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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
Slacko 5.4, UEFI and Windows 8
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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 755
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Sun 23 Dec 2012, 11:06    Post subject:  Slacko 5.4, UEFI and Windows 8
Subject description: Results of some attempts to get Slacko 5.4 to boot on Windows 8 Computer
 

I had to buy for work a computer. Yes, the economic times is causing employees to buy computers for their workplace. Do not ask why, you will only get an old man foaming at the mouth. I got a Compaq (HP) CQ58 with AMD C-60 processor and 2 Gigabytes of memory. of course, Windows 8 came with it. I want to have Puppy Linux on it.

I have been researching and testing Windows 8 and UEFI. It is definitely different. Arch Linux has an ISO version that is supposed to boot under UEFI. However, it will not boot automatically. Once has to register it will the UEFI. Windows 8 has a tool (bcdedit), but, the documentation on how to use is hard to find and very limited.

I also found the Compaq CQ58 was set up at the factory to make it difficult for the end user to get to the BIOS setup. The time delay after POST testing to UEFI boot was set to zero (0) seconds. One had to be pressing the ESC key rapidly after pressing the power on. The BIOS setup is very different from previous ones that I have seen.

The BIOS setup does have a UEFI boot sequence entry. Of course the first one was the hard disk. That is changed now. The HP technical support people are not free with information on booting another operating system other than Windows 8. One gets lots of fear uncertainty and doubt (FUD). It is the old "why are you so silly to want to use something other than Windows". There is a UEFI Boot Device entry, which one would think allows one to select a device to directly from which to boot. NO, it goes to UEFI database and allows one only to use the entries there. One needs to update the UEFI database first.

To update UEFI database, one needs to use bcdedit. I have found the limited documentation on bcdedit (and bcdboot). However, when I try to get information on the current setup with bcdedit /enum, all I get is an error message telling me that I do not have access privileges to the bcd database. An end user can not make a change to the UEFI information. I checked and my account is an administrator one. I also check the settings for bcdedit and see that I should be able to execute it. Windows 8 with UEFI turns the personal computer into an appliance. One can do only what the manufacturer and Microsoft wants you to do. In many ways, this is similar to what happened to cars with the introduction of engine control computers. It also forces you to their service departments at their rates.

The Windows 8 file explorer has been setup not to display information on recovery UEFI partitions. One can use the console command terminal to get some information, but the UEFI partition is still hidden. One needs to remember the old MSDOS commands to use it. Under control panel, there is an Administrative Tool entry. This will get you to the System Configuration tool that will show the hard disk partitions. Surprise, surprise, the disk is set up with four (4) partitions based on the available information. There is a manufacturer's recovery partition (NTFS),
the UEFI partition (file system is not reported, but, by spec is fat32), the
normal Windows NTFS (maybe GUID) partition and a NTFS Recovery (maybe GUID) partition. The old trick of reducing the size of the Windows NTFS to free space for a Linux partition may no longer work. I do not know enough about the GUID scheme for hard disk partition to say if one could use that to create new partitions for Linux.

The BIOS does support Legacy Booting. But, once again, selecting that option brings up warnings with FUD. It appears to me the best way to run Linux on this Compaq is to replace the hard drive and install Linux on the new drive. The good news is the price of 64 Gigabyte solid state drives are coming down. I have one on order and that will be the next experiment.

Over coming the FUD, I did try the Legacy Boot option. They do not make it easy. There are several checks and one has to enter a four digit number to get to finally boot. Slacko 5.5 live cdrom booted properly and worked. I went back to the UEFI (called secure boot) and Windows did start. It took some time, but, came up.

There are two different approaches to UEFI booting in the Linux community. Redhat is providing signed (by Verisign) software that can be registered (if you can regisiter it with UEFI using bcdedit). Canonical (Ubuntu) is using signed-shim and Grub 2. The rub with signed-shim is it is signed and can be registered with UEFI. But, Grub 2 is not, and one then has to use mokmanager to create a key for the signed-shim database. Neither approaches is easy for a new user to use and
a mistake could be a real problem. In the past, I had to help people restore the MBR because they used Grub and inadvertently changed it preventing the useof Windows.

