Entering BIOS on a Toshiba Satellite C855-2F0 laptop

I recently bought a Toshiba Satellite with the intention of putting Linux (Ubuntu) on it. The first hurdle turned out to get it to boot from a DVD or USB stick. I don’t understand why it has to be so difficult to get into BIOS on modern laptops.

This does not have anything to do with UEFI or secure boot but seems to be an attempt to stop people putting anything but Windows on their laptops. There is a trick to get in, though.

Start your laptop up. Then shut it down again, whilst holding down the left shift key. Once powered off, hold down <F2> and power it back on again. This will bring up a standard BIOS menu.

The laptop still would not boot my USB Ubuntu distro (written with LiLi USB creator) and it took disabling Secure Boot and UEFI booting in BIOS to get it to boot from the DVD. I now have both Windows 8 and Ubuntu installed but it requires switching BIOS from standard to UEFI boot to switch between them. Also, the Realtek RTL8723AE wifi adapter doesn’t work and a bit of Googling suggests that Linux 3.8 is needed for this.

Stay tuned, UEFI dual boot and wifi will be the next little projects.

This entry was posted in Linux and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Entering BIOS on a Toshiba Satellite C855-2F0 laptop

  1. morsing says:

    Right, I think I promised an update on this, although I almost can’t remember what I did now.

    The wifi card in this laptop is only supported in kernel 3.9 onwards which Ubuntu 13 comes with, so I upgraded to 13. This did make the card work but it is very flakey and as I really wanted a dual-band card, I have now ordered an Intel 6300 PCI Express card which is supported.

    Ok, I remember what I did now. I followed the Ubuntu guide on how to convert to EFI. I could skip the “Create EFI partition” as my Windows 8 laptop already had one. I downloaded the tool Boot-Repair (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair) went to “Advanced Options” and then the “Grub location” tab.

    Tick the “Separate /boot/efi partition” and click “Apply”. That’s it! Reboot and enter BIOS to change it back to EFI and when you exit you should now see a standard Grub menu to boot both Windows and Linux.

Leave a Reply