Can't install Mint Linux on AntiX installed emmc drive

Forum Forums General Hardware Can't install Mint Linux on AntiX installed emmc drive

This topic contains 53 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Klaas Vaak Jul 1-7:04 am.

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  • #22684
    Forum Admin
    dolphin_oracle
    dolphin_oracle

    antiX uses parted (just like gparted) to do partitioning, so it should be similar in function.

    there is one other odd-ball thing about eMMC drives…they usually show up as removable, and sometimes as usb devices. It might be worth checking to see if those other installers are filtering out removable devices from their lists.

    one other thought…if you boot say a mint live-USB, can you access the eMMC device via their file manager?

    #22688
    Member
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    Klaas Vaak

    I still believe it is not antiX’s fault, but something to do with the other distros not having good support for eMMC detection (or maybe a BIOS option like Secure Boot is active). Formatting the drive and later having the same experience with those distros will prove that antiX doesn’t take hostages, but that the distros can’t see without the “proper glasses”. You could even use a Windows10 live USB, as that should load without a problem (hopefully you don’t have to go to these extremes).

    I am not saying it is AntiX’s fault, I am saying it may be the installation that did not work out quite the way it should have. The reason I say that is that, when I start up AntiX, I get a black screen with some text and numbers that don’t look like start-up text/numbers of other distros, incl. AntiX when I was testing it in a VM.

    Anyway, I will 1st try to fix this, but if I end up installing another distro I’ll let you know.

    #22689
    Member
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    Klaas Vaak

    one other thought…if you boot say a mint live-USB, can you access the eMMC device via their file manager?

    Good point, I did not check that.

    For now I will try to fix the touchpad thing as per Xecure’s directions in the other thread. If I end up installing another distro I will keep this mind and will let you know.

    #22697
    Member
    noClue
    noClue

    What we got here is a very unhealthy situation, where somebody without basic knowledge about eMMC, UEFI, partitioning … takes a ‘broken by design OS’, starts it somehow, let it do something, without understanding the consequences and then produces itself a problem that should have never happened in the first place, if one would have been informing itself when it was time to do it. The result is a situation that can’t be solved in this thread except in two cases: 1. a blind shot in the dark (== pure luck); 2. start from the beginning.

    There are simply too many things to consider in this case: UEFI/CSM, Secure-Boot modes, ‘Other OS’ options, eMMC, OS that uses hacks instead of a ‘standard way’ of installing …

    Easy explained, eMMC is simply a SD-Card inclusive Card-Reader which is soldered on the mainboard.
    The main difference between normal SD-Card and eMMC is that one can boot from eMMC (–> mmcblkXbootX)but, not from the SD.

    If you are wondering about mmcblk0boot0 and mmcblk0boot1, you can start reading here:
    https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/mmc/mmc-dev-parts.txt
    http://trac.gateworks.com/wiki/MMC
    They are not partitions as in the usual sense but the place (or part of?) where UEFI (the firmware, not the ESP) puts the “boot partition”(s).
    Read about eMMC specs (search for ‘white papers’ that explain technology behind) if you want to know more about them.
    The user part is mmcblk0.

    Now, the possibility to use the different boot modes like UEFI and CSM combined with different ways of how the ISO files were made (MBR, UEFI, Hybrid) and different ways of how different ‘bakers’ are writing the ISO’s on a USB drives, results in a chaos, if one doesn’t exactly know what one’s doing — which is obviously your case.

    Proper ‘baking’ software, ‘baking’ proper OS would (in your specific case) result in a USB pen drive which would offer you 2 (two) different boot options: MBR (CSM) and EFI/UEFI.
    Obviously, if you have a UEFI based HW (like yours) but, your USB DOES NOT show the both options, then something went wrong — either ‘baker’ or the ISO-maker screwed it.

    In a perfect case, if your HW was installed in UEFI mode, you would have a GPT partitioning (that’s always the case with every YOGA + Windows).
    If you are reinstalling or dual-booting, you would choose the UEFI option from your USB drive and NOT MBR option since that one would result in ‘mixed mode’.
    That’s a Linux problem — it allows something that it shouldn’t be allowed in the first place.

