UEFI, GPT, and MS-DOS Partitions question

https://www.suse.com/releasenotes/i386/openSUSE/13.2/RELEASE-NOTES.en.html

[FONT=inherit][FONT=inherit][FONT=inherit]2.2 UEFI, GPT, and MS-DOS Partitions #](https://www.suse.com/releasenotes/i386/openSUSE/13.2/RELEASE-NOTES.en.html#sec.123.uefi-part)[/FONT]
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Together with the EFI/UEFI specification, a new style of partitioning arrived: GPT (GUID Partition Table). This new schema uses globally unique identifiers (128-bit values displayed in 32 hexadecimal digits) to identify devices and partition types.
Additionally, the UEFI specification also allows legacy MBR (MS-DOS) partitions. The Linux boot loaders (ELILO or GRUB2) try to automatically generate a GUID for those legacy partitions, and write them to the firmware. Such a GUID can change frequently, causing a rewrite in the firmware. A rewrite consist of two different operation: removing the old entry and creating a new entry that replaces the first one.
Modern firmware has a garbage collector that collects deleted entries and frees the memory reserved for old entries. A problem arises when faulty firmware does not collect and free those entries; this may end up with a non-bootable system.
***The workaround is simple: convert the legacy MBR partition to the new GPT to avoid this problem completely.

***Hi,
I’m a newbie to linux and looking at this release note(s) for Suse 13.2. I’m not clear about this last statement. Does this mean use
Legacy mode only but format the hard drive with the GPT partition?
See my option 2

I’m looking at purchasing a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E545 A6-5350M 4GB 320GB Radeon HD 8450G DVDRW WINDOWS7/8 Pro 15.6in Notebook
wiping the hard drive completely and installing Suse 13.2 from a full installation DVD - a complete clean install.
Option 1:
Firmware setup:
Disable Secure Boot
Enable UFEI only mode
Disable fast boot
Disable Intel SpeedStep Technology

During linux install, use GPT partition, Ex4

Option 2:
Pre-Format the new hard drive with the GPT partition

Firmware Setup:
UEFI /LEGACY BOOT LEGACY ONLY ]
UEFI Secure Boot OFF ]
Disable fast boot
Disable Intel SpeedStep Technology
During linux install, use GPT partition, Ex4

Since I haven’t purchased this laptop yet I can’t post any hardware specifics.

My main concern is to find a low risk installation configuration that won’t brick this laptop.
and will work " out of the box " with little/no manual configuration.
Feedback from Lenovo laptop users will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advanced to all the experienced Suse users.

Hi
Surely Lenovo have a recovery for bricked BIOS? My HP’s plug in a efi usb device, press a couple of keys and BIOS is recovered…

Why disable secure boot and speed step?

Boot into rescue mode after you have removed windows and run efibootmgr to delete the windows entries, install and you should be fine…

That text you quoted from the release notes is a bit confusing. I suppose it is talking of the UEFI firmware or NVRAM, but it’s a bit too vague for me to be sure of that.

In any case, the only msdos partitioned disks that I have used on my UEFI systems, have been partitioned elsewhere. So I guess there wasn’t a way for them to write to firmware. For example, the install iso, when written to a USB, is using MSDOS partitioning, with an EFI partition with MSDOS type code of EF. And that seems to work.

I’m a newbie to linux and looking at this release note(s) for Suse 13.2. I’m not clear about this last statement. Does this mean use
Legacy mode only but format the hard drive with the GPT partition?
See my option 2

No, it is not suggesting to use legacy mode. If you have UEFI hardware, then it is best to use UEFI mode booting. But if, by some chance, you decide to use legacy mode then it recommends that you still use GPT partitioning.

Or at least that’s how I read it. Maybe someone should do a bug report on the ambiguity of that release-notes statement.

I would suggest that you go with your option 1.

I don’t have a Lenova thinkpad. I do have a lenovo ThinkServer. I am using UEFI, GPT partitioning, secure-boot off.

It is working pretty well. If I turn secure-boot on, that does not work so well though there are workarounds. And I’ll note that I have UEFI boot only, though I occasionally modify that for experimenting.

From what I have seen in forum posts, people are not having problems with Lenovo and UEFI, except perhaps secure-boot problems.

I also agree that the release note are a little obtuse. However, the last line seems to me to be saying it’s far easier to use GPT partitioning. Forget MBR. It’s outdated and won’t be around much longer. At least, that’s my take.

I will add my experience here. This applies to Toshiba laptops, although I think it will be the same for Lenovo.

I always replace the factory hard drive before ever turning on the laptop. (It saves the Windows drive in a non-registered state in case I wish to sell the laptop later, I can offer it with a registerable version of Windows.)

I disable secure boot, (I don’t feel I need it.)

I boot the machine with a disk that contains gparted and use it to partition the new drive to whatever partition sizes and configuration I want. I don’t remember right now if gparted gives you the option of partitioning using MBR, but I always use GPT.

I then start the in install and, when I’m prompted for configuring the disk, I tell the installation to use the existing partitions and set the file type to what I want. FAT32 for the uefi partition, ext4 or whatever for the rest.

