After successfully installing 3 OS partitions on a multi-boot laptop with the 4th OS destroyed the GRUB multi-boot menu

wizardfromoz

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No offence taken, but it won't work, and may bork Len's Windows.

Those first 4 partitions are a standard I have seen with many manufacturers, who make four partitions for Windows (usually on a BIOS/MBR rig, to make it difficult to install another OS, in this case Linux.

Len's rig, though is UEFI/GPT and so he is OK.

/dev/sda7 is the only legitimate Swap partition, and you can see that with the entry under File System header of linux-swap and the reddish colour to the box beside it.

The "swaps" at /dev/sda8 and /dev/sda10 are not real Swap partitions, being in Ext4, and even if they were real they are unnecessary, but the fstab entries might reveal something illuminating.

I am of the opinion now that Len is better off blowing away everything beyond /dev/sda4, that is /dev/sda5 to /dev/sda11, and starting from scratch, with one Linux first, consuming all remaining space, and this can then be carved back to introduce another Linux with care.

To do that, though, we have to be able to sort out the issue of a bootable USB stick being recognised under UEFI and not having to toggle to CSM Legacy. As long as that is a stumbling block, we won't be able to get a Grub Menu that accommodates Windows as well as Linux.

That is why I have asked after other USB sticks, and I am thinking of Andy @captain-sensible with his Ventoy or else perhaps a Rufus under Windows, to burn a Linux to.

Rufus 3.11 is out now, and it supports Persistence, which Andy was talking about, also.

https://rufus.ie/

Wizard
 


captain-sensible

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i just ran through with my laptop grub > to get slackware up

s
wizard, I have plenty of USB sticks, 5 of them USB 3.0 s with 32 GB of storage. So that's not a problem.

I really wonder about my BIOS setup. It comes up as an issue every time I post to one of these forums.

I'll look forward to any suggestions you make. Thanks again.

captain, I'm looking forward to what you have to say about Ventoy. I'm also thinking I should start another thread, so that it gets entered in the database as a separate issue. But I'll wait until I hear back from you. Thanks to you also, my friend!
yes start new thread - maybe it could be called "tool to boot useful kit from usb" that way i can also bring in rEFInd
 

coderlen

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I leave my laptop running all night, on the settings you guys have provided, so that I don't have to enter it all and reboot. However, the laptop froze up overnight, so I had to reboot and enter all that grub stuff again. I had a little trouble, because hd0 has now changed to hd1 ! That caused me to change all the hd0 entries to hd1 entries. I don't know why that happened, but I'm back again. I am posting the screenshot of those entries for your information.

wizard:
1) My DE:
echo $XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP
XFCE

2) Under File Manager, I found "admin:///boot/efi/EFI". Screenshot is attached.

3) There is a "/sys/firmware/efi/efivars"/. And that screenshot is also attached.


sp331yi
What you said makes perfect sense. But one thing at a time. Let's get the stuff with wizard sorted ojt before I start adjusting the partitions. On the other hand, your suggestion might be the key to solving all my problems!

Thanks, everybody! I think my system is a mess. But that's probably all my fault.
IMG_20200805_090909415.jpg
admin_boot_efi_EFI screenshot 2020-08-05-0930.png
sys_firmware_efi_efivars screenshot 2020-08-05-0939.png
 

coderlen

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I leave my laptop running all night, on the settings you guys have provided, so that I don't have to enter it all and reboot. However, the laptop froze up overnight, so I had to reboot and enter all that grub stuff again. I had a little trouble, because hd0 has now changed to hd1 ! That caused me to change all the hd0 entries to hd1 entries. I don't know why that happened, but I'm back again. I am posting the screenshot of those entries for your information.

wizard:
1) My DE:
echo $XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP
XFCE

2) Under File Manager, I found "admin:///boot/efi/EFI". Screenshot is attached.

3) There is a "/sys/firmware/efi/efivars"/. And that screenshot is also attached.


sp331yi
What you said makes perfect sense. But one thing at a time. Let's get the stuff with wizard sorted ojt before I start adjusting the partitions. On the other hand, your suggestion might be the key to solving all my problems!

