HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby BamHI » 2018-10-11 14:13

Dear Debian User Forum Community,

I recently bought an HP EliteBook 840 G5 (region: Europe/Austria, language: German, edition: “u:book”) in the "FreeDOS" version and tried to install Linux Debian 9.5. By doing so, I accidently did not install GRUB in the same partition as I installed Linux (partition 3), but instead I installed GRUB directly into the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the SSD. I hoped that the machine was able to handle this but it turned out that this was not the case.

Therefore, I am now sitting here with an unbootable device with a broken MBR. Of course, I did not create a backup of the original MBR. According to the documentary of the HP Customer Support (https://support.hp.com/gb-en/document/c00476202) the "Windows Operating System Disc (OSD)" is able to solve that problem with the command "FIXMBR”.

Generally, that is a great advice, but in my particular case, I run into two other problems with this putative solution: The first is that the HP EliteBook 840 G5 does not have a DVD-Drive. The second issue is that since I have the "FreeDOS" version of the machine, I do not have the "Windows Operating System Disc (OSD)" or any other rescue disks by any means.

So, all of that brings me now down to the following question:
Is here someone with either the same laptop who can create a back up of the MBR and send me the file or someone who can fetch the MBR from the Windows OSD? At the end I need all the necessary files to create a bootable USB-Drive from which I can repair and restore my MBR?

I would be immensely grateful for a helpful and situation-solving reply!

Best regards,
BamHI
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby Bulkley » 2018-10-11 15:04

Get a Grub rescue disk on live-USB. Start here.
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby p.H » 2018-10-11 17:54

BamHI wrote:I installed GRUB directly into the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the SSD. I hoped that the machine was able to handle this but it turned out that this was not the case.

What happens when the computer boots ?
Did you check that the boot mode is set to legacy (not UEFI) in the firmware setup ?
Did you keep the FreeDOS partition or delete it ?
Did you set a primary partition as "active" in the MBR partition table ? My experience with HP computers is that they require this even though the boot loader itself does not care.

BamHI wrote:the HP EliteBook 840 G5 does not have a DVD-Drive.

An external USB DVD drive is rather affordable.

BamHI wrote:Is here someone with either the same laptop who can create a back up of the MBR and send me the file or someone who can fetch the MBR from the Windows OSD? At the end I need all the necessary files to create a bootable USB-Drive from which I can repair and restore my MBR?

Don't you have the Debian installer on a USB drive ? IIRC, in expert mode you can select "mbr" in the additional components and use the install-mbr program which allows to install an almost standard boot program in the MBR.

But this won't be enough, because the standard boot program only chainloads another boot program from the active partition boot sector. GRUB boot image was installed in the MBR, not in a partition boot sector. So you would need to reinstall GRUB in that partition. You can also do this with the Debian installer if you select "rescue".
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby GarryRicketson » 2018-10-11 21:14

Postby Bulkley » 2018-10-11 09:04

Get a Grub rescue disk on live-USB. Start here.

This might work, in any event , some kind of Live USB needs to be made.

by p.H » Don't you have the Debian installer on a USB drive ? IIRC, in expert mode you can select "mbr" in the additional components and use the install-mbr program which allows to install an almost standard boot program in the MBR.

Seems like the OP should have this, I mean they must of had it on something, when they tried to install Debian.

==== If none of the above work === Below =====
Here (below ) is where I get confused:
Post by BamHI » 2018-10-11 08:13

Dear Debian User Forum Community,

I recently bought an HP EliteBook 840 G5 (region: Europe/Austria, language: German, edition: “u:book”) in the "FreeDOS" version ---snip---

Is the OP , saying FreeDos was the only OS installed on this ? and it was preinstalled ?
I do not understand the need for any Windows, I have installed both FreeDos,and Linux, including Debian, on 2 HP Laptops,(as dual boot) never needed anything from MS or windows,
So any way, this just does not make sense to me:
by BamHI » The second issue is that since I have the "FreeDOS" version of the machine, I do not have the "Windows Operating System Disc (OSD)" or any other rescue disks by any means.

