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I recently purchased a B450 Aorus M Motherboard with the last of my money to replace my Broken LGA 1151 Socket motherboard, along with a '16 GB DDR4 2400Ramstick and aRyzen 2700` CPU.

Upon booting the machine for the first time, I THINK a message was displayed super quickly on the machine about needing to update the bios, but it was gone before I could get a good look at it.

The new hardware was connected to the old WD Blue SSD (250GB) and WD Black HD which had a Dual boot Windows 10 + Slackware 14.2 Linux distribution installed.

I was able to boot up into Windows 10 with no problem in UEFI mode. HOWEVER, the Slackware partition wasn't even recognized. There was no option to boot Slackware from the boot menu displayed by the BIOS, even though Slackware was previously installed in UEFI Mode with no problems for years.

Upon attempting to install Slackware Linux Current (the 15.0 version) onto the system from an ISO, I accidentally installed in Legacy and wrote the MBR. I realized when attempting to write to the MBR, as the installer froze up. Super scared, I could do nothing but force kill the installer and restart.

Fortunately, the system booted into Windows with no visible errors, but STILL did not recognize or boot from any of the Slackware partitions.

I tried the following:

  1. Installing from the Official Slackware 14.2 Installation Media in UEFI Mode, with Secure Boot Disabled, and Fast Boot Disabled.
  2. Installing from the Slackware Current (15.0) Installation ISO (Downloaded from Erik Hameleer's Alien Repository) in UEFI Mode, with Secure Boot Disabled, and Fast Boot Disabled.
  3. Creating a new Protective MBR on the primary SSD.
  4. Wiping and Creating a New GPT Partition Table on the Primary SSD.
  5. Uninstalling and Wiping Windows 10 Partitions from both /dev/sda and /dev/sdb (The Primary and Secondary SSD and HD, respectively), and installing both 14.2 and 15.0 on clean slate drives with freshly created partitions.

In all of these cases, the Motherboard boots from DVD and Otherwise, but it DOES NOT boot the Slackware Linux Installation Partitions.

FURTHERMORE, I RECEIVE AN ERROR ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO READ SOME UEFI VARIABLE during the Slackware installation process, when it is attempting to create an EFI Boot entry. The error message only displays onscreen for a very short period of time and it goes something like, "Skipping unreadable UEFI vari(At which point the message disappears before I can read it fully.)"

Opening up Bios Setup, there is the option to manually load an "EFI Profile" from "File". Selecting this option, I am able to navigate to the /boot/efi/EFI/Slackware/ directory which is present on the EFI Partition, which is /dev/sda1 on the primary drive. I am able to view all files installed by the installer, including:

elilo.config, elilo.efi,vmlinuz, etc...

I have verified that these files display valid information, and I have no reason to believe that they differ substantially from the files as contained on the installation media. (I would have to MD5 Checksum both the files on dev/sda1 and on the installation media, which would probably be overkill.)

When I attempt to select elilo.efi from within BIOS Setup -> Boot Override -> load EFI Profile -> load From File, I get the message "Invalid Profile". Google has turned up nothing relevant when searching "Invalid UEFI Profile".

I have attempted to select all the files and a portion of the files from within the windows efi folder as well. All of them have yielded "Invalid UEFI Profile" as an error message.

I have also overwritten /Boot/efi/EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi with elilo.efi (renaming elilo.efi to bootx64.efi in the process, and moving the other files in the Slackware Efi Directory into the /Boot/efi/EFI/Boot/ directory unchanged. I did this because searching elsewhere yielded that the Firmware for the motherboard may only be capable of booting from bootx64.efi

So. Being all out of options, I am about to flash my B450 Aorus M motherboard to an updated firmware in hopes of fixing this issue. However, I am well aware that this is the only piece of hardware that I've got to work with. Buying another board in case I brick this one is simply NOT an option, and so I really, really, REALLY want to proceed carefully... there is no margin for error here.

The Motherboard is a Gigabyte B450 Aorus M Revision 1.0 Board. The name of the file which I downloaded for the flash update is: mb_bios_b450-aorus-m_f3d.zip. The flashing guide says that I need to extract the files and place them onto a USB Drive which is formatted with a FAT32/16/12.

I am using an old linux laptop to format the usb drive, which is 16GB in size, and am using the cfdisk utility to create a single partition.

However, when changing the filesystem label using that utility, there is NO CLEAR FAT32/16/12 option. I am presented with a multitude of different labels which correspond to various combinations of FAT, 32, 16, and hidden.

Further, there is ONE OPTION which has the following as its filesystem label: efi (FAT-12/16/32).

Obviously, that one is the closest to FAT32/16/12, but I don't want to take any chances here. Is FAT-12/16/32 equivalent to FAT32/16/12, and will having a single partition on the usb stick of that type be acceptable for the purposes of flashing the motherboard bios?

More generally, if anyone could help provide information as to anything that I may have missed, and somehow help me figure out how to install Slackware on this model motherboard and Ryzen CPU so that it boots normally in UEFI Mode, then I would love you forever. This is driving me crazy. Naturally, I will reinstall Windows 10 and Slackware according to the new method once I get the booting issue sorted out.

Some additional information:

The Gigabyte website has the following Notice in the description section of the BIOS Update file where I downloaded the update:

Note: Update AMD Chipset Driver 18.10.20.02 or latest version before update this BIOS.

I have also downloaded the latest Chipset Driver. However, my machine currently has no Operating System on it at all, and I really don't want to have to re-install Windows 10 just to be able to apply an update to the Chipset Driver, only then to Flash the Bios and and then possibly have to re-re-install Windows 10 and then Slackware Linux. Is updating the Chipset Driver really going to be necessary before flashing the bios if there's no operating system currently installed?

tl;dr:

Is efi (FAT-12/16/32) equivalent to FAT/32/16/12, and do I ABSOLUTELY NEED to update the Motherboard Chipset driver before flashing the BIOS if there's no Operating System installed on the machine?

whew. Sorry for being so pedantic, but I really, REALLY, need this to work right. I've got no more money for any hardware left. Thank you for your time.

  • The driver would be used within the OS, so installing Windows and using the current driver, wouldn't result in you having to reinstall Windows. It does sound like you should update the firmware – Ramhound Dec 16 '18 at 16:45
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Don't use cfdisk for this job, it is not the best tool to make a bootable USB.

Instead, from a Linux box (or even a Windows box):

  1. Install unetbootin, and

  2. from the unetbootin GUI's Distribution pull-down, select FreeDOS, and install that to USB.

  3. Copy the contents of mb_bios_b450-aorus-m_f3d.zip to the USB drive, the file system of which will now be some suitable FAT variant.

  4. Restart the system, and boot from the USB drive.

  5. From the FreeDOS prompt cd to wherever the update is.

  6. Run the BIOS update.

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