Grub menu not working

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  • This topic has 87 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated Mar 30-7:10 pm by smit.
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  • #137199
    Moderator
    Brian Masinick

      Thanks all for all the philosophy too!

      I discovered that by simply uninstalling rEFInd (via Linux) I was immediately able to get back into the BIOS via F2.

      So it does seem there is either a conflict or some intended function in the Windows Bootloader or BIOS that is upset by both rEFInd and Grub.

      This at least suggests the possibility that the Windows Bootloader has a different setting.
      I’m now “placing my bet” on it being set to UEFI Secure. I could be wrong, but that is
      where this seems to be leading.

      Incidentally it IS possible for the Windows Bootloader to be set to boot a Linux distribution.
      The syntax is not very convenient, and it has been a SUPER long time since I’ve done this – probably
      between 2007-2010 when I had a 32-bit Lenovo laptop. I had Windows on that computer and one
      Linux distro, once upon the distant past. At one point I was able to figure out how to put
      Windows boot entries into GRUB and also how to put Linux entries into Windows.

      That was SO LONG ago that it may have even been the OLD GRUB (something like V0.97 – the initial
      GRUB NEVER reached V1.0; GRUB 2 is the style we have now). So though I have a vague
      recollection of this, the specifics are beyond my recollection. It’s up to you if
      you want to pursue this possibility or not; I could also be wrong.

      --
      Brian Masinick

      #137201
      Moderator
      Brian Masinick

        This article may give you some hints; I haven’t had a system dual boot
        Windows and Linux since that old Lenovo laptop so I can’t test anything
        here.

        https://www.itechguides.com/windows-boot-manager-how-to-edit-bootmgr-and-fix-boot-errors-in-windows-10/

        --
        Brian Masinick

        #137228
        Member
        mygrove

          I am cautiously reporting success.

          After flirting with rEFInd I had another go with Grub.

          I used the live antiX session and ran just the first option in the Boot Repair tool i.e. “Repair GRUB Bootloader”.

          On reboot it still booted to Windows with no Grub screen. I booted again with F12 to get the Boot Menu, this confirmed an entry now existed for antiX although it was the last item listed. I rebooted again and got into BIOS via F2 (This did not work on previous attempts when I also “Repaired the GRUB configuration file”.)

          Once in BIOS I changed the Boot order to put antiX as the first item. Strangely this item in the boot sequence had no description but I was still able to select it and move it to the top.

          Ta-Da. Now I get the Grub menu and can choose antiX or Windows.

          Thanks for all your nudges and pointers.

          #137240
          Moderator
          Brian Masinick

            I am cautiously reporting success.

            After flirting with rEFInd I had another go with Grub.

            I used the live antiX session and ran just the first option in the Boot Repair tool i.e. “Repair GRUB Bootloader”.

            On reboot it still booted to Windows with no Grub screen. I booted again with F12 to get the Boot Menu, this confirmed an entry now existed for antiX although it was the last item listed. I rebooted again and got into BIOS via F2 (This did not work on previous attempts when I also “Repaired the GRUB configuration file”.)

            Once in BIOS I changed the Boot order to put antiX as the first item. Strangely this item in the boot sequence had no description but I was still able to select it and move it to the top.

            Ta-Da. Now I get the Grub menu and can choose antiX or Windows.

            Thanks for all your nudges and pointers.

            Congratulations on your success! I’ve been “scratching my head on this” because we’ve been giving you multiple ways to get this to work. Ultimately I think it took a little experimentation on your part (which you did) and it helped you to learn a few things and now you’ve had at least one case of “fixing” or repairing your boot loader. It may happen again, but now you know that unless the physical equipment is harmed or something is erased it’s definitely possible to install, reinstall, and repair boot loaders. They’re just code, and though they “seem” complex, they are actually rather simple, at least compared to system kernels and device drivers, both of which are well beyond the complete understanding of most of us. Yeah, we know how to use them, but very few of us know what they do in detail; whereas a boot loader simply points to the location of one or more system images (the kernel) and specifically points to the starting location of whatever images are identified by the boot loader.

            --
            Brian Masinick

            #137251
            Member
            abc-nix

              Once in BIOS I changed the Boot order to put antiX as the first item. Strangely this item in the boot sequence had no description but I was still able to select it and move it to the top.

              Ta-Da. Now I get the Grub menu and can choose antiX or Windows.

              Thanks for all your nudges and pointers.

              I am glad it now works as it should have from the start.

              After your experiences, I am in fear of buying a new computer in the future. Probably things will not get better but worse for non-Windows users. I may have to consider Linux-supported laptops (even if more expensive) instead of generic Windows laptops to install Linux over. Though maybe I could avoid this if I completely wipe Windows and the disk clean before installing Linux. The good thing is that I learned a lot from this thread. Good to you for persisting and not giving up.