My hope is that Syslinux (with Isolinux and other parts) becomes a signed boot loader that allows any Linux to be started without multiple registrations. If Syslinux included a tool for UFEI database then installations could be easily done. We will have to wait on that one.

I will post any additional test results on the ideas that I have. If you have any thoughts on what may work, please post them. Thanks in advance for any help with this one.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

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8-bit


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 3398
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun 23 Dec 2012, 13:14    Post subject:  

Your report helps in getting an idea of what one is up against in trying to install and be able to boot to Puppy/linux.
One thing that bothers me is that the option for Legacy Boot in the BIOS could be removed depending on how hard MS pushes the manufacturers.

And bcdedit can be a pain to understand and use.

I do not know if or how EasyBCD will get along with UEFI either.

I used EasyBCD to install Puppy on a Compaq desktop that had Vista installed.
And I have a live multi-session DVD of Puppy 5.28 that I can boot from and use on a Toshiba Satellite laptop that runs Win 7 64bit Home Premium.

The interesting thing to me is that when I bought the Toshiba Satellite 64bit duel core AMD processor 4 gigs of RAM, it was very very speedy in booting to the desktop.
After a few MS supposedly needed updates, that same laptop's booting has slowed to a crawl and even booting from a live DVD of Puppy Lucid 5.28 is slow although still faster than the Windows 64bit boot.

I let my daughter use the laptop for a while and am now wondering if it caught some malware that is setting up a virtual OS with hidden internet access.

I do not have any sensitive personal information on the laptop though.
It is just a matter of wanting my speed back as it is now slower booting than a single core laptop.

Anyway, keep us informed on your progress of getting a bootable install of Puppy with or without Win 8.
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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 755
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Sun 23 Dec 2012, 18:53    Post subject:  

Thank you for the reply, 8-bit. I have been inspecting the Windows XP system on my Acer Aspire computer. I have never gotten around to eliminating it. The space that I carved out for Puppy has been more than adequate. However, I did find that Windows XP (in recovery area partition) supported EFI boot and has a BCD database. I have used hexedit to review the contents of the BCD file. It does have references to the XP partitions. Which brings me to a question. Hopefully, someone can tell me how to get the GUID number for a partition. Does fdisk, cfdisk or GParted show the GUID information in GPT of a hard drive? If one of them does show GUID then how does one use it to get the information? Thanks for any help on this.

8-bit, here are some suggestions for the troublesome lap top. If you have a home router, then clear its logs. Turn off all other computers on the network, then turn on the lap top. Use another computer to inspect the router logs for what web sites has the lap top communicated. One can use IP address look up (web based, etc.) to find the out who is associated with the address. I did this awhile ago to show some IT people that Windows XP calls home to Microsoft at start up.

Alternatively, time the lap top start up time in an environment where it has no Internet connectivity. Do the same in an environment where it can connect to the Internet. If the no Internet connection start up time is significantly longer then other start up time, there is a high likelihood that it is calling home to someone. Checking the routing logs is the only way to determine where.

I hope the above helps you, 8-bit.

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01micko


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 7841
Location: qld

PostPosted: Sun 23 Dec 2012, 21:21    Post subject:  

JustGreg wrote:
Hopefully, someone can tell me how to get the GUID number for a partition.


Arch Wiki wrote:
GUID Partition Table (GPT) uses GUIDs (or UUIDs in linux world) to define partitions and its types


https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GUID_Partition_Table

Here's how you get the UUID;
Code:
# blkid /dev/sda1
/dev/sda1: LABEL="Slackware" UUID="c4440b44-d86a-4ecb-8878-5fa56f41cbf6" TYPE="ext3"
Obviously you need your device id in there.

JustGreg wrote:
My hope is that Syslinux (with Isolinux and other parts) becomes a signed boot loader that allows any Linux to be started without multiple registrations. If Syslinux included a tool for UFEI database then installations could be easily done. We will have to wait on that one.
Hopefully we don't wait too long Smile .