Thanks, everybody! I think my system is a mess. But that's probably all my fault.View attachment 7047View attachment 7049View attachment 7047View attachment 7049View attachment 7047View attachment 7049
 

coderlen

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captain, I pasted the code you posted into a command window, and this is what I got:

[email protected]:~$ [ -d /sys/firmware/efi ] && echo "efi boot" || echo "legacy"]
efi boot
[email protected]:~$

So, according to this, I'm booting efi, right? Seems weird, because I have to have BIOS set to "CSM" in order to boot!
 

coderlen

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No offence taken, but it won't work, and may bork Len's Windows.
I have just about given up on Windows, as it seems that about twice a year Microsoft comes out with a major update. They're probably saying, "Yeah, might as well resintall Grub, just to make sure all is well." And that's what messes up my Linux partitions. I hate that! It causes me endless problems. I can let Windows go, I don't need it anymore. If I need Windows for something, I'll just log on to my wife's Windows laptop, or do something with Wine. Virtual Box, Cygwin, or one of the many other Linux tools. Windows was my training wheels. I can ride my bike without it now.

The "swaps" at /dev/sda8 and /dev/sda10 are not real Swap partitions, being in Ext4, and even if they were real they are unnecessary, but the fstab entries might reveal something illuminating.
I am the one who created those swap partitions. But I couldn't get the Linux installations to use them, as I don't know how. So they are totally unnecessary at this point.

I am of the opinion now that Len is better off blowing away everything beyond /dev/sda4, that is /dev/sda5 to /dev/sda11, and starting from scratch, with one Linux first, consuming all remaining space, and this can then be carved back to introduce another Linux with care.
That makes perfect sense to me. It's what I should have done in the first place. But look at what I am learning, thanks to you guys!

To do that, though, we have to be able to sort out the issue of a bootable USB stick being recognised under UEFI and not having to toggle to CSM Legacy. As long as that is a stumbling block, we won't be able to get a Grub Menu that accommodates Windows as well as Linux.

That is why I have asked after other USB sticks, and I am thinking of Andy @captain-sensible with his Ventoy or else perhaps a Rufus under Windows, to burn a Linux to.
I have no problem with burning USB sticks. However, using Windows to do it would not be my first choice. Should I try to do it on THIS machine, Windows would want to complete its latest update, which would horrify me due to the Grub issue. This particular update that Windows is trying to install in my Windows partition will surely blow away all our work. I'd rather use Rufus to burn single Linux distros, one at a time. Ventoy is good, but as captiain and I previously discussed, it does not support all the Linux distros I'm interested in installing.
 

captain-sensible

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So, according to this, I'm booting efi, right?
yes
captain, I pasted the code you posted into a command window, and this is what I got:

[email protected]:~$ [ -d /sys/firmware/efi ] && echo "efi boot" || echo "legacy"]
efi boot
[email protected]:~$

So, according to this, I'm booting efi, right? Seems weird, because I have to have BIOS set to "CSM" in order to boot!
yes because CSM is a component OF uefi to allow something s to stlll work that otherwise wouldn't under uefi
 

captain-sensible

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I have just about given up on Windows, as it seems that about twice a year Microsoft comes out with a major update. They're probably saying, "Yeah, might as well resintall Grub, just to make sure all is well." And that's what messes up my Linux partitions. I hate that! It causes me endless problems. I can let Windows go, I don't need it anymore. If I need Windows for something, I'll just log on to my wife's Windows laptop, or do something with Wine. Virtual Box, Cygwin, or one of the many other Linux tools. Windows was my training wheels. I can ride my bike without it now.



I am the one who created those swap partitions. But I couldn't get the Linux installations to use them, as I don't know how. So they are totally unnecessary at this point.



That makes perfect sense to me. It's what I should have done in the first place. But look at what I am learning, thanks to you guys!



I have no problem with burning USB sticks. However, using Windows to do it would not be my first choice. Should I try to do it on THIS machine, Windows would want to complete its latest update, which would horrify me due to the Grub issue. This particular update that Windows is trying to install in my Windows partition will surely blow away all our work. I'd rather use Rufus to burn single Linux distros, one at a time. Ventoy is good, but as captiain and I previously discussed, it does not support all the Linux distros I'm interested in installing.
well you can just burn an iso to a usb using dd from command line or maybe , do that in a week or so ?Using the wifes laptop is extremely dangerous in my experience ; darling can i borrow your laptop for about 10 minutes : sideways look" i hope your note going to ruin it ...
 

coderlen

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captain, thanks for explaining that I'm still actually booting in UEFI, even though it says CSM.

I had to laugh at your comment about borrowing the wife's laptop. You're right! You can never win that one, and something goes wrong, I'm cooked.

So, you can burn an Windows iso and boot directly, without installing it? Because if I have to install it, I'll commit suicide. Can't stand all the crap Microsoft puts you through.
 

captain-sensible

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well uefi is confusing but for instance secure boot can be off but its still uefi; from my understanding CSM is a choice of uefi. For instance in bios you can have fast boot or not; so its just selecting the bits you want and the way you want it. No i was thinking of Linux iso's that you can put as intended ont oa usb without having to use rufus etc, by using a command function from linux. I don't know much about Windows to be honest and haven't installed for a long time.


