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Background: I have a preinstalled windows 8 desktop and am trying to uninstall windows 8 and install Ubuntu 12.10 with live DVD. I disabled secure boot. Am able to boot live DVD via boot menu only which brings up Ubuntu' s manual installation menu, I believe. But when trying to install Ubuntu 12.10 I get a blank screen. Completely black. So what I believe the problem is is that I did not create an EFI partition. If I'm wrong someone please correct me and assist.

Question: How do I create an EFI partition? Do I do this in Windows 8? Appreciate any help I can get.

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3 Answers 3

Since your desktop came with Windows 8 preinstalled I believe you already have an EFI partition. While in the live DVD Ubuntu session try to get gdisk installed via apt-get, and list the partitions with sudo gdisk -l /dev/sda. The partitions would be most likely in this order

  1. A small, under 1MB partition with code EF02
  2. The EFI partition with code EF00
  3. A windows Recovery Environment partition, code 2700
  4. A windows System Reserved partition containing the BCD, MSR code 0C01
  5. followed by the OS partition, perhaps code 0700

These short codes are gdisk's internal, in the GPT they have GUID corespondents.

If this is the partitioning scheme that you already have, you can leave the first four partitions untouched and either shrink or delete the Windows OS partition to make room for Ubuntu partitions. To shrink you'll have to get gparted installed, otherwise for deletion/creation you can stay within gdisk. If you deleted everything try to recreate this partitioning scheme under gdisk.

edit You can also do the partitioning from within Windows Disk Management, shrink the Windows NTFS partition and make the linux partitions, leaving them unformatted and with no assigned letters, then in the Ubuntu installer just assign them their respective mount points, type and format. It is potentially safer to continue partitioning the disk using the same tool that it was started with. /edit

About your blank screen, you might have a graphic card that still uses old BIOS functions, try to temporarily enable BIOS compatibility while doing the install, and make sure that you are booting your DVD under UEFI. If you boot the DVD under BIOS while trying to do an EFI install you might get into GPT issues.

If you install your Ubuntu with grub-efi-amd64-signed I believe you won't have to turn secure boot off.

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How would I temporary enable bios while doing the install? And I'm not sure how I install gdisk via apt-get when I'm stuck in the manual install where I believe its in grub and says try Ubuntu without installing, install Ubuntu, OEM install, check disc for defects. –  Monie Mar 16 '13 at 14:27
    
Some motherboard firmwares will let you enable UEFI and also let you "Load Legacy Option Rom" which means that drivers would be able to call legacy BIOS functions, with the OS booted under EFI. In grub go for 'Try Ubuntu without installing', where you'll be able to prepare the hard drive partitions using the Linux tools. There you'll be able to temporarily install gdisk and gparted in the live session ramdisk; if you boot from the CD for another session you'll have to install them again. –  Mike C. Mar 16 '13 at 14:57
    
2 things. I think legacy support is disabled. Second is when I try Ubuntu without installing I get that blank/black screen. Same goes for when install Ubuntu. –  Monie Mar 16 '13 at 15:16
    
Did you try to disable EFI and enable BIOS to see if you can boot the Ubuntu DVD on this motherboard? You can still work on the GPT partition table while booted from BIOS, just pay attention to which tools you are using, gdisk would be the safest. What is your motherboard model, I'd like to check their BIOS documentation to see whether they have this legacy option or not. While booting the DVD, try to modify the grub command line (press TAB with 'Try Ubuntu without installing' selected) and delete the 'quiet splash' options from the command line, to see the booting messages. –  Mike C. Mar 16 '13 at 16:24

Use gparted to create a FAT partition labeled EFI. You can then install grub2 onto it and use it as a boot device.

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I got gparted on a live dvd. Had to use the boot menu in order for it to work though. Booted it through EFI, I think. Gparted showed asked which to launch (default settings, fail boot something I believe etc. I hit enter on default and screen went black. –  Monie Mar 15 '13 at 4:24
    
Gparted is included in the Ubuntu live CD, so you can put it on a USB stick and boot from usb (should have an option to efi boot). Pop open gparted. If your partition table is not already gpt, you will need to make it gpt. –  Another Googler Mar 15 '13 at 16:42

GPT fdisk (AKA gdisk) is a really useful tool for everything to do with EFI and GPT. It is a utility from Rod Smith (he answers questions here on AskUbuntu I believe).

You can find the utility here:

http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/

I believe it allows for EFI System Partition (FAT) creation.

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