My installations have alway gone smooth. Wish you luck with yours.

Bart

I like to thank all of you for your responses and experiences.This will help me in my installation.I will report back once I have my system up and running.
cheers.

… perhaps you?:wink:

You could achieve the same by simply making a couple of backup images of the Factory Recovery partition. When reselling, simply restore that recovery partition to whichever HD you are going to put in the machine when you sell it, then run the Factory Restore: Then, it is ready to be registered, legally.

I boot the machine with a disk that contains gparted and use it to partition the new drive to whatever partition sizes and configuration I want. I don’t remember right now if gparted gives you the option of partitioning using MBR, but I always use GPT.

Yes. It calls it msdos partitioning.

I’m sure you’re right. But it’s quicker to simply pop in a new drive. And quicker to pop in the original drive when selling. Besides, I like having a SSD in a laptop. In the price range I’m interested in, doesn’t come with one.

Yes. It calls it msdos partitioning.

Several releases ago, I discovered that openSUSE would recognize a GPT partitioned drive. I really liked the simplicity of having partitions sequentially numbered. Always disliked having partition 1 and 2, then having partition 5, that wasn’t really a partition, and then partitions that weren’t partitions inside that one and so on! So… GPT it is, and has been for a while.

Hi,

Sorry to take so long to get back. Just wanted to post my results. Installed Mid Jan 2015.
Thought I would share my result with others who may have similiar reservations.

LENOVO 20B20011US ThinkPad Edge E545

Original OEM Build:

Pre-Installed Windows 7 Professional (x64) Service Pack 1 (build 7601)

Hardware Specifications:

LENOVO 20B20011US ThinkPad Edge E545

CPU: 2.90 gigahertz AMD A6-5350M APU with Radeon HD Graphics

DDR3 SDRAM: DDR3-1600 Samsung M471B5173DB0-YK0
Slot ‘DIMM 0’ has 4096 MB

UEFI Firmware: LENOVO HRET24WW (1.12) 01/24/2014

Optical drive: MATSHITA DVD-RAM UJ8E1 SATA CdRom Device

Sata Hard drive: WDC WD3200LPVX-08V0TT5 (320.07 GB)

HDMI: ATI Radeon HDMI @ AMD K15.1 - High Definition Audio Controller

Monitor: Display 1366x768 Lenovo N156BGE-L11 [15.6" LCD]

Display adapter: AMD Radeon HD 8450G (768 MB)

Audio: AMD High Definition Audio Device
Conexant 20671 SmartAudio HD

Network:

Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller

Realtek RTL8188E Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC

USB:

AMD USB 3.0 Host Controller (2x)
AMD USB 3.0 Root Hub (2x)
Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller (2x)
Standard OpenHCD USB Host Controller (2x)

Mousepad: ThinkPad UltraNav Pointing Device

OpenSuse 13.2 installation:

I removed the existing Factory Original Hard Drive.I then Installed a new Sata Hard Drive Pre-Formatted with a GPT Partition.
( I used the Gparted Live CD to preformat the new Hard Drive to a GPT partition. )

Firmware Setup ( Bios )

F1 Setup

Security:

Secure Boot Disabled ]

Power:

CPU Power Management: Disabled ]

Startup:

UEFI/Legacy Boot: UEFI ONLY ]

  • CSM Support: YES

Boot Mode: DIAGNOSTICS ]

Restart:

Load Setup Defaults:

  • OS Optimized Defaults: DISABLED ]

** During linux install, use GPT partition, Ex4


I installed OpenSuse 13.2 from a “openSUSE-13.2-DVD-x86_64.iso.” A Clean Install. No additional Operating system or Dual Boot Configuration were added.

Installing OpenSuse 13.2 KDE using the above settings on a LENOVO 20B20011US ThinkPad Edge E545
worked flawless. I just need to figure how to setup the integrated webcam.

Additional:
Personally I don’t like the new touchpad on the E545. I currently use a Logitech M525 wireless
mouse which works fine.

I may reinstall OpenSuse 13.2 with a different file system at a later date.

Thanks for the update! Glad it worked well for you.

Bart

How embarrassing!!!

Sorry, Bart:

I composed this a few moments ago with my latest response before I discovered I had already responded to this, and you had already replied!

Sometimes, the aging process is quit unforgiving!!

:shame:

Not necessary.

Simply Image the Recovery Partition, make a couple copies to ensure you have a working backup.

You simply restore that Recovery Partition to any drive – the original, or a replacement drive – and run the Factory Recovery.

You can even use the same Recovery Partition on another same make (ie: If from Toshiba, it must be another Toshiba), same or similar model machine ***as long as it shipped with that operating system.


The OEM Recovery checks the machine ID in a ROM location, matches it against the Authorized Authentication list, and then allows the OS to be installed using the OEM bulk key. When Windows then Registers, it creates a new Key and new Registration that matches that particular machine.

You can register, re-register, and re-register this way as often as you wish, legally and authentically.

The Registration & Licensing is applied to the machine itself, not to you personally, and remains with the machine, no matter how many times it is resold, changes ownership, or has the HD replaced.

Interesting, and good for you.:wink: