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I'm totally new to ubuntu and want to ask some things before diving into it: First off I have an Asrock z77 extreme 4 and 1 SSD with Windows 7 installed. On my second (empty) SSD I want to install ubuntu and I read that the setup is a bit different if you have UEFI firmware.

My mainboard is supposed to have UEFI and I naturally see the correspondant Interface when I go into the menu with 'del' on starting the PC. The problem is: When I search through

C:\Windows\Panther\setupact.log

there is

Code:Callback_BootEnvironmentDetect: Detected boot environment: BIOS

which confuses me. Normally UEFI would have to be specified at the end of the line and not BIOS. Can anyone explain that to me?

Can I use this tutorial now: http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2014/05/31/dual-boot-ubuntu-14-04-windows-7-on-a-pc-with-2-hdds-and-uefi-firmware/ or do I use the non-UEFI one? On the Boot menu of the UEFI interface i can specify PCI ROM priority (set to "Legacy" now, changeable to "EFI compatible ROM"). Does that cause this line in the logfile?

Furthermore I have read that a swap partition is not good for the SSD and I understand the reasoning. Since I have 8 gigs of RAM it might not be necessary to create one. Is it recommended to use a programm for dynamic allocation of the swap area like Dynamic Swap Space Manager?

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Most modern computers support EFI, but most also provide a BIOS compatibility layer called the Compatibility Support Module (CSM), which enables booting in the older (BIOS, CSM, or legacy) mode. Thus, your computer may be using that mode and booting Windows much like an older computer would. If so, you should be sure to install Linux in the older BIOS/CSM/legacy way, too, because switching between boot modes can be a little awkward, or at least require special software. (GRUB can't do it, for instance, although my rEFInd can.)

The partition table your computer uses is the best clue to your Windows boot mode. Windows ties its partition table type to its boot mode; it boots to BIOS/CSM/legacy mode ONLY from MBR disks and to EFI/UEFI mode ONLY from GPT disks. See my page on this subject for more details, and also for tips on how to determine your boot mode in Linux. (You might want to drop to a shell and check to be sure you install Ubuntu in the way that matches your Windows boot.)

As to swap and SSDs, I wouldn't worry about it. Modern SSDs are much better able to cope with frequent writes than the ones sold a few years ago. Furthermore, if you're like most people, your swap space won't really see all that much use, so you probably won't overtax the SSD.

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  • My drive partitioning style is indeed set to MBR. Good thing I checked the logfile because I thought UEFI is just the standard if it's compatible. Nice explanation and write up. – R6D1H2 Mar 20 '15 at 14:14

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