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  1. #1

    The Case of The Disappearing GRUB menu/Linux

    I am truly boggled. I was dual booting Linux Mint and Windows 8. Using Gparted on a Live USB, I shrunk my Linux partition in order to add more space to my Windows partition.

    GRUB 2's menu disappeared. No biggie though, I could go through the settings in Windows 8 to restart using one of the two Ubuntu options (why it said Ubuntu instead of Mint, I have no idea). When I did this, the GRUB menu loaded as normal, and I was able to use my Linux OS, data untouched from my partition resizing. I rebooted, but Windows 8 kept automatically loading, no GRUB in sight.

    Everything was nearly normal...until I decided to go into my laptop's boot menu to try to create a boot path to Linux, and change the bootload priorities so everything was running like before. After that...GRUB loads directly to the menu at all. I start scouring the internet looking for answers...but I realize that any command options I use to look for files or anything return with unknowns and other errors (ask for more details if you want them). Also, none of the Boot Repair software I use seem to load.

    Curious, I go to Windows Disk Management...and see that the drive I once dedicated to Linux is now unallocated space!!!

    I'm in over my head. Where did all my data go? Can anything be done now to retrieve it, or will I have to reinstall Linux?? I'd greatly appreciate any information that can help me get things back to normal before I used GParted, but if that's not possible...I'd love to know what the heck happened???

    My fate is now in your hands. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Don't fret, Window$ doesn't like to play nice with anything else and screws up the grub bootloader when Window$ updates quite often. Window$ also fails to recognize Linux so it lists that partition as Unallocated. Chances are pretty good that your Mint Installation is still intact. A brief Launching of a "Live" Mint CD / DVD and initiating GParted should indicate your Mint Installation's existance.

    I never cared much for Window$ 8 / 8.1 so I hardly ever use my W-8 Laptop . For that reason I'll have to defer to someone a bit more well versed in recovering your bootloader on a W-8 machine.

    For my W-7 machines I have always set up a seperate Linux Boot Loader Partition and used EASY BCD ( a free Windows Program) to ammend the Window$ Bootloader to see & start Linux, but honestly I just don't know if it will work the same with W-8. It depends on how you set-up your dual boot . . . Boot Loader . . . in the first place.

    For best results getting help from this forum I would advise being more comprehensive in your description of your partitioning set-up and Mint version in use, as they can be indicative of any barriers which may have to be overcome. Too much info is easily ignored by respondents but too little info generally indicates a long drawn out process, likened to pulling teeth, to acquire the needed info to provide you with the solution you need.

    With regards to your "other programs" (Boot repair) not loading, it would be helpful to know if they are Windows or Linux based, what programs they are, and whether they or any other programs are being run from a "Live" CD / DVD. That might indicate a need to reset your UEFI options in the BIOS.

    Search for The link . . .
    ( 2 pages actually ) it may be helpful in you better understanding how to set up your dual boot structure to avoid Window$ Updating related obstructions AND how to seperate your Linux Boot Loader & saved Linux Data from your Linux & Window$ O/S's Installs so when you up-date to a newer Linux version Backing up and reinstalling saved data is less time consuming.

    CAUTION : This is NOT a excuse for not backing up your data. It simply allows you to seperate that data from the partition your Linux O/S is installed on.
    In Theory you should be able to Up-date your Linux Version without affecting your Saved Data. Make sure you back-up your settings before up-dating your Linux O/S version or you'll have to RE-Customize the New Install one setting at a time. BEWARE : Upgrading Windows O/S's wipes the entire Hard Drive. It erases all Partitions ! ! ! ! ! !
    Last edited by premonition010; 10-17-2014 at 05:24 PM. Reason: add last 2 paragraphs

  3. #3
    Me. I would make a

    How to Repair GRUB2 When Ubuntu Won?t Boot

    live cd.

    also download a dedicated Boot Repair live CD.
    Repair bootloader. Leave the editing alone. Since you don't know what you are doing.
    All editing for grub 2 is done in /etc/default/grub and the a update-grub should be done.

    Reading your post. Sorry to say. You should stay out of root file edits.
    Why? You may ask?

