A couple of months ago, I was able to install Ubuntu on my wife's Macbook Air. At the time it was still running Lion when I wiped it. About a week later, we wiped Ubuntu and installed Mountain Lion. Recently, I decided I wanted to stick with Ubuntu and so went through the process of wiping OSX to install Ubuntu. However this time I was not able to because I can't seem to create an EFI partition any more.

I run the live USB disk, using this method this method to get it running. Use gparted to create a gpt partition table and create a 200 MB Fat 32 partition, giving it the boot option. When I then go through the install process, the option for making this particular partition an EFI partition doesn't show.

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong as I'm fairly certain this is what I did last time. My concern is that maybe installing Mountain Lion has changed the MBA's BIOS, which is causing this issue. The live USB tends to hang fairly often too which it never did before.

I've tried installing with Ubuntu 12.04.1 (no EFI partition), Ubuntu 12.04.1 DVD (freezes on Ubuntu loading screen), Ubuntu 12.04.1 +mac (no EFI partition, Ubuntu 12.10 beta (no EFI partition), and Ubuntu 11.10 (freezes on Ubuntu loading screen). Last time I did it with just 12.04 and so I'm not sure if that's a possibility but not sure where I can get a hold of that.

I really would appreciate any help. Thanks!


Your disk is GPT, so:

  1. Create either a BIOS-Boot partition, or an EFI partition. (depending on which mode your BIOS is setup to boot the disk)
  2. Then use Boot-Repair's Recommended repair to reinstall GRUB
  • I tried to create the BIOS-Boot partition but that didn't seem to work. paste.ubuntu.com/1231699 And I can't make an EFI Partition. I create the FAT32 partition with boot flag, but when I go through the installer, I can't choose ESP. Sep 28 '12 at 4:58
  • The Ubuntu installer will automatically detect and use the ESP, as long as it is FAT and has the boot flag. You don't need to select it.
    – LovinBuntu
    Oct 3 '12 at 21:14
  • paste.ubuntu.com/1262774 I'm kind of confused. What do I choose then if I don't select the partition to be ESP? Do I tell it not to use the partition? Or do I tell it to use it as a FAT32 partition? If the latter, what mount point do I give it? Oct 5 '12 at 21:39
  • Your BIOS is now setup to boot the liveUSB in Legacy mode (not UEFI), so it is probably also setup to boot the HDD in Legacy mode. In this case, you don't need an ESP but a BIOS-Boot partition. If you don't use the manual partitioning ("Something else"), the Ubuntu installer will create it automatically.
    – LovinBuntu
    Oct 9 '12 at 7:29

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