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I recently purchased an Acer Aspire V15 notebook (model V3-572G-76EM) which came with Windows 8.1 preinstalled. My goal is to be able to dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu. However, I am stymied at this point.

I have managed to create a partition on the disk and install Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to it. However, the only way I could find to get the computer to recognize the Ubuntu live CD at startup was to disable UEFI. I can boot into Ubuntu if I go into the BIOS and disable UEFI. However, when I boot in this way, the GRUB does not display, so I don't have the option of booting into Windows. I can boot into Windows if I go into the BIOS and re-enable UEFI. However, if I do this with boot media selection enabled in the BIOS, and press F12 at system startup, the only available option is Windows Boot Loader. I don't find this to be a satisfactory solution for the long term.

I have read Dual boot Win 8 / Ubuntu loads only Win, Installing Ubuntu Alongside a Pre-Installed Windows with UEFI as well as a few other articles from askubuntu.com and the Ubuntu documentation site.

I have downloaded and run the Ubuntu Boot-Repair utility. It recognized the UEFI partition even when Ubuntu is running (necessarily) in Legacy mode, but cannot convert my existing (BIOS-based) Ubuntu installation to a UEFI installation unless Ubuntu is already running in UEFI mode, which doesn't help. What must I do to correct this and have a truly dual-boot system?

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Installing in BIOS/CSM/legacy mode was a mistake. You can probably overcome it as follows, although you may need to experiment and tweak this procedure a bit:

  1. Download a USB flash drive or CD-R image of my rEFInd boot manager.
  2. Prepare a medium from said image.
  3. Disable BIOS/CSM/legacy support in your firmware.
  4. Disable Secure Boot in your firmware.
  5. Disable "fast startup" in your firmware; and/or ensure that your firmware is set to fully activate your USB devices. (The two are closely related and may be named differently depending on the firmware design.)
  6. Insert the rEFInd disk.
  7. Reboot and enter your firmware's built-in boot manager. This is typically done by hitting Esc or a function key, but details vary greatly from one system to another.
  8. Select the rEFInd disk.
  9. In rEFInd, locate a Linux kernel and hit the Enter key to boot it. It should boot up into Linux. (If you have a separate /boot partition, you'll need to hit F2 or Insert twice rather than Enter to boot, and add a root= pointer to your root filesystem. If you used default installation options this won't be necessary.)
  10. Repair the installation in either of two ways:
    • Install rEFInd to your hard disk, in any of the ways described on its installation page. The easiest way is via a Debian package or PPA. Once installed, you'll use rEFInd rather than GRUB to boot.
    • Run the Boot Repair tool. Given the right options, it should replace your BIOS-mode GRUB with an EFI version and everything should begin working. This process involves more of a leap of faith, though; if you got this far, you know that rEFInd is working, but you don't know that whatever Boot Repair does will work.

You can optionally re-enable Secure Boot at this point, although this may require jumping through some new hoops. See my general page on the topic or the rEFInd documentation on Secure Boot.

For future reference, I've written a page on how to install Linux in EFI mode.

  • Thanks; I was ultimately able to get this to work. First I tried booting to a CD with rEFInd on it; I tried this several times with two different CDs. All but two times, the CD didn't even show up on the boot media selection screen at startup. The first time the CD even showed up, I selected it and the computer booted into Windows anyway. Finally, however, I was able to boot into Ubuntu, and installed rEFInd. The computer rebooted directly into Windows without showing the rEFInd screen. I then tried installing rEFInd from within Windows using the directions on your web site. Problem solved. – Mark C. Andersen Mar 11 '15 at 18:39

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