(Note, I think the guide, in the link the OP posted is for a laptop that has Windows installed on it).
and
by BamHI »So, all of that brings me now down to the following question:
Is here someone with either the same laptop who can create a back up of the MBR and send me the file or someone who can fetch the MBR from the Windows OSD?

Why ? No, I don't have anything for MS windows, or "Windows OS", I do have
"FreeDos", and it has a good MBR, but no need for me to send it to the OP, it is available free of charge, to anyone that needs or wants it:
http://www.freedos.org/
----------------------------
http://www.freedos.org/download/

Also, if the the "GrubRescue" Live USB does not work, the OP could build a FreeDos, "live usb", or simply install FreeDos again.
BamHI wrote:
the HP EliteBook 840 G5 does not have a DVD-Drive.

No optical drive at all ?, Then is is not the same as mine, but any way, it would be well worth the investment to get a usb optical drive, portable, it will be a use full tool in the future as well.
An external USB DVD drive is rather affordable.

Below is some additional links that may be of use:
http://help.fdos.org/en/hhstndrd/util/bootfix.htm
Command: bootfix

BOOTFIX is a boot sector testing and fixing tool.

Comments:

The boot sector and the master boot record (MBR) are very important
parts of the FAT filesystem. They are created by fdisk and sys.
If something is wrong with the boot sector, the whole partition
cannot be read. If something is wrong with the master boot record
the OS (FreeDOS) cannot boot at all.

But the OP will need a live usb, or CD to run the command,
Some instructions for putting FreeDos on a usb device:
http://freedos.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/USB
The OP will need access to a working PC to do this though. Last resort, or maybe easiest, depending on the OP's skills, etc,... take the lap top to a qualified repair shop, a tech should be able to restore the MBR, and they will have tools like the portable USB optical drive, etc.
I don't think the Windows OSD, is needed , but a qualified tech/repair shop would have it as well.
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby stephenj » 2018-10-12 10:56

p.H wrote:
BamHI wrote:I installed GRUB directly into the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the SSD. I hoped that the machine was able to handle this but it turned out that this was not the case.

What happens when the computer boots ?
Did you check that the boot mode is set to legacy (not UEFI) in the firmware setup ?
Did you keep the FreeDOS partition or delete it ?
Did you set a primary partition as "active" in the MBR partition table ? My experience with HP computers is that they require this even though the boot loader itself does not care.

BamHI wrote:the HP EliteBook 840 G5 does not have a DVD-Drive.

An external USB DVD drive is rather affordable.

BamHI wrote:Is here someone with either the same laptop who can create a back up of the MBR and send me the file or someone who can get the complete noocube review from fitness donkey and the Windows OSD? At the end I need all the necessary files to create a bootable USB-Drive from which I can repair and restore my MBR?

Don't you have the Debian installer on a USB drive ? IIRC, in expert mode you can select "mbr" in the additional components and use the install-mbr program which allows to install an almost standard boot program in the MBR.

But this won't be enough, because the standard boot program only chainloads another boot program from the active partition boot sector. GRUB boot image was installed in the MBR, not in a partition boot sector. So you would need to reinstall GRUB in that partition. You can also do this with the Debian installer if you select "rescue".


I have HP Envy x360 and I almost ruined my system. Your instructions helped solved my problem. Thanks a TON!
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby p.H » 2018-10-12 11:43

Which instructions precisely helped ?
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby BamHI » 2018-10-13 14:57

Thank you all so much for your supportive answers! Till now I still was not able to solve the problem entirely, but I think I am closer to the solution.

Bulkley wrote:Get a Grub rescue disk on live-USB. Start here.

First I want to thank Bulkley for giving me the link to the most amazing piece of software ever written as far as booting is concerned! I was not aware of the existence of super_grub2_disk and thanks to you I am now able to boot into Debian. In fact, I am writing this text on my HP EliteBook which is really great. So that solved my primary issue. The only downside is that I am still not able to boot without the super_grub2_disk. So I still have to search for a permanent solution, but the super_grub2_disk is a great interim solution!

Next I want to answer some of p.H's questions:

p.H wrote:What happens when the computer boots ?

