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gilius
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Message 1 of 24
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installing linux on envy x2

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So far I haven't got anything to boot up yet from USB on the HP Envy x2!

 

I disabled Secure Boot and formatted some USBs with Windows Arm ISOs, using Rufus.

 

So far they *partially* boot up using MBR or GPT UEFI modes - but only FAT32 and not NTFS; however, the progress icon *spins* for a long time before encountering a blue screen - "watchdog violation". Of course they work as installation files once booted into Windows and running the setup.exe, but if the windows OS was missing entirely then I fear what few options we would have left for recovery.

 

I tried to boot Ubuntu Server for ARM 64, but the USB is not detected having been created with Rufus (restricted to DD Image mode only). 

 

Next, I am going to look at some Linux ISO tools, as well as other Windows USB tools. However, it's not looking good since both the aforementioned ISOs boot up fine in Qemu-System-Aarch64.

 

One thing that did seem promising with the HP Envy X2 from a incomplete test I did: Windows 7 Backup and Restore in Control Panel was able to create 3 x VHD/Xs of the Windows 10 Arm hard drive partitions and seemed to boot from them when given an entry using EasyBCD. Nevertheless, if the entire disk got corrupted, I can't (yet) imagine how this machine could be recovered?

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CF4
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Hi

 

Can we start with Make, Model and OS (SKU even).


ISO images of various Microsoft OS's are available.

They can be be downloaded (sometimes you need a licence key other than the HP OEM key)
and 'burnt'/expanded to a DVD/USB. They WONT contain appropriate HP software, like drivers etc.
But may enable a repair to be started.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows8
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

For when it’s a NON MS OS (iOS/Linux/Android) to create install media.
www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO
and a HOW2 is here...
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/install-windows-10-from-usb

So perhaps Windows can be re-installed.

 

We need to start with the correct PC and Architecture.

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gilius
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Message 3 of 24
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Achitecture is ARM64/Snapdragon.

 

I can confirm that NOTHING boots up externally via USB or CD-Rom. Same problem each time: Windows ARM installer crashes (requires a hard reboot) or Linux just displays a black screen immediately after UEFI boot (also requires a hard reboot).  I tried 5 different Linux distros for ARM64/AARCH64 - all same problem. 

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CF4
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AAND the SKU model number is????

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gilius
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HP really needs to test the BIOS/firmware before putting out PCs with new architecture - particularly expensive machines like this one! It's only, like, the newest HP machine on the market right now. However, just from searching this forum it seems the Envy series, in general, is plagued with BIOS problems of a similar nature to as described here.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/campaigns/envy-x2/overview.html

 

How did HP even get Windows S onto this machine in the first place!? I guess the hard drives must be imaged first before they're fitted inside the machines, as the BIOS/firmware is incapable of booting up anything as far as I can tell...

 

These are just some of the Windows 10 on ARM ISOs I tried to boot via the BIOS/firmware - all designed with modern UEFI systems in mind:

16299.15.170928-1534.RS3_RELEASE_CLIENTPRO_OEMRET_ARM64FRE_EN-GB.ISO

17107.1000.180220-1350.RS4_RELEASE_CLIENTPRO_OEMRET_ARM64FRE_EN-GB.ISO

17627.1000.180315-1512.RS_PRERELEASE_CLIENTPRO_OEMRET_ARM64FRE_EN-GB.ISO

17025.1000.171020-1626_ARM64FRE.ISO

17133.1.180323-1312.RS4_RELEASE_CLIENTCORE_OEMRET_ARM64FRE_EN-GB.ISO

 

Here are all the Linux distibutions I tried:

CentOS-7-aarch64-Everything.iso

debian-9.4.0-arm64-xfce-CD-1.iso

Fedora-Everything-netinst-aarch64-27-1.6.iso

Fedora-Server-dvd-aarch64-27-1.6.iso

openSUSE-Tumbleweed-DVD-aarch64-Snapshot20180322-Media.iso

ubuntu-16.04.4-server-arm64.iso

 

Yet all crash during startup immediately after the UEFI boot stage - either as USB or DVD/CD-ROM - requires a hard reboot. As FAT-32 USB they are listed in the F9 boot menu as expected; CD/DVD mode asks to press any key to boot from CD or DVD... but all the Linux distros subsequently crash with a black screen (or Windows spins and then either freeze crashes or arrives at the "Watchdog Violation" BSOD). None of these operating systems will arrive at even the first menu screen, so we never get to configure partitions, etc. Also, with NTFS no boot devices even get listed/detected on the main F9 boot screen except as EFI files within the "Boot from EFI file" sub-menus - and it skips always to loading windows as if there's no USB connected. In a similar topic regarding this Envy series somebody even suggested we've got more chance of booting as exFAT/FAT16!!!

 

Note: the tools I used here were Rufus as well as the official Windows ISO to USB/CD/DVD to make the DVD-Rs (and hybrid ones boot up on other systems just fine). There aren't many options in the BIOS, and I've tried with/without secure boot, exhausting pretty much everything I can in terms of troubleshooting this. Fast startup is disabled in Windows as is Hibernate, etc, etc...

