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Booting Linux using UEFI can brick Samsung laptops

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Booting Linux using UEFI just once on various Samsung laptops is enough to permanently stop them working. Several reports have been posted on the Ubuntu bug tracker, but the problem is likely to also be present in other Linux distributions, as it appears to be caused by a kernel driver for Samsung laptops. Kernel developers are currently discussing a change which would disable the driver when booting via UEFI.

Ubuntu developers were informed of the problem by one user last year, after he had tried to UEFI boot Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.04.1 on a Samsung 530U3C live from a USB flash drive. He had prepared the drive with Ubuntu's Startup Disk Creator, which sets everything up for booting via BIOS or EFI. Ubuntu froze shortly after loading the kernel and the user then powered down by holding down the power button. Thereafter the laptop refused to boot and the firmware would not even show basic startup information. Samsung repaired the laptop, which was under warranty, by replacing the motherboard. When the same thing occurred with the repaired machine, the user alerted the Ubuntu development team.

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