After displaying the "hp" logo it displays a screen saying:
"
BootDevice Not Found
Please install an operating system on your hard disk.
Hard Disk - (3F0)
F2 System Diagnostics
_
"

p.H wrote:Did you check that the boot mode is set to legacy (not UEFI) in the firmware setup ?

Yes and no - meaning I tried to boot in both ways and in either case I get the message from above.

p.H wrote:Did you keep the FreeDOS partition or delete it ?

Initially the device had three partitions and it still has three partitions. I did not change anything here. So the partitions are:
#1 - FreeDos HP Documentary and Warranty files - 8 GB
#2 - FreeDos (the normal FreeDOS operating system for normal use) - 8 GB
#3 - An empty, not configured partition. Size: Rest up to the 500 GB of the SSD.
I installed Debian into partition 3 so that it is now formated to ext4. Debian set GRUB into the MBR. Partition 1 and 2 are the same as in the beginning. Right now I can not boot into anything and with super_grub2_disk I also can only boot into Debian but not FreeDOS.

p.H wrote:Did you set a primary partition as "active" in the MBR partition table ? My experience with HP computers is that they require this even though the boot loader itself does not care.

Yes? No? Maybe? I don't know. I do not know how to check or change that.

p.H wrote:Don't you have the Debian installer on a USB drive ? IIRC, in expert mode you can select "mbr" in the additional components and use the install-mbr program which allows to install an almost standard boot program in the MBR.

Thank you for that information and I checked that and it is true, but when I tried to use it, the Debian installer gave me an error message saying "GRUB can not be installed". I got the same error message for trying to install GRUB into the MBR as well as in partition 3.

p.H wrote:But this won't be enough, because the standard boot program only chainloads another boot program from the active partition boot sector. GRUB boot image was installed in the MBR, not in a partition boot sector. So you would need to reinstall GRUB in that partition. You can also do this with the Debian installer if you select "rescue".

Right, this is what I also did and again I got the error message from above.

stephenj wrote:I have HP Envy x360 and I almost ruined my system. Your instructions helped solved my problem. Thanks a TON!

So it is great that it helped for you, but interestingly I still have the same problem.

That brings me to the solution of GarryRicketson:

GarryRicketson wrote:Is the OP , saying FreeDos was the only OS installed on this ? and it was preinstalled ?

Yes and yes. FreeDOS was preinstalled as the only operating system. That is the main idea of "FreeDOS" versions.

GarryRicketson wrote:Below is some additional links that may be of use:http://help.fdos.org/en/hhstndrd/util/bootfix.htm

Thank you for the idea of reinstallation of FreeDOS and using the "bootfix" command and I actually tried this, but I was unsure how to use that command because one has to specify a drive like "C" and I do not know what drive to choose. And I also do not know how to tell the FreeDOS installer in which partition it has to be installed.

That said, again thank you all for your help and sorry that I did not answer earlier. I work in the field of genetics and developmental biology and I try to get started with bioinformatics but the "informatics" part is still quite foreign to me and since I had enough stuff to do I am only able to answer now.

With that there are two questions remaining:
Do you think that the problem is the difference of the MBR in FreeDOS and (maybe?) the GPT in Debian as well as the GPT in GRUB at the beginning of the SSD so that no booting method (legacy/UEFI) can work? And if so is there a possibility from within Debian itself (thanks to super_grub2_disk I can boot into that) to change that?

Can I, for instance, change GRUB from GPT to MBR within Debian? Can I put MBR in all partition's boot sectors from within Debian?
Would it be a better idea to simply replace FreeDOS with, for example, "Damn Small Linux" just to have the same boot sector configuration everywhere?
Do to the HP Documentary and Warranty file in partition 1 I initially did not want to do that but if it is the easiest solution I might go for it.

So what du you think, what's the best path to follow or is there another solution I currently do not see?

