Ubuntu – the efi/esp partition

partitioninguefi

What is the ESP (EFI System Partition)? I know it relates to UEFI. Would I end up with a bricked computer that wouldn't even boot to UEFI/BIOS if it were to mistakenly get removed? Is it fixable if it does?

Best Answer

what is the esp/efi partition?

The ESP (Efi System Partition) is a partition that contains, among other things, one or more bootloaders, which are loaded by the UEFI firmware upon startup, and which are necessary in order to boot an installed operating system;

would i end up with a bricked computer that wouldn't even boot to UEFI/BIOS if it were to mistakingly get removed

If you have only one ESP and no other bootloaders installed, deleting it will make all of the installed operating systems unbootable until a new ESP or a bootloader is installed; however this has nothing to do with being able to boot into the UEFI; the UEFI is a stand-alone piece of software built-in into an EEPROM soldered on the motherboard (which makes the UEFI, much like the BIOS, something erasable only using dedicated tools), which is meant, among other things, to search for and load a bootloader present in the ESP or in the MBR of a drive.

is it fixable if it does?

Yes, all it takes it's either creating a new ESP (using, for example, an Ubuntu Live DVD) and (as Rod Smith pointed out) reinstall the bootloader(s) in it or installing a bootloader (such as grub) in the MBR of one of the drives.

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