HP EliteBook 850 vs. Ubuntu

Well, it seems I’m going to travel around the world in the next few weeks. So I have to say good-bye to my desktop machine at the office (a bit customized Dell one with Ubuntu and ZFS with a few disks). So I’ve requested for a notebook at our IT and got a HP EliteBook 850 G3.

The specs of the machine is really good, actually it’s more powerful than my previous desktop, but it’s too big, heavy and have a TN display which is large enough to be viewed in an angle where colors could be shady at some part of the screen. So it won’t be hard to return it to the IT when the time comes.

Before I start my trips, I had a battle to fight install Ubuntu on this beast. It was not easy. The first time I booted Ubuntu 16.04 from USB stick, I installed Ubuntu removing all partitions save the EFI one and reboot. Instead of booting Ubuntu the boot loader started to whine over the recently removed Windows stuff, so I recreated the EFI partition as well. Results Grub command line…

It went on several times, with different BIOS settings, trying to enable legacy boot sequence, etc. In the meantime I read the Community knowledge bases, with little use. I even got the advice that install Windows back and run Ubuntu inside a VM. I did not give up and finally it happened:

  1. I set up Legacy Boot and Secure Boot disabled in BIOS (It might work with Secure Boot as well)
  2. I Created an EFI partition (~200 Mb) and one Partition for root, and another one for home.
  3. Install Ubuntu
  4. Install Boot-repair (from howtogeek)
  5. Selected: Backup and rename Windows EFI files
  6. Apply
  7. Reboot

From now HP EliteBook 850 boots with  Ubuntu

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