    Because you did not make a backup of original before editing said files.
    Just my opinion. Take or leave it.

    Better Check It. Before You Wreck It.
    I refuse to let fear and fear of others rule my life. It puts my humanity at risk.
    Accepting Death is the only way to stay alive.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Thanks for the info guys. As soon as apply the advice, I'll respond with a more detailed update.

    Premonition, you may be right about that, Windows did update itself automatically on my laptop recently (it just waited till I tried to shut down and did it's business. Can you believe the nerve?) As far as the partition, my concern comes from the fact that before I had these problems, Windows actually did recognize my Linux partition as used space, but now it doesn't. I'll know soon enough what the deal is.

    I wish I could tell you how I set up my bootloader, but I knew even less when I installed Linux than I do now. I note only one EFI partition, and I believe its always been like that. I never even knew how to automatically boot Linux, but since I use both Windows & Linux frequently, I kinda like the GRUB menu set up.

    The other programs I've tried to use are Boot Repair Disk, and Super Grub2 Disk. The only other programs I've used with a live disc are Mint, and Gparted. Boot Repair and Super Grub are Windows based (since I could not access Linux), and were put on a USB with Unetbootin. Neither one works correctly, but since I am new to this whole process, I may be doing something wrong elsewhere. I'm unsure of the exact version (and don't know how to check now) but I was using Cinnamon, and had just downloaded the latest version about a month ago.

    As for backing up my files...yeah, this might just be my punishment for being too lazy and impatient to learn how to use Clonezilla before doing all this. You guys have given me a ray of hope though...

    Rokytnji, I think I'm going to take your advice. To be honest, learning how to take control of my machine is proving more difficult than I imagined. I apologize if I have to be hand led through alot of this, or if the mistakes I make are ridiculous and my knowledge terribly lacking. I'm learning little by little through steady research, hands on experience, and (obviously) trial and error. I appreciate you both helping me understand a little more. Hopefully I will solve this problem soon!

  6. #5
    F Y I On my W-7 machine the Windows Bootloader directs the machine to The GRUB Bootloader . . . . IF you choose to load Linux. Then GRUB allows you to Choose AGAIN between W-7 and Linux. Keep in mind that the GRUB Bootloader is installed in its own Partition so Windows Won't Modify that boot loader during updates. If the W-7 bootloader has to be repaired at some point, the running of Easy BCD allows you to RE-Acquire the link to Linux in the couple of minutes it takes to run Easy BCD.

    IF you Choose W-7, from the W-7 Bootloader, W-7 simply Loads.

    Easy BCD also allows you to choose which OS to load by default. Soooo, If you generally use Linux, set it as the default and you can ignore you machine for about 30 seconds after pressing the power button and both bootloaders will pass through their respective countdown timers and Linux will boot automatically.

    Setting up GRUB as the Primary Bootloader in Your Windows Boot partition will merely place it in harms-way for future Win. updates to overwrite. For what it's worth I chose this scenario to minimize risk while maximizing available QUICK
    repair options.

    If anyone out there has a more logical or easier approach I'd love to hear / learn it, so Please Share !

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by premonition010 View Post
    Chances are pretty good that your Mint Installation is still intact. A brief Launching of a "Live" Mint CD / DVD and initiating GParted should indicate your Mint Installation's existance.
    Alright. I made another copy of Linux Mint 17, Cinnamon Edition (the version I was running before), and launched it.

    When I launched Gparted however, the 276.01 GB that I had dedicated to Linux is still showing up as unallocated. However, I notice there is no information for flags, or amount used, only "--". Also, there is another partition (128 mb) that is showing up as unknown, and has an exclamation mark, showing that the system file is unable to be detected for any number of reasons. The flag is "msftres". The Windows partition, boot partition, recovery partition, and restore partition are all intact.

    Does this leave any clues to what the problem might be? Also, is all my original Linux data lost, or is there a chance of recovering it? I suppose the easiest path would be to just reinstall mint and start clean, but I'd like to attempt to restore my system the way it was before.

    Thanks in advance!

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