Getting my new Win8 ASUS R701V to dual boot into Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit

Posted on January 5th, 2013

So, my Christmas present to myself was a new gaming box, as my ASUS Netbook with only 1GB of RAM just wasn’t cutting it for some of the graphical and gaming stuff I wanted to explore. After shopping around, a great deal was found at MSY in Geelong (warning: worst website UX I’ve seen in a while).

My new baby is an ASUS R701V with 16GB of RAM, 2GB dedicated NVIDIA graphics and a Bang and Olufsen sound system. Noice. There is one downside however, in that it comes pre-shipped (mind your pronunciation) with Windows 8. Enter the whole UEFI secure boot debacle. This install wasn’t going to be as easy as downloading Wubi and rebooting…

Firstly, I sought advice from Matthew Garrett, recognised in the industry as a go-to person in this area. He kindly advised that I should use the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 12.10. So, I headed on over to the Ubuntu site and torrented down the 12.10 AMD 64-bit ISO (around 760MB).

  • Next, I used the tool from Pen Drive Linux to create a bootable USB stick (8GB SanDisk). I chose the ‘Ubuntu 12.10 Desktop’ option in the Pen Drive drop down, and used the ISO that had finished torrenting.
  • The next challenge was to figure out which key would let me into the BIOS settings on boot. Found this helpful page and identified ‘Insert’ as the ASUS BIOS key.
  • I was able to set the first boot device to the USB key. Interestingly, there weren’t any options to disable UEFI secure boot
  • I disabled the ‘fast boot’ setting
  • On boot, the grub menu loaded and I was able to choose from testing out Ubuntu, installing or exiting.
  • I tried each of these options, but the computer in all cases just hung with a blank screen, and didn’t do anything

My next attempt is going to be;

  • Redoing the USB stick to use ‘unlisted Linux’ – as the chosen ‘Ubuntu 12.10 Desktop’ might be specifically for 32-bit not 64-bit
  • Attempting to install again

UPDATE: Tried the following, but still the same symptoms;

  • Redid the USB stick using Pen Drive Linux to unlisted Linux – same symptoms
  • Burned the ISO to USB stick using dd as suggested by Jeremy – same symptoms

This means that it’s more likely that the issue is that the graphics driver as suggested by Eric – but I’m not sure how to work around it?

Thanks again everyone for your helpful advice. This just makes me more determined to make this machine dual bootable.

FURTHER UPDATE: My sh skills are rusty, here’s how I burnt it to USB stick using dd

reidk@ubuntu:~/Documents$ ls
ubuntu-12.10-desktop-amd64.iso
reidk@ubuntu:~/Documents$ dd if=ubuntu-12.10-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdb1 bs=1M
dd: opening `/dev/sdb1': Permission denied
reidk@ubuntu:~/Documents$ sudo dd if=ubuntu-12.10-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdb1 bs=1M
[sudo] password for reidk: 
Sorry, try again.
[sudo] password for reidk: 
763+0 records in
763+0 records out
800063488 bytes (800 MB) copied, 50.7539 s, 15.8 MB/s

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tried manually editing the grub bootloading options as per this Ubuntu help article, using the nomodeset switch, but still the same symptoms…

MOAR UPDATE: Also tried the Wubi installer for 12.10 64 bit, and it errored on reboot and couldn’t find

wubildr.mbr
Also tried installing on different drives (C: and D:) but to no avail, still the same error.

 

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