My ultimate goal is to get Ubuntu working on my new Sony Vaio Pro 13, a Haswell ultrabook. The hardware seems to be well-supported as I can boot a LiveCD and use the system fully for as long as I wish.
The Sony Vaio Pro 13 has a UEFI BIOS and seems to be tightly integrated with the Windows 8 which it came preinstalled with. I have tried multiple ways of installing Ubuntu 13.10 and none get me to a point where I can boot my machine into Ubuntu.
When performing the installation with the BIOS turned to Legacy mode, near the very end of the installation it crashes hard with a kernel panic ("not syncing: Attempted to kill init!"). Installation with UEFI turned on (Secure boot turned off) succeeds perfectly. However, upon rebooting I simply receive a BIOS screen saying that the Vaio could not boot Windows. Switching to Legacy mode nets me an 'Operating system not found' error.
As far as I can tell, the BIOS on this machine has absolutely no option to bring up a boot selection menu. When installing in Legacy mode, the Ubuntu installer recognizes that Windows 8 is present and I asked it to install in a dual-boot configuration. When installing in UEFI mode, the installer recognized the previously attempted Ubuntu installation (which failed with a kernel panic) but did not mention Windows 8 at all. I asked the installer to erase the prior Ubuntu install and replace it. The install succeeded without issue, but left my system in a state where it can not boot to either Ubuntu or Windows 8. I'm not terribly concerned about preserving Windows 8, but I would like to be able to boot SOME OS to use the machine... Right now I'm just using the LiveCD which works perfectly.
I'm an experienced Linux user and software developer, but I'm not very familiar with the changes UEFI brings with it. Is there a way for me to check if GRUB is present on the disk? Is there a way to force reinstallation of it?