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Edit:

I was told that my question was confusing and couldn't be understood. I'm completely rewriting it so it will make sense. Same question, just rewiting it.

Here it is...

-> I'm installing a 64 bit Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop as a uefi install. I've been using the 64 bit alternate install cd. Right after the partitioning step I get the following error.

--------------------------------| [!!] Partition disks |-------------------------------------

The attempt to mount a file system with type vfat in SCSI1 (0.0.0), partition #1 (sda) at
/boot/efi failed.

You may resume partitioning from the partitioning menu.

Do you want to resume partitioning?

<Go Back>                                                                   <Yes>    <No>

-> The layout I've chosen is to have / in a logical volume on top of raid. I know this is possible but is more challenging.

-> After reading up on a web site I was given, I think the best option is to install without any boot loader then install the boot loader manually after that. I need some feedback on that.

-> If I follow that plan, I need to know what to put in the ESP (ie: kernel? bootloader? initrd?).

-> If I follow that plan, I also need to know more detail about how to configure things and how to create the initrd properly so I can get at / in the boot process.

// =============================================== //

=> INFORMATION ABOUT THE CURRENT PARTITION LAYOUT:

(It is gpt on all disks)

// =============================================== //

There are 3, 3 tb disks in the desktop machine I'm installing on.

Partitioning, the boot flag, and partition types were done using gparted live (version: gparted-live-0.14.1-6-amd64).

  • /dev/sda1 is intended for the ESP (formatted in fat 32 @ 250 Mib/ 262 Mb)

  • There are sdb1 and sdc1 which are the same size as /dev/sda1 (250 Mib).

    • They are unformatted, and are just there as spacers so that the partitions following start in about the same pace on those disks.
  • sda2, sdb2 and sdc2 are just under 3 tb each (the lions share of the avialable disk space)

  • Swap partitions sda3, sdb3 and sdc3 are roughly 5.3 Mib each

  • Raid 5 (/dev/md0) was set up using the partitioner in ubuntu installer but not initialized/ built yet. It includes sda2, sdb2, and sdc2.

  • A volume group and logical volumes were created on /dev/md0, using the partitioner in the ubuntu installer. Those logical volumes are...

    • /system/root (place for the core system to reside @ 512 Mib/ 500 Mb)

    • and other's...

// ============================================== //

I think the best option is to install without any boot loader then install the boot loader manually after that. I need some feedback on that.

I need to know what to put in the ESP (ie: kernel? bootloader? initrd?).

I also need to know more detail about how to configure things and how to create the initrd properly so I can get at / in the boot process.

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2 Answers 2

I don't know why it failed to mount the filesystem. Before you proceed, though, you may want to read my Web page on EFI boot loaders for Linux. It contains a lot of background information you may find helpful. Also, I recently heard that Ubuntu 12.04.2 has been released, and it includes some improvements to its EFI support. Thus, if you're not already using that version, you might want to give it a try.

Beyond that, here's what I suggest:

  1. Before installing, use a Linux emergency disk to pre-partition the disks. Use a GUID Partition Table (GPT) scheme, create an EFI System Partition (ESP) on at least one disk, and create a separate non-RAID Linux /boot partition that uses ext2/3/4fs or ReiserFS. The former is required to boot an EFI-based computer. The latter isn't required by all boot loaders, but if you don't have such a partition, you'll be limited to using GRUB 2, which doesn't always work well. With a separate /boot partition, you'll be able to choose from among several boot loaders.
  2. When you boot the installer, drop to a shell and look for the directory /sys/firmware/efi. If it's not present, you've probably booted in BIOS mode, which won't work -- or at best, it will require jumping through some extra hoops after installation. Thus, if this directory is missing, reboot and try to find your firmware option to select the boot mode (BIOS/legacy/CSM vs. EFI/UEFI).
  3. If you still see the error that you report or if you can only boot in BIOS mode, you should be able to complete the installation and then install your boot loader or boot manager from an emergency system. This will require extra effort, but it can be done. See the page I referenced earlier on EFI boot loaders for details. If you can't figure out how to boot the installer in EFI mode, though, it's conceivable that your computer is BIOS-only or has such a buggy or restrictive EFI that it's not worth the effort to try to force an EFI-mode boot.
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Rod Smith, Well hello there! We talked before (the first time I tried to do this). You were a great help to me at that time, but I just wasn't confident in my ability to work through the issues. Now I have a little more ammo and I think I can really tackle these challenges. I'll definitely revisit the web site and look into the the things you mention here. Thank you again. Jake –  Jake Mar 19 '13 at 22:35
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Jake,

I had same error when I was trying to install EFI ubuntu 12.04. I had created an 300Mb EFI partition with gdisk (code ef00) on /dev/sda1/ using LiveCD, but I forgot to format the partition with mkfs

mkfs -t vfat /dev/<efi partition>

which solved the issue for me.

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