Thanks to all of you so far.
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby p.H » 2018-10-13 18:03

BamHI wrote:With that there are two questions remaining:

All you wrote after this about MBR and GPT is nonsense.
Please provide the complete and exact output (as plain text) of the following commands :
Code: Select all
fdisk -l # must be root
df -hT
dpkg -l "grub*"
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby BamHI » 2018-10-13 20:36

p.H wrote:All you wrote after this about MBR and GPT is nonsense.


Ok, good to know. Here are the outputs of the commands:

#1:
Disk /dev/nvme0n1: 477 GiB, 512110190592 bytes, 1000215216 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x05e3df63

Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/nvme0n1p1 2048 16371711 16369664 7,8G c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/nvme0n1p2 16371712 32741375 16369664 7,8G c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/nvme0n1p3 32741376 1000214527 967473152 461,3G 83 Linux


GPT PMBR size mismatch (39851 != 30031871) will be corrected by w(rite).
Disk /dev/sda: 14,3 GiB, 15376318464 bytes, 30031872 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 06BC6EBB-32BA-456C-9031-CDE8F419F20E

Device Start End Sectors Size Type
/dev/sda1 64 359 296 148K Microsoft basic data
/dev/sda2 360 6119 5760 2,8M EFI System
/dev/sda3 6120 39803 33684 16,5M Microsoft basic data

#2:
Dateisystem Typ Größe Benutzt Verf. Verw% Eingehängt auf
udev devtmpfs 12G 0 12G 0% /dev
tmpfs tmpfs 2,4G 9,4M 2,4G 1% /run
/dev/nvme0n1p3 ext4 454G 4,7G 426G 2% /
tmpfs tmpfs 12G 66M 12G 1% /dev/shm
tmpfs tmpfs 5,0M 4,0K 5,0M 1% /run/lock
tmpfs tmpfs 12G 0 12G 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs tmpfs 2,4G 4,0K 2,4G 1% /run/user/115
tmpfs tmpfs 2,4G 24K 2,4G 1% /run/user/1000

#3:
Gewünscht=Unbekannt/Installieren/R=Entfernen/P=Vollständig Löschen/Halten
| Status=Nicht/Installiert/Config/U=Entpackt/halb konFiguriert/
Halb installiert/Trigger erWartet/Trigger anhängig
|/ Fehler?=(kein)/R=Neuinstallation notwendig (Status, Fehler: GROSS=schlecht)
||/ Name Version Architektur Beschreibung
+++-==============-============-============-=================================
un grub <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
ii grub-common 2.02~beta3-5 amd64 GRand Unified Bootloader (common
un grub-coreboot <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-doc <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-efi <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-efi-amd64 <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-efi-ia32 <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-efi-ia64 <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-emu <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-ieee1275 <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-legacy <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-legacy-do <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-linuxbios <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
ii grub-pc 2.02~beta3-5 amd64 GRand Unified Bootloader, version
ii grub-pc-bin 2.02~beta3-5 amd64 GRand Unified Bootloader, version
un grub-xen <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-yeeloong <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub2 <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
ii grub2-common 2.02~beta3-5 amd64 GRand Unified Bootloader (common)

(end of last output)
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby GarryRicketson » 2018-10-14 02:13

Not really sure what to say here, first things first I guess,
by BamHI » Do to the HP Documentary and Warranty file in partition 1 I initially did not want to do that but if it is the easiest solution I might go for it.

I think you mean "Due" and not Do,... Is there any other data on the 1st partition that is important to you ?, If there is the first thing you should do is back up everything you want to save, to late now, but you should have made a good backup , before you started messing with things , including installing another OS. If you had made a good back up , the solution would be simple, you could restore the original system with the backup. And then start over.
You probably have all ready voided, or violated any warranty , I don't know on that.

by BamHI »Thank you for the idea of reinstallation of FreeDOS and using the "bootfix" command and I actually tried this, but I was unsure how to use that command because one has to specify a drive like "C" and I do not know what drive to choose.

Your welcome, and I need to apologize, actually the "bootfix" command is pretty much useless for this, so forget about that.
If you decide to try to re-install FreeDos, :
by BamHI » And I also do not know how to tell the FreeDOS installer in which partition it has to be installed.