              #137319
              Member
              stevesr0

                Hi mygrove,

                Please explain what you meant by

                Strangely this item in the boot sequence had no description, but I was still able to select it and move it to the top.

                What was the name and location of the item in the UEFI BIOS menus in which you found antiX listed as an option?

                Thanks in advance.

                #137329
                Member
                mygrove

                  Hi mygrove,

                  Please explain what you meant by

                  Strangely this item in the boot sequence had no description, but I was still able to select it and move it to the top.

                  What was the name and location of the item in the UEFI BIOS menus in which you found antiX listed as an option?

                  Thanks in advance.

                  It appears like this in the BIOS settings. The obfuscation is not mine. When I first saw this in the BIOS it appaered as the third entry which I moved up as I had a USB in place at the time. I just moved this entry to the top.

                  Attachments:
                  #137332
                  Member
                  PPC

                    It appears like this in the BIOS settings. The obfuscation is not mine. When I first saw this in the BIOS it appaered as the third entry which I moved up as I had a USB in place at the time. I just moved this entry to the top.

                    Many thanks for the picture. It may be useful for other users having problems installing antiX in UEFI systems

                    #137334
                    Moderator
                    Brian Masinick

                      Once in BIOS I changed the Boot order to put antiX as the first item. Strangely this item in the boot sequence had no description but I was still able to select it and move it to the top.

                      Ta-Da. Now I get the Grub menu and can choose antiX or Windows.

                      Thanks for all your nudges and pointers.

                      I am glad it now works as it should have from the start.

                      After your experiences, I am in fear of buying a new computer in the future. Probably things will not get better but worse for non-Windows users. I may have to consider Linux-supported laptops (even if more expensive) instead of generic Windows laptops to install Linux over. Though maybe I could avoid this if I completely wipe Windows and the disk clean before installing Linux. The good thing is that I learned a lot from this thread. Good to you for persisting and not giving up.

                      @abc-nix if you are genuinely worried about conquering a massive number of impediments before you can get a Linux environment running on certain new computers, be VERY WARY of the Acer Aspire 5 series in particular. It’s REALLY unfortunate, because Acer, as a relatively “low end” computer vendor, offers very competitive performance on very modest priced systems. They can undercut Lenovo by several hundred dollars on most any unit that has an IDENTICAL CPU, whether an AMD Ryzen or Intel Core i series processor is chosen. The rub? Their system management tools are among the WORST I’ve ever seen!

                      Back in the 2020-2022 time-frame, after I had purchased an excellent Acer Chromebook 715, (2019 model), I was highly impressed with it; the performance, even now, is OUTSTANDING when you run Google ChromeOS on it. So naturally when I spotted a good deal on an Acer Aspire 5 A515-55 with a FAST NVME SSD, I went for it!

                      WOW! Did I ever have a LOT to overcome! I had to read article after article to successfully get ANY Linux system working on it, and because it used a really modern generation wireless interface card, not all distributions had ALL of the correct wireless firmware available in their repositories! Guess what? Debian was one of those vendors who flubbed it up, at least initially; our antiX implementations at that time suffered from it, but I didn’t give up! I looked and looked, was successful at getting a few distributions working, so I CAREFULLY examined their firmware support, found the modules I needed, and I GRAFTED them onto an antiX image that I installed.

                      At that point I STILL could NOT access the network with it, but I could boot it; so being a multi-distro user, I assembled a few distros that WERE able to do the networking properly; can’t remember for certain, but I THINK the AHS implementation of MX Linux at the time was one of them; the NON AHS one absolutely had the SAME issues as antiX, so that was a HUGE clue for me! Therefore, I installed the AHS instance and looked, side by side at the specific modules that were missing, copied them over and tried again. NOPE! That WASN’T enough! I also needed the modules, I believe they were in /lib/modules if I remember correctly, to match the wireless firmware modules AND I needed a late vintage 5 series kernel OR a new 6 series kernel; did ALL of that, AFTER overcoming the TERRIBLE system console and management tools in the Aspire series and was rewarded with a modest priced ROCKET SHIP!

                      PROBLEMS STILL abound! A year or year and a half after conquering all of this, I decided to revamp my disk configuration and along the way I needed to access my Acer system console. NUTS! I managed to misplace, throw away, or do something with the PASSWORD I set up to access that thing! No amount of calls to their support numbers or any other measures led to a resolution!

