I have a NON-UEFI laptop. However UBUNTU keeps detecting and wanting to install UEFI. Obviously the system never boots if I allow it to install in UEFI mode. Once a UEFI partition and installation has been created I can only boot from AMD64+MAC images, as standard images give me and "error file '/boot/' not found" and grub2 freezes and hangs up the machine. I can only reboot after that. I can however wipe the partition table and the LIVE USB installer will boot up just fine. What command line options can I give to tell it to install in BIOS BOOT mode and not UEFI?
Step 1: Run the Ubuntu Installer. Select SOMETHING ELSE at the storage configuration prompt. Creating one main primary partition mounting '/' and a secondary partition as swap about the same size as your memory. The installation will fail at the end saying that GRUB-EFI-XX could not find an EFI partition. This is fine and normal.
Step 2. Keep using the live environment you have running or boot from an Ubuntu AMD64+MAC LIVE-USB STICK. CHROOT the environment on the drive and try to install GRUB-PC. You will get an error that GRUB-EFI was not able to install and therefore it will resist the GRUB-PC installation. You will have to do a 'dpkg -r grub-efi-xxx' before it will allow you to install GRUB-PC.
Step 3. Install GRUB-PC, select the drive (/dev/SDA). Reboot and whalla. Instant fix. Now you can install modern debian based distros into a NON-UEFI laptop.
Step 4. You may have to do some manual cleanup since the installation script did not finish running. You may have to manually remove the installer and any other stuff that may have been included in the LIVE USB.