Grub fails to install during installation

I’m trying to perform a dual boot installation on an HP-15-n265sa that has a clean Windows 8.1 re-installed. Boot order starts with DVD, secure boot disabled, fast boot disabled. The installation proceeds normally but Grub fails to install and on restart there is no Grub menu, there is no boot from disk option and the DVD loads the initial installation menu. I’ve tried two approaches, first of all letting openSUSE do everything, then manually creating Ext2 and Ext4 partitions, making sure Grub2EFI was selected in the boot option. Same problem using both approaches. Please advise. Current partitions below. Thanks.

Sorry couldn’t get pic to load from flickr.

This actually looks like my problem. See post from kbecker here,

If this is true I’m probably just wasting my time. Thought’s and suggestions appreciated. I have a set of recovery discs, so at this stage I’d be quite prepared to completely wipe windows and perform a clean Linux install.

“Another researcher working his way through all this has figured out what’s happening. HP’s UEFI software purposely overwrites any changes, cryptographically signed or not, secure-boot compatible or not, in the UEFI partition, on each and every cold boot. Note that this is not part of the UEFI standard.”

You can cheat and replace the Windows files in the boot efi partition with renamed openSUSE files. The EFI on the bad machines simply always make Windows entry in the boot table the first and thus runs the files in the Windows directory on the /boot/efi partition. If you move/rename all the files I think even secure boot will work. It really is that stupid. I got no real idea why they think secure boot is secure LOL


I’m not on par with the experts here but I think EasyBCD will (might) solve your problems
install grub in your root partition (might not work with btrfs) or create a small ~200M /boot partition wiyh ext4 and install grub there, keep your windows boot loader in mbr, install EasyBCD add Linux to the windows menu (see their man pages it’s real simple you just chose the partition where grub is) … that’s it, I use to copy the linux boot sector and add it to XP’s menu but with the new 7/8 boot manager I haven’t figured out how to do that EasyBCD does it for me, according to their home page they support 8 not sure about 8.1
it’s free for home use if you can’t find the download on their home page you can find it on softpedia

Sounds good to me. Just look for any bios/firmware update first before doing it.
2 years ago I purchased a Hp desktop (core i7) with windows 7. What I did was boot
to windows first then look for bios/firmware updates, installed it, when done, I inserted the openSUSE
dvd to install and wipe the windows operating system.

As an aside the openSUSE rescue cd is a good tool for erasing and repartitioning using gdisk
before installing openSUSE from cd or dvd.

Thanks guys looks as if I have a couple of options I can consider.

Okay, I think the way to dual boot on this machine is to install Windows 8.1 under legacy boot mode, Linux should then install and boot normally. It looks as if you can’t dual boot systems installed under different boot modes UEFI/Legacy on the same drive with the HP UEFI implementation.

Some interesting comments regarding HP implementation of UEFI,

“Thanks for the heads up, please pass on to your superiors that UEFI is a real pain in the backside and I am not sure what idiot came up with it but they should be shot. Not allowing a business customer to be able to image a product consistent with their environment is absolutely asinine!”

Well it is not the only way I outlined a method that should work ie renaming/replacing the windows efi boot files. But form the stand point of user friendly (that’s an oxymoron when speaking of Windows) I guess using an MBR install would sidestep the problem. note that MBR partitioning is limited to 2 terabyte and under drives

There’s a blog on ZDnet titled “Jamies Mostly Linux Stuff”. The author did a series of articles in 1Q2013 on (U)EFI Secure Boot and loading various Linux distros on a number of machines.

He found that the UEFI firmware HP provides is well and truly broken. If Windows is installed with Secure Boot enabled, the firmware will rewrite the boot order to ensure that only Windows will boot.

As noted elsewhere in this thread, if your drive is > 2TB you need GPT partitioning, which is only supported by EFI firmware.

You should be able to dual boot by turning off Secure Boot without disabling EFI boot, but the HP firmware may not allow that.


Okay so here’s what I did on my last attempt.

Same result, no Grub 2 menu and machine boots to Windows.

When I tried to access the boot configuration data store as admin in windows I received this error " Boot configuration store could not be opened access is denied." So looks as if dual booting on this machine is a complete bust.

Some hardware just insists to booting from the Windows selection of the efi boot. It is apparently hardwired. It is also not standard EFI so I’d consider such hardware broken and at least complain to the maker. But it can be bypassed by cheating and renaming the openSUSE files that same as the Windows and putting them in the Windows EFI boot directory. So the BIOS thinks it is booting Windows but it really boots openSUSE.

Apparently this machine and its BIOS comes with a custom Windows 8.1 UEFI boot loader. If I want to dual boot it looks as if I must select Legacy mode in BIOS, re-install Windows from the recovery media and then install openSUSE in the normal fashion. Although openSUSE installs in about 10 - 15 minutes, the last Windows install I did took hours. So this will have to wait until I have more time. Will report back later.

… and keep some backups of the installed Windows, so you can always restore to a spare drive if you need Windows to do another BIOS update.:wink:

Follow gogalthorp’s advice. It has been followed many times, and works.

Use UEFI and Secure Boot, but copy the openSUSE boot and rename that copy to the same name as the Windows boot, then use it to overwrite the Windows boot. This fools the HP Rogue UEFI Malware, as I call it, and it uses the openSUSE boot thinking it is Windows, thus does not destroy it.

If you want details, ask the guy who has done this lots: gogalthorp

But, watch out for HP to rewrite their Malware in a future BIOS update to detect this trick and render it ineffective.>:)