Ask Your Question

Windows 8 UEFI no longer boots after working Legacy/CSM install of Fedora 19

asked 2013-11-29 01:53:51 -0500

pawlx0r gravatar image

updated 2013-11-29 02:12:59 -0500


Okay, I decided to try and enhance my Linux skills, and I thought the best way to do this would be to dual boot and make myself buckle in. Sadly, I am running into some snags. I've read a ton about EFI, Secure Boot, and am trying to see if I can utilize rEFInd, but this has been a nightmare. This is what I get for buying a new laptop? sigh...

Here goes: I have an MSI GT70-OND Laptop that came pre-installed with Windows 8 64bit. It is an Nvidia Optimus setup: Nvidia GTX 675mx+Intel something or other It's a beast and it ran wonderfully. How dare I attempt Linux?! Anyway...

Windows 8 would only boot in UEFI mode with or without Secure Boot enabled. I can enable or disable Secure Boot I can -only- enable UEFI -or- Legacy mode --there is no UEFI with Legacy, etc.

I have the most current BIOS from MSI (Aptio)

After trying Linux Mint 64 (and LMDE 64) and pulling my hair out, then Debian 64, as well as reading and reading and reading I just could --not-- get any of them to install in EFI mode (always a blank screen despite 'nomodeset' and 90 other things) -- I finally installed Fedora 19 64 in Legacy/CSM mode to my slave drive and it worked beautifully.

Note: I made sure to setup /dev/sda2 which is my Windows EFI System Partition to mount to /boot/efi as instructed by many forum goers so it would be shared with Windows, but I found that after switching back to UEFI my "Windows Boot Manager" was no longer showing up and so Windows obviously could not boot.

Summary of Current Situation: Including as much as possible because I have been endlessly reading forums --

I can currently only boot Fedora 19 in Legacy/CSM mode and have been experimenting with rEFInd (and learning a hell of a lot, btw!). I read about the possibility of using Windows 8 repair disk to add the 'B' flag to the partition, using parted to remove the pmbr flag and a million other things like using rEFInd to switch Fedora to EFI, but I am just not certain and really -don't- want to hose this installation either.

Fast Boot is disabled

Secure Boot is disabled

UEFI is disabled

Legacy/CSM is enabled

Fedora 19 64bit (vmlinuz-3.11.9-200.fc19.x86_64) is installed and working on second hdd: (sata)(/dev/sdb) -only- in Legacy/CSM --Both hard drives are 100% accessible - I can see/use all of my Windows files (so there's that!)

Windows 8 64bit is still installed and not working or showing up in UEFI on primary hdd: (ssd)(/dev/sda) Bios Boot menu/UEFI no longer shows "Windows Boot Manager" as it previously did, nor will it even show the hard drive.

On Boot: In UEFI, F11 (Boot selector) shows nothing but Network boot, UEFI USB, etc. No HDD/Windows

In Legacy, F11 shows primary ...

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete


PKraszewski: "(I haven't sinned enough to use W8)" Actually, Windows 8 is pretty sweet once you get rid of the 'mobile-touch' interface with something like 'Start Menu 8'. I had zero problems the entire time I used it. It's fast and slick. I don't see why there is such hate for it. I've used every Windows since 3.1 except ME because.. ME... and have seen them steadily improve (every other edition). Other than this dual boot thing, it's been nothing but good times.

pawlx0r gravatar imagepawlx0r ( 2013-12-02 07:01:01 -0500 )edit

randomuser: "Try installing Fedora using UEFI; you can reuse the home partition and the experience will be much the same after.

Yeah, I may just try doing that once I get settled in. I read that having the newer kernel should prevent the 'blank screen' on install in EFI mode. I don't have a problem re-installing packages all that much, but if I can re-use the /home that might make it less painful. 'Course, I may just format and do a full on install to the primary drive and just preserve my Windows recovery partition(s). Is there a way to use the newer kernel and install with that?

pawlx0r gravatar imagepawlx0r ( 2013-12-02 07:01:09 -0500 )edit

You say that WIndows was installed in UEFI mode, you have disabled UEFI, and now Windows will not boot. FYI, this is the expected behavior!

