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I just bought an ASUS Eeebook E403SA. I used the pendrivelinux YUMI tool to create a live USB with Ubuntu 16.04.2. I booted into a live session via the USB without issues, and opted to wipe the drive and replace the whole thing with Ubuntu. The install completed without issues.

However, the computer now won't boot into Ubuntu, and the BIOS doesn't detect the harddrive at all. I can see the file system when mounted in the live session, but the BIOS can't detect it.

I tried using Boot Repair to manually reinstall Grub to every drive on the computer. When starting it with a Live USB with Grub installed, I end up in a Grub Rescue terminal. It enters this terminal with an error where it can't recognize a drive, referring to this missing drive as a UUID.

The Eeebok doesn't really have a harddrive per se, but rather an internal MMC storage. I don't know if that matters. Also, I (stupidly) did not backup the original drive image, so I can't factory reset it.

So, any ideas?

Here is a pastebin of output from Boot Repair, run from the Live USB

  • "The Eeebok doesn't really have a harddrive per se, but rather an internal MMC storage. I don't know if that matters. Also, I (stupidly) did not backup the original drive image, so I can't factory reset it." drivers, maybe? – Ave Apr 30 '17 at 18:49
  • @Avery Not sure what you mean. The Live session of Ubuntu reads the drive without issue. It's just that the BIOS can't boot from it for some reason. Where would I install any drivers? – hexamon Apr 30 '17 at 18:56
  • Try switching between legacy (BIOS) mode and UEFI mode and see if that makes any difference. BIOS not seeing HDD sounds like a MBR/GPT issue. – Ave Apr 30 '17 at 18:59
  • @Avery I had to switch to CSM mode in order to get into the Live USB. As far as I understand it, CSM is legacy mode. I'm not sure I understand the MBR/GPT part. – hexamon Apr 30 '17 at 19:04
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In the end I got help on reddit which solved the problem. I took the following steps:

  1. Installed Ubuntu 14.04 Live CD on a USB stick, and booted into it.

  2. Used Startup Disk Creator on Ubuntu 14.04 to create a Live CD of Ubuntu 16.04 on a second USB stick.

  3. Added a 32 Bit EFI file to the 16.04 Ubuntu installation on the second USB (ASUS apparently uses a 32 bit BIOS on their cheaper laptops, even if they're 64 bit systems.) The file was found here:

ASUS 32 bit EFI file on GitHub

Add the file to the folder /EFI/BOOT

  1. I rebooted the computer, and booted into the 16.04 live CD.

  2. I used Gparted to format the MMC drive to Msdos default.

  3. I installed Ubuntu 16.04 with the Erase disk and install option from the regular installer.

  4. Done.

Many thanks to Reddit user dr_jekell for helping me out with this.

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