Update BIOS motherboard ASUS Zenith Extreme x399

This time we show what to expect when updating your UEFI BIOS of your ASUS Zenith Extreme (chipset x399) – a pretty good and performance setup! Here we update the UEFI BIOS from the BIOS itself – in fact, no OS is needed! This motherboard has a built-on utility called

Asus EZ Flash 3 Utility

which is started from the BIOS and it could read your NTFS or FAT filesystem to locate the update firmware file or the easy way to get connected to the Internet, check, download and install the update if any!
So here some screenshots to how to perform the update from 1003 to 1402 – it is easy and safe just couple of reboots needed – total of 4 (but in your case may vary).

STEP 1) Press DEL or F2 to enter your UEFI BIOS

main menu
Enter UEFI BIOS

Keep on reading!

Manual install of base Gentoo Linux x86_64 with openrc (init) and uefi using minimal installation cd

Here we are going to show the minimum steps to install a base Gentoo Linux on your computer – server or desktop using “Minimal Installation CD”.
The installation ISO CD is generated on 11.09.2018, but you can use an older or newer one, this guide uses commands, which are available in really old ISOs (10 years ago) and probably will be available in the future, too! The idea is not to change this ISO a lot and to have only the basic tools for installation, which should be the same for a really log time! If you need more tools there two other options: Hybrid IS0, which is a LiveDVD – a system with GUI and Admin CD, which is extended version of the minimal installation CD (no GUI).

Our base Gentoo system will use:

  1. OpenRC, which is based on init to boot the server. This is the default in Gentoo, but you might have problems using Gnome
  2. GRUB 2 UEFI enabled and the server will be booted in UEFI mode. Recently most of the desktop machine and server support it and in many cases it is mandatory to use a new hardware.
  3. No GUI will be installed (KDE, Gnome, Xfce and so on), there are other tutorials for this, you can check here (coming soon)

Keep on reading!

Gentoo Minimal Installation CD (amd64 aka x86_64) – booting (in UEFI mode)

Here is the process of booting from a Gentoo Minimal Installation CD amd64 (x86_64) with UEFI mode enabled. This is not an installation guide!
You can download the CD from here: https://www.gentoo.org/downloads/ Here is the ISO file: http://distfiles.gentoo.org/releases/amd64/autobuilds/20180911T214502Z/install-amd64-minimal-20180911T214502Z.iso or you can check it in some mirror like leaseweb – http://mirror.leaseweb.com/gentoo/releases/amd64/autobuilds/current-install-amd64-minimal/install-amd64-minimal-20180911T214502Z.iso.

Our motherboard is Asus ROG Zenith Extreme motherboard using X399 chipset https://www.asus.com/th/Motherboards/ROG-ZENITH-EXTREME/ and you’ll see the BIOS options for it, but they do not differ much with the other motherboard boot options. Here also setup the network and start up an openssh server to manage our Gentoo Linux installation – (coming soon).

SCREENSHOT 1) Starting the machine

main menu
Start up

Keep on reading!

grub2: grub-install: error: disk mduuid not found even after the partition has bios_grub on

This tutorial is for all of us that has done everything by the book with parted and still they receive an error when installing grub2 to the boot sector!

srv@local ~ # grub2-install /dev/sda
Installing for i386-pc platform.
grub2-install: error: disk `mduuid/51b39c2b565a6629d9efc9b3c39b44ff' not found. 

The solution is simple enough:

set the bios_grub on AGAIN even the parted reported it as ON

So you have a problem with your disks and booted to reinstall the grub and used parted from the rescue CD/DVD/USB and then you chroot to the OS you wanted to repair and execute

grub2-install or grub-install

you get the error above? But why parted reported this:

srv@local ~ # parted /dev/sda
GNU Parted 3.2
Using /dev/sda
Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
(parted) p                                                                
Model: DELL PERC H700 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 480GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    File system     Name     Flags
 1      1049kB  2097kB  1049kB                  primary  bios_grub
 2      2097kB  4096MB  4094MB  linux-swap(v1)  primary  raid
 3      4096MB  24.0GB  19.9GB  ext4            primary
 4      24.0GB  480GB   456GB   ext4            primary

(parted)

And still you get the error:

grub2-install: error: disk `mduuid/51b39c2b565a6629d9efc9b3c39b44ff' not found. 

Why it is unknown for us, but the solution was simple, just do SET the flag again – in our case in the chrooted environment we used the parted program from the distro we wanted to repair and the grub-install was then used from the same distro (in the chrooted environment). At first we used the parted from the rescue distro, but apparently they are some issues with the versions even the two parted program – that one from the chrooted environment and from the rescue distro reported the bios_grub as set ON.
It is possible to get this error after using

sgdisk

to duplicate the partition table of a disk (BTW ALWAYS use “-G, –randomize-guids” with sgdisk, after you duplicate the partition table of a disk or you’ll get into BIG troubles!).
So to write down the solution (in fact it’s like a workaround):

srv@local ~ # parted /dev/sda
GNU Parted 3.2
Using /dev/sda
Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
(parted) set 1 bios_grub on
(parted) q
srv@local ~ # parted /dev/sdb
GNU Parted 3.2
Using /dev/sdb
Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
(parted) set 1 bios_grub on
(parted) q
srv@local ~ # grub2-install /dev/sda
Installing for i386-pc platform.
Installation finished. No error reported.
srv@local ~ # grub2-install /dev/sdb
Installing for i386-pc platform.
Installation finished. No error reported.

* If you are using UEFI enabled boot you probably need more options for the grub installation

Something like that for the grub2 installation (but it is specific for your distro – the path for efi directory, just find it under /boot and put the right path – nothing special!):

grub-install --recheck --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi/ /dev/sda