Arch Wiki wrote:
Note: Syslinux UEFI support is present in version 6.00-preXX and is currently of alpha quality. See UEFI_Bootloaders#SYSLINUX for more info.
Ref: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Syslinux

I'll be keeping an eye on Arch Wiki Wink

Cheers

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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 755
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec 2012, 09:33    Post subject:  

Thank you, 01micko for the information. I will use it and if I have any luck I will post the results. I do have an idea that I will be trying. I will be testing bcdedit to see if it will work under WINE. Windows 8 is mostly a user interface change and the addition of Microsoft "apps" (a new version of the old DOS terminate and stay resident programs). I suspect most of the apps are there to help Microsoft data mining efforts. There is plenty of good money in finding out what those consumers like. I have found several Windows XP programs work without a problem under Windows 8.

If bcdedit does work under WINE, then it may be possible to register a version of Linux after a legacy boot. This may be a way to get Linux to run under UEFI.

Thank you for all your efforts on Slacko, 01micko.

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8-bit


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 3398
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec 2012, 13:48    Post subject:  

JustGreg,

You might, if you have not, read the thread on UEFI here.
That thread has some information and utilities that might be of interest in setting up UEFI for Puppy.
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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 755
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec 2012, 15:19    Post subject:  

Thanks 8-bit. I will read the page. I have tied to use bcdedit under Wine. It failed due to bcdedit being a 64 bit process that will not run under 32 bits. Oh well, off to do some reading.
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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
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Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Tue 25 Dec 2012, 18:50    Post subject:
Subject description: Using blkid
 

I try blkid without any options. I got a list of all the partitions GUID numbers for my hard drive (sda). I did check the 128 bit numbers to those contained in the BCD database. The 128 bit numbers appear to be the certificate key value and not a partition GUID. Now to do some studying on how to use EFI tools.
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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec 2012, 11:43    Post subject:  

I have reached a dead end. It seems the UEFI BIOS will not allow anything other then what is registered in the Microsoft BCD file. I have tried the EFI tools. I get a error message saying "Not registered". I have also tried the UEFI shell. UEFI shell is an Intel software product for managing and controlling the UEFI process. I tried the Intel documented UEFI shell installation to a USB flash drive. Same error message occurs. It appears this HP Compaq will only run under UEFI the HP Diagnostics and Microsoft PE bootmanager.

I did find something interesting. It was using Acronis software to produce an ISO that uses Microsoft PE environment to allow the ISO to boot under Windows 7. Is anyone familiar with the product? The Windows version is not free. So, I do not want to buy it before having some idea that it work.
Thanks for any help.

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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec 2012, 12:53    Post subject:  

Much appreciated you started this thread.
Here in Sweden the big reseller chains have
cheap Win8 Laptop computers like this one
compaq-presario-cq58-15-6 for only 3000SEK some 380USD

http://www.elgiganten.se/product/datorer-tillbehor/barbar-dator/PRESCQ58241SO/compaq-presario-cq58-15-6-barbar-dator-cq58-241so

most likely same as HP Compaq Presario cq58-a10nr 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/HP-Compaq-Presario-cq58-a10nr-15-6-Inch/dp/B0085RUYHE

for 380USD which are among the most cheap 15" screen versions here.

I have not asked if it has UEFI or have the older BIOS though.
But I expect it is UEFI

so hope as many as possible share their expereince of new hardware
and if they manage to do dual booting on them.

Good that the CD/DVD does work but what about USB booting?
Have you tested such?

