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I was trying to wipe an old computer to sell it, I had Ubuntu 14.04 and Win8.1 dual booted. I put in the windows installation media I had made and it told me it could not use the partition to install windows because it was gpt...

I thought ok I will just reformat it with the windows tool, erased some partitions that I thought were just ubuntu and swap and windows. One of them might have actually been the UEFI partition... :(

Now when I boot I get a quick flashing error and then it boots to the grub loader...

I had to snap a video of the error and then go frame by frame to see it, but here it is.

enter image description here

so I am almost positive that the partition I deleted was the UEFI, but where can I go from here?

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  • Boot to a disk with the required EFI driver and format the HDD
    – Ramhound
    Mar 8, 2016 at 0:28
  • can I get the driver here? I am not seeing it...support.fujitsupc.com/CS/Portal/…
    – Joff
    Mar 8, 2016 at 0:42
  • No; you need an .iso with it ( Linux, Windows, etc )
    – Ramhound
    Mar 8, 2016 at 0:44
  • I have a windows .iso I am using as an installation media but I don't see any direct way to do that... It is still telling me it cannot use the partition because it is of the GPT partition style
    – Joff
    Mar 8, 2016 at 0:45
  • One thing I did not try though was just reformatting the entire drive, all recovery partitions, MSR(reserved) and then doing an install...Should I do this?
    – Joff
    Mar 8, 2016 at 0:46

2 Answers 2

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First of all there is no UEFI partition. UEFI is a new standard to replace old BIOS. You can think of it as a BIOS mode and all of its data is stored in your motherboard. There are EFI partitions on your hard drives to handle system boot. These partitions are not part of UEFI system and will not damage UEFI or BIOS on your motherboard when deleted. Deletion only makes Windows and/or Ubuntu unusable, which I read as what you needed.

Your next mistake or misunderstanding was to get rid of GPT. GPT is not in any way associated with Linux. Windows supports GPT initialized disks as well unless you're using Windows XP. And GPT is necessary for UEFI booting. You will have to enable a special backward-compatible module called CSM in your motherboard settings if you insist on using UEFI without GPT.

So if you are done with old Windows and Ubuntu, want to wipe the disk and start from clean-slate:

  1. You can create a bootable USB drive or simply burn a DVD from any Windows 8 and above installation ISOs. If you have a genuine Windows disc, use it.
  2. Make sure you have enabled UEFI and turned off any backward-compatible settings. Windows and Ubuntu work well with UEFI and there is no need going back to the 90's.
  3. Select your USB/DVD as boot device. When prompted to, select Custom installation and delete every partition on the disk, until you see only one line Disk X Unallocated Space for that disk. (X is the disk number.) By far Windows will understand you want to do a clean install and convert the disk to meet UEFI standard if necessary.
  4. [Optional] If Windows refuses to install, press Shift + F12 to call out command prompt and type: DiskPart, select disk X, clean. (X is the disk number showed in step 3.) Be very careful, entering the wrong number may wipe installation media or other disks (if any).
  5. Select unallocated space, continue installation. Windows may inform you that a EFI partition will be created to assist system boot.

After installation you will have a clean, new Windows. Then install Ubuntu if you wish.

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the solution for me was to just type exit at the bash prompt and then it booted the next device which was my usb.

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