Ubuntu – Is there a way to force Ubuntu to install in BIOS mode

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I'm currently trying to triple boot OSX, WIndows 8.1, and Ubuntu on my macbook pro 5,3. I have 2 hard drives. One only has OSX on it and the other has Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu. That hard drive uses an mbr partition table.

I installed Windows 8.1 first and then tried to install Ubuntu 12.04.4, however it said it was unable to install grub to the target and wouldn't be able to boot. I tried both installing it to the root partition, and creating a separate /boot partition, but neither worked. I then tried installing Ubuntu 13.10 and that installed successfully, however it wouldn't boot. I can get to the grub menu, but when I select Ubuntu, it just gets stuck on a blank purple screen.

I believe the problem is it's booting using EFI mode. I'm using a USB stick to install Ubuntu and when I boot off of it all I see if EFI boot. Also during the installation, when I'm choosing partitions, there's an efigrub format, but no biosgrub.

There are 3 solutions I could think of:

  1. Find a way to install Ubuntu in BIOS mode

  2. Install grub separately from Ubuntu using Boot-Repair or something similiar

  3. Install Ubuntu on my other hard drive that contains OSX

I'm not exactly sure how to do the first 2, so if anyone thinks it would work and knows what to do, some help would be well appreciated.

Best Answer

Firstly: your boot issue that hangs on a purple screen is not necessarily corrupt. It sounds like an issue with graphic drivers.

Try including nomodeset as a boot option in grub. From the main grub bootloader press 'e' to edit the boot parameters. Find where it reads:

quiet splash

Edit to look like this:

quiet splash nomodeset

Hopefully this will solve your boot issue. If so, try changing your graphics driver from the 'Additional Software' app.

This is probably the simplest solution. This should allow you to boot into ubuntu in order to select the correct drivers for your system. If that fails try removing 'quiet' and 'splash' completely and report back where your boot hangs.