    If you want to find out more about it, you can start with these links and then continue ‘binging’, ‘googleing’, ‘searxing’ or whatever.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI
    https://askubuntu.com/questions/221835/how-do-i-install-ubuntu-alongside-a-pre-installed-windows-with-uefi
    https://opensource.com/article/19/5/dual-booting-windows-linux-uefi
    https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=219231
    https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Other-Linux-Discussions/confusion-about-UEFI-BIOS-and-GPT-MBR-compatibility-issues/td-p/1556526
    https://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/hybrid.html

    Two things to keep in mind — certified UEFI distributions will show the needed options in their installers:
    https://heise.cloudimg.io/width/778/q75.png-lossy-75.webp-lossy-75.foil1/_www-heise-de_/select/ct/2018/23/1541481050338744/contentimages/image-1540195440458058.jpg

    Lenovo had some broken BIOS versions which, when used together with some broken OS (almost all Linux distributions except Ubuntu/Ubuntu based and evtl. Fedora), resulted in:
    https://heise.cloudimg.io/width/712/q50.png-lossy-50.webp-lossy-50.foil1/_www-heise-de_/ct/imgs/04/1/1/6/7/7/2/0/22_-eed7e1ec66ae867f.png

    For German speaking people here, willing to make use of their credit-cards, there’s a very good explanation of Linux/UEFI/CSM problem and a proper way of installing, tipps and …
    https://shop.heise.de/katalog/c-t-23-2018

    As of a solution for you, there a few possibilities:

    1. If you have some Windows 10 bootable media laying around, you might try starting Windows installation.
    The point is not installing Windows itself but the fact that, Windows installer might help restoring eMMC.
    At some point, Windows installer will show you the existing partitions and that’s where you should delete all partitions that show up.
    https://ibb.co/LkHmZTM
    Afterwards, you create one single NTFS partition and shutdown the computer without installing.
    With a little luck, Windows reinitialized and repaired/restored the eMMC ‘automagicaly’ and you know exactly where you are — you’ve got GPT initialized eMMC.

    2. If you have properly created USB (as discussed above), you simply boot from USB and choose the EFI/UEFI (NOT MBR!) option on start and Ubuntu/Mint will automatically start in the proper mode and will be able to install correctly.

    When the Live DVD/USB starts you can tell immediately where it’ll end up by its Start Screen (as you could see on the screenshots in one of the links above).
    If the BIOS is set up to boot the CD in UEFI mode: https://pix.toile-libre.org/upload/original/1347445084.png
    If the BIOS is NOT set up to boot the CD in UEFI mode, or if the disk is not 64-bit: https://pix.toile-libre.org/upload/original/1347445119.png

    If that failed or you did something wrong again, you might try:

    Get STANDALONE version of GParted (Ubuntu-based version, NOT Debian-based!), ‘bake’ it with Rufus under Windows and try to ‘destroy’ ALL partitions so you can reinitialize in the desired mode — either MBR or GPT (preferably GPT).

    https://gparted.org/download.php
    https://rufus.ie/

    If that failed too, you might consider getting help of some IT-Specialist which understands the whole problematic.
    However, that could easily cost more than your device itself.

    How strange is to be anything at all. (Alice in Wonderland)

    #22711
    Member
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    Klaas Vaak

    Well now, that is quite a reply, and I must admit I am a bit overwhelmed by the kick-ass approach with the kind guidance one.

    What we got here is a very unhealthy situation, where somebody without basic knowledge about eMMC, UEFI, partitioning … takes a ‘broken by design OS’, starts it somehow, let it do something, without understanding the consequences and then produces itself a problem that should have never happened in the first place, if one would have been informing itself when it was time to do it. The result is a situation that can’t be solved in this thread except in two cases: 1. a blind shot in the dark (== pure luck); 2. start from the beginning.

    What do you mean by a ‘broken by design OS’???
    As for the rest of that paragraph, I agree that I am no expert, never pretended to be, and that I may have done something wrong, even though I followed the directions in the GUI during installation. I have also followed such directions with other distros and have not ran into any major problems.
    I apologise if my choice of the unprofessional word “baked” hurt your sensitivities. I did not realise that even a newbie could upset to such an extent an experienced AntiX/Linux user who holds this distro so dearly to his heart.

    Now, the possibility to use the different boot modes like UEFI and CSM combined with different ways of how the ISO files were made (MBR, UEFI, Hybrid) and different ways of how different ‘bakers’ are writing the ISO’s on a USB drives, results in a chaos, if one doesn’t exactly know what one’s doing — which is obviously your case.

    I used a standard burning app, Etcher, and I followed the instructions in the GUI.

    Proper ‘baking’ software, ‘baking’ proper OS would (in your specific case) result in a USB pen drive which would offer you 2 (two) different boot options: MBR (CSM) and EFI/UEFI.
    Obviously, if you have a UEFI based HW (like yours) but, your USB DOES NOT show the both options, then something went wrong — either ‘baker’ or the ISO-maker screwed it.

    I was not offered these options, and, despite not having been offered it with other distros either, their installation went fine. In fact, I understand I had to decide before installation whether to use MBR or UEFI in order to set it in the BIOS. In all cases I opted for a UEFI installation, and only disabled the Secure Boot.

