Asus X401A UEFI with no legacy boot

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I have a recently bought (January 2013) Asus X401A netbook which has no option for a legacy boot in the BIOS. It only supports UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface).

This means if you want to install Linux, you can only install a version which supports UEFI.

There are many people saying how to install, for example, Linux Mint, on an Asus X401A but in every case at some point in the instructions it says to go into the BIOS and switch off UEFI in favour of legacy BIOS support. The BIOS in my machine does not have that option. It is in the manual, but not present in the machine.

At the time of writing (February 2013) not even Mint 14 supports UEFI booting on this machine. Recent Ubuntu versions (certainly 12.10.1) do.

In trying to use EasyBCD to get it to work, I managed to have Windows disappear from the list of available boot options, meaning the machine had to be rebuilt from scratch.

NB: My PC has version 204 of the BIOS, dated 02/05/2012, the ASUS web site suggests the BIOS versions go up to version 212, dated 07/01/2013. Update: updating the BIOS to version 212 made no difference: there is still no option to switch off UEFI and enable legacy BOIS support.

Fixed it, I think.

  1. Asus X401A with no legacy BIOS support, only UEFI, and with Windows 7 installed.
  2. Defrag the Windows partition.
  3. Decrease the size of the Windows partition to make room for Linux (I just halved it).
  4. Increased Linux Mint 14. This does not come up as an option for booting.
  5. I then booted from a EUFI-compatible Linux, in my case a Ubuntu 12.04.1 CD.
  6. Follow the instructions for installing Boot-Repair from here. You have to press Enter at one point, and at another enter 'fg' to get the commands to finish, and accept "Yes" to purge grub.
  7. I ran boot-repair and accepted the default fix option and let it get on with it.
  8. Boot-repair told me to record the path to add to the boot options, but it was there anyway.

Next I need to change Mint to be the default boot, and change the grub menu to not wait but go straight into Mint.