randomuser gravatar imagerandomuser ( 2014-02-18 19:20:35 -0500 )edit

No. It would not boot in UEFI mode either. I ended up wiping and installing Fedora 20 Beta which ended up fixing the problem preventing UEFI booting to Fedora (Windows now being out of the picture). I'm currently running the latest Fedora 20 and have been since the end of this thread. I think my next 'experiment' is going to be to dual boot Ubuntu after restoring my Windows 8 install. I mainly did this for education and I have learned a hell of a lot. Trying to restore my Windows 8 recovery partitions should be a trip. :P

pawlx0r gravatar imagepawlx0r ( 2014-02-19 05:07:38 -0500 )edit

5 Answers

Sort by ยป oldest newest most voted

answered 2013-12-02 02:46:56 -0500

PKraszewski gravatar image

Well, I have both F20 and W7 in UEFI mode (I haven't sinned enough to use W8). First installed F20, then W7. Each has own UEFI boot partition and they both show in "bios". Fortunately F20 detects W7 and adds it to its own boot menu, so I don't have to switch OS in "BIOS".

edit flag offensive delete link more

answered 2013-12-01 14:17:18 -0500

pawlx0r gravatar image

updated 2013-12-01 14:27:52 -0500

You know... between all the Linux equivalents that I have found (Evolution, Pidgin, Terminal, Libre), how easily browser and email sync makes moving from one universe to the other, customization options, and the fact that all my Windows based files are still intact --I may just say ** it and reclaim the Windows installation space and go full on Fedora (or dual boot/virtual box another distro). It feels like I've tried nearly everything the internet and my own tinkering has presented as well as invested quite a lot of time into this and it is just a major hassle. I use my Windows 7 desktop for gaming anyway, so maybe I should have one full blown Linux box to force myself to learn. Maybe after I get Nvidia Optimus configured with Bumblebee, and am all 'settled in' then I could try and figure out if I can (or if it is necessary) to switch to EFI mode and say bye-bye to Windows 8 on this laptop. My only gripe with that is that I have some work related websites that practically require IE to function and are https which Wine seemed to choke on... I'm trying to convince them it's time to upgrade. Maybe a small virtual windows install to run IE would work...but, damn. :P

I would have liked to dual boot and I have learned a hell of a lot from trying to, but, well, damn. I feel like a lot of people are just as stumped or fed up as I am with it. ;p

If anyone can give some advice on the best way to switch Fedora to EFI even disregarding the safety of the Windows boot processes without causing me to have to attempt 'major surgery' on this install -or- my original request --I'd love to hear it. I appreciate those that have read my novel of a post and hope that it somehow helps someone in a similar bind. :D

edit flag offensive delete link more


UPDATE: I downloaded and loaded Fedora 20 Live Beta 5: Heisenberg and loaded it to USB and all my UEFI troubles went away. I feel like I've learned so much, and I am also KICKING myself at the same time because it installed withOUT a hitch.

Note: I had already blown out my Windows 8 install, but I have a good feeling that as long as you install it in UEFI mode and make sure to select your Windows EFI Partition as /boot/efi that it would have worked.

Oh well. Who needs Windows on 3 computers anyway? :P I'm just psyched this is working. Time to spread the news.

pawlx0r gravatar imagepawlx0r ( 2013-12-03 07:38:08 -0500 )edit

answered 2014-02-18 14:06:27 -0500

revher gravatar image

updated 2014-02-18 15:34:56 -0500

It seems that some systems are not able to read the EFI partition when the Disk flags: pmbr_boot is on as your parted is printing concerning your system (see ). Thus and it was the case for my HP Z230 workstation. Just type: parted disk_set pmbr_boot off
quit Verify with parted print and you will see that the pmbr_boot is cleared.

Now if you reboot, the /boot/EFI partition is read and you will get access again to your UEFI OS including Windows 8.1 .

edit flag offensive delete link more

answered 2013-12-02 02:15:50 -0500

I don't have a suggestion off hand on how to convert an existing Fedora installation to UEFI - usually the installer take care of the work, and it isn't easy to make UEFI hooks accessible when you BIOS boot. Try installing Fedora using UEFI; you can reuse the home partition and the experience will be much the same after.

As for restoring Windows to the system boot manager, take a look at efibootmgr. I had a similar situation and used a command like this to get things running:

efibootmgr -c -w -L Winders -d /dev/sdb -p 1 -l '\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgr.efi'

It didn't work immediately, but Windows managed to recover itself after booting that entry.

edit flag offensive delete link more

answered 2014-04-04 20:55:41 -0500

sea gravatar image

After you had installed Fedora in Legacy mode, be sure to enable UEFI again.

With F20, the legacy mode is no longer required to use, that is as long you use the EFI-Partition to mount to /boot/efi without formatting.

Otherwise, what is the output of efibootmgr in general.

edit flag offensive delete link more

Question Tools



Asked: 2013-11-29 01:53:51 -0500

Seen: 13,534 times

Last updated: Apr 04 '14