    As of a solution for you, there a few possibilities:

    1. If you have some Windows 10 bootable media laying around, you might try starting Windows installation.
    The point is not installing Windows itself but the fact that, Windows installer might help restoring eMMC.
    At some point, Windows installer will show you the existing partitions and that’s where you should delete all partitions that show up.
    https://ibb.co/LkHmZTM
    Afterwards, you create one single NTFS partition and shutdown the computer without installing.
    With a little luck, Windows reinitialized and repaired/restored the eMMC ‘automagicaly’ and you know exactly where you are — you’ve got GPT initialized eMMC.

    2. If you have properly created USB (as discussed above), you simply boot from USB and choose the EFI/UEFI (NOT MBR!) option on start and Ubuntu/Mint will automatically start in the proper mode and will be able to install correctly.

    No, that is not possible with Mint as it cannot detect eMMC, as reported by others too.

    I do want to thank you for all your research and the links you provided, and, once again, I apologise if I gave the impression there is something wrong with AntiX – there is nothing wrong with it, in principle I am very happy with it, but I don’t understand what I did wrong when in all other cases my Linux installations went fine.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Klaas Vaak.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Klaas Vaak.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Klaas Vaak.
    #22716
    Member
    noClue
    noClue

    I’ll not quote anything to make it shorter, so please be careful while reading as what is the answer on what.

    I’m not at at all a dragon I seem to be. 😉 I’ve no problem with ‘baking’ USBs — there’s no sane word for it except maybe simple ‘writing’.
    It was easy with CD/DVDs … we had a X-Burner to ‘burn’ X. No ‘USB-Baker’ to ‘bake’ USBs. It doesn’t really matter.

    I’ve also no problem with you not knowing certain things — you’re learning like all of us too — but, that fact makes it very hard to help you. It’s simply extremely complex matter and something can go wrong very quickly. There is a good reason why some IT magazine is writing a 10-page article on how to properly install it.

    ‘Broken by design OS’ is virtually every BSD or Linux that it comes in your hands since most of them use some workarounds to install on EFI/UEFI machines. Only exception Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distros which didn’t replace Ubuntu installer and eventually IBM RHEL (Fedora).

    I have over 20 USB-‘Bakers’ for a good reason — first you must insure that USB is ‘baked’ properly before you start playing with fire — YOU MUST insure that you GET those options! NOTHING in Linux world ‘just works’ — if it does, than you simply had luck and you should never rely on pure luck.

    The crossed part that starts with: “As of a solution for you, there a few possibilities:” … I’m writing about trying to fix it with Windows 10 and you reply with: “No, that is not possible with Mint as it cannot detect eMMC …”

    Windows 10 you can download from the MS website — the license IS BAKED in your hardware so, no prob on that one. Simply do what I proposed and see if it can detect your eMMC.
    Nothing is wrong with Mint nor any other installer that can’t discover your eMMC and 99% for sure, nothing is wrong with your eMMC neither — the problem is, if you’re in the mixed mode, not every installer is able to detect it since, officially, there is no such thing as a ‘mixed-mode’ — it’s ‘hack’ or ‘accident’ but, against the standard way on how to do it.

    * Windows has a very ‘aggressive installer’ which doesn’t respect what the user wants — in some cases very wellcome feature.

    How strange is to be anything at all. (Alice in Wonderland)

    #22717
    Forum Admin
    dolphin_oracle
    dolphin_oracle

    I just ran accross a problem with a mint-based OS (feren os) that uses calamares installer. the system was automatically mounting the eMMC device and the installer would not install to it without manually unmounting first. could be something similar for the OP.

    #22719
    Member
    Avatar
    Klaas Vaak

    @noClue: thanks for your kind reply, you put my mind at ease.

    Couple of questions:
    * You say that only Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distros are not “broken by design”, so that applies to Minto too. Yet Mint is not able to detect the eMMC drive.
    * My eMMC machine originally came with Win 8.1. Yet you say that I can download Win 10 because its license IS BAKED in your hardware: how can that be?

    #22723
    Member
    Avatar
    skidoo

    re: “Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distros…”

    Instead of saying/thinking “licence”, read this page to understand UEFI “signed keys” (blessed, respected by microsoft)
    wiki.ubuntu.com/UEFI/SecureBoot

    ====================

    “broken by design” ~= shipped with a UEFI which is rigged to disregard any non-blessed entries

    #22725
    Member
    noClue
    noClue

    I’ve noClue in which exact part of HW the license is baked but, you can retrieve it from admin cmd in Win 10 with:

    wmic bios get serialnumber

    The same should work under Win 8/8.1 too.

    In Win 7 and earlier Windows versions, there was another process in use.

    Since 8, there’s no more sticker with Win Product Key, Serial Nr. or simply License Nr.

    Call it one way or the other, that’s what it somehow is at the end — personal key for your HW.

