HP Notebook dual boot Ubuntu and Windows 10 Legacy and UEFI mess.

Why?

I have a Yiynova tablet monitor. When I bought I thought I could just hook it up to my Windows 7 machine and start drawing. That did not happen. My video card had dual DVI outputs and this did not play well with the new monitor. I then found that installing the drivers for Linux was problematic. I decided to bite the bullet and bought a i5 HP notebook with HDMI out and Windows 10. I don’t like windows 10. I was fine with Windows desktop 3.11, 95, 98SE, XP and 7. All the other versions of Windows Desktop were bad, some worse than others. Back to the notebook. I loaded some drawing packages some I had purchased and others like Mypaint and Krita were Open Source. It seemed every time I went to use the computer Windows would peg out the system and I would be left frustrated that I could not use my own computer that Microsoft took over running all there crap and downloading half the internet and then installing more crap. I really do not like the way Microsoft decided how to update my system. I prefer Ubuntu and other Linux distros that pop up and let you know there is an update. You can decide if now would be a good time to update. If there is security updates involving the net then you can decide to run it immediately, but if you are doing something like writing a quick note or making some graphics you can wait and run the update after you are done or the next time you boot. So, I wound up not using this system.

Fast forward to this past week and I decided that I wanted to use it and I started the system and sure enough Microsoft took over the system. It said you still use the system while it was downloading and installing the latest updates. That was a lie. I tried to start Krita. After a while I thought “Did I double click hard enough?” After about another 5 minutes of waiting for it to start I got fed up. I used another laptop running Ubuntu to look up my options. I did find a post about using the Yiynova on Linux. I decided I would try that which led me to trying to get the HP notebook to dual boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu.

The adventure begins

I like Ubuntu Mate so I downloaded the latest 18.04 LTS and burned it to a DVD since the HP had a DVD drive. I booted the HP with Mate live DVD . I checked that the stylus for the Yiynova tracked and it did. I thought this is good, so I decided to do the install but then it got to the screen I was expecting to see install along side Windows but instead it over to erase the whole disk. I thought maybe this was because there was no free space. I rebooted the system into Windows and used the Disk Management to shrink the main partition. I now had almost have the 1TB drive available. The laptop still had the Windows partition as well as the recovery partition. Now back to the Live Mate and install. It still wanted to erase the whole drive so I did “Something else” I created a root and swap partition and then continued with the install. It erred when trying to create the boot information. There was a problem with UEFI.

I found out how to get into the BIOS – (F10). I looked at the boot options and it had Legacy support enabled. I thought that getting a UEFI error was weird since Legacy was there it should not have entered into it. Reading the BIOS screen for the boot order it said that UEFI would prioritize over the legacy support. I now thought the problem was the DVD was UEFI so I use Unetbootin to copy the Ubuntu Mate to a USB drive. I then booted the USB and attempted the install. It looked like it was installing and then erred when it tried to access the DVD drive. It then said it completed the install and I should reboot.

Not so fast

I rebooted and now found a new screen that said I had no OS. I went into the BIOS and disabled the legacy support. Same problem, still no OS but I now was presented with a diagnostic screen which only allowed checking the drive and memory. I switched back to Legacy mode. Back to the Live DVD. I used GParted to look at the disk and the windows and linux partitions were still there. I followed this site
https://howtoubuntu.org/how-to-repair-restore-reinstall-grub-2-with-a-ubuntu-live-cd
to try to fix grub. After this I at least got to the grub rescue when trying to boot. I figured the boot sector was still functional so at least I had hope I could get a working system at some point I may have to blast everything and at this point losing window was not going to break my heart.

No Escape…. but there is an ESC

After digging around the interweb I found that the HP notebook had three options when booting F10 BIOS, F2 – system diagnostics and ESC the OS boot manager. I had always thought legacy support on systems were an exclusive. Either you had UEFI or not. HP supports both at the same time. Now I knew what causing my problem. I started the computer hit the ESC key and then found the USB option under the legacy and booted that. I went through the install and again it erred on trying to access the DVD drive. I then went back to the live DVD and booted into that using the ESC option and selecting the DVD drive as legacy. I went through the install, it did find the previous version of 18.04 which I just had it erase an install for the umpteenth time. Since it was installing from the DVD this would take a while so I left and came back several minutes later to find that there were no errors and I could now reboot. I rebooted, removing the DVD and the familiar grub menu presented. I checked and the windows partition was listed. I booted into Ubuntu mate and then checked to make sure the stylus tracked. I had to turn off the laptop screen so the stylus did not spread across both screens and it looks like I have a working Yiynova drawing tablet monitor under Ubuntu. I installed Krita as an appimage and Mypaint flatpack. I tested out the pressure sensitivity and stylus tracking and it is working fine. I also booted into Windows to verify it still worked. It booted but then when I tried to shut it down it down it kept coming back. I hit the power button. At this point I am not that concerned with trashing windows as I should be able to recover it if necessary.

So

I am not sure how many systems use this UEFI and Legacy at the same time but if you want to dual boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu and for some reason Windows 10 was installed Legacy you will need to install it on from the DVD in legacy mode by hitting ESC on boot up and selecting the DVD under the legacy option. I am not sure but if you don’t have a DVD drive then booting from the USB and installing may work as the installer may not try to access a drive that does not exist. But since my does exist I had to use the DVD.

When booting a Live Ubuntu you can check if it is in UEFI mode by opening a terminal and checking for the existence of a directory “efi” in “/sys/firmware”.

TLDR

check if mixed UEFI/Legacy – use DVD install if drive exists – press ESC on boot up – select DVD legacy , install or maybe just blast windows just because.

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