Saturday, 30 July 2016

Dual booting Ubuntu and Windows on the CS125 Intel Compute Stick (STK1AW32SC)


Currently dual booting Ubuntu and Windows relies on using the BIOS's 32-bit bootloader. However booting sometimes results in a blank coloured (typicaly purple) screen so switching the OS requires a cold boot through the BIOS using the F10 option.

This 'F10' dependency can be removed by simply re-installing Windows as a 64-bit version and the switch is free (i.e. you don't have to pay for it) as long as you have a qualifying Windows license (see How to migrate to Windows 10 64-bit from 32-bit versions of Windows).

The whole process to configure dual booting is essentially straightforward and consists of three parts. First you need to prepare a USB for the Windows 10 64-bit installation. Then you need to install Windows 10 64-bit from the USB. Finally you need to download and install Ubuntu and configure dual boot.

Because the switch from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows requires a new installation (meanings files, applications and settings will be deleted) you will also have to install native 64-bit drivers. I've created a video of instructions with screenshots (see https://youtu.be/UQPCYwz-PK0) which covers the process in more detail and will assist anyone wanting to dual boot.


Before you start you will need:

1 x CS125 (STK1AW32SC) with Windows 10 installed
1 x USB
4 x hours
1 x backup (optional)

and the following links:

Windows ISO: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/techbench
Intel Drivers: https://downloadcenter.intel.com
Rufus: https://rufus.akeo.ie
Ubuntu ISO: http://linuxiumcomau.blogspot.com/2016/06/running-ubuntu-on-intel-compute-stick.html

Remember to take a backup of any files you want to keep before you try this as otherwise they will be erased during the installation. And don't try going from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 using this method as you'll probably end up having to pay for a Windows 10 license now that free upgrades have finished. Also this will not work on the first generation BayTrail Intel Compute Sticks (STCK1A32WFC) as the BIOS is not compatible with the Windows 64-bit ISO.

14 comments:

  1. Hello and thanks again for the great work, one small issue is that the first link Windows Iso gives a "we are sorry the requested page could not be found" error.
    thanks

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    1. Seems they've taken that page down ... try https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO ... works best from a non-Windows PC otherwise you have to download Windows Media Creator first.

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    2. MS have noted that 'The Microsoft Techbench web page might not be working at this time. If you are unable to load the Techbench web page, please use the Media Creation Tool.' - see http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki/windows_10-windows_install/how-to-download-official-windows-10-iso-files/35cde7ec-5b6f-481c-a02d-dadf465df326

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  2. Ok so bad news half way down the road my stick stopped to work. I had just finished resizing windows to make place for linux and when I restarted the stick it stopped working now it does nothing it wont even get to bios.

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    Replies
    1. First let me clarify your last actions. Your last successful boot was in Windows where you entered 'Disk Management' and then successfully created space for Ubuntu? Then you went to reboot to the USB using F10 but it stopped at that point and now it does nothing, correct?

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    2. It is correct except the last part. On the last reboot (after resizing win c) when i had ubuntu on an usb drive plugged in to the stick to start linux install, so after reboot nothing happened (and nothing happens since) the stick didnt even get to the point where i have the f2, f10, etc options. Basically nothing happens when I try to boot up the stick.

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    3. Okay, lets assume the resize failed. Detach everything from the device (i.e. unplug from HDMI, remove any USBs and unplug power). Next reconnect the HDMI, Ubuntu USB any keyboard/mouse USB and then reconnect the power. Turn on the device (if not set as autoboot in the BIOS) and wait. Keep waiting for approximately 3 minutes (maybe 5 minutes to be sure). You will have just a blank screen. But eventually the BIOS menu options will appear after the 3-5 minute wait period. Then press F10 and boot into Ubuntu (just to confirm the device works). Let me know how this goes as I suspect the device has 'soft-bricked' at this stage.

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    4. ok and if nothing happens after waiting for more than half an hour, two times?

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    5. Is/was the device set to boot immediately when powered on (There is a setting called "Power State" in the BIOS which can be either "Always ON" or "Always OFF" with the default being set to always on)? And when you connect the power cable does the blue light come on and then remain on or go off?

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    6. Hi it is set to always on and yes blue light comes on and then remain on but nothing else happens.

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    7. I suggest updating the BIOS using the Power Button Menu Update method. Please follow http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/intel-compute-stick/000006016.html and hopefully with a USB containing the latest BIOS is attached and holding the power button down for 3 seconds and releasing it before the 4-second shutdown override will bring up the power button menu allowing you to flash the BIOS.

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    8. So far no luck will try now to put bios on a micro sd to see if it works. Power button menu never appears.

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    9. Could it be that I do not get the gap between 3 and 4 seconds correctly but power button menu does not appear neither when i have usb or sd card connected on boot. So any other ideas would be welcome.

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    10. Given you have tried all the official support solutions and that the device appears to have simply stopped working I suggest contacting Intel (http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/contact-support.html) and raise an 'Online Service Request' for the 'Intel® Compute Stick' and request an RMA for a repair under warranty.

      Nothing you did (which was just to update Windows) would cause a device to fail. And because none of the recovery options have worked I can only assume your device has failed with a hardware fault which cannot be resolved with software resets. An RMA appears to be the only available course of action now.

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