                      TOTALLY frustrated with that particular system console, despite the GREAT price/performance of the unit, I vowed to avoid their models, EXCEPT for their excellent Chromebook lineup – BUT – that Chromebook 715 runs SO well that I doubt that I’ll need to replace that beast for a LONG time – plus I really don’t use it all that often.

                      MUCH better models: My HP-14 AMD Ryzen 5 5500U laptop has been outstanding. I DO think that the Acer Aspire 5 A515-55 was FASTER with the Intel Core i5 11th generation processor, but this thing is much easier to manage; IBM, HP, and Dell have ALL worked with Linux for over two decades now; IBM, long ago, sold their PC lineup to Lenovo, who now make some of the best consumer grade products – IF you can afford their VERY premium prices. Dell is somewhere in between; HP isn’t quite as “cheap” as Acer, but their stuff is solid, at least it has been in 100% of the systems I’ve ever used at work or at home, so if you are getting a new laptop and price is a major consideration, for that reason, I’d pick HP for reasonable prices, Dell for slightly better stuff, also slightly higher prices, and Lenovo for the BEST IF you can AFFORD the BEST!

                      There are other small brand names that are also very good, but you’ll generally pay a big premium for them too. System76 has good stuff; I’ve not owned any myself, but an “older” friend of mine who got into Linux big time after retirement bought one, and based on his descriptions, they were the best around, and probably remain so today; again, NOT cheap, but VERY good!

                      https://system76.com/

                      --
                      Brian Masinick

                      #137356
                      Member
                      stevesr0

                        Hi mygrove,

                        Thanks for the picture. Wierd that the name is blacked out (censored).

                        On one of my systems, I have a custom UEFI BIOS from the Win-Raid forum. It actually has TWO pages. I just looked at it and both have a place to set the OS boot order. One menu is titled BBS priorities, which I totally don’t understand the meaning of (bulletin board service??). The other is an ordinary “boot order” item. HOWEVER, IIRC, only fixing the order in the BBS menu worked.

                        #137357
                        Member
                        PPC

                          Sigh…I wonder, in this day and age, where we all communicate accessing the largest repository of human knowledge since the down of time, why people say they don’t understand something that they literally can look up and find the answer in less than 20 seconds… I had never heard of BBS priorities. So I searched for that in duckduckgo. Using any other search engine will probably get you an answer too:

                          BBS stands for BIOS Boot Specification. It is a standardized boot process that directs the BIOS to identify and prioritize the initial program load (IPL) of the devices in the computer. Usually allowing the selection of a specific drive to boot from.

                          • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by PPC.
                          #137365
                          Member
                          stevesr0

                            Hi PPC,

                            Thanks for enlightenment!

                            But if that deals with “drives” rather than OSes, I don’t understand why it actually is holding the different OS choices. The boot drive options are located elsewhere…

                            #137369
                            Moderator
                            Brian Masinick

                              @PPC One awful aspect of acronyms is that a three letter acronym is virtually certain to have multiple meanings, for instance a very well known acronym for American people over sixty years of age is BBS, a bulletin board system.

                              I looked up acronyms for BBS and in fact the first one is Bulletin Board System, the second one is Breeding Bird Survey and the third one is Behavior-Based Safety, so I caution everyone when they use any acronym to specify what their abbreviation means. I know tons of acronyms yet I didn’t remember the one you mentioned, nor did it show up on the first THREE acronyms in a simple search.

                              Be Back Soon is yet ANOTHER acronym with the same letters and I can provide six or more others, none of which are the BIOS Boot Specification!

                              Please be careful to always cite the meaning of all acronyms.

                              @marcelocripe did you know the BIOS Boot Specification was the acronym for BBS?

                              I am among the people who want such abbreviation shortcuts to be explained in each use of them, and THEN there is no ambiguity with their use in that particular conversation.

                              Two weeks later they should be explained AGAIN, that’s good technical writing style. I learned this in a technical writing class in high school and aced a similar course during my undergraduate university education.

                              It’s one of the first rules of technical writing. I believe that @anticapitalista is an educator. I suspect that he’s taken courses in technical writing too.

                              --
                              Brian Masinick

                              #137373
                              Member
                              RJP

                                A simply fix for MS-UEFI only computers is to copy linux´s grubx64.efi file to the EFI/Microsoft folder and rename grubx64.efi as bootmgfw.efi. Of course the original file can be backupped.

                                • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by RJP.
                                #137399
                                Moderator
                                Brian Masinick

                                  A simply fix for MS-UEFI only computers is to copy linux´s grubx64.efi file to the EFI/Microsoft folder and rename grubx64.efi as bootmgfw.efi. Of course the original file can be backupped.

                                  Thank you for your response!

                                  --
                                  Brian Masinick

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