efi may be mangled - help?

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

efi may be mangled - help?

Postby tpprynn » 2019-12-15 16:36

Hello. i'm hoping this is less of a problem than it feels.

I have a Lenovo 120s 11 inch laptop with the eemc type hard drive that came with Windows 10. Initially getting Linux on it was a trial but I have managed to have Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian on it since, ideally settling with Debian 10.2 LXDE 64 bit which I've downloaded today.

When I installed Xubuntu 16.04 a few months back the installer had the facility to make the efi partition. I don't fully understand if this efi/ uefi stuff is not actually a partition but a separate area seeing as it gets described as firmware. apologies if this creates confusion, i'll defer to your wisdom.

mint, Xubuntu and Debian seem to deal with efi differently, i.e. it was only with Xubuntu that I had to manually create the efi partition using the installer.

When I had Debian 9 the efi was done automatically and all went well.

I have installed 10 twice but it won' boot, and even in the bios-like screen there is still an entry for ubuntu (my old Xubuntu install). I have tried changing BIOs settings and one time Debian 10 booted, but I could not replicate that and am now in the process of reinstalling it with 'legacy boot' option selected.

I'm thinking I may end up temporarily reinstalling Windows in he hope that it will repair and overwrite everything, then I can wipe that and reinstall Debian 10.

Is that going to work? Is it necessary?

Why is there still a Xubuntu entry?

I hope I haven't bricked the laptop, if that is possible.

...Actually the new install boots if my usb key is plugged on, but won't otherwise.

Should I using the force uefi option during install? I've tried both. Can't blame the makers for their different means of implementing efi when they're trying to engineer round this Microsoft nonsense but if the means had been consistent I'd guess this wouldn't have gone wrong for me.

I don't usually mess things up these days and have become quite settled with LXDE and Debian but have got caught out this time.

Get me to clarify anything that needs it.

Thanks for any input.
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Joined: 2011-04-11 18:09

Re: efi may be mangled - help?

Postby tpprynn » 2019-12-15 17:30

Well I've now got the install booting all fine with no problems as such. Phew.

But, the Ubuntu entry is still listed in the 'BIOS'. Can I remove that? It's not essential I'd guess and I do fear doing something that will necessitate another install of Debian, but if it's a simple job I'd like to carry it out partly to learn (and overcome the terror).
Posts: 132
Joined: 2011-04-11 18:09

Re: efi may be mangled - help?

Postby Dai_trying » 2019-12-15 18:09

There is sometimes a UEFI settings section (still commonly referred to as BIOS settings) for adding/removing/renaming UEFI entries, but each manufacturer has its own version so could not say where to find it.

Also there is the package efibootmgr which if installed (I think it usually is) will enable you to add/remove/rename/re-order UEFI boot entries, although there are some UEFI implementations that do not seem to work well but all the machines I have used worked well so far.

A good place to start would be to backup your /boot/efi/EFI folder before making any changes (just in case) and then check the manpage for efibootmgr for all the options (hint -o for removal), and if you end up with boot errors you could boot a live-cd and restore from your backup and try again.
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