Deleted UEFI Boot partition

Had Linux Mint up and running on Surface Book (1) ( thanks Vasileios).
Mint had a major upgrade, so installed. Boot partition then came up with warning that it was full.
Found some commands to use in terminal to remove both duplicates, and old files. Caused fatal error. Rebooted in USB. Thought that would re-install, but make partition bigger. Deleted all partitions and reformatted.
In retrospect, that was a mistake :slight_smile:
Now will not boot. and in USB cannot install. Seems I may need to repartition and add EFI.
What to do, apart from using as a very thin draught stop for the door?

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Hello there @100Monkeys and welcome to the forums!
I’m the main… Minotaur wondering these caves! :laughing:

First and foremost, when space becomes an issue, Stacer is your friend.

sudo apt install stacer

Let’s take it from the beginning. Can you boot via a USB at all? As in for the live version?


I can boot to USB
Touchpad and keybaord work.
Connect to a network/internet ok.
" The attempt ot mount a file system with type vfat in /dev/nvme0np1 at /boot/efi failed":
You may resume partitioning from the partitioning menu.

I can go back and see my partitions.
freespace 1mb
/dev/nvme0n1p1 efi 536mb (size) 26mb (used)
/dev/nvme0n1p2 ext4 2555522 mb (size) 5147 (used)
free space 0mb

Then I can choose Device for boot loader ( /dev/nvmeon1 ) xxxx256.1gb

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Whenever it says there’s an error at the /boot/efi part, this means that Secure Boot may have kicked in. Can you verify it?

When I go into secure boot I have disabled and allowed all, so get the red unlocked padlock.
The issue I think is that I completely formatted the partition. Seems like I need 3 partitions. EFI, Boot and (equivilent of c:/).

Oh, yes. Microsoft’s way of saying “Don’t go! You’re in danger outside our prison cell!”

I get that too on my SL3.

If you do custom partitioning, you’ll need 3 of them.

  • Your Boot partition (either FAT32 or EXT4), mounted under /boot and at 512MB-1GB.
  • Your Swap Partition, usually the size of your RAM and selected as swap file system
  • Your root (main) partition, which would be EXT4 and mounted under /
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So what do I do? Need to set it up manually at install somehow?

It all depends on your wish!
Will you be running Windows on the same system?
If not, then it’s the traditional method you worked on before. :slight_smile:

However, if you do install an LTS version with a Kernel < 5.12, you will need to use the patched kernel before your additional hardware becomes available.

If you go with Ubuntu 20.10 for example, it has Kernel 5.13, so almost everything will work out of the box. The same goes for Manjaro as well.

Yes, but does not let me install at all.
It boots with the USB, but that is it. That is my problem…

Do you mean that it gets stuck on the installer?

" The attempt ot mount a file system with type vfat in /dev/nvme0np1 at /boot/efi failed"
Then I can click continue, and it just hangs.

Then I have a proposition. If you don’t have any working OS in the system, go to the Live version of your Linux and run “Disks”. Then, select your drive partitions and delete them via the “-” icon. If that produces any error, then try the following. I think you may have some form of persistent storage - so it may work. Go to the terminal and type:

sudo apt install gparted

Then execute it to delete and format the entire drive. In that scenario, the drive itself will be clean.

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Excellent. Thanks.
Ran gparted from Ubuntu 21.10
Deleted all partitions. Formatted a primary partition in EXT4 for the size of my drive.
Rebooted back to USB. Installed on ZFS with encryption.
So far, so good.

Thanks so very much !!!


Awesome! I am so happy to hear it!
Sometimes Microshaft tends to leave traces of its presence on the very first blocks/sectors of the drive that can give people nightmares. I accidentally discovered that when I was installing Arch.

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