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kirk

Joined: 11 Nov 2005
Posts: 1437
Location: florida

PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec 2012, 13:04    Post subject:  

JustGreg,

I just got my daughter a Dell 13z that has UEFI/Secure boot/Windows 8. I did manage in install Fatdog64 on it using ReFind as the boot manager and compiling the kernel as a UEFI application. James got shim with mokmanager and grub2 working so I was able to boot with secure boot enabled as well. The next version of Fatdog64 (Don't know when) will support UEFI booting and Secure boot. Mokmanager is not user friendly at all, hopefully we can get something better. Maybe the Linux Foundation will get their loader signed and released. Right now we are very hesitant about supporting installs to a hard drive with Windows 8. Windows 8 has a new feature called "Fast Boot", which is really just hibernation. As you know the ESP (EFI System Partition) is Fat32. When Windows 8 hibernates it apparently doesn't flush its buffers and leaves the ESP mounted. So if you then boot another OS (which will also use the ESP) and then reboot the hibernated Windows 8, Windows will corrupt the ESP's filesystem. So to dual boot Windows 8 you must disable hibernation (aka Fast boot). If you decide to play with dual booting make sure you make a backup of everything on your ESP.
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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 755
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec 2012, 14:36    Post subject:  

kirk,

Thank you for the information! I will wait for fatdog64. It sounds like you are working the solution. One problem that I have noticed with these HP computer is HP has limited the UEFI to only Microsoft keys. I have been checking HP Support Forum. People are complaining but, the issue is being avoided. For example, I previously able to get information on the recovery partition (contains copies of the EFI partition files) using the command line. However after this last series of Windows 8 and HP supplied updates has eliminated all access to the recovery partition. Other sections of the c:\ hard drive have been hidden to prevent user interaction. The UEFI BIOS only runs HP Diagonstics and Microsoft Bootmanager. There is no shell functionality. When I could find the efi files, I did see bootmanager-noshell.efi. But, now I can see nothing under Windows 8 now.

Yes, I did find out about the "fast boot", which is not much faster than the slow boot. To make Windows 8 shut down completely, one has to hold down the "Shift" key while clicking on the shutdown entry of the power control "charm" icon. HP support people have you do that first when troubleshooting a problem.

I am trying to find out how to install properly the Intel EFI shell on this computer. The HP support people are overloaded with Windows 8 problems and not much help. If I have any luck, I will post the information here. It appears one needs a signature file (PSK) to do the registration with BCDedit.

Nooby, yes, the Compaq CQ58 is a nice computer with a dual core AMD C60 processor and 2 Gigabytes of memory. However, the experience of using it with Windows 8 has been a nightmare. I have downloaded over 1 Gigabyte to 1.5 Gigabytes of software updates. My joke with Windows 8 is Microsoft forgot to put the 9 before the 8, i.e. Windows 98. I had to disable the sound driver to install Windows 8 updates (large ones over 500 Megabytes). A HP supplied BIOS update has failed three times. The third time I had to re-install Windows 8, add all my software and appropriate updates. Only to have the third try with the update fail! I twisted the arm of the support personnel to finally tell me that the update was only for the wireless button (F12) to interface to Windows 8. We, collectively, gave up on that update. I think the problem with the BIOS update was the update package did contain the correct signature file, so it was rejected.

My advice to everyone is not to buy Windows 8 for at least several more months (may be March/April). Microsoft has decided to make Windows secure by only allowing Microsoft products. Windows 8 is not happy when one tries to install Mozilla FireFox browser.

Hopefully, FATDOG Puppy will make mine usable.

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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec 2012, 14:45    Post subject:  

Thanks Greg for warning me about that cheap computer
being that troublesome.

Kirk, much appreciated you care about getting Fatdog64
to boot on such new machines.

would that allow that if one first manage to get Fatdog64 going
then one can do frugal install of any kind of puppy later too
and also to dual boot them as long as one keep the Fatdog64?

Fatdog64 providing the means to get into the boot process
outside of the Ms Win8 thing?

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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
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Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec 2012, 16:31    Post subject:  

Well, isn't this Secure Boot crapola a good reason to run Puppy from a multisession DVD then? Or will a UEFI BIOS not allow that either?
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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
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Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec 2012, 17:03    Post subject:  

Ms win say it is up to the maker of the hardware to decide
Ms say they only give advices and the maker has to decide.

I guess some makers will do what they need to get a good profit?

So what if they follow some advice to not allow even such boot up?
but some kind of rescue CD has to be allowed but maybe them have
the secret keys them pay for then? Just guessing.

We will know when somebody tell us it failed?
Unless we can persuade some reseller to actually test it
on many new machines?

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