Installing Debian 9.6.0 64BIT on Legacy BIOS

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Installing Debian 9.6.0 64BIT on Legacy BIOS

Postby Hennmann » 2018-12-10 01:20

I have an Acer Netbook with the 64 BIT N455 Atom 1.66ghz processor that is 64 bit compliant as everybody is heading toward 64 bit OS and leaving 32 bit behind.

While attempting to install the arm64 version RUFUS recognizes this as UEFI and doesn't give me the option of selecting BIOS and as a result BIOS thumbs it's nose at it and continues on to boot Windoze!
Also my Ubuntu has a Startup Disk utility that works very well for setting up bootable USB drives and it to didn't give BIOS boot as an option either.

Other than being required to use Debian 9.6.0-i386 what other versions of the Debian 9.6.0 are there out there that will run 64 bit in Legacy BIOS instead of UEFI?
32 BIT is an option but upgrading in the not too distant future could be a problem? This meager little Atom Bomb is 2010 vintage kind of at the edge of UEFI and other than the BIOS requirement is running a dual boot of Win 7 Starter edition 32 bit and Win 10 64 bit. Win 10 is a resource hog making the N455 a sloth with all the crap running in the background and Win 7 will soon be discontinued.

Why not use Ubuntu or Ubuntu? I have the Debian 9.6.0-i386 running on a 2004 vintage IBM Thinkpad with an Intel Pentium M series 1500 ghz CPU with 1280 Megs of RAM and it gives the user much more options but is a bit faster than the Acer with the Atom Bomb running Windows 10. The Thinkpad is more likely a candidate for Lubuntu or Puppy but is actually VERY usable with Debian and is actually running faster than the poor Atom on Win 10 so I would like to give it a try on the Acer!

As for the options provided using Debian I mentioned earlier I did a search for Debian VS Ubuntu giving pros and cons and the pros for Debian is it is very complete, well laid out, and very stable! The cons are not recommended for the beginner like myself as being quite a bit more extensive to install. My opinion to that is it is exactly the way Linux used to be I find. First of all I see the installation graphics, menu, etc., are like the older versions I first started trying over 10 years ago with more settings right off the bat:
You have to set up the network with a lot more settings which wasn't a problem for me but perhaps for others?
Partitioning was more extensive just like Mandrake 7 I have on hand INSTEAD of all the automation nonsense letting the OS set things up without the user really understanding what is going on and pretty much throwing everything onto one partition or should I say all of your fish in one kettle. A good non complicated straight forward partitioning tool with ease of use.
Root / account just like the good ol days! Reminded me of the older versions where you set up 2 accounts, User and Root. Naturally I set up / to limit me from messing up my system with ease :wink: and doing more research before its too late.

Ah yes more extensive and perhaps a bit more complicated for the beginner but makes one learn more and perhaps too much knowledge and learning is better than not enough?
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Re: Installing Debian 9.6.0 64BIT on Legacy BIOS

Postby llivv » 2018-12-10 04:00

Hennmann wrote:While attempting to install the arm64 version RUFUS recognizes this as UEFI

that's a typo - yes?

I hated to remove so much of you elequent post in the quote above, but please tell me that it's a typo
First thing I thought after scratching my noogbin about RUFUS was that you needed to change BIOS setting from uefi to legacy - than I remembered windblows might not like that too much. Maybe someone else knows for sure.
Than I noticed what I'm hoping is a simple typo.
Another story about how you choose the installation image might be fun to read. :wink:
In memory of Ian Ashley Murdock (1973 - 2015) founder of the Debian project.
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Re: Installing Debian 9.6.0 64BIT on Legacy BIOS

Postby Hennmann » 2018-12-10 21:15

No it isn't a typo and when creating a bootable USB using Rufus there is the drop down menu you can select UEFI only or UEFI and BIOS boot. My drop down ONLY gives UEFI and only UEFI. Debian 9.4.6.0i386 gives both being intended for 32 bit some of which are older BIOS only systems. Even the boot disc creater on Ubuntu is doing the same and you are welcome to give them both a try. If all you have to work with is BIOS you are out of luck.
I have an MSI Krait SLI 970A and it is UEFI, BUT in the settings gives UEFI and BIOS boot as an alternative OR only UEFI in case you are attempting to install older software I.E. Vista when there was no UEFI. My Acer BIOS has no UEFI or settings. It is 64 BIT capable even as a 2010 Intel. It can run Ubuntu which is only 64 BIT unless an older version which was either or.
My IBM Thinkpad 2004 vintage has the 9.4.6.0 i386 running on it quite well I might add but with an Intel Pentium M 1500ghz with 1280 megs of RAM it is a bit slow but not as bad as the Acer running Win 10. Major sloth with that resource hog!
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Re: Installing Debian 9.6.0 64BIT on Legacy BIOS

Postby 4D696B65 » 2018-12-10 21:23

you need amd64 not arm64
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Re: Installing Debian 9.6.0 64BIT on Legacy BIOS

Postby Hennmann » 2018-12-10 23:39

I'm also running into the same problem with Win 7 64 bit Home Premium and it as well doesn't give me the option for it treating it as UEFI as well! I have a number of Athlon series CPU AND they ALL predate UEFI and are a true 64 bit CPU!
The whole world doesn't revolve around UEFI in this case. Is there a work around for BIOS only systems for the 64 BIT if the options don't exist in the BIOS?
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Re: Installing Debian 9.6.0 64BIT on Legacy BIOS

Postby llivv » 2018-12-11 02:57

The typo I was referring to was Debian arm64 port.

see 4D696B65's post above: Debian amd64 architecture.

Regarding rufus I haven't used it but after rereading your OP I think maybe you might want to try uefi+bios (if rufus offers that option with an amd64 iso image).

If rufus sticks you with only uefi than use dd or a bunch of other free programs to copy the iso to usb stick/card....iso2usb
Of course if the windblows OS is what you are using rufus with I don't have a clue what could be the problem unless I guess and get lucky...
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Re: Installing Debian 9.6.0 64BIT on Legacy BIOS

Postby Hennmann » 2018-12-12 01:43

Well my "bad" or mistake using RUFUS as I stumbled upon the fact that after the ISO including Win7/64 Pro that after the ISO is selected, the Target system menu would default to UEFI and only UEFI and the Partition Scheme is at GPT which doesn't allow me to have options. I selected Partition scheme to MBR and now BIOS (or UEFI-CSM) now appears in the Target system! It puzzles me why Win7, Pro, and Home Premium 32 bit give both options but 64 bit in both versions only work this way.
Now for the Ubuntu Boot Disk Creator? No options of Partition Scheme or Target system are available.
Win 7/64 Pro is now installing on my Acer which isn't a real loss because I had Win7 Starter Edition and Win10 installed in a dual boot config. with Win 10 installed after creating a Win 10 boot loader giving me boot option of either or.
I installed Ubuntu with the GRUB bootloader in the Win 10 100 meg partition for boot and everything got loused up with Win 10 and 7 not being able to boot at all. A good excuse to rip Win 10 out because the Acer was a dog running on one front leg and one hind leg on that resource hog!! I will put 7 back in and install Debian second as a test to see if performance is great or a Lite version such as Lubuntu is in order.
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