Basically just follow Wiz's instructions i'm here as a distraction in between with the odd nugget
 

wizardfromoz

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Basically just follow Wiz's instructions i'm here as a distraction in between with the odd nugget
Morning all, you put a little too much faith in me. So far all I seem to be doing is to be eliminating possibilities.

Although when you eliminate enough of the possibilities of what is going wrong, you can be left with the probability of what will work right (paraphrasing a bit there, lol).

I am glad for Len's patience, and thanks Len for those pix requested. :)

Len with that pic of the shell commands being entered (with the hd0, hd1 &c)

Because of the switcheroo it has a change necessary

the line with vmlinuz that you tab-complete should read, at the end

root=/dev/sdb11

... now.

/dev/sdb11 is the same as (hd1,gpt11)

Gotta go, back soon.

Wiz
 

coderlen

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So I'm thinking that perhaps we have enough information now to make the adjustments necessary to my laptop. To summarize what I think needs to happen:

1) sp331yi suggested that I need to move the partitions around and clean things up. Maybe that could be done first? That would leave me with a couple of working and fully functional Linux partitions, if I'm not mistaken.
2) Once that's done, we would need to fix the boot partition to properly boot up the machine. I don't know exactly how to do that, but I think wizardfromoz does.
3) As captain-sensible suggests, I can get some iso's, one at a time, installed in the remaining partitions. Using Ventoy is nice, but I have had trouble with it because some of the distros I like don't work with it. I have a particular interest in Puppy Linux for a flight simulator that I love, FlightGear. It behaves badly with antiX, but I have read that it works well with Puppy. And there are a couple other Linux distros I'd like to try out.
4) I don't think I want Windows on this laptop anymore. It behaves badly, and every time I want to go into it, it wants to slap another update on me. I'm done! So we can just wipe that partition and install another Linux in that partition, right?

Let me know if my thinking is correct. As wizard said, I am patient, but you guys are especially patient. Thank you very much for your help, boys.
 

captain-sensible

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regarding usb not booting unless CSM .

uefi as i understand it looks for a gpt partition. Most usb sticks have a none gpt partition table i.e an msdos partition table and then usually a fat32 partition .

So in your case it may be the PC not in CSM mode is sort of saying , i'm only going to tolerate anything that doesn't have a gpt label and of course your usb sticks don't

Now @gvisoc did a good post that explains a lot -see



So what might be good to try is that mentioned in Gvisoc post. Basically he suggests getting rufus and use it by selecting gpt label to put iso onto udb. Maybe try bionic puppy ? i think its only live but not to high on ram just to try to see if you can boot using uefi without CSM
 

coderlen

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captain, I selected KDE Neon as the distro to put on the USB. Puppy Linux was not one that supported Secure Boot, according to the links you gave me.

Once again, the only way I can boot into a USB live distro is to have CSM Boot enabled. When I set the BIOS to UEFI, it just brings up a menu of other distros I had installed on my laptop. I only tried one of them, Fedora, and it failed.

So at least now I have another distro to try, and KDE Neon is looking good! The first 3 reviews on DistroWatch all gave it 10 out of 10, so I was convinced!

Anyway, that was an interesting path of discovery, thanks so much. But we're back to the old problem, that my Grub Menu is all botched up.

No problem for me, really, I'll keep waiting until we get the solution. I can now boot into the live USB KDE Neon and work from there. Thanks for getting me onto it! And, I learned more about Secure Boot, UEFI, and booting in general.
 

coderlen

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Yeah, I just did a dd command from the terminal window, and that didn't seem to be an option, specifying the partition table type. Should I have used GParted for that?
 

captain-sensible

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if your willing to do a "dd" command with the knowledge if you got it wrong it would wipe your hard drive then you've got confidence and learning fast.

you might as well put rEFInd on one of your usb sticks : https://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/getting.html

shimmy down to usb flash drive image.

you will get a zip unzip .

file you want to use refind-flashdrive-0.12.0.img

dd if=/path/to/refind-flashdrive-0.12.0.img of=/dev/sdx

where sdx is your usb stick

if you used rufus you could have selected gpt label. I think then if CSM was off i'm pretty sure usb would have booted.

regarding dd it wipes mbr/partition and writes it own stuff.

IN the case of dd with dd if=/path/to/refind-flashdrive-0.12.0.img of=/dev/sdx

use a normal virgin usb stick which will be msdos and fat32; what rEFI img will do is write a gpt label to stick as required. You should be able to boot any OS on a uefi computer
 

wizardfromoz

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Going to be out of commission for a day or so, regrets

Wiz
 


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