Installing HA OS on a mini pc without UEFI

Hi all,

I ordered the following mini PC with an Intel J4125 as it was almost the same price as a similar RPi4 hw here.

Before getting my hands on this PC, I was reading how to install HA OS on an Intel x86. The steps mention enabling UEFI boot mode. I didn’t know what that was, however, the seller indicated that this PC doesn’t have UEFI option. Would there be a way to install OS without that and if yes, could you please point me to a link that explains the process?

Thanks in advance! I am looking forward to learning from and contributing to HA community.

You can always install debian and use a supervised ha install.

That is indeed what my alternative plan is. I was wondering if there is a way to install the OS.
I am also wondering whether the convenience you get while running the native OS (vs supervised) is worth changing my decision and make me go for another hardware build.

Have you got an answer?
I am looking into another guy with the similar price:
HP 600 G2

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I use this method (HA OS) and it works on either Bios or UEFI enabled systems.

Find and create a Hirens USB bootable USB (32 Gb), I used Rufus to write the disk image but Etcher will work too. https://www.hirensbootcd.org/

Now find a Etcher portable and copy to your Hirens Boot drive along with the HA OS disk image for x86/64 and place in same directory on USB drive. https://github.com/balena-io/etcher/releases/download/v1.7.1/balenaEtcher-Portable-1.7.1.exe

Boot system with Hiren USB and navigate to folder you put etcher in, execute locate disk image and select destination (should be onboard SSD/EMMC). Write the image and when done shut down Hirens PE environment. Remove USB and start machine.

HA should boot and screen should indicate DHCP address so you can complete the onboarding or restore your back up from previous installation.

That’s how I do it anyway on a mini pc with a SSD/EMMC soldered to the board. Not a fan of SD or USB for long term read/write operations.

To add to my post: yes the Debian method is also a way. I however point out the HA OS method due to mini PCs onboard EMMCs generally not being that large space wise and the Debian install will eat more than the HA OS version. If this is a single purpose device, the HA OS is all you would need for Home Assistant operations.

I booted the computer (old notebook in BIOS mode, not UEFI) with ubuntu live cd and burned the HA image to the disk with Balena Etcher. But HA did not boot. What is the difference between the method you mentioned and the method I did?

I have a mini-pc that runs Ubuntu, and HA runs in a virtual machine. Love this setup, especially since I can just clone the virtual machine whenever I want to experiment with something. If it breaks or I get interrupted, just start the backup and everything will be up and running in under minute.

Could you make it work?

Thans for this. I used it severaltimes already. Mostly 5 to 10 min. to install from scratch to a werking HA instalation.

How did you end up getting the computer to boot? I did exactly what you outlined and the disk has been formatted GPT and not MBR. The computer I’m using doesn’t support UEFI\EFI and on boot it says there is no bootable media. How did you get around this? I really want this to work without having to buy new hardware and I dont understand why this has to boot UEFI…

Your method wouldn’t work on a device without UEFI as the x86/64 image requires UEFI to boot.

What you described is just the method to install on media that isn’t removable, nothing more. If done on a PC that doesn’t support UEFI, it installs fine, but it wouldn’t boot to Home Assistant.