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I have an HP Z210 with Windows 7, which is UEFI based. I'd like to dual boot it to Ubuntu 11.10 with GRUB2, but am having problems due to the UEFI. The install CD goes to the end, but then the machine always boots right into Windows.

These problems are apparently documented (here and here), but there's no consensus as to what the simplest solution is. Any recommendations? I want Ubuntu and Windows to both be bootable. (Perhaps if I knew more about UEFI and its system partition, and how it differs from BIOS and MBR, I'd be in a better position. So background answers explaining how UEFI loads up are very appreciated.)

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This is the EFI boot process. –  JdeBP Dec 23 '11 at 22:16
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2 Answers 2

The workaround is to use Legacy Boot method instead of UEFI. From the first link you suggested,

The work-around to use is to manually select the legacy BIOS boot option when installing a system from scratch. This can be done by selecting the F9 boot option and selecting the appropriate legacy boot device option that matches the media you are using to load the system. Once the system software is loaded, the appropriate legacy boot method will be used for the life of that installed software and you will no longer have to manually select the boot option.

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HP preload machine comes with some weird config, which is well known, or "known bad".

  • It normal have 4 partitions in first hard disk, which makes you cannot add more.
  • The first partition is the system partitions, which is the bootloader, customized by HP.
  • You need a partition named "HP Tools" which must be FAT32 to able to load anything related to BIOS or firmware. which is typically the forth one.
  • The second partition is the window partitions, which is not directly bootable, since it does not contain the boot record.
  • They also occupied the third partition name "HP Recovery"
  • The entire thing is some now twisted since it is not 100% MBR nor GPT if you are having large harddisk.

So, the entire story would be, will you want to completely wipe the machine and start from new ? You are unable to use the HP supplied windows somehow, you need a Full version / open license of window to start from scratch, and a CD key for it.

Alternatively, I would recommended that you should use VMWARE for your Ubuntu.

In additional, beware of the drivers issues, since your HP machine only comes with RHEL or SUSE drivers.

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