Do you have a FreeDos USB stick you can use to re-install with ? When you boot with FreeDos, it is pretty straight forward, it will probably be C: that you install to, how ever keep in mind, and it will warn you about this, It will overwrite everything on that partition,including your HP warranty, and documentation,if they are on the same partition. Based on this they are not on the same partition :
Code: Select all
 #1 - FreeDos HP Documentary and Warranty files - 8 GB
#2 - FreeDos (the normal FreeDOS operating system for normal use) - 8 GB
#3 - An empty, not configured partition. Size: Rest up to the 500 GB of the SSD.

Trying to explain this is kind of hard for me, so I made some screen shots,
Image
It may not be necessary to actually install FreeDos again, also you need to look at some information, to make sure you do select the correct partition, FreeDos comes with the "fdisk" command as well, so select the option <No, return to Dos.> This will take you to the Dos prompt:
Image
You will be in "A:", if you type C: at the prompt it will switch to C: if there is a C: drive that is readable, I did not us C: in the screen shot because I had not yet created a partition, and there was no C: how ever you will see, I looked at D:, tried E:. .....
So now, go back to the A: drive and you can run the fdisk command and you will see something like this:
Image
Choose the # 4 option, it is all pretty straight forward, as it says, "display partition information"
In this last screenshot, you will see I have created my C: partition, you will probably not need to do this,
since you all ready have a partition with FreeDos on it, that will , or should be the C: partition, it should be marked A , (active),...
Image
The "esc" key will exit fdisk, as it says. From the A: dos prompt, type: setup , that will take you back to the FreeDos installer, use the information you got when you used fdisk, it probably will show the other partitions, but any way, probably also if you proceed with the installation, it will show you that there is more then 1 partition, and ask which one you want to use, I am guessing it will be C:

The others, are linux, and the GPT, when you run fdisk, it will show those as well, it may say
"unknown" or something. If by some chance for example it shows the dos partition as being
D: or E:, the logic applies, you will need to select D: or what ever it showed.
You can type HELP, to get some command info if you do not know the Dos commands.


by BamHI » Would it be a better idea to simply replace FreeDOS with, for example, "Damn Small Linux" just to have the same boot sector configuration everywhere?

I don't know, don't know much about "Damn Small Linux" , I don't think I would do that, but the same is going to apply, you will need to learn some linux commands, like using fdisk, etc, to determine which partition to install to.
There are various ways to solve this. You should be able to use the Grub rescue disk to install grub2
some where, and get a boot loader set up, I know nothing about the grub rescue disk, so p.H
will need to help you on that, or just follow the manual, and instructions if the disk has some.
Also I noticed :
Discuss on how to use Super Grub2 Disk to solve your problems on the forum https://www.supergrubdisk.org/forum/

If over writing the FreeDos partition with some other Linux system is a option for you, Why "damn small linux" ? Why not just install Debian to the entire Drive and be done with it ?
Re-install FreeDos, and install Grub, (grub2),
You could just re-install Debian, but install it to the entire Drive, read the Debian install documentation
before you start, the Debian installer will install Grub2 , at the end of the installation.




This, below is gibberish to me, I can not make any sense of it :
Code: Select all
#3:
Gewünscht=Unbekannt/Installieren/R=Entfernen/P=Vollständig Löschen/Halten
| Status=Nicht/Installiert/Config/U=Entpackt/halb konFiguriert/
Halb installiert/Trigger erWartet/Trigger anhängig
|/ Fehler?=(kein)/R=Neuinstallation notwendig (Status, Fehler: GROSS=schlecht)
||/ Name Version Architektur Beschreibung
+++-==============-============-============-=================================
un grub <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
ii grub-common 2.02~beta3-5 amd64 GRand Unified Bootloader (common
un grub-coreboot <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-doc <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-efi <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-efi-amd64 <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-efi-ia32 <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-efi-ia64 <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-emu <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-ieee1275 <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-legacy <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-legacy-do <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-linuxbios <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
ii grub-pc 2.02~beta3-5 amd64 GRand Unified Bootloader, version
ii grub-pc-bin 2.02~beta3-5 amd64 GRand Unified Bootloader, version
un grub-xen <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub-yeeloong <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
un grub2 <keine> <keine> (keine Beschreibung vorhanden)
ii grub2-common 2.02~beta3-5 amd64 GRand Unified Bootloader (common)
 
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby p.H » 2018-10-14 07:23

Code: Select all
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x05e3df63

Device         Boot    Start        End   Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/nvme0n1p1          2048   16371711  16369664   7,8G  c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/nvme0n1p2      16371712   32741375  16369664   7,8G  c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/nvme0n1p3      32741376 1000214527 967473152 461,3G 83 Linux


The partition table format is DOS/MBR and the boot mode is BIOS/legacy but no partition has the boot flag. Try to set the boot flag on any partition, as HP firmwares often require it.
Code: Select all
fdisk /dev/nvme0n1

command: a (toggle boot flag)
partition: 3 (does not matter actually)
command: w (write and exit)

If that does not work, post the output of
Code: Select all
hd -n 512 /dev/nvme0n1

(this dumps the contents of the MBR)

GarryRicketson wrote:This, below is gibberish to me, I can not make any sense of it

It's German. I should prefix localized commands with "LANG=C" to get outputs in English.
But no need to understand German to see that grub-pc is installed.
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby BamHI » 2018-10-15 15:14

Thank you again for helping me out! Thanks to you I reached the solution to the problem! But also, first things first:

GarryRicketson wrote:I think you mean "Due" and not Do

Yes, exactly, I meant that.

GarryRicketson wrote:If you had made a good back up , the solution would be simple

Well that is the problem with not creating back ups. Maybe this situation will change my behavior on that.

GarryRicketson wrote:so I made some screen shots

Thank you very much for undertaking the efforts to go through the process yourself and make all that screen shots! Although p.H's solution was the problem solving one (I will get to that), I appreciate your undertaking!

GarryRicketson wrote:you will need to learn some linux commands

That was the idea of the journey in any case. I will see how far it gets me.

GarryRicketson wrote:This, below is gibberish to me, I can not make any sense of it :

Yeah, sorry for posting the localized output.

That brings me now to p.H's solution:

p.H wrote:command: a (toggle boot flag)
partition: 3 (does not matter actually)
command: w (write and exit)

I did precisely that with fdisk and what should I say? IT WORKS! Meaning, after hitting the power button and displaying the hp logo the laptop loads GRUB from which I can choose Debian which then boots absolutely normal. Also booting from GRUB into FreeDOS works absolutely fine. There is no need for super_grub2_disk anymore. With that my problem is solved - THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

p.H wrote:dumps the contents of the MBR

So I guess posting the MBR dump is by now pointless.

p.H wrote:It's German. I should prefix localized commands with "LANG=C" to get outputs in English.

If I were aware of that, I would have used it, yes.

With that, I want to thank you all for your enormous help! THANK YOU!
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby GarryRicketson » 2018-10-15 16:26

Your welcome, glad you got it working and with out re-installing anything.
p.H wrote:
dumps the contents of the MBR


So I guess posting the MBR dump is by now pointless. [/quote]
Yes, no need for it now. And for what ever it is worth, the 'bootfix' command on FreeDos, does the same thing, it just dumps the contents of the MBR, it is kind of a misleading name, because it does not fix anything, but is use full to determine if the MBR is corrupted or not even there any more.
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GarryRicketson
 
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Re: HP EliteBook 840 G5 GRUB MBR

Postby p.H » 2018-10-20 10:26

BamHI wrote:I did precisely that with fdisk and what should I say? IT WORKS! Meaning, after hitting the power button and displaying the hp logo the laptop loads GRUB

Also confirming that HP firmwares are still broken. Not a surprise, though...
However, there is still a mystery to me : before installing Debian, I guess FreeDOS once booted fine on this laptop. It implies that the FreeDOS partition had the boot flag set. You did not delete the partition, so how was the boot flag reset ?

BamHI wrote:With that, I want to thank you all for your enormous help! THANK YOU!

You're welcome, but my thanks jar is already full.
p.H
 
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