon E5 workstation type (X10DAi). Have also a computer with the server version (X10DRi), but that is only running Lubuntu, so no issues. At boot, the BIOS recognise that the shift key is pressed and reports that the related BIOS function is not supported (Only visible for couple of seconds. Seems to be a Supermicro thing, as I've not seen it with other brands ...)

    At the moment, a workaround is to switch between two hot swap disks. One with Windows and one with Lubuntu, but in the end, that doesn't make any sense ... (Mechanical wear and booting takes long time - over a minute, as it seems the POST process is done in a [slow] secure mode - no fast boot available.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Re: Lubuntu as default system (no screen for BIOS)

    You had windows 7 "originally" installed, what does that mean. Did you upgrade it to 8 or 10 or is it still 7? Windows 7 was almost always installed in Legacy/CSM mode and 8 and 10 almost always UEFI. Which mode are you currently using with windows? If it is a Legacy boot, you need to install Lubuntu in Legacy mode in order to boot it and windows from Grub. If you want to boot both in Legacy mode from the windows BCD bootloader, that's possible. Good luck with that.

    If you have windows installed in UEFI mode then it is necessary to install Lubuntu in UEFI mode if you expect to boot both from Grub.

    If you haven't resolved this problem, I would suggest you get boot repair from the link below. Use the 2nd option explained at the link below, select the Create BootInfo option in boot repair and post the link you get when it finishes here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SW Forida

    Re: Lubuntu as default system (no screen for BIOS)

    You show both Windows & Ubuntu installed in UEFI boot mode to gpt partitioned drive.
    But with HP, the use of efibootmgr seems to be limited.
    Many with HP update UEFI(may not be required) and then use HP's UEFI settings (not boot menu) to change boot order.

    Grub install (or total reinstall) also uses efibootmgr to install grub's UEFI entry & to change boot order to make the ubuntu entry first in boot order.
    Some with HP have said it boots once, but then HP reverts to Windows.
    UEFI boot install & repair info - Regularly Updated :
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.


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