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Does the Acer Swift 1 SF113-31-P52E have an M.2 connection and can the laptop be loaded with linux?

GawainGawain Member Posts: 286 Practitioner
Hi All,  a couple of quick questions for folks with a SF113-31-P52E.  I know some Swift 1's have a M.2 port on the motherboard to increase internal storage and some don't, but I've drawn a blank as to this model so if it does, has anyone added storage (I asked Acer directly but am awaiting a response)?  And also, has anyone loaded linux (as the sole operating system and not as a virtual machine),  and if so, any big issues?  (I use Opensuse on a previous Acer but not so sure about the Swift 1 and the web seems pretty deficient of info.)  Thanks in advance, G.

Best Answer

  • JackEJackE Posts: 21,214 Trailblazer
    Accepted Answer
    Perhaps that's why some of these updates don't describe what they fix because it'd be too embarrassing. =) Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ

FAQ & Answers

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 21,214 Trailblazer
    Specs say it should have an m.2 slot. Best to install a Linux ubuntu flavor like mint as dual boot. I usually first preshrink the Windows partition with Disk Mgt to give the distro and its swap file as much room as desired.  Jack E/NJ

    ( 0) Pre-shrink Windows partition to desired unallocated space for Linux installation.
    ( 1) Make bootable GPT/FAT32(default) stick from the Linux installation iso with Rufus.
    ( 2) Set BIOS supervisor password(SECURITY), disable secure boot(BOOT)& enable F12 Windows boot mgr (MAIN). Save BIOS settings & exit. May not be needed with some Linux installations like Mint.
    ( 3) Shutdown & insert bootable Linux stick
    ( 4) Turn back on while immediately tapping F12. Select Linux stick to run.
    ( 5) Preferrably select a default Linux install option
    ( 6) Follow on-screen instructions to install alongside Windows.
    ( 7) Let Linux automatically set & resize partitions for Linux & its swap. Adjust for more or less space only if absolutely necessary.
    ( 8) Shutdown & remove Linux stick.
    ( 9) Turn back on while tapping F2.
    (10) Re-enable secure boot(BOOT) & select UEFI file as trusted(MAIN). Select HDD0, SSD0 or eMMC0, then <EFI>, then <ubuntu>, then grubx64.efi the UEFI file. Enter grubx64.efi in the space provided if selecting it doesn't automatically enter it. Save BIOS setting and exit.
    (11) Boot into Windows. Then shutdown again.
    (12) Turn back on while tapping F12.
    (13) If desired, put grubx64.efi ahead of Windows boot manager in UEFI bootstrapper

    Jack E/NJ
  • GawainGawain Member Posts: 286 Practitioner
    thanks for the response and info.  Do you have this model and can verify the M.2 interface? 
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 21,214 Trailblazer
    Only the specs. They suggest all SF113-31s have the slot. If you somehow know for sure that some don't, then evidence one way or the other can be found in the BIOS's INFO tab. If an empty HDD heading exists along with the eMMC heading, then your mainboard should have the empty m.2 slot. Jack E/NJ   
    Jack E/NJ
  • GawainGawain Member Posts: 286 Practitioner
    Cheers Jack - I'm pre-purchase and have read a few reviews where the physical slot is missing (so i assume it is region dependent for point of sale, hence the large number of variations that start with SF113-31-**), but none of the youtube "how to" upgrade vids were UK made which would have been verification enough. To cut a long story short - I intended to use the M.2 slot for the primary drive as it's SATA 3, which is way faster than the throughput for a eMMC interface.    I'll give Acer another working day to reply and if not, they lose a sale!  Thanks for trying anyway, G.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 21,214 Trailblazer
    @Gawain  Sounds like a good plan to me! Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ
  • GawainGawain Member Posts: 286 Practitioner
    @JackE Just an update that has relevance to other models too.  Acers answer was a little vague so i got a 128gb model anyway (ssd not eMMC).  Loaded SUSE which crashed on install then the machine was bricked (no F2 etc).  Got a speedy replacement, and after a bit of head scratching I noticed quite a few "cannot enter BIOS" posts on this site.  Sounded familiar, so I did a lot of testing on the new machine and came to the conclusion that the BIOS code is not logical.  Basically, a call is made to all paths within the "trusted secure boot settings" to verify the existence of a .efi file (not reading it, but just verifying it exists) - this occurs BEFORE a keyboard call to check if F2 (or any other key combination) is made.  So, no trusted .efi, BIOS job stops without a timeout so you do not get to the call to enter the BIOS from a keyb stroke.  To test, I had a fedora usb stick handy, plugged in, powered up, entered bios, added that .efi to trusted, proceeded to live boot from usb and renamed the efi partition on the ssd.  Rebooted with usb still plugged in - could access BIOS.  Rebooted again without USB drive - cannot enter BIOS.    (re-renamed hidden partition and all back to normal!).  The moral is, always have a bootable usb that has it's .efi added to the trusted list on these machines, 'cause if your efi partition gets corrupted, you're stuffed!  Incidentally, Linux works like an absolute peach on the Swift 1.  So there you go, take it easy, G.
  • padgettpadgett ACE Posts: 4,036 Pathfinder

    If what you need is a USB drive with a bootable signature then all you should need to do is to create a bootable Windows recovery drive and that signature is already in the store. Is a good idea to have one (and a system image) anyway.

    ps am surprised a BIOS would be released with an error like that.

  • GawainGawain Member Posts: 286 Practitioner
    yes, I was surprised too.  After 20+ years IT support,  it's a new one on me too.  Personally I think after the firmware was compiled, it wasn't tested on anything other than a pc which already had a win 10 imaged hdd (or stick) in it.  A simple test in QA on a barebones would have brought it to light, but c'est la vie.   Either way, all good now.  It's no so much an "error" but rather an oversight. 
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 21,214 Trailblazer
    Accepted Answer
    Perhaps that's why some of these updates don't describe what they fix because it'd be too embarrassing. =) Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ
  • torito_verdejotorito_verdejo Member Posts: 4 New User
    Gawain said:
    Hi All,  a couple of quick questions for folks with a SF113-31-P52E.  I know some Swift 1's have a M.2 port on the motherboard to increase internal storage and some don't, but I've drawn a blank as to this model so if it does, has anyone added storage (I asked Acer directly but am awaiting a response)?  And also, has anyone loaded linux (as the sole operating system and not as a virtual machine),  and if so, any big issues?  (I use Opensuse on a previous Acer but not so sure about the Swift 1 and the web seems pretty deficient of info.)  Thanks in advance, G.
    I've been working with a 15 years old laptop on which I installed last version of Debian and everything was working fine, with rather full driver compatibility. Why would't you expect the same from a modern laptop, built from mainstream components?
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 21,214 Trailblazer
    torito_verdejo>>>Why would't you expect the same from a modern laptop, built from mainstream components? >>>

    Hmmm??? I'm gonna guess because the modern mainstream hardware components weren't properly configured with modern mainstream firmware programming. IOW, I'm gonna guess a modern mainstream laptop geek(s) messed up and didn't QC  his geek work. Do you think I guessed correctly? =)   Jack E/NJ  
    Jack E/NJ
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