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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    NZ
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    Boot to live USB from UEFI tablet

    I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas, I've picked up a cheap tablet hybrid thing in the boxing day sales but am having a little trouble booting to a live USB of fedora 23 Workstation 64bit (downloaded today).

    I have verified that the live USB works in my laptop, which uses legacy BIOS.

    The tablet is a generic warehouse brand, and by default comes with Windows 10, which I have preceded to ruin by forcing a shutdown whenever I missed the BIOS setup key and it tried to install it's self. (If it breaks with that then I never want to use it, ever.) It comes with an Intel Atom Z3735F. (64-bit)

    It uses American Megatrends version 2.16.1242, in an annoying sideways layout. UEFI 2.3; PI 1.2, Project Version V1.7.6G_R008_L3B10T4C66H.

    I have Disabled Secure Boot, and Windows Boot Manager (which still is non-disablable and starts ever when turned off) as well as prioritising USB booting (labelled as [UEFI: USB DISK 2.0...]) and spend a few hours fiddling around with other settings, none of which seem to have any effect.

    After prioritising USB booting, it does try to read the USB device, as seen by the flashing LED, however soon gives up and goes into Windows, which then fails, restarts and repeats.

    Both fast boot and quiet boot are disabled, which I have read can cause issues.

    I'm a bit stuck, so any help on how I can get Fedora on this device would be greatly appreciated, let me know if more information, description or photos are needed. Thanks

    Oh, and hi, I guess this is my first post here. I used to use Fedora on my laptop, but then got a custom built desktop and opted for the more traditional xfce with Manjaro. But from what I saw on my non-touch laptop, Gnome looks like an actually usable version of windows 8, so I'm trying to try it on this tablet.

    ----------Update. 11:26pm, 26-12-15--------------

    I've recreated the live USB and tried it in my desktop, which also uses UEFI. This works, however the desktop's UEFI's settings are very lose, so I've also switched the laptop to UEFI mode, which didn't work with the older live usb, it now does (I am typing from the live environment now) However, with a now UEFI verified live usb, the tablet still refuses to boot. Although it did decide to dump the windows logo when it tries booting that, now I just have the circlly thing going round and round until it decides to either show a error message, or sometimes ever a recovery mode needed message.
    Last edited by green0range; 26th December 2015 at 11:38 AM. Reason: update

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Cave
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    42

    Re: Boot to live USB from UEFI tablet

    My testing has shown there isn't much advantage, if any, with using the 64bit version of Fedora on an Atom Z3735F device with 2GB or less of memory.

    You can live boot Fedora workstation 32bit (and associated spins) on many of the 2-in-1 tablet computers, using BOOTIA32.efi from Fedlet , Eleventh release.

    Here is how I did it.

    Create Fedlet live using livecd-iso-to-disk, as below:

    Create a new GPT partition table on your USB thumb drive (clears drive)

    Create Fedlet Live (change sdx to match the ID assigned to your USB/Flash device)

    Code:
    livecd-iso-to-disk --format --reset-mbr --efi /home/path-to-fedlet/20150810-fedlet-i686.iso /dev/sdx
    You can try using Fedlet directly. However, none of the kernel mods applied to Fedlet were compatible with my hardware, so it was no help for me. I don't care for Gnome3 anyway, so no big loss there.

    To boot Fedora 23 Workstation (or in my case, Fedora 23-MATE_i686), delete syslinux and liveOS folders from the Fedlet USB stick you just created. Now, copy isolinux and LiveOS folders from the Fedora 23 workstation (or other spins) ISO to the USB Stick and rename the isolinux folder to syslinux.

    Using this modified flash drive approach, you should now be able to live boot any of the Fedora 23_i686 spins on your Baytrail device.

    I needed to add clocksource=tsc as a kernel option. Otherwise, the system was unstable. Nothing worked out of the box for me. There are kernel mods for the Wireless and Touchscreen for my hardware.

    Unfortunately, even the latest kernel doesn't include support for critical hardware used by many of the Baytrail devices, even though patches were submitted months ago. Considering that, I think getting one of these devices to work properly is going to require some combination of kernel mods, user space drivers and/or roll your own kernel compiles.

    Hopefully, future kernels will include Baytrail support, or perhaps Fedora (or someone in the community) will apply the submitted patches needed to make it easier to run Fedora on Baytrail devices.

    ~fstab

    On a side note, Fedora MATE runs pretty well under Virtual Box on Win10. A little tearing on YouTube vids, but otherwise, is usable. A stop gap until all the drivers are working properly.

    Another note: You can use 64-bit versions of Fedora, but it's a little more tricky. You can manually boot Fedora_x64 from a grub prompt using this baytail-bootia32.efi.
    Last edited by fstab; 26th December 2015 at 08:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Cave
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    Re: Boot to live USB from UEFI tablet

    By the way, I'm using the same version of AMI BIOS. If your USB drive is setup properly (EFI), when you select the Save & Exit menu, it should appear under the Boot Override menu on that screen, then just select it from there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    NZ
    Posts
    2

    Re: Boot to live USB from UEFI tablet

    Thank you very much. I have managed to get this working, however will now proceed with a search for wifi drivers, touch screen drivers and camera drives. Wish me luck :/

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