Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Do you have to install Debian in EFI mode if Windows 7 is installed in EFI? I assume its more complicated to install Debian in EFI mode and I don't want to have to go through the process of installing it that way if I don't have to. If it is necessary, how exactly would I go about doing it?

share|improve this question
You can't have the PC in both BIOS and UEFI mode at the same time, and switching every time you want to use either OS is I'm sure not acceptable. – Karan Jul 13 '13 at 3:31

It's usually possible, but awkward, to dual-boot with one OS in EFI mode and the other in BIOS mode. AFAIK, there are only two ways to accomplish such a configuration:

  • Use the firmware's built-in boot manager to select which OS to boot each time you boot. This is awkward because most such boot managers are crude, although some are acceptable to some users. OTOH, some EFIs don't even provide the option to do this at all.
  • Use rEFInd as a boot manager. If you uncomment the scanfor item in its refind.conf configuration file and ensure that hdbios is among the options, it will scan for BIOS-mode boot loaders and add any that it finds to the boot menu. This will require you to go from rEFInd to GRUB (or LILO or SYSLINUX or whatever), though, and it's usually easier and more direct to boot a Linux kernel straight from rEFInd. Also, some EFIs lack the necessary support to make this boot method work.

Overall, you're better off booting both OSes in the same mode. The first option can often work, but most people find it awkward. The second option can also usually work, but it's usually no harder to get rEFInd to boot Linux in EFI mode, so there's little point to it.

In theory, it should not be harder to install Debian 7 in EFI mode than in BIOS mode. In practice, though, you'll need to learn some things about EFI-mode booting. My Web page on EFI boot loaders for Linux provides some background information that may be helpful. If you had Windows 8, you might need to disable Secure Boot or work around it in some way, but with Windows 7 that's not likely to be an issue; AFAIK, Windows 7 doesn't include Secure Boot support.

share|improve this answer

This one is for Ubuntu 13.04, But Debian should work. Enter BIOS 1. Disbale Secure Boot from bios
2. Keep UEFI enabled

Install Ubuntu 13.04 x64 (32 bit does not work) {Atleast 12.10x64 it should be, not before that}. In case the display manager does not work, or ubuntu is unable to load graphics, connect the laptop to a desktop monitor using a VGA Cable. make 3 partitions

  1. 500mb efi partition with fat32/16
  2. root partition to install linux of your choice
  3. swap space atleast 1000mb

Install ubuntu, restart it will show grub menu, ubuntu will boot but not windows download the boot-repair tool boot-repair

burn iso and start it, in the boot-repair software, select "Recommended Repair" it repairs the grub and then restart, Load the entry "Windows UEFI Boot Loader" to start windows. Dual boot works perfect

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .