Grub disappeared (solved, sort of....)

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Grub disappeared (solved, sort of....)

Postby jppattison » 2018-01-26 20:14

I've asked this on other forums, but no results .....
I am/was dual-booting Winblows 10 and Debian 8. This is on a Dell, Latitude E7440 laptop. When Micro$haft updated (you have no choice, they are your nanny!), the update wiped out my Grub. I have no CD/DVD player, only USB. I have tried Debian 'Live' & several Debian derivatives 'Live' on USB to try to repair the Grub - EVEN if I have to update to Debian 9. BUT, the Bios, (which doesn't allow me to set the USB to startup first priority) won't catch the USB (which works in every other way other than starting up an OS). If I could find a step-by-step instruction to use a Grub repair from another laptop via cable, I'd try that, but so far most of the links I've seen deal with Winblows products or Ubuntu.
TIA, Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Last edited by jppattison on 2018-02-07 15:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-01-26 20:46

How exactly did you transfer the ISO image to the USB stick? (Hint: unetbootin doesn't work.)

Have you disabled Secure Boot?

Please run this command from a Windows Administrator prompt and post the output here:
Code: Select all
bcdedit
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby jppattison » 2018-01-26 21:51

(1) I used Rufus
(2) Yes, I have now disabled Secure Boot (thanks to the internet)
(3) C:\WINDOWS\system32>bcdedit

Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {bootmgr}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume2
path \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
resumeobject {ffc8b4f3-7798-11e6-9857-b2cf9d3ccd53}
displayorder {current}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 30

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {current}
device partition=C:
path \WINDOWS\system32\winload.efi
description Windows 10
locale en-US
inherit {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence {6baf21e3-e137-11e7-bb92-9763eb45f7f5}
displaymessageoverride Recovery
recoveryenabled Yes
isolatedcontext Yes
allowedinmemorysettings 0x15000075
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \WINDOWS
resumeobject {ffc8b4f3-7798-11e6-9857-b2cf9d3ccd53}
nx OptIn
bootmenupolicy Standard

I don't know what all this means, but I'm hoping you do! Thanks
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-01-26 22:01

jppattison wrote:I used Rufus

Did you select "DD" [sic] mode? That is required for isohybrid images such as Debian's.

Even so, lots of people have reported problems with that, you could try https://sourceforge.net/projects/usbwriter/ instead.

jppattison wrote:bcdedit
[...]
I don't know what all this means, but I'm hoping you do! Thanks

It means that Windows is installed in UEFI mode and Debian's bootloader is not on the EFI system partition.

Have you tried selecting CSM or "Legacy" mode?

Did you install Debian with UEFI enabled?

If so then try https://wiki.debian.org/GrubEFIReinstall (when we can get a live ISO booted).
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby jppattison » 2018-01-26 22:27

1- no, I had already downloaded the Debian 'Live' image from Debian.org. I'll give usbwriter a spin if you think it's worth a try.
2- I did try legacy mode, no difference. I don't know what CSM is,so I'll go back and see if that was something offered. I think it was only Legacy and UEFI, but I may be wrong.
3- I didn't originally install it, I bought it with that installed (I had the choice of Winblows 7 and Winblows 10, and me thinking 10 would be a better option, screwed up and asked for 10 :(
I never had these problems in the past with the older OS's - I'm pretty much of a computer illiterate, but I've learned a few things along the way ..... :lol: I just wish I could prioritize the bios like in the old days .....
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby p.H » 2018-01-27 11:58

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:It means that Windows is installed in UEFI mode

So GRUB was not wiped, because it is installed in a separate directory on the EFI partition or another EFI partition.
At worst its EFI boot entry was deleted. At least only the boot order was changed.
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:and Debian's bootloader is not on the EFI system partition.

How do you see that ? AFAIK, BCD does not contain information about other installed boot loaders. Only the UEFI firmware does.
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-01-27 17:01

p.H wrote:At least only the boot order was changed

No, if there was an NVRAM entry for Debian then it would be listed by `bcdedit`.

If Debian was installed in UEFI mode then Windows must have deleted the entry (which I find unlikely) or the UEFI firmware has f***ed up and "forgotten" it.
p.H wrote:
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:and Debian's bootloader is not on the EFI system partition.

How do you see that ? AFAIK, BCD does not contain information about other installed boot loaders. Only the UEFI firmware does.

I seem to remember that `bcdedit` displays all .efi loaders on the EFI system partition, I certainly remember seeing "bootx64.efi" in my old Win10 box but it is possible that I added that manually.

We should probably check objectively by mounting the ESP and searching for any Linux loaders but the OP needs to be able to boot a live image to do that.
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby pendrachken » 2018-01-27 22:50

http://www.dell.com/support/manuals/vg/ ... lang=en-us



Really, a cursory search would make your life much easier. Almost any PC will bring up the boot choice menu with either F9 or F12 during POST. It's rare that a PC will have another key to press, and even more rare that there will be no one time boot choice.
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:twisted: How did it know?

The U.S. uses the metric system too, we have tenths, hundredths and thousandths of inches :-P
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby jppattison » 2018-01-28 05:45

I have used both F2 and F12 - never tried F9, but I will as soon as I get done here .... F12 brings up a list, of which Debian is at the top. When I click on Debian, it goes straight to Win 10!
F2 goes to the BIOS, but there is no option to be able to place the USB at the top. I have no idea what all the numbers mean. I will try again and write them down and come back and post them. THX

Back Again .... F12 brings this;
Code: Select all
Boot mode is set to: UEFI; Secure Boot: OFF

UEFI BOOT;
Debian
Windows Boot Manager
Windows 10
UEFI: Patriot Blast

Other Options:
BIOS Setup
Device Configuration
BIOS Flash Update
Diagnostics
Change Boot Mode Settings


BTW, F9 did nothing, and went to Win 10
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-01-28 11:45

@OP, have you tried transferring the Debian ISO image to a brand new USB stick with the USBWriter program to which I linked earlier?

If your motherboard was able to boot the ISO originally then it should still be able to do that, a defective USB stick is the most likely explanation here.
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby jppattison » 2018-01-28 15:58

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:@OP, have you tried transferring the Debian ISO image to a brand new USB stick with the USBWriter program to which I linked earlier?

If your motherboard was able to boot the ISO originally then it should still be able to do that, a defective USB stick is the most likely explanation here.


The USB stick seems to work OK for photos, etc., but I will change to a different one and try that. I'm 100 miles from a big ciity where I might get a brand new one, so that would be sometime next month before the roads are clear enuff and we are able to go to Billings to do our monthly shopping.

BTW, I did try usbwriter and it made no diff. I even went to Dell and tried their version of creating a bootable stick .... not happening! Oh, also, I read the dialog box for the default setup ..... it says that the USB device will be the last to be loaded at startup :(, so it looks like no matter what, I'll have to figure out how to make my old lappy to be a server to hook up the two of them with cables and load Debian that way ..... IF that's even possible nowadays! I assume that's the way that the guy who sold me the laptop did it in the first place - just an assumption, of course!

Anyways, thanks for the help, and if I do get it to load up Debian (and probably wipe out Winblows 10), I'll come back to this thread and let everyone know.
Thanks to all
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby jppattison » 2018-02-01 21:11

I did get some good news from the people that sole me the laptop - it originally had Winblows 7 Pro on it, so that answers on question for me.
Head_on_a_Stick wrote: have you tried transferring the Debian ISO image to a brand new USB stick with the USBWriter program to which I linked earlier?

I wrote back that my stick worked fine ---- BUT ---- the guy who originally loaded the Debian explained to me that many times a stick will work fine for other tasks, but will no longer load ISOs before it eventually goes TU. So, it looks like I owe Head_on_a_Stick an apology. Now is a good time to buy a new stick! I'll let you know what happens!
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby jppattison » 2018-02-01 23:59

OK, I have tried USBwriter on 3 different flash drives, not one of them worked in startup. I will have to wait until I can get to town and buy a brand new one and see if that will do the job.
If that doesn't work, I've got to see if I can get a 'tutorial for dummies and computer illiterates' to figure out how to set up my E6400 as a PXE server, set up the Winblows 10 as a PXE client, and install Debian via the LAN internet.
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby jppattison » 2018-02-02 00:20

Believe it or not, I just restarted and it started up in Debian Live - WOOT!!!
I was going to shut it down, because of the times I have been shut out on the various tries to get my Debian going again. I must have unconsciously clicked on the wrong link!
Now I've got to find the installer (didn't come up in the search) so it will be here permanently!
Thanks to all those who offered advice/opinions, etc..
jppattison

UPDATE: As I was using the installer, the drive somehow failed, so it shows blank now and I'm not able to load anything on it NUTS!! I just wasted a 32Gb flash drive! But, after that I was able to load another drive, this time with another live distro, but the partitoner wasn't user friendly enuff for me, so I had to back out of that. Now I'm trying to get MX or antiX onto that partition, but now it doesn't want to install grub.
That's all for now ......
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Re: Grub disappeared

Postby jppattison » 2018-02-06 18:35

So, I gave up on the Dell E7440 - swapped it to the wife (she loves Winblows), for her old D610 w/Win7, on which I used the antiX live to partition and install a Debian derivative on for now. I gave up on the IBM Thinkpad laptop, but I'm going to see if I can steal the hard drive out of that (100+
Gb) and change it out with a 40Gb hard drive out of a Dell D600, which I think had Win 7 on it. If I can accomplish all that, I'll buy a USB enclosure for the 100Gb+ drive, install the 40Gb drive into the Thinkpad, and give it to the grandkids to play with.
Now I've got two laptops left, the E6400 with Win7Pro and antiX17 full, and this D610. If all goes well, I'll load BeerSmith on the D610 and use it as a brew-room computer to hold all of my recipes and brewing information.
My thanks to all who tried to help me with this problem.
jppattison

UPDATE: Now the E6400 has Winblows 7 Pro and Debian 9.3.0. I like the partitioner in antiX much better than whatever Debian uses. They may be the same for all I know, but the antiX setup is much more user friendly!
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