 

HP ENVY x2 Detachable 12-e0xx

3GB63EA#ABU

System Board ID 84C7

Snapdragon(TM) 835

BIOS version F.03

 

Since there are no firmware/bios driver updates available on the HP website, I guess I have no choice but to take this back to the shop on Saturday. 

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gilius
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So for peace of mind I decided to do secure erase in the bios to see if the factory reset or system recovery would put everything back again to how it was, but now it's left with no operating system and nothing will boot up or recover, so it's just an empty shell!

 

Since the bios/firmware refuses to boot any ISOs to USBs, my very last attempt at booting up something before returning it to the shop where I purchased it from will be to half install Windows 10 ARM using Qemu-System-Aarch64 on another PC and then to try to create a Windows To Go USB from that. However, I believe my chances here are very slim indeed.

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CF4
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Message 7 of 24
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Hi

 

Why disable secure boot if W10 is best served with that, and why not re-instate it?

 

Debian seems the strongest candidate and then FreeBSD (a unix).

 

You have an 8 core CPU and a special/rarified GPU so maybe Linux drivers etc are yet to catch up.

 

There seems to be no Drivers on the Software page, no BIOS update even.

Updates are via the Microsoft Windows Update/Store I believe.

(http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c05865213)  Manual.

 

Securely erasing the BIOS would in my view give a PW (paperweight) rather than a PC (personalcomputer).

 

Turn on/restart computer, quickly press ESC, and then press F10 to access BIOS.

 

Updated versions of Setup Utility (BIOS) are available through Windows updates.

When an update is available,it is automatically downloaded and installed.

 

If you tried Opensuse Leap and then

 xzcat [image].raw.xz | dd bs=4M of=/dev/sdX iflag=fullblock oflag=direct; sync

rather than a Tumbleweed .iso the result may have been different.  You could put the image directly onto the Hard Disk in its own partition and tried an install from there.

 

So it seems that I can offer no help at this stage.

 

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gilius
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Message 8 of 24
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Why disable secure boot if W10 is best served with that, and why not re-instate it?

Is recommended for installing Linux - but regardless nothing boots up externally (Linux or Windows) with Secure Boot enabled/disabled.

 

Debian seems the strongest candidate and then FreeBSD (a unix).

 

You have an 8 core CPU and a special/rarified GPU so maybe Linux drivers etc are yet to catch up.

But all distros crash without even getting to the first menu screen, including Windows(!), when booted from external USB/DVD-ROM, so it's clearly an issue with the bios/firmware and appears to be a wider issue affecting the Envy series in general.

 

There seems to be no Drivers on the Software page, no BIOS update even.

Updates are via the Microsoft Windows Update/Store I believe.

(http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c05865213)  Manual.

Exactly - no drivers - nothing.

 

Securely erasing the BIOS would in my view give a PW (paperweight) rather than a PC (personalcomputer).

The secure erase option in the BIOS is for securely erasing the harddrive - not the BIOS - hence erasing any sensitive data when, say, passing on a machine to a new owner.

 

Updated versions of Setup Utility (BIOS) are available through Windows updates.

When an update is available,it is automatically downloaded and installed.

The main bios/firmware that is responsible for booting up operating systems in the first place is what's at fault here. Even with the latest version of Windows 10 Pro installed it still would not allow anything to boot up - would require HP drivers to fix if it's not a hardware fault.

 

You could put the image directly onto the Hard Disk in its own partition and tried an install from there.

Have tried every method imaginable, but so far NOTHING can boot up on this HP, so will be returning to the shop.

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xnox
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Message 9 of 24
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Hi,

 

We do not build Ubuntu Server for ARM 64 ISOs as hybrid USB/ISO, thus it will indeed not boot via USB.

 

However, we do build ARM64 UEFI enabled Cloud images which should be bootable as removable UEFI devices.

 

Could you try booting either:

 

https://cloud-images.ubuntu.com/bionic/current/bionic-server-cloudimg-arm64.img

 

or 

 

https://cloud-images.ubuntu.com/xenial/current/xenial-server-cloudimg-arm64-uefi1.img

 

To flash that image onto a usb stick, you need to use qemu-img convert to raw first, then dd it to usb device. Or e.g. mount the image using modprobe nbd && qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd0 path-to.img and then dd /dev/nbd0 to usb device.

 

Note these images will need 10GB at least. I can build a smaller ARM64 uefi cloud image for you if 10GB is a problem.

 

If booting works, we can work on adding cloud-config metadata onto it, which will mean it will self-expand to fill the disk and allow you to access it. Or e.g. break=bottom in the initramfs to dd the cloud image onto the internal hard-drive, after building initramfs with the right kernel modules to access the internal hard-drive.

 

If that works, I can start building ARM64 Server images with hybrid UEFI officially too.

 

Regards,

 

DImitri.

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xnox
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Message 10 of 24
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Actually I stand corrected, the ubuntu server arm64 iso image is built with /efi/boot/bootaa64.efi available, thus it should have booted when DD'ed onto a usb stick. And it does do that on ARM64 server hardware.

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