    Your license to use it.

    Also, you might like it or not but, that’s how it works.

    https://www.techspot.com/guides/1760-find-your-windows-product-key/
    Win10: https://www.groovypost.com/howto/find-your-windows-10-product-key/
    Win 7: http://www.squidworks.net/2015/03/how-to-windows-7-oem-activation/

    How strange is to be anything at all. (Alice in Wonderland)

    #23962
    Member
    Avatar
    Klaas Vaak

    This issue has spiralled out of control – I hope the experts here allow me to use this terminology.
    I could not get the computer to read any live USBs decently. Even GParted on a live USB stick could not be launched.
    But, with the antiX live USB GParted recognised the current antiX partitions, so I proceeded to delete them. That seemed to have gone well, but ….

    I tried to reinstall antiX (BIOS settings: secure boot – off, Legacy booting on), and marked it for Auto-install, it threw up a message that /sda1 in still in use. So Iset it to custom install, and set the root to the eMMC drive, boot in root, /home in root, swap separate. It asked if everything was allowed to be overwritten, which I confirmed.
    The installation completed and at the end asked me if I wanted to reboot (if so, take out the installation medium). Having confirmed that, it rebooted but then got stuck on a black screen with some text, and the message that no bootable device was detected, and to please insert the disc? Huh?

    I am completely confused now, don’t understand what I did wrong, and am frustrated with all this. I probably did some things wrong, so I accept my stupidity for that, but is there anything to correct this and get the computer to boot correctly into antiX, hopefully without my earlier issues of trackpad/scrollbar sensitivity.

    #23966
    Member
    Xecure
    Xecure

    Having confirmed that, it rebooted but then got stuck on a black screen with some text, and the message that no bootable device was detected, and to please insert the disc? Huh?

    It seems grub was not properly installed. In your Bios, check to see what is the Boot order. You should see if there is a small partition (300 mb? I am not sure) that contains the grub info. Place it so it is the first HD option in the boot order.
    If such a partition sdoesn’t exist, maybe you installed grub in the main “/root” partition. Try to remember, in the last installation screen, where did you select grub to be installed. (and make sure it is in MBR “format”. If you installed it in the / partition, then you will have to place that higher in the boot order.
    if you didn’t isntall grub or it didn’t install properlly, go to a live USB of antiX and, in Control Center there is an option In Manteinance tab that sais something like “Boot Repair”. Follow instructions and you should be able to fix your boot.

    #23967
    Member
    Avatar
    Klaas Vaak

    Hi Xecure, good to hear from you again !!

    Yes, there was an issue with the Grub. Amazing you picked that up so easily.
    I checked the boot order in the BIOS, and under the heading Legacy Boot priority order there is Real tek PXE B01 D00.
    I doubt that that is the Grub. Please confirm.

    Other than that there is nothing else that suggests Grub, nor is any Mb mentioned on that page.
    I seem to remember I declined installing the Grub as there was an issue. So, doing the Boot Repair seems to be called for. Nevertheless, before proceeding I will awit your reply because at this stage I am nervous to do something stupid again.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Klaas Vaak.
    #23969
    Member
    Avatar
    Klaas Vaak

    @Xecure: further to my previous reply to you, i checked on internet what Real tek PXE B01 D00 is: it is a network boot, so not applicable to my situation, which is a standalone computer. So I went ahead with the live USB and on to Boot Repair. But when I click on that it asks for a password. I tried the password I set during the installation (user and root paaswords are the same), as well as “antix”, but none of those worked. Is there another one I can/should use?

    #23970
    Member
    Xecure
    Xecure

    I tried the password I set during the installation (user and root paaswords are the same), as well as “antix”, but none of those worked. Is there another one I can/should use?

    In Live USB, demo account has “demo” as password, so that should be it.

    I am sorry for answering so late. I don’t have much time right now and can’t check it on a device, so I will try to explain from memory. Sorry in advance.

    If you had antiX partition your disk automatically during installation, I believe that it doesn’t create a GRUB partition (? I cannot confirm this right now. I don’t remember). If you open GParted, you should see what partitions have been created. If you can’t see Grub-boot (or something similar) on the list then it was not created.

    When you enter the antiX live USB, when going to Control Center > Mantenance > Boot Repair, I believe you must choose one of the first options “Reinstall GRUB on root” (or something similar). As you have legacy boot selected in BIOS, you must install grub in MBR mode. Follow the steps. I can’t remember exactly but it should be straightforward.

    If it tells you it cannot access the partition, you may need to unmounted (you can use Gparted for that). Hopefully this is a misconception I have and it doesn’t need to be done.
    Once it says that it has been installed. Restart and boot from HD. Hopefully it should be fixed.
    Hopefully someone else can confirm this.

    Let us know how it goes.

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